As a very popular show rabbit and extremely lovely animal, the New Zealand Rabbit is one breed you should be sure not to miss! The New Zealand Rabbit is a beautiful meat rabbit who is also highly valued by furriers for its luxuriant coat!
Its thick coat requires regular and careful grooming, but with a docile personality and a strikingly beautiful, rich coloration, the New Zealand Rabbit is worth devoting your time to! New Zealand Rabbits are available in several colors including red, black, white, and blue!
Though the blue variety is not accepted by the American Rabbit Breeders Association of the United States. Usually bucks weigh ten pounds and females are eleven pounds. Overweight New Zealand Rabbits are not as graceful as slimmer animals, though the body should be deep and broad.
The head should also be broad. New Zealand Rabbits are of medium length and have very stocky, short and straight front legs. They have short necks, also, and carry their ears evenly. The ears should have round tips and should be quite furry! Doe New Zealand Rabbits are allowed a small dewlap.
No matter what the color, the fur of New Zealand Rabbits is thick and glossy, though not too wiry or too silky in texture. Blue New Zealand Rabbits’ color extends far down into the undercoat, and their bright eyes and toenails are dark blue or brown, though the fur should not have a brown tinge!
The color should be a medium blue, even and rich and without silvering. White New Zealand Rabbits should have a bright, clear color free of any yellowing, and bright pink eyes! Black New Zealand Rabbits are a jet-black color, which should extend deeply into the undercoat.
The toenails should be dark blue and the eyes brown, though again the fur should not have a brown tinge! The dense coat on New Zealand Rabbits grows to about three quarters of an inch! New Zealand Rabbits were brought to the United States originally by sailors from New Zealand!
The red color was the first to be introduced and is the most popular. In the 1920’s, the White New Zealand Rabbit was introduced and accepted by the ARBA and the blue and black varieties were accepted later, black being the most recent color to gain acceptance.
These rabbits were originally bred for their extraordinary meat and fur producing properties, but today are mainly bred as show animals. White New Zealands may also be called “NZW” for short. In show, your Black or Blue New Zealand Rabbit will be disqualified for having white toenails or patches, crooked bones, or a double dewlap.
Faults will be marked in Black, Blue, or White New Zealand Rabbits for thin or pointy ears, large dewlaps, fur with a wooly texture, narrow shoulders or long or underweight body types.
White New Zealand Rabbits are disqualified in show for having double dewlaps or crooked bones. New Zealands are usually great mothers that have large litters. Their mothering instinct is one of the best. They conceive easily as well.