New Zealand RabbitFamily: Leporidae Oryctolagus cuniculusPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
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!
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
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.
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.