New Zealand rabbit: breed features


The New Zealand red rabbit, abbreviated as (NZK rabbits) - refers to the breed group of rabbits in the meat direction. Rabbits of breed NZK belong to early maturing rabbits, a bright red-red color. The breed was bred in the USA, however, the breed is based on rabbits exported from New Zealand. Rabbits New Zealand Red is slightly inferior in productivity to the New Zealand white rock.

A photo. New Zealand Red Breed

History of creation

The breed was bred in California, USA. The ancestor of the breed, according to one of the versions, is considered a semi-wild bright red rabbit from New Zealand. Parent breeds that improve the blood of the semi-wild, early bastard are rabbits of three breeds:

  • Belgian Hare,
  • Belgian Flandre,
  • Silver.

Finally, the breed of early meat direction was formed in 1910. In Europe, they began to import from the end of the 30s of the 20th century. The breed was brought to Russia quite late, according to one of the sources, in 1970. Thanks to good adaptation in different climatic zones of Russia, this breed has become popular mainly in private farms.

Breed Standard, New Zealand Red Rabbit Breed

  • Medium-sized rabbits with an elongated, torpedo-shaped body.
  • The weight of an adult specimen is from 4.5 kg to 5.3 kg.
  • The body from the middle line between the ears to the root of the tail is up to 500 mm.
  • The musculature is developed, the body is knocked down, compact.
  • Head wide brachycephalic type, ears vertically erect
  • The neck is fleshy, wide, girth up to 120 -140 mm, no delicate fodder
  • The body is massive, well developed, with prominent musculature, the subcutaneous tissue is dense, elastic.
  • The sacral part is wide, the skin is not very tight to the body, it is possible to capture, when released it is easily straightened.
  • Limbs straight, massive.
  • Eyes brown in tone skin color.
  • The fur is short (35-40 mm), thick, the hairs are stiff golden-red, the color of the fur is lighter below.

The New Zealand red breed is easily confused with the Burgundian rabbit breed. Read how the Burgundian rabbit differs from the NZK.

Weight table by month breed of New Zealand red rabbit

Weight rabbit at birth ranges from 50 to 60 grams. In adulthood, the maximum weight reaches five kg. Rabbits NZK one of the earliest in the domestic rabbit breeding. For the first 30 days, the weight increases about 10 times and is about 600 grams. Further, the monthly increase is 600-850 grams. At 6 months, weight is approximately 80% by weight of the adult rabbit. At eight months, weight approximately corresponds to an adult weight of 4.5–5 kg. Meanwhile, this is approximate information, which can vary for each rabbit breeder, depending on experience, condition of food supply, feeding regime. Information can be used as a guide for fattening.

Care and maintenance of NZK rabbits

NZK - rabbits ideally suited for cellular keeping. In the pits and holes can contain, but not appropriate. Ideal temperature conditions not higher than 25 degrees Celsius. Rabbits do not tolerate low temperatures very well. Reducing the temperature to - 15 degrees and below leads to a stop of sexual cycles, the termination of okrol. Rabbits of this breed practically do not contain in industrial conditions. However, for home keeping the breed is a red New Zealand rabbit is almost perfect. Rabbits are unpretentious to the diet, but for good fattening, in addition to cheap rough feed, feed is needed, or a mash from a mixture of crushed grain. In the summer, rabbits are well assimilated with succulent feeds, in the beginning of summer tops, and at the end - root vegetables. The rabbit has a relatively short coat. Therefore, special care for the skin is not required. They try not to wash the rabbits at home, because of washing the skin of the rabbits deteriorates a lot, it is impossible to improve the condition by combing, using vitamins and other things.

New Zealand Red Rabbit Breed, Fattening Characteristic

It is believed that the productivity of the New Zealand red rabbit is inferior in productivity to the white New Zealand rabbit, however, if the fattening is carried out in a private farm more healthy, resistant to various diseases, the red rabbit is considered. However, the speed of weight gain depends not only on the breed, it also depends a lot on the stability and quality of the food supply. Frequent change of diets leads to a decrease in weight gain. When fattening pay attention to the quality, temperature and availability of drinking water. Like water is not related to weight gain, but without water, weight gain can drop significantly. When breeding rabbits in the winter, it is necessary to protect from drafts, add the total illumination near the cage. Try not to get involved in sexual stimulants to increase the sexual arousal of females and increase litters. About sexual stimulants in rabbit breeding, fertagil, surfagon and others. Do not get carried away with stimulants and generally any medications.

How to choose a healthy rabbit breed NZK

At present, the breed of the NZK can be searched in the GC of JSC "OP VVC" Livestock ", Moscow. The presence of other kennels, the New Zealand red breed of rabbits that have an official license, does not exist in the Russian Federation. You can try to find a breed from private breeders. It is better to buy rabbits in adolescent rabbit age, it corresponds to 3-4 months. By human standards, it is equal to the age of 12-13 years. Healthy rabbits are considered - proportional build, fatness - factory, that is, with minimal fat deposits. Pay attention to the appetite, clean eyes, lack of discharge from the nose. A pelt without baldness, although a shedding is possible at the age of purchase, the seller will explain what needs to be done to make the moult go unnoticed by health.

History of origin

Their origin and development of rabbits of the New Zealand breed are obliged to Californian farmers. At the beginning of the 20th century, the breed was officially registered. One of the versions claims that, prior to the domestication stage, the semi-wild, reddish rabbits were brought from New Zealand to the USA. Breeders successfully developed their meat qualities by crossing with breeds such as flandre and silver rabbit. In the future, representatives of the breed came to Europe, where specialists quickly gained recognition. In our country, the New Zealanders appeared in the 70s of the last century, and the rabbit breeders immediately became fond of both productive and undemanding animals.

Breed description

These animals differ in fleshy short ears (up to 12 cm). The cylindrical dense body has a well-developed musculature. The medium-sized head is connected to the torso with a short neck. The muzzle is short, the nose with a small crotch. The limbs are thick and strong. The lumbosacral region is wide. Individuals are endowed with a steady, friendly disposition. They quietly tolerate sudden movements and unexpected sounds.

There are the following subspecies New Zealanders who have certain differences.

  • Red rabbits. The New Zealand red rabbit or NZK has a beautiful color from bright red to reddish-brown. The undercoat is also red. A uniform dark red color is preferred. At the same time, the area around the eyes and mouth, the stomach and the paws are slightly lighter than the main color. Brown eyes, dark claws. New Zealand red rabbits can gain up to 5 kg of weight.
  • White rabbits. The New Zealand white rabbit or NZB is bred by selection of albino individuals of the red subspecies of the breed. NZB rabbits have soft soft fur of snow-white shade. Animals have a characteristic red or pink eye color for albinos. Claws are light beige or white. The weight of an adult can reach 4.5 kg. The New Zealand white breed of rabbits in terms of fertility and precocity above the red breed, which contributes to its wider distribution.

Production characteristics

The first thing for which these animals are bred is dietary meat, which is especially valued as baby food. The lethal age comes relatively early - at 4–6 months. During this period, young growth reaches a weight of 3 kg. Carcasses have a high meat yield, about 60%. The second product is obtained - beautiful high-quality skins. Red rabbits have natural beautiful color of fur. Skins of the New Zealand white rabbits are used in their natural form, and are also suitable for painting in different colors. Of them sew coats, hats, mittens, fashion bags and other products.

Maintenance and care

Representatives of this breed can be kept in special cages all year round. Equipped with feeders and drinkers, cells are usually placed in tiers. The paws of animals are covered with dense fur, so they feel good on the mesh floors. The optimum temperature for keeping rabbits is from 18º to 20ºС. Indoors, it is desirable to provide good ventilation, but without drafts. In the summer of fluffy pets can be placed in a portable tank without a bottom. Despite the fact that the psyche of animals is quite stable, prolonged exposure to a loud sound or bright light can lead to illness. Valuable fur if necessary, you should comb it, cut the existing tangles carefully, trying not to damage the skin of the animal.

Voracious pets must have uninterrupted access to feed. To ensure a varied and complete feeding in the diet it is necessary to include fresh grass depending on the season, grain, beans, branches, roots with tops, hay. Well-absorbed by New Zealanders ready dry feed. When harvesting fresh grass or hay, care should be taken to ensure that poisonous plants do not get into the feed. In the drinkers should always be fresh unboiled water.


For growing and obtaining offspring it is better to buy individuals of unrelated lines. Such animals are offered, as a rule, by large farms or farms. Perfect youngsters age 3-4 months. Rabbits younger than two months still have a rather weak immunity. When choosing, one should pay attention to the absence of external defects and the correspondence of weight and age. Toddlers should look active and healthy. If the animal has reddened or festering eyes, wet muzzle, dirty tail or signs of a cold, it is not recommended to acquire it.

It is possible to cover females from the age of 5 months. On average, a rabbit brings 7-8 cubs at a time. Milk for feeding all newborns is produced enough.

New Zealand rabbits perfectly adapted to Russian climatic conditions. They delight their owners with high fecundity and weight gain, good quality fur, as well as quick adaptation to the new environment. Breeding this breed is very economical and quickly pays off.

Breed features

Breeders love the New Zealand breed not only because rabbits gain rapidly weight and belong to beef rabbits, but also because their skin also represents a very valuable interest among buyers. Especially white skin, because it can be painted in a variety of shades.

In addition, eared participate in exhibitions, they are used for laboratory experiments by scientists. It was concluded that the rabbits of this breed react to drugs and cosmetics identical to humans.

White rabbits are more productive than red ones.

Several theses on the features of the breed

  • breed of meat and large: length up to 50 cm, and weight up to 5 kg,
  • muscular animals, which makes dietary meat especially in demand,
  • good smooth coat on the skin: length of hairs - up to 3.5 cm,
  • ear length up to 12.5 cm
  • fast growth: already in 3 months they weigh about 3 kg and are ready for slaughter.

Females are much larger than males and their weight varies from 1–1.5 kg.

Now 2 species of rabbits are the most common in the world: white and red, as the breeders derive and improve the black subspecies - such animals are not yet in demand.

External indicators of white rabbits

  • physique muscular, without fat deposits
  • cylindrical body with wide shoulder blades and developed hind legs,
  • females have a small crochet symmetrical shape
  • the neck is short planted deep, ears thin up to 12 cm,
  • eyes with a red tint, and claws of white color.

The fur of white New Zealand rabbits is absolutely white with a thick silver underfur, so the skin is ideal for model houses, as it can be painted in any exotic color. At the same time, the coat is smooth and soft to the touch, while the thickness gives it an even more attractive look. If it is necessary to get fluff and wool, it is better to breed Angora rabbits, which can be read here.

Breeders identify several signs of culling the animal: the length of the ears is more than 13 cm and their fall, a double chin, an underdeveloped undercoat, and a body weight of more than 6 kg.

Exterior performance red rabbits

  • physique muscular cylindrical view
  • wide back, the sacrum-lumbar part is well developed,
  • chest sunken, the neck is short
  • ears up to 11 cm, eyes have a red tint, varying from pale pink to maroon red,
  • head shape is round, and paws are mounted strictly vertically down.

The fur of the red subspecies of rabbits has an intense and rich golden color with bronze. The color is unevenly distributed over the skin and is lightened to the mouth, eyes, from the side of the abdomen and in the lower part of the thighs. Due to its high durability and density, it is popular for sewing luxury fur coats.

The history of the New Zealand rabbits

New Zealand rabbit - red

In 1910, scientists from America formed a new breed of rabbits. It is assumed that silver rabbit and Belgian hare served as ancestors. There is no exact data about this, so it is impossible to say with certainty. At the beginning, as a result of the crossing, the red New Zealand rabbits turned out, which fully answered the requests of the breeders. Then, in some litters, albinos were found. From these separate copies brought the New Zealand white rabbits.

Probably, the resulting white New Zealand rabbits were crossed with Angora and even Chinchilla, as a result, by the end of the 1960s, a black variety of this breed was bred.

physical characteristics

New Zealand rabbits are quite large animals, they reach a length of 50 cm, their weight approaches 5 kg. Strong and large hind legs and a fleshy back make it possible to use animals in meat production, many start their business in rabbit breeding with this breed. Rabbit meat is considered a dietary and very useful product, therefore, the breeding of rabbits is quite a profitable business. The fur is thick, the ears are rarer, the ears themselves are up to 12 cm long, the neck is short, experts believe that the shorter the crawl is, the better. The most popular color is white, without yellow spots, the eyes are red.

Red New Zealand rabbits

Red New Zealand rabbits were bred in America in 1910, animals evolved from wild animals crossed with a Belgian rabbit. Animals of strong build, have developed muscles and very beautiful fur of bright red color. Animal skins gladly use well-known fashion designers. The fur of animals is thick and wear-resistant, therefore fur coats from it are extremely in demand. A positive feature of the red New Zealand rabbits is that they easily adapt to different climatic conditions and are unpretentious in food. Females are ready for reproduction at the age of 4.5 months and in one offspring there can be up to 10 rabbits.

White New Zealand rabbits

In countries where rabbit breeding is developed, they prefer to breed white New Zealand rabbits. They are obtained by selection of albinos, which are then crossed with the Belgian giant. It turned out individuals with strong bones, developed muscles and snow-white fur. White rabbits a little larger than their red relatives are bred to get tasty dietary meat. and white skins. Rabbit fur is demanded by fashion designers, since any paint evenly falls on it. In Hungary, up to 30 young rabbits get one rabbit from this breed. Females produce a lot of milk to feed the offspring.

Commercial potential of the breed

New Zealand rabbits are bred in Europe since 1970 and during this time the production has proved its profitability. It is known that the output of meat from an animal reaches 60%, which is an undoubted record.. Already at the age of 3 months the weight reaches 2.6 kg, then the rabbits grow much slower. It is important to maintain a balanced diet so that the animals are not too fat. In addition to meat, gives a good profit and fur. Fiery red skins enthusiastically acquire the leading houses of models and sew wonderful coats from them. The greatest demand is used, however, the skins of white rabbits, which in their natural form, or after dyeing, are also used for tailoring.

Many laboratories use New Zealand rabbits as laboratory animals. The fact is that the organism of these animals reacts to many drugs in the same way as the human one. In the trials of new drugs, taking part more than a million animals. На них тестируют косметические средства и лекарства от таких тяжёлых заболеваний, как рак, диабет и другие.

Выбор подходящей особи

Новозеландский кролик — белый

При выборе кроликов, нужно учитывать то, для чего человек собирается приобрести животное. If a rabbit is taken for commercial use in order to start a large herd, then the strongest and strongest rabbits should be chosen, regardless of their nature. The color of animals also matters, if the rabbit breeder wants to produce skins, then animals of white or red color are selected. However, bluffs of black and black, which are also in demand, have already been bred.

When buying a pet rabbit in order to make it a pet, it is advisable to choose an active but calm. In this case, you must look to the rabbit was healthy, not hanging "cloth" in his hands, and tried to explore everything around. There should be no crusts in the ears and eyes, or rashes on the genitals.

New Zealand rabbits as pets

In many countries, New Zealand rabbits are kept as pets. It is believed that these animals are intelligent and friendly, unlike dwarfs, who do not like to sit on the hands of the owner. New Zealand, on the contrary, become attached to the person who feeds them, and they are not averse to playing with the child. To keep such an animal is not very difficult, as it is unpretentious in food. Animals suffer from the same diseases as their dwarf cousins, so you need to contact an experienced veterinarian to know what to do if a rabbit gets sick. In the rabbit farms, life expectancy can be 5 years, but if the male is neutered, he will live ten.

New Zealand rabbits - beautiful animals, suitable for industrial breeding in order to obtain dietary meat and elegant skins. They early become sexually mature, breed well and develop rapidly. One rabbit can produce up to 30 cubs in a year and feed them. However, many people take the rabbits into the house and make them pets. New Zealand rabbits are pleasant to talk to, smart and love to play with children.

See also the video on this breed, in the first video you can get acquainted with the white color of the rabbit and in the second with red.

History of

This subspecies of rabbits was bred in 1910 in one of the states of America. Selection experiments were carried out on albino individuals of the New Zealand subspecies of the red breed. Subsequently, the breeding of animals was carried out between the best selected individuals. They were selected for precociousness at an early age. Characteristics were important:

  • The volume of meat products
  • High slaughter weight
  • The quality of meat and fur,
  • Snow-white shade of wool.

Selected individuals were crossed with Flandre. Selection experiments were required in order to eliminate overdevelopment of body weight and the constitution.

Already by 1958, the subspecies became widespread. The first popularity of the breed came in Europe. In the late 90s, the subspecies ranked first among the leading breeds. The subspecies was distributed in the UK, Germany and Italy.

In the USSR, white rabbits appeared in the early 70s. Individuals easily adapted to the natural conditions of the country. The subspecies spread across all regions. At present, animals are kept on farms, household and private farms.


Subspecies is universal.

  • The fur of individuals is silky, soft, gentle, pleasant to the touch. Wool has an exceptionally white shade.
  • The head is small, shortened neck.
  • The complex is compact, small.
  • Croup rounded.
  • The back smoothly into the large sacrum.
  • Animals have well-developed muscles.
  • Paws are dense, strong.
  • Muzzle shortened, wide.
  • White-humped nose.
  • The ears are very short. In length do not exceed 11 cm.
  • The shade of the eyes is red or pink.
  • Claws beige or snow white.
  • Rabbits more comely than males.
  • The weight of rabbits varies from 4 to 4.5 kg.

Breed characteristic

  • An important feature is considered active growth at a young age. This subspecies can be diluted as meat products. Slaughter age is 4-6 months. This fact saves effort, time, cost.
  • Rabbits are distinguished by milkiness and fertility. You can begin to pair the youngsters in at five months of age. Females are distinguished by their fecundity. They can produce 8-10 rabbits in a single shot. Rabbits are good mothers. They feed the offspring before jigging. In the year one individual can give up to 35 babies.
  • Animals of this subspecies are calm and stress-resistant. They have a soft temper.
  • Individuals have soft hair on their paws. Because of this, they can be contained in steel cells.
  • You can further increase the growth of individuals. To do this, the female must be crossed with the Belgian giant. This selection updates the pedigree. Kids get the most healthy and active.

Disadvantages leading to disqualification

  • Too elongated ears, reaching over 14 cm,
  • Rare fur with bald spots,
  • Weight eared over 5.5 kg,
  • Dangling ears
  • The emergence of a double chin.

Watch a short video describing the rabbit breed.

Production characteristic

The fur of individuals is easily dyed. There are many variations of shades. Animal skins of this subspecies are expensively valued in large-scale production. Rabbit fur is used to make outerwear, hats, gloves, bags, boots and other products.

The subspecies is widely used in large-scale production and private farms. Individuals have a high rate of precocity. They are prolific. New Zealand individuals are unpretentious animals. Their breeding requires minimal cost.

Rabbit character

Individuals have a friendly and calm character. White individuals are the most calm, hardy and indifferent to what is happening. They have good health. They are not afraid of sudden movements, sweeps, and are resistant to unexpected sharp sounds. Due to this character, individuals can be bred with other animals.

How to choose a healthy eared fish

Buying eared, you must choose a young. Young individuals quickly get used to the person. Adult rabbits can long adapt to new living conditions. Experienced livestock breeders recommend purchasing three to four months old individuals. In such animals it is much easier to detect undesirable physical, mental defects and abnormalities in development. This subspecies should have a symmetrical bite. Limbs must be flat, back and body - straight.

It is not recommended to buy individuals younger than two months. Such rabbits are mentally unable to survive the separation from the mother. Babies need breast milk, which contains all the beneficial vitamins and minerals. If an animal is deprived of such nutrition, then its immunity will weaken. Changing circumstances, diet can lead to the death of the animal. If you buy a four-month-old individual, then after 20-30 days you can start breeding this breed.

Healthy eared animals should be curious and active. If the animal is lethargic, it has swollen eyelids, reddened eyes, then, most likely, the individual is sick. To acquire such an animal is not worth it. It is important that the animal does not have:

  • Wet, festering eyes,
  • Wet muzzle,
  • Dirt and faeces under the tail,
  • Symptoms of rhinitis.
For active breeding experienced breeders recommend to acquire individuals from different pedigrees. The intercourse of rabbits along related lines can lead to extinction of the subspecies. Each generation will be weaker than the previous one.

The initial cost of individuals of this breed is from 300 to 1500 rubles, mainly depends on the age of the rabbit.