Native Country United States of America Other Names N/A
ARBA Registry Accepted:
BRC Registry Accepted:
Breed Appearance The Californian rabbit has big ears (although
not as large as the ears of Flemish Giants) and is large in size,
weighing around 7 to 12 pounds. The original coloration of this
breed was very similar to the Himalayan rabbit, with a predominantly
white body and are black on the feet, nose, ears and tail. They have
pink or red eyes due to a lack of pigmentation.
Breed Description Body: The body shall be of medium
length, with depth of body to approximately equal width. It shall
have good depth of hindquarters, well developed shoulders and be
plump and firm fleshed. Head: Broad, carried erect on a short neck and set close to
body. Bucks head to be broader than the does. Ears: Length to be in proportion to size of body, they are to
be well set on head, strong at base and carried in an upright
position. Eyes: To be bright and bold, pink in color. Feet & Legs: Medium sized bone, rather short preferred. Toe
nails to show pigmentation and be as dark as possible. Tail: Straight and carried erect, length and size in
proportion to body. Fur: The coat should be coarse enough in guard hair to offer
resistance when stroked towards the head, should roll back to it’s
natural position and lie smooth over the entire body. There should
be a dense undercoat, interspersed thickly with decidedly heavier or
thicker guard hairs. The same quality fur should carry down the
sides and under the stomach. The stomach fur will be shorter but
should be dense, avoiding a soft woolly type fur on the stomach and
groin area. Markings & Color Normal - Colored nose, ears, feet and tail. Points to be dark
sepia. Colored spot on dewlap permissible but confined to dewlap
only. Body color to be pure white. Chocolate - Standard as normals, except points to be milk
chocolate extending to skin. Blue - Standard as normals, except points to be a clear shade
of slate blue extending to skin. Lilac - Standard as normals, except points to be an even pink
shade of dove extending to the skin.
History The Californian breed of domestic rabbit was
developed in the early 1920s by George West in Southern California.
He crossed Himalayan breeds and the Standard Chinchilla rabbit breed
and then crossed the offspring with New Zealand Whites. The purpose
of this breed was to have a good meat breed that also had a good
quality pelt. The breed did not become popular for at least 15 years
after development. Today, the Californian rabbit is the second most
popular meat-producing breed in the world after the New Zealand
rabbit. The fur quality allows this rabbit to also be classified as
a fancy breed.
Behavior As with other rabbits, Californians do not do
well in high or low temperatures. They are prone to hairball
obstructions and matted coats if not cared for properly. When the
rabbit is molting, dead hair can be removed with a slicker brush.
Other health concerns include ear mites, Pasteurella, respiratory
disease, dental problems, urinary bladder stones and fractured
backs. Be quick to notice any changes in diet or litter box habits
and contact a rabbit veterinarian immediately. The average life span
of a breeding Californian rabbit is 5 to 10 years.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.