Adult Size: Medium (7-10 pounds/ 3.5-4.75 kilograms)
Californian rabbits were originally known as Cochinelles developed by George West. Later on, the breed was renamed for its place of origin, California. They were developed not only for good meat but also good fur production in the USA in the 1920’s. Californians are a cross of Himalayan, Standard Chinchilla and New Zealand white rabbits. It is currently the second most popular meat producing breed in the world.
The body is plump but fine-boned. Californian rabbits still look very similar to the Himalayan rabbit with a predominantly white body and black on the feet, nose, ears and tail. They have pink eyes. They have a dense undercoat with thick coarser guard hair. There is a certain time in their lifetime when their fur looks it’s very best. Not known to many, there are other colors of this breed besides the white with black markings. Lilac, chocolate and blue are some of these other colors but they cannot be included for show.
Their body is solidly built, sturdy and compact. They are medium in length and rounded or what others may refer to as meaty. It may be a little slower growing then other more popular meat breeds but it provides better dressing percentage, meaning there is more meat to it versus bones.
Californians are an excellent meat rabbit breed. They usually produce large litters of 8-12 kits, which have a fast growth rate to fryer size (4-5lbs) in 8-12 weeks. Although the Californians are a friendly breed, they may not be so suitable for children to assist with because they can be difficult to handle by an inexperienced person. However they do enjoy some human contact and carry with them a pleasant personality. Some people have reported that many of the does can be temperamental and may become too protective of their litters. In general, the Californian’s personality ranges from being very social and loving to being very quiet and reserved. Also, they are usually mild mannered and even-tempered. The average life span of a breeding Californian rabbit is 5 to 6 years.
This breed is considered superior and exquisite, mostly because of their fur and have become on of the most popular breeds all over the world.