American Chinchilla Rabbits

Learn more about the American Chinchilla Rabbit Breed. Discover cool facts, pictures, resources and find information about caring for American Chinchilla Rabbits.

This rabbit breed information page is part of our rabbit breeds article series.

American Chinchilla Rabbit Resource Links: Free Rabbit Breeders Newsletter | American Chinchilla Rabbit Breed Info | American Chinchilla Rabbit Information and History | American Chinchilla Rabbit Care | American Chinchilla Rabbit Resources

American Chinchilla Rabbit Breed Info

American Chinchilla Rabbit BreedRecognized Colors: One standard color

Size: 9-12 lbs. 

National Specialty Club:

American Chinchilla Rabbit Breed Photo Credit:



American Chinchilla Rabbit Information and History

The American Chinchilla.  Standard commercial type.  Standard commercial weight.  Standard commercial color?  No way.  ARBA’s Standard of Perfection for this breed contains the phrase: “color is to resemble real chinchilla.”  What does that mean?  The color is to look just like that of those cute little rodents you see in exotic pet stores, the Chinchilla lanigera.  That is, a rich, varied, sparkling blend of black and white.

The color is produced by a banded hair shaft – each hair has bands of black and pearl-gray pigment.  At a show, judges are supposed to consider the color quality of each band, as well as their definition from each other, and the overall look of the top coat.   The American Chinchilla’s coat is a lengthy rollback – an ideal length of 1 ¼ inches.  Coats under 1 inch in length are faulted, as well as coats that are so long they resemble wool.  Fur is to be smooth and glossy.  Fur and color together pack more points in the standard than the body type, which is to be the same as other commercial breeds such as the Californian.

The American Chin was developed primarily for the fur trade.  When the chinchilla color first appeared in France in 1913, breeders saw the potential for profit by breeding rabbits for their coats, since the pelts of the chinchilla rodent were so valuable.  The first chinchilla rabbits were of the breed we now call Standard Chins – weighing only 5-7 pounds.  As soon as they hit the United States in 1919, breeders started working towards a larger version of the breed, to be more useful for meat and pelt production. Their new breed, the “Heavyweight Chinchilla” was accepted by the ARBA in 1924.  The name was soon changed to American Chinchilla – possibly because a giant version of the breed was already in development.   Two decades after the “Belgian Hare Boom” of 1900, which kicked off the rabbit fancy in this country, the chinchillas were by far the most popular breeds.  A record-breaking 17,328 American Chins were registered with the ARBA between November 1928 and November 1929.  Large commercial operations were set up to produce and sell the rabbits in mass. 

In the 1940’s, however, the bottom fell out of the fur market.  Today the American Chinchilla is considered rare by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, but it still has a healthy following both among show breeders and those who raise it in the backyard for the family table.

American Chinchilla Rabbit Care

Here is a list of resources to help you care for your american chinchilla rabbits…

American Chinchilla Rabbit Resources

Here is a listing of american chinchilla rabbit resources to help you out with your rabbit project…

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