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  • Writer's pictureGray Bunny Grower

How Do I Know If My Bunny Is Purebred?

You've decided on a breed, and now you want to know how to tell if the rabbit you're getting is pure. The answer is - you really can't. Even with a pedigree you can't know for sure. There are a couple of reasons for this.

Rabbits are extremely hard to identify breed wise just by looking at them. The traits that identify them (color, body type, weight, body length, etc.) are usually ranges. So a pure Flemish Giant may be 22 lbs or 13 lbs. A pure New Zealand may be REW (red-eyed white) or may be Red.

A purebred Giant Chinchilla should only come in Chinchilla fur, as that is the standard, but most lines of Giant Chinchilla carry REW or Self Chin and so your litter may be Chinchilla, White, and Black. The litter should be primarily the correct color, but the White and black kits are no less pure Giant Chinchilla. They are the same lineage, same parents, as their siblings. They can't be shown as their coat color is a disqualification, but they are still pure Giant Chinchilla. These are simply recessive genes that are carried through the generations.

Giant Chinchilla/Flemish Giant Mix baby rabbit

Even ARBA can't tell if a rabbit is purebred. Did you know that the requirement for a rabbit to be Registered by ARBA (Registration is not the same as pedigreed, and it is highly unlikely you would be purchasing a registered rabbit) is a complete pedigree and for the rabbit to meet the standards of the breed it's being registered as with no disqualifications. This means that an unscrupulous breeder could make a fake pedigree and have a REW American Chinchilla registered and tattooed as a New Zealand White. Obviously, there wouldn't be much point to doing this if you've been raising American Chinchillas, but the point is - even the ARBA registrar can't tell.

In the 70's a Giant Chinchilla breeder had a Giant Chinchilla win BOB (Best of Breed) for Giant Chinchilla AND Flemish Giant - in the SAME SHOW. Because of the way the breed standards for those two breeds were at the time, her rabbit was an excellent example of both. This of course led to some adjusting on the breed standards of those two breeds, but the fact is - you can only say what the rabbit looks like instead of what it is.

So how do you tell? It is up to the buyer to do their research. If there is a specific breed you want, you should know what the breed standard is and be able to identify key traits (ear size, color, body type, etc.). At least then, between your own knowledge and the breeder you should be able to feel confident that you are getting what you're paying for regardless of pedigree or lack thereof.



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