Rare Breed Rabbits Information Center

Rare Breed Rabbits List!

Blanc De Hotot, Lazy S Maverick, Grand Champion pending
photo by Laurie Staley-Jones

People often ask about the origin of the Rare Breed Rabbit list.
It comes from message #125 posted by Tina Schrier in the Rare Breed Rabbits group
on yahoogroups.

Here is a re-post of message #125 from our group archive that I use
to help me in understanding rare breeds. Nobody explains it as well
as Tina did. Message follows:

From: "michiganina"
Date: Fri Aug 8, 2003 2:30 am
Subject: Re: what's a rare breed?

I made this list this year based on different data since I am
starting a rare breeds farm and wanted to include rabbits. I used
the number of exhibitors and rabbits at the last couple of ARBA
conventions as well as the individual breed nationals. So it only
covers breeds listed by the Standard of Perfection. Some of
America's breeds are in urgent danger of dying out, I discovered.

Tans, Britannia Petite, Palominos, etc. are really not very rare in
terms of showing healthy populations. Most of the very rare rabbits
are bigger meat rabbits which people don't care for as pets, or
rabbits that lost their market when fur stopped being popular. The
angoras are almost all on the list as their fur mats and is difficult
to care for and the price of the wool is in the toilet.

These breeds exist in dangerously isolated breed pools and are
becoming inbred as dedicated fans find it difficult to locate
replacement stock. Also in desperation they dilute the pool, using
English Spot on Belgian Hares for example. Owners are scattered and
cannot find each other.

Some breeds not on the list like Checker Giant are in marked decline
compared to former years. Still there are about 600 Checker Giants
and that's not too bad.

Of each of these rabbits listed there are at most 300-500 individuals
around. For the top few breeds actually much less. Americans in
white are in danger of being dropped from the Standard and Silver
Foxes in blue already have been.

For those breeds created in America, most have not been exported. If
they die out here, we cannot send off for replacements. I would
encourage anybody with a rabbitry and an interest in rare breeds to
make room for one of these bunnies.

Once more from the top:
[Number 1 is the most rare]

1) American (blue and white)
2) Blanc d'Hotot aka Standard Hotot
3) American Chinchilla
4) Satin Angora
5) Giant Chinchilla
6) Giant Angora
7) Creme d'Argent
8) Cinnamon
9) Belgian Hare
10) American Sable
11) Beveren
12) Standard Chinchilla
13) American Silver Fox
14) Lilac
15) Silver (brown, fawn, and black)
16) Rhinelander

Well anyway that's the list that I made and I welcome any input--but
these are the breeds that are very down. The Rhinelanders and
Beverens seem poised for a comeback of sorts and the Hares have as
always a small but very dedicated group of breeders. The American,
Hotot, and American Chinchilla are in the most urgent need. They
will be dropped from the Standard if they do not start appearing
more at shows.

Speaking of a rare breed the Alaska has been dropped in America and
is bred only in very small numbers in Germany and England. Does
anybody knows which other breeds have been dropped, just for my
curiousity? Also does anybody know where I can get a copy of the
ARBA Standard for 1930, 1950, and 1970? I need this...

Tanks, Tina

The above is the first list from August 2003
Go to this link to view the current list
Rare Breed Rabbits USA List

American Livestock Breeds Conservancy has ranked some of the

Rare Breed Rabbits and Rare Varieties
- great discussion group -

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