Our furry friends come in all different bunny shapes, and bunny sizes. Some are small, some are tall, some are lazy while others are active. Some have long hair that needs to be trimmed, while others need a bit of extra warmth over winter. There are four categories of rabbit breeds(as judged by the American Rabbit Breeders Association) which are judged on size: giant, medium, small and dwarf. There are also four fur types: normal, rex, satin and angora. Below we have compiled a list of our furry friends of domestic breeds, separated by type.
Giant Rabbit Breeds:
Giant Rabbit Breeds are the heaviest of all breeds and largest in statue with the Flemish Giant as big as a medium sized dog! They make great pets but require a bit of extra care. It’s really important you have adequate housing for these rabbits as they require large pens, or rooms devoted to them for unsupervised living instead of standard hutches.
This breed of rabbit traces its origins back to Europe where it is known as the Giant Papillon. Interestingly, Checkered Giants are one of only 11 breeds that require defined markings to meet breed requirements. They are considered the same breed, bt the marking requirements differ between Europe and America.
Checkered Giants make great house rabbits, they are fairly easy to litter-box train and groom themselves well. Unlike a lot of breeds, Alfalfa hay should be avoided as it is a bit to high in calcium. Instead, a diet of rabbit pallets and free choice timothy hay should be provided. Avoid being too generous with treats as well as the Checkered Giants Digestive Tract can be easily disrupted which can lead to diarrhea(which nobody wants!).
Checked Giants, being a large breed, need special housing requirements. We actually have a review on our favorite solution for Giant Breeds you can read by Clicking Here.
On the lighter end of the Giant Breeds, Checkered Giant Bucks weigh in around at least 11 pounds (5.0 kg) and Does 12 pounds (5.4 kg), but really there isn’t a specified weight.
Giant rabbits are a whole different class of bunnies, and special care should be taken of them. We have given a couple of extra resources below.
ARBA Code: CG
Max Weight(Buck): 5.9 kg
Max Weight(Doe): 6.4 kg
The Flemish Giant originated in Flanders. Believed to have descended form a combination of fur and meat rabbits such as the ‘Stone Rabbit'(Steenkonijn) which effectively meant it weighed about one stone. and the ‘Patagonian’, a now extinct breed that was once bred in Belgium and France.
The Flemish Giant is one of the largest of the domestic rabbit breeds. Flemish Giants are both powerful and long and have broad hindquarters. Bucks have massive broad head when compared to a doe and can take up to a year and a half to reach maturity while the does can take up to a year.
Flemish Giants averagely weigh 15 pounds(6.80kg) and come is seven recognized colors: Black, Blue, Fawn, Sandy, Light Gray, Steel Gray and White.
Flemish Giants can be docile with frequent and proper handling. Flemish Giants require a substantial hutch so they can get ample exercise, so large in fact that The House Rabbit Society actually recommend keeping rabbits inside the home in a a large pen or devoting rooms in your home to them. Traditional Hutches aren’t really suited for this breed and it can be better to use a dog crate with over 5 square feet of floor space (and that’s just for sleeping!). We’ve actually selected the best dog crate suitable for Flemish Giants, you can check it out by clicking here.
Another thing to be aware of is that Flemish Giants require a lot of food and special handling due to their bone structure. It’s important to do your homework when it comes to any breed, but that stands doubly true when it comes to the Flemish Giant. But with a loving environment, proper care and attention, Flemish Giants are an incredible addition to any Family.
ARBA Code: FG
Max Weight(Buck): 5.9 kg
Max Weight(Doe): 6.4 kg
Giant Chinchilla Rabbit
Chinchilla rabbits are actually a group of three recognized breeds. They are aptly named due their coats resembling that of a chinchilla due to the yellow pigments in their hair becoming almost white due to a genetic mutation. They have no relation to chinchillas at all however.
Giant Chinchillas was originally born as a result of cross breeding Flemish Giants and Chinchillas. They were bred to resemble chinchillas to supply chinchilla-esque pelts to the fur trade.
Giant Chinchilla Bucks weigh around 11 pounds(4.99 kg) while does weigh around 12 pounds(5.44 kg).
Like all Giant Rabbit Breeds, these rabbits have a delicate bone structure and must be handled properly. They are incredibly docile and make excellent pets. They are hardy and resistant to most diseases. They’ll live for 8 or 9 years if take care of well. They need special housing provisions than normal hutches can’t fill, much similar to other giant rabbit breeds.
ARBA Code: GC
Max Weight(Buck): 5.44 kg
Max Weight(Doe): 5.9 kg
Medium Rabbit Breeds:
Medium Rabbit breed category has the second most recognized varieties of rabbits. Medium rabbit breeds are generally considered the most tolerant to handling and make great house bunnies. They do have an increased intake of food compared t the smaller breeds and need larger hutches as well. Don’t let these be determining factors in stopping you from picking up these delightful varieties though!
The Californian is also known as a Californian White. They are generally considered meat rabbits developed in southern California by a gentleman named George West. By breeding Himilayan breeds with Chinchilla rabbits, then crossing the result with New Zealand Whites, George developed a breed that was all white apart from the nose, ears and feet.
When if comes to feeding this variety, they do well on standard pellets and free-choice timothy-grass. Alfalfa Hay is acceptable only to rabbits under the age of 8 moths as it is too high in calcium for older bunnies.
Amazingly enough these cute bunnies can weigh in at a whopping 11 pounds(4.99kg) for Bucks and 12 pounds (5.44kg) for Does.
ARBA Code: CA
Ideal Weight: 9 Pounds (4 kg)
The Champagne D’Argent is one of the old known domestic rabbit breeds, tracing it’s origins back to France when it was known as the French Silver. Champagne D’Argents are known for their under-color as a dark slate blue with a white blueish body featuring jet black hairs interspersed in their coat. Interestingly enough the kits are born jet black and begin to develop their silver-grey color after about 3 weeks. By 6 Months they will have a fully colored silver-grey coat. Argents are small, neat and have well developed hindquarters underneath a slightly arched back. They make great pets being very docile but do well in pairs. Champagne D’Argents can reach speeds of up to 40mph, so make sure you have an enclosed yard if you’re going to let them out. They can also jump to to 36 inches(96.4cm) so a high fence is a must have too.
ARBA Code: CD
Ideal Weight: 10- 10.5 pounds (4.5 – 4.8 kg)
New Zealand White
New Zealand Rabbits, or New Zealand Whites are a breed which were developed in The United States. The original breeds that were used to create the New Zealand White are still unknown. can be distinguished by their thick snowy fur and their bright eyes, which be a wide range of shades from pale pink to bright ruby purple. This is due to a genetic variant this breed has named albinism. Albinism is caused by a lack of melanin, a pigment that gives most all creature their fur, hair, skin and eye color.
New Zealand Whites are primarily a meat and fur breed of rabbit and not really intended to be pets.
ARBA Code: NZ
Ideal Weight: 10- 11 pounds (4.5 – 5 kg)
The Palomino rabbit is a breed that traces it roots to Washington State. They get their name from their fawn-orange coloring, much similar to Palomino Horses. They are very docile and make great rabbits for pets or shows. They have a strong build and can handle and tolerate children(with supervision of course). They grow very quickly and are used in commercial operations as well.
ARBA Code: PL
Ideal Weight: 9 pounds (4.1 kg)
The Rex Rabbit is a breed of French origin. They were bred and developed for a velvet-like plush fur coat. Rex Rabbits have broader heads than most other breeds of rabbit with upright ears to match. In Europe, the Rex Rabbit is primarily bred and kept for their fur for use in garment manufacturing. However, in the US the fur is more of a byproduct of meat production. Rex rabbits make great pets too, they are docile and cuddly, but can be fragile so make sure you handle them properly. Rex rabbits come in a lot of different colors some of which are Chocolate, Otter, Blue, Red and Seal.
ARBA Code: RX
Ideal Weight: 8 – 9 pounds (3.6 – 4.1 kg)
Club: National Rex Rabbit Club
Satin Rabbits are a dual purpose breed prized for their Fur. They were derived form New Zealand whites after a mutation in their hair, causing it to be hollow. This mutation in Satin Rabbits causes them to have a beautiful sheen to their coat. They were bred with several other varieties to give them their coloring. There are 12 different colors Satin Rabbits come in as accepted by ARBA. They are: Black, blue, Californian, chinchilla, chocolate, copper, opal, otter, red, Siamese, white and ‘the broken group'(white is a patchy variety). Satin Rabbits are actually very efficient in terms fo production. A study that was done comparing them to New Zealand Whites had them reaching 5 lbs slower, but will less feed – 85 pounds of standardized alfalfa pellets for 8 kits, while New Zealand Whites took 100 Pounds. Satins also make great pets as they are a manageable size, well tempered and low maintenance for their coats.
ARBA Code: ST
Ideal Weight: 9.5- 10 pounds (4.3 – 4.5 kg)
Small Rabbit Breeds:
ARBA Code: DT
Ideal Weight: 4.5 pounds (2 kg)
ARBA Code: EA
Ideal Weight: 5.5 – 6.5 pounds (2.5 – 3.0 kg)
ARBA Code: ES
Ideal Weight: 6 – 7 pounds (2.7 – 3.2 kg)
ARBA Code: FW
Ideal Weight: 5 pounds (2.3 kg)
ARBA Code: HR
Ideal Weight: 7.5 pounds (3.4 kg)
ARBA Code: HV
Ideal Weight: 5 – 5.5 pounds (2.3 – 2.5 kg)
ARBA Code: ML
Ideal Weight: 5.5 – 6 pounds (2.5 – 2.7 kg)
ARBA Code: TN
Ideal Weight: 4- 6 pounds (1.8 – 2.7 kg)
ARBA Code: SC
Ideal Weight: 7.5 pounds (3.4 kg)
Dwarf Rabbit Breeds:
The accepted maximum weight for a rabbit to be considered a dwarf breed is 1.81kg. Whilst not all dwarf rabbits breeds are accepted by the British Rabbit Council(BRC) or American Rabbit Breeders Associations(ARBA), they are the most popular breeds for pets due to their cutely small stature.
American Fuzzy Lop – max 1.60 kg
This particularly cute dwarf rabbit breed has a coat of fur that resembles that of an angora(it isn’t though!). A sociable breed, they do well with other rabbits and with people and their children.This breed is recognized by ARBA.