Did you know?
The scientific name of the rabbit is Oryctolagus cuniculus, and they belong to the order of lagomorphs. Within this order, we can differentiate a wide variety of breeds. They originate from the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa. They have a lifespan of between 7 and 10 years.
One characteristic of this species is that they have 2 pairs of upper incisors (the second pair is smaller and located behind the main incisors) and a pair of lower incisors. Both the incisors and molars continuously grow, so they need to have a proper diet to wear them down and prevent problems.
Rabbits are a very common choice as pets. Due to their popularity in households, various breeds have emerged through crossbreeding, resulting in different sizes and coat types.
This results in a wide variety of breeds, ranging from so-called “Toy” rabbits like the Jersey Wooly or the Miniature Hotot to “giant” rabbits like the Continental Giant or the New Zealand.
They are divided into 3 main groups:
– Giant: > 4.5 kg. Typically bred for the industry.
Standard: 2.5 – 3.5 kg.
Dwarf: < 2.5 kg.
Some of the most popular breeds are:
DWARF LOP: It is characterized by its large drooping ears. Among the so-called dwarf rabbits, it is one of the largest, with a weight that can vary from 1.7 to 2.5 kg. They have short fur and come in a variety of colors. They are considered docile rabbits and are easy to domesticate.
HOTOT DWARF: It is a small, compact, and thick rabbit, with white fur and black rings around its dark eyes. Its weight ranges from 0.9 to 1.3 kg. It has a calm but individualistic personality.
MINI LOP: Both the Mini Lop and the Miniature Lop are relatively new breeds, created through crosses to reduce their size more and more until reaching their current size, where they weigh between 1.2 and 1.6 kg. They have short, wide bodies and extremely long, wide, and drooping ears. They are easy to handle and adapt to.
JERSEY WOOLY: It is a “woolly” rabbit with long hair, but unlike the Angora rabbit, its fur is easy to care for and maintain. They usually do not exceed 1.5 kg in weight. They have a short, compact body, a proportional head, and short, dense ears.
TEDDY: This breed originates from the Netherlands. It is a small rabbit, weighing between 1 kg and 1.5 kg approximately, with long, smooth hair, not woolly. The longer hair is found on the flanks, while the shorter hair is on the upper body. The hair should not cover the eyes in adulthood. The ears are erect, with a high insertion and a V shape. They are social and sweet animals, but due to their fur, they require daily grooming to prevent knots and potential dermatological problems.
Standard or Giant Rabbits:
HIMALAYAN: It is one of the oldest breeds. This breed has a short, wide head, slightly longer in females, with a slender and elongated build and long legs. Its weight is around 2.5 kg. They can be born with a silver-gray or solid tone that disappears as they mature, becoming entirely white except for the nose, ears, tail, and extremities, which become darker until they turn black. Their fur is fine, short, and very soft.
BUTTERFLY: It is an active rabbit that needs several hours of activity per day, being most active in the early morning and at dusk. It gets its name from the colored mark around its nose, where the “wings” on both sides can be seen. Its body is arched, with long, slender legs and large, upright ears.
CALIFORNIAN: Originating from the USA, it is a large rabbit with a weight ranging from 3.5 to 4.8 kg. It is easily recognizable by its fur, being accepted only in one color pattern: a white body with black or nearly black spots on its legs, tail, ears, and nose. Their eyes are red, and their fur is fine and soft.
NEW ZEALAND: Of American origin, the breed originated in California. Although the most common color is white with pink eyes, red, black, and blue colors are also recognized. It is a large rabbit that can reach 6 kg and has rapid growth. Its front legs are short, and the hind legs are large. It has dense fur, long and upright ears, and a much shorter coat, giving it a pink hue.
REX: Originating from France, it is a large rabbit, weighing between 3 and 4.5 kg, with upright and long ears. It is characterized by its short, dense, and velvety fur. Within the breed, there can be found up to 14 coat color variations, although its original color was cinnamon. They are intelligent, friendly, and relatively calm with occasional moments of excitement.
LIONHEAD: Its name comes from having longer and denser fur on the head than on the rest of the body, although the density of the mane may vary. Its weight usually ranges around 2 kg. They have very long and erect ears and brown, red, or blue eyes. They are docile animals that enjoy being pampered.