When I was a little girl, I was given a medium-sized black rabbit as a gift. I named her Cuddles, and she was my pet for many years. But I always wondered, what kind of rabbit was she? Her former owner had no clues for me. My Cuddles was simply the offspring of their two pet rabbits that had unknown breeds in their backgrounds. To this day, years later, I still sometimes wonder: what breeds existed in Cuddles’ background? Was she a New Zealand? A Havana? Or a combination of multiple breeds?
Many rabbit owners are faced with similar questions. Obviously, a purebred rabbit with a pedigree leaves no mystery as to its ancestry, and certain breeds exhibit distinctive characteristics that are easy to spot anywhere —- Dutch rabbits, for instance, or Dwarf Hotots. But how about when you aren’t sure of your rabbit’s background? Perhaps you have a rabbit with an unknown background and you wish to learn more about its genetic makeup. Or perhaps you’re looking at an adoption center for a rabbit that needs a good home, and you are mystified by all of the shapes, sizes and colors. What if your rabbit doesn’t exhibit the obvious characteristics of any particular breed? What can you learn about the background of a medium-sized black rabbit like my childhood pet?
For the full article, pick up the 2010 issue of Rabbits USA or click here to buy the issue.