Chinchilla rabbit

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A Standard Chinchilla eating a leaf during the Fall.

Chinchilla rabbits are a group of three rabbit breeds that have been bred for a coat that resembles that of chinchillas.[1] They are not related to and cannot interbreed with chinchillas, which are a species of rodent. Rabbits are lagomorphs. A mutation diluted the yellow pigment in the hairs to almost white, changing in this way the color of the fur of the wild rabbit (agouti) into chinchilla.

There are three breeds of Chinchilla rabbit recognized by the ARBA.

Standard Chinchilla[edit]

  • Weight: 5 1/2-7 lbs

Standard Chinchilla is the original chinchilla version with the larger versions being developed from it. It has a compact body and rollback fur.[2]

American Chinchilla[edit]

  • Weight: 9-12 lbs

The American Chinchilla or "Heavyweight Chinchilla" is larger than the Standard Chinchilla, it has a commercial body type but the same roll back coat. Standard Chinchillas bred for large size produced this breed. Chinchilla Rabbits originated in France and were bred to standard by M. J. Dybowski. They were introduced to the United States in 1919. [3] Bred to be a meat and fur rabbit, the American Chinchilla Rabbit can be shown/exhibited or kept as a stocky, hardy pet. American Chinchilla Rabbits do not require regular grooming. Adult American Chinchilla Rabbits weigh different for each sex. Males (Bucks)- 9-11#, and Females (Does) 10-12#. These stocky rabbits have a slight curve to their medium length bodies, beginning at the nape of their necks and following through to the rump. They carry their ears straight erect. The quality of the pelt is first and more important when breeding for the "Standard Of Perfection". American Chinchilla Rabbits are a six-class breed in show. (Any rabbit that matures over 9 pounds is a 6-class breed, maturation weights under 9# are 4-class breeds.) The American Chinchilla Rabbit was bred from large Standard Chinchilla Rabbits in order to produce a meatier rabbit. They were originally called Heavyweight Chinchilla Rabbits.

Junior and intermediate American Chinchilla Rabbits may be shown in age classifications higher than their own if they are overweight. Bucks and does under six months and nine pounds are considered juniors. Intermediate American Chinchilla Rabbits are bucks and does six to eight months of age. The American Chinchilla Rabbit is listed on "The Livestock Conservancy as being the only "critically endangered" rabbit at this time.[4]

American Chinchilla Rabbits are good breeders, with an average litter of 6-9 kits.

Giant Chinchilla[edit]

Giant Chinchilla
  • Weight: 12-16 lb.

The Giant Chinchilla is a result of crosses between Chinchilla and Flemish Giant breeds; it originates in the United States. This breed is used primarily as a commercial meat rabbit. [5]

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