Heritage Rabbit Breeds

Heritage Rabbit Breeds

It is impossible not to like rabbits, unless of course you have had a crazy one like my first rabbit, Tibbits, who was clinically insane and ate kindling for breakfast.  For the most part, however, rabbits are cute, cuddly and luxuriously soft.  Ages ago, European gardens were built to house pet rabbits, and still today we love keeping rabbits for pets and other purposes.

Some of those original breeds, the heritage breeds, have gone extinct.  Others are in danger of extinction unless we intervene and begin working to bring their numbers back.  According to the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, these rabbits are critically endangered:

  • American – A beautiful blue colored dual-purpose rabbit, these were officially recognized in 1918.
  • American Chinchilla – I have this breed, and love how sweet, alert and mellow they are.
  • Silver Fox – These rabbits are so beautiful, it would be an utter shame to see them become extinct.

In addition to the critical status, there are rabbits on the threatened list: Belgian Hare, Blanc de Hotot and Silver.

There are also five breeds on the watch list: Beveren, Crème d'Argent, Giant Chinchilla, Lilac and Rhinelander.

Rabbits are assigned to a status based on national registrations with breed registries and voluntary reporting by breeders.

Each of these breeds represents a piece of our nation’s history.  With so much changing in our world, and so many animals losing the battle against civilization, we really owe it to these special breeds to do what it takes to preserve them, along with the rich history they bring along.