New Zealand

New Zealand rabbits were bred to be a high producer of meat and white fur. They have a strong feed to meat conversion rate, and are very popular with home meat producers.

New Zealand rabbits were bred for commercial meat production, and they can be sensitive to changes in feed type if fed commercial feed. This tendency diminishes if they are fed fresh foods daily (with or without commercial feed).

They are a little less efficient than Californians, and seem to have a little more health issues than Californians (possibly because of the strict breeding for white skin and red eyes), but they are also much easier to locate for breeding stock, and are less expensive than almost any other meat rabbit breeding stock.

New Zealands wean fairly sizable litters, and hold up under intensive breeding schedules.

  • Type - meat, some fur
  • Size - medium large
  • Production Capability - rapid producers of 2 lb fryers
  • Special Features - readily available
  • Best for Farms - if you have to get into raising meat rabbits on a budget, or need a recognized meat breed for sale of meat rabbits, this is a good breed for you
  • Egg, Milk, Meat Features - typical
  • Other Products - some market for fur
  • Historic or Contemporary Significance - most popular meat rabbit in the US.
  • Housing and Space Requirement - large rabbit, requires sturdy floors and sufficient room.
  • Regional Adaptations - adaptable
  • Feed Requirement - typical, but do better with addition of fresh forage and fodder feeds.
  • Other Considerations - New Zealand rabbits produce large litters, so you need room to grow out 8-10 kits with each litter.



There are a gazillion rabbit breeds. We don't have all the good meat rabbits listed here (if we missed a particularly good one, let us know, it does not have to be endangered).

Rabbits produce a lot of young, so they are subject to fairly lax endangerment standards. They are not considered endangered until there are very VERY few left - the numbers are much lower than for many other species.

This means that some breeds NOT considered endangered may still be very difficult to obtain. It also means that by the time they ARE endangered, they may be IMPOSSIBLE to obtain. But many are still available unregistered, even when considered endangered. It is confusing.

If it is practically impossible to obtain the animals, we have not listed them. If they have genetic problems, are difficult to breed to a fussy standard that is irrelevant to utility, we have also not included them as a rule.

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