Chinchilla rabbits are in no way related to the rodent Chinchillas. There are three breed types included in the Chinchilla circle. The Chinchilla rabbit fur does not come from the chinchilla rodents. They cannot interbreed. What happened that turned a wild rabbit fur into chinchilla rabbit fur? Scientifically, there was a mutation in the hair follicles that changed the yellow coloring of the rabbit fur to an almost complete white.
The Chinchilla rabbits were brought to American Soil in the early 1900s. They were bred to be what we know as Chinchilla rabbits. They love their humans, just as much as the humans adore them.
There are three types of Chinchilla rabbits. The Standard, the American and the Giant. There are distinct differences between each of them.
The Standard breed has a compact body and the fur is considered a rollback. The Standard Chinchilla will grow to be between 5 ½ to 7 pounds. The Standard is the original version of Chinchilla rabbits. It is through the original that the two larger versions came from.
The Standard Chinchilla is important in the rabbit world. They are raised as pets, can be used for show and the amount of meat on a rabbit can feed a small family. The Standard Chinchilla breed makes a great pet due to the sweet disposition it has. They are sturdy creatures and very resilient. Being calm and docile animals, this breed is perfect for children, with supervision, of course.
This group of rabbits are very active and are very enjoyable to watch as they hop and play. The Standard Chinchilla will also make a perfect pet for elderly citizens. They do well as indoor pets or outdoor animals. There is no one climate that the Standard Chinchilla does well in. All outdoor pets should have access to shelter, good care and protection from climate, weather and also predators.
The fur on a Standard Chinchilla does require grooming. Especially at the time of year when they grow their winter coats, and also when they are shedding these coats. Grooming will remove the extra hairs and keep the fur clean. This rabbit is the most common one that will seek out attention from other rabbits and especially their humans that they love.
As with all other pets, the Standard Chinchilla needs a good diet, fruits and vegetables as some treats, and also a hutch that has clean hay placed inside routinely. The clean hay will also be used by the chinchilla to keep their tooth growth down. As they are quite active rabbits, it is ideal to find some toys that rabbits can play with. They love to play and run and hop.
As always, your Standard Chinchilla should have routine medical visits with the veterinarian, their teeth should also be monitored so that they do not experience issues in the jaws or with the teeth. The vet will also check and advise you to check for mites and other bad things in the fur. They will also need to be dewormed routinely.
If they are kept outdoors, they should have access to a shelter, and also have a run. The run is for them to be active in. This run should also be covered so the predators can not get in and attack the Standard Chinchilla rabbit.
The American Chinchilla
This breed is also known as the Heavyweight Chinchilla. Although it does have the same roll back fur coat, this breed is larger than the original. The males and females weigh differently, just as all other rabbits. The buck can weigh from 9 to 11 pounds. The female will weigh from 10 to 12 pounds.
The American Chinchilla is usually kept as a pet, or raised as a show rabbit. They are good for keeping as pets as they are a hardy and stocky type of rabbit. The American Chinchilla rabbit has a curve of their body that begins at the nape of the neck and goes down through the tail.
These rabbits hold their ears completely upright on their mid-sized bodies. The American Chinchilla was bred from the Standard Chinchilla, the ones that were larger. This was done to produce meatier rabbits. For showing the American Chinchilla, there are two classes. Class 6 is for the American Chinchilla who weighs more than 9 pounds. Class 4 is for those under 9 pounds.
The American Chinchilla is the only rabbit breed to be on the list of those that are critically endangered. It is also a fact that the American Chinchilla is the rarest breed of Chinchilla rabbits. This is believed to be widely due to the ending of the rabbit fur business back in the 1940s.
The American Chinchilla is a breed that can have large litters rather quickly. It is known as a meaty animal. Due to the mothering instincts, the American Chinchilla makes a great pet due to the gentle nature it has.
The American Chinchilla has more of a salt and pepper look to the fur at first. As their fur grows and fills in, there will be 4 bands of color obvious on the breed. Producers today have determined they prefer the all white fur rabbit for the meat market industry. The American Chinchilla is considered to be the rarest of this rabbit grouping.
The Giant Chinchilla
This breed originated in the United States as a combination of the Chinchilla and the Giant Flemish breed. This breed is bred and raised as a commercial meat rabbit.
The Giant Chinchilla is considered a large breed, with a dopey demeanor. This does not mean that this breed is dumb. In 1921, Edward Stahl had bred rabbits of different breeds together and came up with the Giant Chinchilla, what he considered to be the perfect rabbit. So perfect he believed, as did others, that the Giant Chinchilla, named ‘Million Dollar Princess’ was a hit at the Kansas City Rabbit Show in 1922.
The Giant Chinchilla was known as almost the perfect pairing of fur and meat, and the rabbit became wildly popular throughout the United States. The coat of fur on the Giant Chinchilla is pretty common among the Chinchilla breeds. This breed however, can far outweigh all others in its breeding line. They can grow to be almost 16 pounds. They are routinely bred for the purposes of meat production and the fur they produce.
The Giant Chinchilla females are able to have large litters and are considered some of the best mothers of the animal kingdom. The newborn can grow so rapidly in fact, that within two months they could be what is considered a ‘7 pound fryer’. The Giant Chinchilla rabbits are considered to be a very gentle breed.
Due to the size of the Giant Chinchilla, it is mandatory that you have a continuous supply of clean water, timothy hay, and supplemented with lots of green leafy vegetables and rabbit kibble. They have large appetites.
Their homes, hutches and pens need to be a good size so that they are able to move around, jump, run and play easily. There must also be a roof of some sort to prevent any predator access. They may, however, need to be coaxed to move around at least once a day. It is good for their health. They should have a hutch or cage with all wooden floors, large bedding, pellets and plenty of straw for them to be comfortable.
The gorgeous giants do need assistance with grooming. With so much area to groom themselves, they can easily develop digestive issues. These would be similar to hairballs in a cat. Through the year, you should happily brush their fur at least twice a week for them. When it is molting season, do it more often.
The Giant Chinchilla is likely one of the most mild mannered, easy temperament rabbits that you could find. This does make them ideal as a pet. They are so relaxed, in fact, that you should supply plenty of stimulation for them as well as toys. They make a great pet, however, due to the size they can grow to be, it is not advisable to leave them unattended with young kids. One or both could end up causing some pain for the other one.
What began as an effort to breed a larger rabbit for fur and the amount of meat for families, has since become one of the best possible pets out there. They also make excellent companions for the elderly. However, assistance may be needed due to the size that the Giant Chinchilla can grow to.
As with all animals, these gentle giants do need to be seen by the veterinarian routinely. They need to be checked for mites, any diseases, dewormed and all those wonderful things that a veterinarian will do with your giant babies. It is so important to help them maintain their health so that they can be at their best.