You wouldn’t think a rabbit, which is notorious for breeding, would be on the critically endangered list. However, the American Chinchilla Rabbit is. While it used to be an exceedingly popular rabbit breed, it is now no longer raised as prolifically.
Although, part of the reason for this is the fact that rabbits are not really raised for their meat anymore, and the whole purpose of this giant rabbit was to have something that could produce a lot of meat.
The Origins of the American Chinchilla Rabbit
The American Chinchilla Rabbit has origins in the Standard Chinchilla Rabbit, which is a ‘natural’ breed.
Back in the early 1900s, rabbit meat was consumed far more often in the United States than it is today.
As a result, breeders were trying to produce a rabbit that would give off more meat, and fur. The result was the American Chinchilla Rabbit.
This rabbit was bred specifically to be on the larger side of things, while at the same time having a brilliant coat that would require very little in the way of maintenance.
In rabbit shows, the quality of the rabbit coat is exceedingly important. In fact, it is one of the defining factors of the breed.
It is worth noting that there is also a larger rabbit under the Chinchilla Rabbit breed. This is NOT the American Chinchilla Rabbit, although there are a few similarities in their look.
It is the giant ‘Chinchilla Rabbit’.
This is a cross between the Standard Chinchilla Rabbit and the Giant Flemish Rabbit breeds. Nowadays, due to the larger size of this breed, it is the one that is used mostly in rabbit meat farming.
This is part of the reason why the American Chinchilla Rabbit is bred nowhere near at the same rates that it was in the past.
The Look of the American Chinchilla Rabbit
The American Chinchilla Rabbit caps out at somewhere between 9lbs and 12lbs in weight (this is small compared to the giant Chinchilla Rabbit which starts at 12lb and goes all the way up to 16lb!)
The American Chinchilla has your typical commercial body. It is nice and stocky, with a good coat. The rabbit is going to have a mix between a gray coat, with small amounts of blue fur in between.
This is the ONLY recognized color for the American Chinchilla Rabbit. If the bulk of the rabbit’s color is not gray, then you do not have an this breed!
The tail of the American Chinchilla Rabbit will be black. The bottom of it will be mostly black, but there may be a few white hairs that have managed to creep in.
The eyes of the American Chinchilla Rabbit can be a variety of colors. However, the ones that do best in rabbit shows will be the ones that have dark brown eyes.
The Purpose of this Rabbit
In the past, this rabbit was raised specifically for the purpose of meat and fur. It is no longer farmed in commercial operations due to better options available.
However, because this rabbit is a good breeder, a lot of people who run their own homestead may actually raise these rabbits for their meat.
Although, of course, it is likely that you will be raising this rabbit for the benefits of a pet, as opposed to the fact that you want to eat it. However, a few of our readers may be planning to purchase rabbits to raise for food, so we figured that we would point this out.
The Lifespan of the American Chinchilla Rabbit
Despite being fairly stocky in size, this rabbit has a pretty decent lifespan. It will generally live between 5 and 8 years in captivity, although a few have aged well beyond this.
It is certainly a long-lived pet, so this is something that you are going to want to consider when you get one.
Remember; they do take up a rather substantial amount of space, and this is space that does need to be available to them. Basically, this is probably not a pet that you will want to get if your planning to expand your family any time soon.
The Litter Size
One of the reasons why this rabbit was raised so extensively for meat use in the past is due to the fact that it does have fairly large litters.
It is uncommon for the American Chinchilla Rabbit to have a litter size under 5, with most of their litters seeming to border on the 8 mark.
This is something that you will need to consider if you are raising this rabbit to breed it. After all, if you let things get out of control, you are going to end up with a lot of rabbits in virtually no time at all!
Chinchilla Rabbit Care
One of the great things about this american giant is the fact that it is an incredibly hardy animal. It doesn’t take that much in the way of looking after.
As long as the temperature isn’t too extreme (i.e. too hot or cold), then this is a rabbit that can thrive in just about any environment that you place it in.
As we said; this is a rabbit which is pretty much known for the quality of the fur. But, despite being known for this, the fur takes next to nothing in the way of maintenance.
In fact, the fur doesn’t even need brushing. It seems to maintain itself incredibly well. Although, of course, a rabbit is always going to enjoy a good brushing on occasion.
Perhaps your only main concern when you have a Chinchilla Rabbit is the fact that it takes up a lot of space. It is going to need to have a cage that is far larger than any other rabbits out there.
This means that it is probably best that you raise them inside of a house. It is going to provide them a lot of lounging about space in an area which is going to be free from predators!
Remember; the larger size also means that they are probably going to be eating a lot of food too. This is something that you will need to account for.
American Chinchilla Rabbit for Sale
If you are lucky enough to live near a local rabbit breeder where you can find American Chinchilla rabbit for sale, that is great. If, however, you are among the unfortunates that are unable to do so, consider the following sites as good options where you can surely find American Chinchilla Rabbit for sale:
- American Chinchilla Rabbit for sale list – Official American Rabbit Breeders Association.
- American Chinchilla for sale near you – Breeders for each individual US State
- American Chinchilla Rabbit Breeders Association
- Western American Chinchilla Rabbit Club