Prized for their meat, Californian rabbits or “Cal” is a competitive commercial breed in the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA). Breed profile of the Californian rabbit, very similar in look to the Himalayan but larger and more meat! Californians are popular pets due to their calm, friendly nature.
First bred of Californian Rabbit can be traced back to the 1923 in the United States where George West crossed Himalayans with New Zealand Whites and also Standard Chinchillas. His idea of crossbreed is a rabbit with more meat as well as dense, desirable coat. At first, he start to breed Himalayans with Chinchillas to developed a small, chinchilla-colored male for 5 years of breeding. Then, young buck crossbred with New Zealand rabbits to increase their size and, thus creating what today we known as Californian Rabbit.
West gave a few of his stock to two trusted Southern California breeders to ‘perfecting’ the breed. In 1932, Californian rabbit made it first appearance at an ARBA convention and became recognized breed in 1939. In the US, the breed only black and white variety is accepted for showing while in the UK, other colors such as blue, chocolate and lilac are accepted.
Californian rabbits has a big commercial body which weigh about 8 to 11 lbs. They build with firm, bulky body and a very short neck. Their ears are short, tapered and erect. One other thing, They have eyes color of pink!
Next, the coat is quite similar to that Himalayan rabbits. The coloring is white with colored ears, nose, legs and tail. The ears are colored from tip to base as well as the tail. The nose marking runs beneath the jaw and up towards the eyes. The legs including the nails are dark in colored.
Californian rabbit breed’s coat is dense. Some says the breed has a fine coat while other says it is coarse and not soft at all. One thing for sure is that, its fur is short and the undercoat should be dense. You may find they tend to shed its coat more in the spring than other season of the year. You may use bristled brush outdoors twice a week when they shedding the most and weekly if it not molting season.
- Weight: 4 to 5 kg
- Coat length:
- Color: White, Black, Chocolate and Lilac
- Pattern: Black marking on the nose, ears, legs and tails
Californians are usually calm, good-natured and friendly making them an excellent choice of pet, especially for those with children. While they may seem shy at first but with proper socialization ( which means a lots of time hanging out with you and your family ) they can be friendly and knows how to have fun.
They also can be great first – time pets for anyone ranging singles to families with children of all ages. However, do note that Californian breed is a large sized rabbit so children should not attempt to lift them. Always make sure your children pet or cuddle them on the ground to avoid any hurtful situation.
- Lifespan: 5 to 10 years
- Active: Medium
- Intelligent: Medium
Californian rabbits are no more than another common domestic rabbits. You should considered taking it to the veterinarian especially this small sized rabbit, vigilance is what makes sure they get to live long and healthy lives. There are no cases of this breed had genetic diseases been reported but they still can suffer from other rabbit symptoms. Rabbit breeders have done more then they could to make this breed healthier and less genetic disease. Some of the illnesses seen in this breed is:
- Dental disease: Overgrown teeth, can change alignment of the mouth
- Parasite: Ear mites and worm
- Intestinal blockage: Ingest hair
- Spinal damage: Damaged from the force been applied by its hind legs or dropped
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