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Posted in Facts about Raising Rabbits, Meat Rabbit Breeds | 3 comments

Why Californian rabbits are so popular

© Ervinpospisil

Californian rabbits are a medium-sized rabbit breed (adults weigh 7-10 pounds or 3.5-4.75 kilos, with the does being heavier) that was specifically developed for meat and fur production by US breeders in the 1920’s. The breed was developed by crossing Himalayan, Standard Chinchilla and New Zealand white rabbits.

As of now, it is the second most popular meat producing rabbit breed in the world, with only the New Zealand breed ahead of them. 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.

The body of a Californian rabbit is plump but fine-boned, giving it a high meat-to-bone ratio which is essential for good meat rabbit breeds. Californians are so popular as a meat breed because they are truly 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. They are also usually good mothers.

But, Californians may not be so suitable for children to assist with because they can be difficult to handle by an inexperienced person due to their size. And they are sometimes very moody and aggressive.

The average life span of a breeding Californian rabbit is 5 to 6 years.

To learn more about Californian rabbits, find breeders or learn about rabbit shows, visit

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  1. Do you recommend the Californian or the New Zealand white for rabbit meat production ?

  2. Rabbit is a high-protein food, and I understand the need to dispense with sentimentality where self-sufficiency is concerned. The principle of the thing notwithstanding, I’d rather starve than kill and eat a creature this cute. I suppose my scruples would dissolve in a survival situation.

  3. They are both great rabbits for meat production and so many people are raising them that they are readily available in most areas. But there are many other good meat breeds out there as well, some even heirloom or close to extinction breeds. It’s a matter of what you’re looking for in your rabbitry.


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