Adult Size: Medium (8-11 pounds/ 3.6-5 kilograms)
Conservation Priority (ALBC): Watch
The Beveren is one of the oldest and largest breeds of fur rabbits, originating in Belgium. The Beveren was derived from crosses of the Brabanconne, St. Nicolas Blue, and the Blue Vienna. In 1902, within Beveren, Belgium, the first standard was instituted for the “Blue Rabbit of Beveren.” After its introduction into the United States, it was recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association on December 3, 1925.
In the early 1920s, the Beveren was raised for rabbit pelts. The white variety became the dominating variety used for pelts, although Buckingham Palace in London chose to breed only the blue variety of the Beveren before World War II. Through the lengthy development in the 20th century, British fanciers developed the blue, black, blue-eyed white, lilac, brown and pointed varieties. Comparatively speaking, the Beveren standard as printed in the ARBA “Standard of Perfection” remains very much the same in type and structure as that originally developed long ago.
Due to the limited number of Beverens in the United States, many American fanciers have begun importing stock from Britain to alleviate some of the problems associated with constant in-breeding. Therefore, breeders are hopeful that the Beveren will continue to gain popularity in the United States and continue its development.
Their coats can be blue, white, black, brown or lilac but only solid blue, solid black and blue-eyed white breeds are currently recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association. There is a rare variety called the Pointed Beveren, which comes in the same colors but has white tipped hairs. The blue variety is the original. The fur has a gentle rollback and the coat should be dense and glossy. Fur length is rather long at 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches.
This large breed has a pronounced mandolin shape with mature bucks at 8 to 11 pounds and does at 10 to 12 pounds. Beveren rabbits are well tempered, clean, and smart. The fur is rather long (about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches), dense and glossy. The breed is hardy and well suited for meat production because they produce large litter sizes, the young grow fairly fast, and the does are typically docile while also being good mothers.