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American Chinchilla

American Chinchilla

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Breed Organizations

American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA)
The British Rabbit Council (BRC)
The House Rabbit Society

Native Country
United States of America
Other Names
Fur Type
ARBA Registry Accepted:
Ear Type
BRC Registry Accepted:

Breed Appearance
The American Chinchilla or "Heavyweight Chinchilla" is larger than the Standard Chinchilla but otherwise identical. Standard Chinchillas bred for large size produced this breed. Chinchilla Rabbits originated in France and were bred to standard by M. J. Dybowski. They were introduced to the United States in 1919.

Bred to be a meat rabbit, the American Chinchilla Rabbit is a stocky, hardy pet. American Chinchilla Rabbits do not require regular grooming. Adult American Chinchilla Rabbits weigh differentlt for each sex. Males (Bucks)- 9-11#, and Females (Does) 10-12#. These stocky rabbits have a slight curve to their medium length bodies, beginning at the nape of their necks and following through to the rump. They carry their ears straight erect. In show, type is judged to be more important than color. American Chinchilla Rabbits are a six-class breed in show. (Any rabbit that matures over 9 pounds is a 6-class breed, maturation weights under 9# are 4-class breeds.) The American Chinchilla Rabbit was bred from large Standard Chinchilla Rabbits in order to produce a meatier rabbit. They were originally called Heavyweight Chinchilla Rabbits.

Breed Description - ARBA Standard
Body: The body is to be medium length, with well-rounded hips, and well filled loin and ribs. Shoulders are to be well developed and in proportion to the rib spread and hips. There should be a slight taper from hips to the shoulders, with more length in does than bucks. The back is to form a gradual arc, beginning at the base of the ears, carried to a high point at the middle of the hips, and continuing down to the base of the tail. Medium size dewlap is permissible in does.
Hear & Ears: The head is to be medium full from base of ears to muzzle, with well filled face and jaws. The neck is to be short. Ears are to be in proportion to head and body, carried erect, and close together. Ears are to be evenly ticked and match body color. Upper tip of ears are to show a distinct narrow, jet black lacing of approximately 1/16 inch.
Eyes: Eyes are to be large, bright, and bold, with an alert expression.
Feet & Legs: Feet and legs are to be straight, with medium bone. The front feet and the outside of the upper part of the hind legs are to be ticked with a uniform shade of gray, matching body color as nearly as possible. Color is to run down the thighs to a narrow strip on the outside of the hind feet.
Fur: Fur on the body is to be 1 1/8 to 1 3/8 inches in length. Ideal length to be 1 � (A longer or shorter fur with density preferred over standard length lacking density). Fur is to be very dense, of fine texture, and with a gentle rollback. Fur is to be bright smooth, glossy, and free from molt or hutch stain.
Color: Color is to resemble real Chinchilla. The under color is to be dark slate blue at the base; intermediate portion of pearl to be as light as possible, with the top edge being a very narrow black band (base definitely wider than the intermediate portion); above this is a very light band, brightly ticked with wavy jet black hairs to resemble the beautiful Chinchilla surface color. Neck fur is to be lighter in color than the body, but strictly confined to the nape. The chest is to be lightly ticked with a uniform shade of pearl, slightly lighter than the body. The body color is to extend as far down the sides as possible. Belly color, next to the skin, is to be white or blue. Surface color is to be white. Eye circles are to be well defined, narrow and light pearl. Tail underside is to be white. Topside of tail is to be black, interspersed with white hairs. Eye color-Brown, blue-gray, or Marbled. Dark brown preferred.

Selective breeding of rabbits began in the Middle Ages, when they were first treated as domesticated farm animals. By the 16th century, several new breeds of different colors and sizes were being recorded. In the 19th century, as animal fancy in general began to emerge, rabbit fanciers began to sponsor rabbit exhibitions and fairs in Western Europe and the United States. Breeds were created and modified for the added purpose of exhibition, a departure from the breeds that had been created solely for food, fur, or wool. The rabbit's emergence as a household pet began during the Victorian era.

Domestic Rabbits have been popular in the United States since the late 19th century. The American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) was founded in 1910 and is the national authority on rabbit raising and rabbit breeds having a uniform Standard of Perfection, registration and judging system. The domestic rabbit continues to be popular as a show animal and pet. Many thousand rabbit shows occur each year and are sanctioned in Canada and the United States by the ARBA. Today, the domesticated rabbit is the third most popular mammalian pet in Britain after dogs and cats.

Rabbits can make good pets for younger children when proper parental supervision is provided. As prey animals, rabbits are alert, timid creatures that startle fairly easily. They have fragile bones, especially in their backs, that require support on the belly and bottom when picked up. Older children and teenagers usually have the maturity required to care for a rabbit. Rabbits may grunt, lunge and even bite or scratch. Usually they do not bite hard enough to break skin. Rabbits become aggressive when they feel threatened or are cornered.