The American rabbit is one of the six breeds developed originally in the United States. This gentle breed was used commercially for fur and meat purposes. This medium to large variety is available in two colors; the red-eyed white one and the other having blue color.
They were recognized as a breed by The National Breeders Association (ARBA). They were popular by the name German Blue Vienna but due to world war 1, this name had been changed to American Blue. They were known as the critically rarest breed from American Livestock Breed Conservancy in 2005.
History of the American Rabbits
The American breed is developed in California by Lewis H. Salisbury in 1917 but their exact origins are not disclosed by him. It is believed that the Americans are the “melting pot” of a variety of breeds including the Blue Beveren, Blue Imperial, Blue Flemish Giant, and Blue Vienna.
That is the reason it got its first name as ‘German Blue Vienna’. Later on, this name was changed to ‘American Blue’ due to world war 1 between America and Germany. The second variety, ‘White American’ were added in 1925, produced from the white sports thrown, the American Blues, and the addition of White Flemish Giant blood.
By 1920, American’s were at their peak ranging from 2$ for a good pelt while breeding age doe would start from the price of 25$. They maintained their popularity through 1940. The people of America reduced their interest in this commercial breed after world war ll.
In 1950, they took interest in fast-growing rabbit breeds and smaller cute looking rabbits that have a peculiar marking on them, making American critically rarest breed. By the 2000s there were only 200 known American rabbits.
In 2005, American Livestock Breed Conservancy (ALBC) took American’s listed as a rare existing breed in the “critical” category. With the efforts of ALBC, this particular breed was placed in the less endangered “threatened” category. Now breeders are doing the deliberate effort for the revival of this commercial breed by shipping them across the United States.
Height & Weight
As opposed to dwarf breeds, American rabbits are medium to large size weighing about 9 to 12 lbs, once fully grown. Their doe’s (female) is slightly larger than (bucks).
The elegant rabbit-like American’s can live between 5 to 8 years but with great care, they can live up to 12 years.
The American breed is popular for its semi-arch shaped body. They have a broad and long loin. It is considered different from other commercial breeds due to the mandolin body shape. When viewing from the side of the rabbit, the top line flattens and curves upward at the abdomen instead of rising behind the ears.
The ears of the American breed are narrow and proportional in length and tapered. The White variety has beautiful red eyes and the blue one is having deep black eyes. They both have bold and bright eyes. They have straight legs and feet and are medium-boned. The tail of the American breed matches the whole color of the fur making the breed magnificent.
The American rabbits have a very attractive soft, silky, flyback fur. The flyback fur means that when you pat the fur back it will come to its original position. Their coat has short hair. The silky texture is amazing to touch. They had been bred commercially for the soft and luxurious fur.
This rare breed has two colors of the coat; the white coat and the blue coat.
1. The White Coat American Rabbits have white flyback fur and red eyes.
2. The blue American Rabbits were the first recognized by ARBA and given this status. The blue American had been characterized as having the deepest blue color among all the blue or gray rabbits. Their blue color should be free from any white hairs, and rust color. Their color should be uniform and rich slate blue color.
Personality and Temperament of the American Rabbit
The American is typically a hardy breed that is very gentle and docile. They can produce large litters. They have good mother abilities.
American’s are noted for their sweet, calm, and gentle temperament. They are very easy going and friendly. They make strong bonds with their owner when kept indoor and cared for.
Besides the commercial importance of the American rabbit breed, they can be good companions as pets. Because of their docile and somehow lazy nature; they don’t need much exercise.
The Americans are best suited to families with grownup children and singles or couples whereas it is not suitable for young children. They are shy by nature and can be threatened easily so they defend themself by nipping and biting if not handled gently. The doe of American rabbits can be spayed as soon as it is 4 months and buck can be neutered as young as it is 3 ½ month.
Health Issues of the American Rabbits
Rabbits should be examined monthly for their health-related problems such as overgrown teeth and ear mites. The American rabbit breed is not specifically prone to any particular disease. When rabbits got an infection their behavior got changed so there should be a proper check upon them.
They can be vulnerable to various issues regarding health including calicivirus, overgrown teeth, hairballs, snuffles, uterine tumors, and myxomatosis. By closely observing their behavior and taking them to the veterinarian for their examinations will help to deter such diseases.
Overgrown teeth can be severely painful for American rabbits because they penetrate deep into their skin and jaws. Overgrown teeth can be preventable by giving the rabbit’s food that comprises 70% of hay. Their teeth will wear down by consuming a rich protein hay diet. Providing them straw baskets, rabbit-safe blocks of wood, or straw or wicker mats are other ways for wearing down the rabbit’s teeth.
Nutrition of the American Rabbits
American rabbits like all other breeds are herbivores and need a fresh and balanced diet. The most important food of rabbits includes hay and pallet. Besides, fresh fruits and vegetables are also very important for them. Two bowls of freshly cut green vegetables including lettuce, fennel, herbs, bell pepper, and Brussels sprouts should be given on a regular base. Other vegetables like broccoli, clover, and spinach should be given sparingly.
Water is the ultimate need for any living being. American rabbits need an unlimited amount of freshwater in a clean vessel that should be changed and refilled regularly. Water bottles or vessels should be washed daily.
Care instructions of American Rabbits
The cage of the American rabbits should be large enough to provide him enough room for stretching and playing. The cage should be cleaned two times a weak. The water bottles or pots should be kept clean.
American rabbit often sheds a lot of hairs and sometimes they shed less so keep the brushing according to their level of shedding. Never bath them or they will have cardiac arrest due to the stress produced of bathing. Just pat clean them with a wet towel to keep them clean.
To conclude, American breed is good for novice owners because of their sweet, calm, and docile nature. Young children are not recommended due to their defending instinct. They need to be stroke and petted for stabilizing affectionate feelings.