If you are looking for an impressive show animal, an extraordinarily sweet friend, or both, the New Zealand Red Rabbit is the first pet to meet! New Zealand Red Rabbits are raised for meat, fur and as show animals and pets.
They are incredibly docile and love to be handled. Their fur is shorter than many show rabbits, making them easier to care for than longhaired animals that require excruciatingly fussy grooming! New Zealand Red Rabbits still need regular and careful attention paid to their coats, and they need quite a bit of room to run about in, being a larger breed of rabbit.
New Zealand Red Rabbits have medium though full heads, as opposed to the broader heads found in the other colors. They also weigh a bit less than the other colors of New Zealand Rabbits, growing to about eight pounds.
They have broad shoulders and gracefully curved backs, showing a slight arching line. New Zealand Red Rabbits have dark toenails and their bright eyes are hazel. The coat should be a very bright, shining golden tinted red, and the color should extend down to the skin.
It should have a harsh texture and be quite dense! The face, medium sized ears, and feet of New Zealand Red Rabbits should be the same color as the body. Over the belly and the flanks, the color may be shaded lighter, and the eye circles of New Zealand Red Rabbits should be quite small.
They are not true eye circles- simply a thinning of fur around the eyes which gives the impression of a whitish eye circle! The only white allowed on these rabbits, in fact, is on the undersides of the feet and tail. New Zealand Red Rabbits should be not too dark and not too light; the coat could be described as sorrel if it were sported by a horse!
The fur grows to just about three quarters of an inch. New Zealand Red Rabbits originated in the United States. It is thought that these rabbits were produced from a cross between the Flemish Giant and the Belgian Bare Rabbit.
A similar breed of rabbit, now extinct, called the Old English Red exists today also, in the form of the French Fauve de Bourgogne and the Italian Fulvo di Borgogna. New Zealand Red Rabbits are disqualified for silvering in the coat or for having a coat that is too soft.
They will be marked faults for dark ear tips or body tops, the presence of a few white hairs in the coat, light shaded ears, face, and feet, or a white belly. Significant faults in New Zealand Red Rabbits include: excessive black or white hairs present in the coat, black ears or black ticking in the coat, long narrow body types, narrow pointy heads or the lack or guard hairs, or fur which grows too long or is too soft.