This site is dedicated to the preservation of a "critically" endangered rabbit called the "American Chinchilla Rabbit" whose creator was M.J. Dybowski, a French engineer who showed them for the first time in April 1913 at Saint-Maur, France.
This new breed of rabbit was a sensation and was considered the "ideal" fur rabbit. The fur resembled the fur of the South American Chinchilla "lanigera".
In the summer of 1917 a Mrs. Haidee Lacy-Hulbert of Mitcham Surry, imported the first of the new breed to England.
In 1919 they were presented at the New York State Fair by a British exhibitor. After the show they were sold to Edward H. Stahl and Jack Harris. These "originals" were rather small weighting in at 5-7 1/2 pounds which today are considered to be the "Standard Chinchilla" Rabbit. Breeders soon set out to produce a larger version soon to be called the "Heavyweight Chinchilla" with the same fur pattern, color and general phenotype. In 1924 both Chinchilla rabbit breeds were adopted into the standards book and the "Heavyweight" was renamed the "American Chinchilla".
The American Chinchilla had a large impact with rabbit keepers and between November 1928 and 1929 a record of no less than 17,328 Chinchilla rabbits were registered through the American Rabbit and Cavy Breeders Association (ARBA, Inc.). The American Chinchilla Rabbit has contributed to the development of many breeds of rabbits worldwide such as the Silver Martens and American Sables in the US and the Siamese Sable and the Sallander breeds abroad.
Due to the decline of the rabbit fur industry of the 1940's the American Chinchilla is now listed with "The Livestock Conservancy" as the rarest of all rabbit breeds. Despite the breeds meat and fur qualities, today's producers prefer an all white rabbit so they can dye any pattern onto the fur.
The American Chinchilla rabbit is a large, hardy, gentle rabbit with Bucks weighting between 9-11 pounds and Does at 10-12 pounds.
They produce large litters are good mothers and reach market weight quickly. They are salt and peppered in color but when you blow into the fur four distinct color bands appear. The fur condition and color quality are the most important qualities as they account for 50 points (25 points for quality and 25 for color). You can eat any rabbit but the fur pattern on this rabbit breed cannot be recreated.
As this website is in progress please revisit for additions.
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