Lilac Rabbits

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

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

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

Lilac Rabbit Breed Info

Lilac Rabbit BreedRecognized colors: One standard color.

Size: 6-8 pounds

National Specialty Club:

Lilac Rabbit Breed Photo Credit:

Lilac Rabbit Information and History

The Lilac is a breed that would never be developed today.  We already have the color lilac in a number of breeds, and there’s nothing unusual about the Lilac’s fur or body type.  But Europe in the early 1900’s saw the rabbit fancy at high pitch.   New breeds and colors were being produced left and right.  When a breeder produced a new color, it often became a new breed.  One example was the Havana.  The first chocolate rabbit – now a very common color – was bred around 1889 and they made a new breed out of it.  Prior to that, the most popular rabbit color was blue.  Blue and chocolate bred together will produce lilac, so when the Havana was spread around Europe, it’s no surprise that the color lilac appeared in several different places about the same time. 

In Germany, lilac rabbits were named Gouda, and are still called that today.  In England, original breeders included a Miss Mabel Illingworth and the famous geneticist R. C. Punnet of Cambridge.  The strains were blended and the British Rabbit Council recognized the breed as Lilac.  Different strains were imported to the United States, but the British standard was used when the breed was recognized in the 1920’s.  The Lilac saw some popularity at first, but has not been very popular in the latter half of the century.  There have been times when it has faced danger of being dropped from the ARBA standards.  Currently the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy considers the Lilac to be in the “watch” category, estimating the global population to be under 2,000 head.

Originally the Lilac had a body type consistent with the average look of early 20th century breeds, which is longer and not as deep as the popular type today.  But along with many other breeds, the Lilac in America has evolved to the rounder, deeper type that judges look for these days.  Though they may be often under-appreciated, there are actually Lilacs with impressive type that deserves a second look on the Best in Show table. 

Lilacs are gentle rabbits as a rule.  They do not require any special care, except that their coats must be kept out of direct sunlight, because the color fades easily.  The standard calls for a “pinkish dove-gray” color, uniform over the whole body.  Some say that British Lilacs have much better color than our American ones, and it’s true that looking at an American Lilac strikes one as purple-gray more than pinkish-dove.

Lilac Rabbit Care

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

Lilac Rabbit Resources

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

  • Rabbit Breeders Newsletter – be sure to claim your free subscription to our rabbit breeders newsletter in order to start receiving free rabbit information and resources via email
  • Lilac Rabbits for Sale – use our rabbit classifieds to find lilac rabbits for sale
  • Lilac Rabbit Breeders – locate lilac rabbit breeders using our huge rabbit breeders directory

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