10 Interesting Rabbit Breeds in Nigeria
Knowing the types of rabbit breeds in Nigeria is very important if you plan on starting a rabbit farm or having one as a pet. This is because the kind of rabbit you’ll purchase depends on what you need it for.
If, for example, you want to start a farm, it’s advisable that you get the male and female of the rabbit breed that is preferred by buyers in your area. Personally, I notice that buyers who need to purchase rabbits for breeding purposes prefer New Zealand White and Chinchilla rabbits. But individuals who want rabbits as pets don’t mind buying any breed.
The preferred rabbit breeds are naturally very strong, hardly fall sick, and are accustomed to Nigeria’s weather. This makes them good for breeding, but this doesn’t mean that they’re the only breed you should get.
What makes it easier for you to decide on the rabbit breed you’ll purchase is knowing the reason why you want to get it. For example, to start a rabbit farm you’ll need rabbits with good meat to bone ratio, if it’s a rabbit pet you may decide to get the breed with the longest life- span.
In this article, you’ll learn cool and helpful information about the 10 best rabbit breeds you can find in Nigeria and their unique characteristics.
I decided to do this research for my personal use because I had issues identifying some of the rabbit breeds I see around due to their similarities. And, my research helped me learn a lot, I hope you learn a thing or two too.
List of 10 Best Rabbit Breeds in Nigeria.
There are about 49 breeds of rabbits recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA), you’ll be learning about 10 of the rabbit breeds you can find in Nigeria.
1. Name: Satin Rabbit Breed.
The satin rabbit originates from the US, it was found in the 1930s. The name “satin” perfectly fits this breed because of the texture and unique shine of its fur.
Medium to Large.
It comes in a variety of colors. The most common are black, white, blue, brown, and red.
The satin rabbit found in the UK are smaller and weigh around 2.7-3.6kg (6-8Ibs), the ones in the US are a bit larger at about 3.6-5kg (8-11Ibs) and you’re most likely to find the former in Nigeria.
Characteristics of a Satin Rabbit.
- This breed of rabbit has a broad head and sturdy and upright ears.
- It has soft, shiny fur with a satin-like texture.
- It has strong legs, an arched body, and a medium build.
- A satin rabbit is very gentle, and friendly, and would make a good pet especially if you’ve children.
2. Name: New Zealand White Rabbit Breeds.
The new Zealand white rabbit originates from the US. Other varieties were bred in Europe but the most common breed is the new Zealand white, this breed usually has either red or black eyes.
Medium to Large (mostly large).
The breed comes in four varieties, white, blue, black, and broken patterns. The new Zealand blue is a rare breed and the most common is the white breed (with red eyes).
This rabbit breed’s weight varies. The new Zealand white rabbit breed in the US can weigh about 4-5kg (9-12Ibs), while the new Zealand white rabbit breed in Nigeria can weigh between 2.2-5kg (5-12Ibs).
Characteristics of a New Zealand White Rabbit.
- A New Zealand white rabbit is distinguished by its dense white fur, upstanding hair, and its red eyes.
- This rabbit breed is very intelligent and affectionate and you can easily teach it tricks. This makes it a good option if you want to get a pet rabbit.
- It usually has a broad body, rounded haunches, and short, strong legs.
- Due to its calm and docile behavior, you can have it as a pet, because it enjoys human attention.
3. Name: Dutch Rabbit Breed.
This breed is one of the oldest breeds, originating in Britain. It is one of the top ten most popular breeds.
Initially, most of the Dutch breeds were black but as with a lot of rabbit breeds, new varieties have been introduced thanks to crossbreeding.
Small to Medium.
Dutch rabbits are recognized in seven colors in America. Color varieties are; black, blue, brown-grey, yellow, steel grey, chocolate, and tortoiseshell.
These colors are sometimes mixed with white marking on the front and hind legs also on the rabbit’s back and tail.
A Dutch rabbit breed could weigh between 1.5kg to 3kg (3.5Ibs-6Ibs).
Characteristics of a Dutch Rabbit.
- This breed has short hair with smooth and glossy fur.
- The Dutch rabbit breed has a broad head, full cheeks with short and upright ears.
- It is very intelligent, friendly, and very receptive to physical attention.
- The Dutch rabbit’s portable size and easy-going nature make it a very good choice if you’re a rabbit lover who wants a rabbit as a pet.
4. Name: Fauve de Bourgogne Rabbit Breeds.
The Fauve de Bourgogne Rabbit is one of the oldest breeds from France. It was developed through the selective breeding of fawn-colored rabbits.
This rabbit breed is very rare and is hardly found outside its home country, France. But lucky for you can find it in various rabbit farms in Nigeria!
The Fauve de Bourgogne rabbit breed has a very distinctive and attractive fur color which is a lovely orange-red color.
A Fauve de Bourgogne rabbit could weigh between 3kg to 4kg (7Ibs – 8Ibs).
Characteristics of a Fauve de Bourgogne Rabbit.
- The rabbit has a broad head with a short and strong neck.
- It has a docile and gentle temperament and would make a great family pet (though it’s not so playful. I can personally testify to this…lol).
- This breed of rabbit is very susceptible to infections and colds so you should keep it in a stress-free, well-ventilated environment with no sudden change in temperature.
YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN: Meet the Retired Banker Turned Successful Rabbit Farmer.
5. Name: Hyila Rabbit Breed.
The popular Hyila breed rabbit in Nigeria is a crossbreed between Hyila Max and Hyila Ng (Nigeria) breeds. This rabbit breed has been genetically improved to have fast growth and reach table size (2kg) within 2 months.
The Hyila rabbit breed is pure white, with red eyes and the tips of the nose and ears of the Hyila Max rabbit breed is slightly black while that of an Hyila Ng is slightly black.
An Hyila rabbit breed could weigh between 5kg to 5.5kg ( about 9Ibs).
Characteristics of a Hyila Rabbit.
- This breed of rabbits mature quickly and are ready to mate at 4 to 5 months old.
- The Hyila rabbit has a full fluffy coat (fur) and a plump body.
- Like most rabbits, they are very curious and enjoy living in large spaces (their size could play a role in this).
- Because of the meat-to-bone ratio and large size, it’s one of the best breeds you can have on your farm.
6. Name: Cottontail Rabbit Breeds.
There are several types of Cottontail rabbit breed but the most common is the Eastern Cottontail rabbit. This rabbit breed can be found in various countries including Canada, South America, and Nigeria.
Medium to Large.
The color of this rabbit breed ranges from reddish-brown to grey this is accompanied by their signature “cotton ball” tail for which they’re named.
A Cottontail rabbit breed could weigh 1.5kg to 2.5kg (3.3lbs – 5.5lbs).
Characteristics of a Cottontail Rabbit.
- This rabbit breed has high reproductivity capacity and knows how to take care of its babies very well,
- Cottontail rabbit breed can easily adapt to any environment but prefer to be allowed to roam about a place.
- The females of these breeds are more reserved and quiet than the males who enjoy playing around and make excellent rabbit pets.
7. Name: American Chinchilla Rabbit Breed.
This rabbit breed originated in France and is named after a South American rodent with similar fur color.
The American Chinchilla rabbit was developed by crossbreeding three different breeds of rabbits, the Himalayans, Beverens, and wide-colored Agouti rabbits.
Small to Medium.
The American Chinchilla rabbit breed is a mix of three colors/ patterns, slate blue, pearl, and black Agouti pattern.
It could weigh between 2.5kg to 3kg (5.5lbs – 7ibs).
Characteristics of the American Chinchilla Rabbit.
- This breed has a very soft, silky coat of dense hair.
- The American Chinchilla rabbit has Agouti coloring, meaning its hair has different coloring along with hairbands (the one close to the skin is slate blue, the middle color band is pearl and the tips of the hair is grey).
- Its eye-circles, belly, flanks, and neck have pale pearl ticking while the ears are laced with black.
- It’s a very curious, intelligent, and playful rabbit breed and would make a great pet for you.
8. Name: Californian Rabbit Breeds.
The Californian rabbit breed originates in Southern California.
It was developed by crossing a Himalayan breed with a standard Chinchilla breed, then crossing their offspring with the New Zealand white breed.
This breed of the rabbit has colors similar to that of the Himalayan rabbit breed, a white body, and colored points. It has very dark brown (almost black) markings on its tail, ear, feet, and nose.
It can weigh between 4.9kg to 5.45 kg / 10.8lbs to 12.0lbs (mostly the female. Which is the case for most rabbits, female rabbits called doe, weigh more than the male rabbits called a buck).
Characteristics of Californian Rabbit.
- The Californian rabbit breed has pink eyes, a very short neck, and is quite muscular.
- It has a soft and silky fur.
- Like most rabbit breeds on this list, the Californian rabbit is very good for commercial production.
- This rabbit breed has a very beautiful appearance and an easy-going temperament that makes it a wonderful option if you need a family pet rabbit.
9. Name: Flemish Giant Rabbit Breed.
The Flemish Giant rabbit is the largest breed in existence and originates in the Flanders.
It is a largely domesticated rabbit mainly known for its large size. It’s also fondly called the “Gentle Giant” because of its docile personality and “Universal Rabbit” the reason is it can be reared for a variety of purposes.
The American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) recognizes seven different colors for this breed which are black, steel gray, fawn, light gray, blue, sandy, and white.
- The Flemish Giant rabbit breed could weigh between 5.9kg to 6.4kg/ 13lbs to 14.1lbs (some even weigh up to 10kg/ 22lbs).
Characteristics of the Flemish Giant Rabbit.
- It has large ears which form a V shape above its head.
- This rabbit breed has medium-length hair with a dense undercoat, its fur has a glossy sheen.
- The Flemish Giant rabbit is calm and very friendly making it an excellent pet.
- If you’ve other pets like a dog, this rabbit breed is the best pet option for you. This is because it gets along well with other pets.
10. Name: Rex Rabbit Breeds.
The Rex rabbit breed is a European breed that originated in France. This breed is named for the rex gene responsible for its unique type of fur.
Medium to Large.
This rabbit breed comes in a variety of colors.
The most common are Black, Blue, Amber, Chinchilla, Chocolate, Lynx, Opal, Castor, Lilac, Red, Sable, Californian, Seal, and White.
The Rex rabbit breed could weigh between 3.4kg to about 4.8kg (7.5lbs to 10.5lbs).
Characteristics of a Rex Rabbit.
- It has strong legs and curly whiskers.
- The Rex rabbit breed has a dense, smooth coat with a firm and plush texture.
- The female Rex rabbit is very maternal and is often caring for other rabbits. This makes it an excellent foster mother.
- This rabbit breed is very active (especially in the morning or at night).
- It’s extremely affectionate and enjoys human company.
- The Rex rabbit breed is very intelligent and can be easily trained.
What Do You Think?
Rabbits are one of the most amazing animals to rear (speaking from experience).
You can get a rabbit as a pet, or for its meat and fur.
In Nigeria, people mostly buy rabbits because they need a pet or they want to eat rabbit meat.
It’s very easy to find a rabbit to buy in Nigeria.
All you’ve to do is check google or social media platforms, for instance. You can reach out to me anytime.
If you want to start a rabbit farm, you need to have a marketing plan. Ready to start your rabbit farming business? Get your business at the forefront of your clients online by registering your business on Google My Business now.
That said, I hope you enjoyed reading this article. And, I would love to know your thoughts regarding it.
If you’re planning to start a rabbit farm, get a rabbit pet, or are just plain curious about rabbits I hope you’ve got the information you need now! 🙂
Jumoke is a black young woman passionate about marketing, writing, research, storytelling, recycling, and agriculture.
She is committed to using her God-given talents to make her world a better place.
She is the founder of Gro2Star Farms a registered business that is involved in rabbit, snail farming, and feed making in Nigeria.
Jumoke enjoys working for individuals and brands to help them achieve their brand dreams and goals.
When she isn’t working on creating badass content she enjoys relaxing with her family, farm animals, dancing, listening to cool songs, or just living her best life!