Animal-World > Small Animal Pets > Pet Rabbits > New Zealand Rabbits

New Zealand Rabbit

Family: LeporidaePicture of New Zealand Rabbit babies!Oryctolagus cuniculusPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
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The rabbit named Bob in the photo is not a New Zealand rabbit. New Zealands are always solid-colored, either black, white, red, or very rarely, gray. But they are... (more)  Bethanny Parker

   You can't help falling in love with a New Zealand rabbit, especially when it gently nudges you, wanting a petting on its soft snowy white fur!

   The New Zealand babies in the picture above are just about 7 weeks old and are only about 2.2 pounds each. They are just as sweet and cuddly as any rabbit can be. They are munching on a green apple while they pose to have their pictures taken!

"Bob" is a New Zealand Rabbit
New Zealand Rabbit "Bob" Photo Courtesy: Kim
"I'm the proudest mum ever!" ...Kim

   The New Zealand is a wonderful rabbit and makes a great beginner bunny. They are quite social and outgoing, and enjoy being part of the family. They like everybody and most household pets, and they are not biters.

   One of their greatest features is that they usually love to be handled. Pick them up, set them down, or hold them in your lap! They are often likened to "big rag dolls" because they flop down kind of like a rag doll, accommodating any cuddly manner in which you wish to hold them. They can even be carried across your shoulder!

   As with all good sized rabbits, the New Zealand will need a bigger area to move around in. They need regular excercise as they can gain weight easily. Keep treats to a minimum., even though your pet will beg you for them. The babies in our picture above will soon outgrow the cage we have them in!

For more information about Rabbits and their care:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Rabbit


  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Lagomorpha
  • Family: Leporidae
  • Genus: Oryctolagus
  • Species: cuniculus
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Background:    The New Zealand rabbit was first a red variety and became known in the United States about 1912. It is thought to be a cross between a Belgian Hare and a white rabbit. The white variety came about from cross breeding among several breeds such as the Flemish, American Whites, and Angoras. A black variety was also developed from various crossings which include the Giant Chinchilla.

   Historically thought of as a utility or working rabbit, the New Zealand rabbit has been selected for hundreds and hundreds of generations by people who work with rabbits. This is because they have good outgoing personalities and are easy to work with. They don't tend to bite or struggle and they don't get sick or have health problems nearly as often as other breeds.

Description:    A medium sized rabbit, the New Zealand adult will get up to 11 pounds.

Color differences:    As you can see in the picture above, the New Zealand rabbits are generally pure white rabbits with red eyes and pinkish coloring in their ears, but they can also be brick red or black.

Lastest Animal Stories on New Zealand Rabbits

Bethanny Parker - 2014-01-26
The rabbit named Bob in the photo is not a New Zealand rabbit. New Zealands are always solid-colored, either black, white, red, or very rarely, gray. But they are never mixed colors. That is either a mixed-breed rabbit or some other breed entirely.

  • Anonymous - 2014-02-04
    There are such things as mixed colors if you're in the ARBA.
  • Clarice Brough - 2014-02-04
    It was great of the person to share his bunny too, it's very adorable!
Reply
Lola - 2004-01-21
Hi. I have had a New Zealand White buck.It was the most wonderful experience! He could allow me to do anything to him, it was like having a dog and a cat at the same time, but even better!
People usually do not know much about rabbits and assume they are pretty stupid. In fact, rabbits, expecially New Zealand bunnies, are full of big surprizes that are yet to be discovered, although we all who have pet bunnies know better than anybody else what a wonderful,loving,funny, and very intelligent a bunny can be as a pet.
If this is your first time, go with a New Zealand baby: besides ruby eyes, thick fur, and adorable ears, you will discover a big bunny to wrap your arms around, and you may find yourself one very special day being trapped by this creature nose to nose with you, breathing peacefully and that is one of the most plesurable experiences you can ever have! In addition, The New Zealand is a greatfull creature and a very generous kisser, which makes him totally irresistable. The only problem with this bun is after he is gone, you can hardly find a replacement for it is impossible to replace a friend, and a friend is a true word for a bunny like that!
Lola.

Reply
mandy - 2003-12-14
I saved my New Zealand from being abandoned and I am so glad that I kept her. I took her to our county fair rabbit show and got first place in our division, but best of all, I got a sweet pet that loves being held. She even yawns when you hold her!

Reply
Steele - 2010-09-03
I have a 3 month old new zealand buck named Prince William Caterpillar (long story) who is a show rabbit and a pet. He is a great rabbit! He loves to play and cuddle! I recommend this rabbit to any age group. Just remember to allow your rabbit to have plenty of exercise as they gain weight rapidly.

Reply
Kristina - 2004-02-23
I also have a New Zealand white, but mine is a HUGE BRAT, but I dont blame her, she was raised in a chicken coop with other rabbits. So basically she had to defend herself from other territoral does(Girls) and horney bucks(Boys). All thay had to eat was chicken poop and algae infested water. This guy did not even get the breed name right! He called them californians. I am in rabbit 4-H so I show her, She does GREAT! She gets best of breed almost every show! So I basically rescued her. I named her Frost, But she still trys to defend her territory, but thats ok, because of her past.

Owner of White rose Rabbitry
Kristina

Reply
teri - 2004-03-21
What lovely buns! And what lovely people saying they love their buns! I love my little four pounders very much but I cannot resist dreaming about a huge New Zealand! Friends who have these huge buns always seem to have funny stories about them. But mine do the same things, only less visibly because of their size. Hugs from me and my house buns Bunkie and Taco who send bunny kisses to all these documented well cared for NZs

  • Leila Peters - 2011-04-04
    Give lots of love and hugs and kisses from me! Im soon getting a NZ rabbit, too! Cute sugar pies they are, aren't they?
Reply

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