When I first decided to raise rabbits I went to the Livestock Conservancy website to see what rabbits were listed on their site. American Chinchilla Rabbits are listed as Critical on their site. These rabbits are listed as dual purpose (meat and fur), but are not as popular anymore as the fur trade is not as popular. I have always believed strongly in not wearing fur, but never really thought about the impact of that. Anyhow, after a bit of research I decided that I liked the traits of these rabbits. Little did I know how very difficult if would be to FIND my breeding stock.
American Chinchilla Rabbit Fur
The unique fur coloring is what sets these rabbits apart from others. This is interesting and a bit funny, since I don't do anything with fur. But, I always enjoy unusual animals, so this was an important selling point for me. They are also good mothers, they are docile, they are known for their fast growth and their good meat to bone ratios. Essentially, you get the same amount of meat from a 10 weeks old rabbit as you do a 6 month old cockerel, which makes them a much more environmentally sensitive and economically feasible choice for a homesteader.
They produce large litters are good mothers and the kits grow out quickly. All the rabbits are salt and peppered in color but when you blow into the fur four distinct color bands appear. For identification tattoos are used, we also use cage magnets to help identify everyone, though I know the rabbits fairly well by site. If all the rabbits were running around the yard, I would be in trouble without the tattoos. All rabbits carry their own pedigrees, so identification is key.
We have several rabbits with LuckyFoot and TanBuns lines, as well as others.
Our Doe lines include offspring from Thai Chilli, Minnie Mouse and Babs.
Our bucks lines include offspring from Steven's Ima Big Momma, Naz, Pretty Lady and Willie.
We currently have six breeding does and 2 breeding bucks. We have two 2 does and 2 bucks that we will be adding to the program in the fall. They are currently serving as lawn mowers and enjoying their youth.
I try to breed two does at a time, to two different bucks, that way I can always produce unrelated breeding pairs or trios. However, on occasion a doe doesn't produce a litter for any number of reasons. I'm not the kit fairy, so I just do my best!!
Our pedigreed rabbits are $40/each. I'm not an expert, I don't show, but I love my rabbits!