Top Rabbit Show Breeds | Living the Country Life
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Top Rabbit Show Breeds

These rabbit breeds are popular among raisers in the United States. Popularity ranges based on fur, color, and the general purpose of the breed.
  • Storey's Guide

    In "Storey's Guide to Raising Rabbits," author Bob Bennet explains the ins and outs of rabbit care. Here, he shows us some of his favorite show breeds. "Each year the show at the American Rabbit Breeders Association National Convention draws thousands of entries," he says. "The rankings and the numbers of rabbits entered really don't vary much from year to year, although a few breeds enjoy short-lived popularity." As this list indicates, small and dwarf breeds are favored over medium breeds and giants. 

    Date Published: March 7, 2018
    Date Updated: August 14, 2018
  • Netherland Dwarf

    Ideal Weight: 2 pounds

    Varieties: Officialy Agouti, Self, Shaded, Tan Pattern; many other colors and patterns come about in this breed

    Fur Type: Normal

    Market: As pets and for fanciers. Very popular as pet and show rabbit

    "The Netherland Dwarf was the second of tthe little guys to appear in the United States," says Bennet. (The Polish got here first.) "Since it arrived it's been bred into just about every single color and pattern imaginable." Every litter results in a variety of colors. It is extremely pouplar as a pet and show rabbit, with its round head and short ears.

    Date Published: March 7, 2018
    Date Updated: August 14, 2018
  • Photo courtesy of rightpet

    Jersey Wooly

    Ideal Weight: 3 pounds 

    Varieties: Agouti, Pointed White, Self, Shaded, Tan Pattern

    Fur Type: Angora; longer than that on American Fuzzy Lop

    Market: Wool, but doesn't produce as much as larger Angoras; popular pets because of small size and wooly appearance

    Bennet says this small rabbit looks more like a miniature Angora than it does the American Fuzzy Lop because of its upright ears and longer wool. "The wool can be spun, but it will take more than several rabbits to make it worthwhile."

    Date Published: March 7, 2018
    Date Updated: August 14, 2018
  • Photo courtesy of rightpet

    Holland Lop

    Ideal Weight: 3 pounds

    Varieties: Agouti, Broken, Pointed White, Self, Shaded, Tan Pattern, Ticked, Wide Band

    Fur Type: Normal

    Market: As pets and for fanciers; small size, pug nose, many colors, and lop ears rank it high in the minds of pet rabbit owners. 

    The Holland Lop is a popular pet and show rabbit. It doesn't weight more than 4 pounds, has large ears that hang close to its pug-nosed head, and comes in eight normal-furred varieties. It gives fanciers a  range of color surprises in the nest box and variety on the show table. 

    Date Published: March 7, 2018
    Date Updated: August 14, 2018
  • Dutch

    Ideal Weight: 4.5 pounds

    Varieties: White, Black, Blue, Chocolate, Gray, Steel, Tortoise

    Fur Type: Normal

    Market: Basically a fancier's rabbit, bred for exhibition, but an excellent small meat rabbit that dresses out well

    "If you seek a strong challenge on the show table the Dutch is for you," says Bennet. "The breed also dresses out very well because of its plump, compact body." Does are excellent foster mothers, and some raisers keep a few to do so. Sometimes called Dutch Belted, this is the "panda bear" rabbit becaue its markings distinguish it from every other breed. 

    Date Published: March 7, 2018
    Date Updated: August 14, 2018
  • Photo courtesy of rightpet

    Mini Lop

    Ideal Weight: 5.5-6 pounds

    Varieties: Agouti, Broken, Pointed White, Self, Shaded, Ticked, and Wide Band

    Fur Type: Normal

    Market: Sought as a pet by those who think lop ears are attractive; comes in many colors and patterns. Dresses out well; popular at shows

    This extremely popular breed appeals to pet owners enamored by the puppy-dog look of its floppy ears. It has a massive, thickset body for its size, with broad shoulders and heavy hidquarters. Overall, it is muscled, compact, and balanced, and dresses out well.

    Date Published: March 7, 2018
    Date Updated: August 14, 2018
  • Photo courtesy of petguide

    Rex

    Ideal Weight: 8 - 9 pounds

    Varieties: Amber, Black, Black Otter, Blue, Californian, Castor, Chinchilla, Chocolate, Lilac, Lynx, Opal, Red, Sable, Seal, White, Broken

    Fur Type: Rex, or short and plushlike; like velour or velvet

    Market: Meat, primarily; fur, secondly, if raised to maturity when pelt is prime

    The plushlike Rex is a great meat and show rabbit and comes in 16 varieties, representing almost all recognized colors of domestic rabbits. "Velour or velvet come to mind when stroking the fur," says Bennet. The pelt, with hair 5/8 inch long when prime, can bring high prices at the right time. "The Rex has the build of a meat rabbit, but poorly furred footpads make it prone to sore hocks when raised on wire floors; look for well-furred footpads."

    Date Published: March 7, 2018
    Date Updated: August 14, 2018
  • Satin

    Ideal Weight: Buck, 9.5 pounds; doe, 10 pounds

    Varieties: Black, Blue, Californian, Chinchilla, Chocolate, Copper. Opal, Otter, Red, Siamese, White, Broken Group

    Fur Type: Satin; has hollow, luminous hair shafts that give this breed's fur a high sheen

    Market: An excellent meat rabbit, with pelt potential; an extremely popular rabbit at shows

    A pair of these rabbits will produce 4-pound fryer/broilers at 8 weeks that are the equal of almost every other breed in the weight class. "The added appeal is its satin fur, which appears in 12 colors, and the same coat can now be found on the much smaller Mini Satin," says Bennet. Many normal-fur rabbits have been satinized, so you can find Satins in almost any color. 

    Date Published: March 7, 2018
    Date Updated: August 14, 2018
  • New Zealand

    Ideal Weight: 10 - 11 pounds

    Varieties: White, Black, Red, Broken

    Fur Type: Normal

    Market: Number-one meat and laboratory rabbit; efficiently converts feed to meat; produces most consistently of all breeds. Widely available; a great first choice

    "Almost every big white rabbit you encounter will be a New Zealand, or at least one with New Zealand breeding behind it," says Bennet. "New Zealands also come in Black, Red, and the relatively new Broken." The White is the first-rated meat and laboratory rabbit; the Red is the original; the Black has been around for years. The Broken variety is largely white with blotches of either red or black. 

    Date Published: March 7, 2018
    Date Updated: August 14, 2018
  • Photo courtesy of rightpet

    English Angora

    Ideal Weight: 5.5 - 6.5 pounds

    Varieties: Agouti, Pointed White, Self, Shaded, Ticked, Wide Band

    Fur Type: Angora, or rabbit "wool," used primarily for spinning into yarn 

    Market: Smaller than the other Angora breeds, and less popular as a commercial animal; tufted ears give it a distinctive look admired by many

    "If you are at a rabbit show and spot a round ball of fluff, it's bound to be an English Angora," says Bennet.  It is the smallest of the Angora breeds (despite its fur making it look bigger), with the largest being the Giant Angora, weighing 10 pounds or more. Intermediate-weight Angoras are the Satin and French breeds. You can distinguish English from other Angoras by looking at its ears, which are more heavily fringed and tasseled than its cousins.

    Date Published: March 7, 2018
    Date Updated: August 14, 2018

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