Learn more about the Himalayan Rabbit Breed. Discover cool facts, pictures, resources and find information about caring for Himalayan Rabbits.
This rabbit breed information page is part of our rabbit breeds article series.
Table of Contents:
- Breed Info
- Breed Varieties and Colors
- Weight and Size
- Caring for Pets
- Cages and Supplies
- How to Breed for Show
- Breed Resources
- Locating a Breeder
Himalayan Rabbit Breed Info
Recognized colors: black, blue, broken, lilac
Size: Ideally 3-5 pounds
National Specialty Club:
Himalayan Rabbit Breed Photo Credit:
Himalayan Rabbit Information and History
As one of the oldest rabbits breeds, the Himalayan rabbit’s origin has practically been lost in history. While many people agree that the rabbit did indeed originate in the Himalaya mountain area, others say they’ve seen it in other areas of the world. The Himalayan rabbit was first seen in America in the early 1900s and was, in fact, one of the first breeds to be recognized by the ARBA or American rabbit breeder’s association.
Himalayan rabbits are one of the oldest and most unique rabbit breeds to this day. As the name suggests, they probably did originate in the Himalayas; however, others also believe that they could’ve originated in the Far East, although their exact origin is not known. These are one of the few breeds that are not human-made. This basically means that they were not crossed with different types of rabbit breeds. This breed is also referred to as the Black nose, Chinese and Egyptian rabbit.
Interesting Facts about the Breed
Himalayan rabbits are born with entirely white to grey fur, and their markings develop as they age. The coat of the Himalayan rabbit is white with black markings on the tail, feet, ears and nose. The black nose mark is a distinctive egg-like shape, and the other markings appear as if a white rabbit’s ears and feet have been dipped in black paint. Although the markings of the Himalayan rabbits are typically black, some of them have been specially bred to have white fur with differently colored markings. The different varieties include blue, chocolate and lilac. Himalayan rabbits that are raised in colder climates can sometimes have completely black fur. Some experts also claim that this rabbit can develop a dark spot on its fur overnight if the coat has extensive contact with a cold object during winter nights. Himalayan rabbits that live in a warm climate usually end up with white hair that has a yellowish tint to it. Himalayan rabbits are considered one of the best breeds for pets especially in homes with children. This is primarily because they are very mellow in temperament, enjoy interacting with humans and don’t mind being handled.
Breed Varieties and Colors
The original Himalayan rabbit was the black rabbit, and the blue variety was created later. These rabbits are also available in chocolate and lilac varieties. A Californian named Ron Smelt created the American chocolate Himalayans when he mixed English chocolate spots to Himalayans. The lilac variety was later made by mixing the blue Himalayan’s with chocolate. The Himalayan rabbit plays a crucial role in creating many other breeds of rabbit. For example, the Californian rabbit was also created from the Himalayan rabbit.
Weight and Size
The Himalayan rabbit have a slender body and are small in size ranging from anywhere between 3 to 5 pounds. This makes it easier to pick them up and hold them as opposed to other types of rabbits and the only other type of rabbit breeds that are smaller than Himalayan’s are the dwarf rabbits.
Himalayan rabbits can live for up to five years.
Litter size for a Himalayan
The typical litter size of a Himalayan rabbit is approximately six or seven but can be as high as 12 in some instances.
Caring for pet Himalayan Rabbits
If the weather is a little on the cold side, it is recommended that you bring your Himalayan kits or baby rabbits indoors as they are especially sensitive to the cold. The adult rabbits that are exposed to cold temperatures usually, have their white fur darkened but aside from that as long as the temperature doesn’t drop below freezing, they will do fine. If you have Himalayan pet rabbits, enclosures should be made of wood or wire, and they should be raised to protect your rabbit from the harsh outside elements as well as predators like coyotes and raccoons. Indoor enclosures should be made using wire with the plastic bottom so bedding can be placed for comfort. Your rabbit’s bedding should be spot cleaned each day to get rid of the faeces and completely changed at least once every week. While some pet owners opt to buy a complete wire cage, this can tend to cause discomfort to your rabbit’s feet and may lead to issues in the future. You should always ensure that their enclosure is large enough so that they can comfortably stretch out of the full-size and although Himalayan rabbits are relatively small, they are long, so ensure that their enclosures are appropriately sized. Just like other rabbits, these will benefit from a diet that consists mostly of high-quality hay and one that is made up of a mixture of fruits, vegetables, pellets and leafy greens. There are a variety of different pellets on the market as well as hay, and each has a different type of protein content; however, the type that you purchase will depend on your budget. While fruits and vegetables are healthy for them, you should weary of what sort of fruits, leafy greens and vegetables you serve as some are not safe for them in fact, leafy greens, in general, are not recommended as they can cause digestive issues especially if they have a significant amount. Greens that are high in fibre content and nutrients such as romaine lettuce should be offered instead.
Himalayan Cages / Supplies
The type of rabbit cage you choose will depend mainly on the number of rabbits you are going to be raising as well as whether the cage is going to be kept indoors or outdoors. For an indoor Himalayan rabbit, a cage that measures 24 x 15″ should be adequate. However, the top of the cage must be high enough so that the rabbit’s ears are not touching it. The cage should also be wide enough for the rabbit to lay down in any direction comfortably. Cages with a wire bottom should have a solid surface added onto it so that your rabbit can sit on it. Some of the essential supplies needed for your rabbit includes a litter box and scoop, a brush, rabbit toys, wood chews, hay rack, food dish and water bottle as well as a hiding spot.
How to Breed Himalayan Rabbits for Show
As a general rule of thumb, Himalayan show rabbits should be healthy. This means that you should check for pinworms, loose stools or other diseases such as coccidiosis or abscesses. Checking for fur mites and ear mites as well is crucial as these are disqualifications. You should also check for white snot, as showing a rabbit that has ever shown any chronic signs of a runny nose is a big no-no. Even if it’s been a while since you last saw or heard of any sneezing, the stress of leaving its familiar surroundings and going to the show may cause a relapse. Putting a sick rabbit on show is not only a waste of your money but also a danger to other rabbits. You should also ensure that your rabbits are clean and this means that there should be no traces of urine or faecal stains in the fur. A well-groomed rabbit will not have any loose fur or mats. Toenails should be clipped off so they cannot snag onto any wire and rip out. A missing toenail is definitely a disqualification if the judge cannot find evidence of it. Your rabbit should also be well-nourished but not fat. A well-conditioned rabbit is neither too thin nor too fat. It should have some muscle tone and flesh. This can be achieved by conditioning on a daily basis by giving your rabbit fresh, clean water and a fresh feed. The feed should be milled but not more than two months prior. Baby rabbits should be free-fed; however, adult rabbits should be limited to rations. This means that you could probably cut back on the pellets. Providing grass hay every day or very frequently also prevents fur blockage. Once your rabbit has achieved prime condition coat, you should cut back on the number of feeds you are giving it. This will ultimately maximize the amount of time his coat stays prime as well as the length of time that he stays in that condition.
For information on the latest shows and events surrounding the Himalayan rabbit, head over to this website https://www.himalayanrabbit.com/ .
Buying a Himalayan
Purchasing the Himalayan rabbit for your kids as a pet is a great idea because of their laid-back temperament. You can expect to pay anywhere between $25-$60 for one of these rabbits depending on where you are located. Show-breeding quality starts at approximately $40 and goes up from there.
Locating a Himalayan Rabbit Breeder
An excellent resource for locating rabbit breeders is rabbitbreeders.us. The site provides the top rabbit breed list on the web, and you can search for local rabbit breeders by region, state, and breed using the directory provided. So if you’re looking for Himalayan rabbits that are properly bred, healthy and will make wonderful pets for your kids or yourself, you need to make use of this priceless resource.
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