New Zealand Rabbit - Origin, Character and Behavior

New Zealand rabbit: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. New Zealand rabbits are one of the most...

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New Zealand rabbits are one of the largest and hardiest breeds of rabbits in the world. These giant bunnies are very calm, very gentle and renowned for their relaxed and friendly nature.

These rabbits have spread all over the world and can be found in almost every country in the world. Do you want to know where the New Zealand rabbit breed comes from? Today, PlanèteAnimal invites you to discover all the details on the characteristics of the New Zealand rabbit!

Happy reading!


  • America
  • United States

Origin of the New Zealand Rabbit

Although its name may suggest that the New Zealand rabbit is from New Zealand, its origin is actually quite distant geographically speaking. In fact, these rabbits originated in 1919 in California, when American white rabbits were crossed with Flemish giant rabbits and Angora rabbits. Originally, these rabbits were widely used as laboratory animals and in the meat industry, but nowadays they are mostly used as pets.

The New Zealand White Rabbit was born from these crosses and was registered by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) in 1920. Today, as we will see later, other colors than white are official.

Characteristics of the New Zealand Rabbit

The New Zealand rabbit is one of the giant rabbit breeds, as it can weigh up to 5.5 kilograms! In general, its average weight is around 4.5 kilograms, except in the case of the New Zealander red, since this variety is the smallest and it weighs no more than 3.5 kilograms. Their life expectancy varies between about 8 and 12 years.

These rabbits have extremely muscular and compact bodies, which are also very long, with a proportionally large, broad and round head. They have long legs, especially the hind ones. Its legs are very strong. His cheeks are round and his ears are long and straight.

The coat is short and very soft, with four different varieties depending on coat color. His hair grows close to the skin and is satiny.

New Zealand Rabbit Colors

There are 4 colors accepted by ARBA:

  • Red: Rabbits of this variety have a shiny wax colored coat and brown eyes, the color of which is deep and goes all the way to the root. They may have a slightly different belly shade.It is also possible that they have a whitish tint at the base of the tail, as well as on the pads of the feet.
  • Black: The coat is jet black, always uniform, with a slate blue undercolor and dark brown eyes.
  • Brisé or Broken: this is the most recent variety. These rabbits have a pattern called broken, scarred, or broken, in which the colored parts should match the standard of the red and black varieties.
  • White: the first to emerge, the dress is pure white and his eyes are pink. No staining or discoloration is allowed on any part of the animal's body.

New Zealand Rabbit Character

New Zealand rabbits are friendly in nature and they are very sociable and peaceful. They are never aggressive and are very sensitive and attentive to their loved ones. They love cuddles, petting and staying on their guardian's lap.Find out how to play with a bunny!

These rabbits are suitable for living with young children, as they are calm, easy to handle and are also very patient and understanding. However, they should always be treated with love and respect.

They adapt very easily to life with other animals. In general, it can be said that the New Zealand rabbit is suitable for all families, as it adapts equally well to small families or single people as well as to large multi-generational families.

New Zealand Rabbit Care

These rabbits need a suitable space for them. This space, which must not be a cage (because in addition to its large size, it is always advisable to keep rabbits in spaces that are as less closed as possible), must meet a series of requirements.

One of them is that it must be large enough, giving the animal enough space to move freely, to be able to play and to have its drinker and hay at its disposal, as well as toys and other objects.We can also provide a corner where they can relieve themselves. It is also important to know that rabbits should be kept on relatively soft or even soft ground, otherwise they will have leg problems.

As for their diet, it should be based on a combination of good quality hay, fresh vegetables and fruits, the best being, remember, green leafy vegetables. It is also essential that they have access to fresh water at all times, as this is the only way to keep them properly hydrated. In the following article, we tell you what rabbits eat.

New Zealand rabbit fur requires minimal care, including regular brushing. This brushing must be done using a comb or a special brush for rabbits and a complete weekly brushing will suffice.

New Zealand Rabbit He alth

No diseases typical or particular to New Zealand rabbits have been detected and there are no known congenital diseases linked to their breed. However, there are a number of diseases to which all rabbits are susceptible to consideration.

One of the biggest problems rabbits have is their teeth, which keep growing. If rabbits don't use their teeth enough, a number of problems arise. Some of the most common include abscesses, malocclusions, infections, and diseases of the teeth and gums. To avoid all this, you must regularly check the rabbit's mouth and inspect the wear of the teeth by taking it to the veterinarian regularly.

Similarly, his ears, eyes and nose should also be inspected because a bad condition of these is a clear sign that something is wrong. Regular veterinary checks should be carried out, and it is also advisable to follow the vaccination schedule and carry out regular dewormings.

Where to adopt a New Zealand rabbit?

If one is considering adopting a New Zealand rabbit, there are a number of things to consider.The first is whether you will be able to properly care for it throughout its life. So you need to know if you will be able to provide companionship, attention and care.

To do this, we must have a suitable space, give them quality food and ensure that they have time to play and exercise. Only in this way can they be completely he althy and blissful.

If we are absolutely sure that we can respect all of the above, it is strongly recommended to turn to associations or animal shelters in our area, as they may have a specimen awaiting adoption .

New Zealand Rabbit Pictures

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