The Brazilian was originally bred as a commercial meat rabbit and is not recognized by the BRC (British Rabbit Council) or the ARBA, (American Rabbit Breeders Association).
Brazilians are sometimes referred to as “Zils.”
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History Of The Brazilian Rabbit
Brazilian rabbits are native to South America and common in the small market areas and suburban districts of Brazil. There are small pockets of breeders in the UK and a small population has grown in Arizona from their beginnings in 1980.
Although the breed is popular in the domestic pet trade, the Brazilian is not yet recognized by the BRC or the ARBA.
The Brazilian rabbit comes in many colors (see below) but mainly the varieties are:
Size, Weight, Shape & Ears
The Brazilian is classed as a medium-sized rabbit.
The average weight can be anywhere from 7 to 10 lbs.
Brazilian rabbits have an interesting trait, the shape of the males, are round and stocky, and have a commercial shape while the females are mandolin-shaped with a semi-arch profile.
They have thick, well-furred ears that they often carry open and canted forward.
The Brazilian people’s love of bright, pastel colors is evident as the breed is fixed for dilution and for melanin (black) pigment but occurs in nearly all color combinations and patterns within the spectrum of the black family–
- common – blue, (chin, frosted white, steel, fawn, or smoked pearl)
- opal is the second,
- and Californian patterns.
A single litter can have a variety of colors and patterns presented. Other than in the Californian pattern they all have blue-gray to hazel colored eyes.
Fur Type / Coat
Their fur is thick, with long coarse guard hairs. The underfur may either stay up when brushed backward or slowly return to its original position. Male kits look like little balls of fluff!
Average Life Span
The Brazilian rabbit lifespan can extend up to 10 years with proper care.
Brazilian rabbits are typically calm and gentle, very friendly, and one of the more social breeds. They tend to get along well with other domestic animals. They are best kept in pairs or trios and seldom fight, even as adults. What they want most in life is to be piled in a heap with each other, you or any other warm body they can find. Bucks are very protective and attentive of their young and will often take a turn helping warm the brood when the weather is cold.
Like all domestic rabbits, they are most active at sunset and at daybreak. They are timid, easily stressed, and on the smaller side. This breed might not be the best choice for small children who would want to pick them up and might injure them in the process.
Originally bred for their meat in the poorer areas of Brazil.
Brazilian rabbits are not common but neither are they endangered or a rare variety.
Rabbit Care & Handling
Grooming: A simple brushing once a week is enough to remove loose fur and keep their coat from matting.
Diet: Like other rabbits, Brazilians are herbivorous. Their main diet should consist of hay. Timothy hay is rich in fiber and is a good choice to help maintain proper stools, ideal weight, and the formation of hairballs. Pellets can also be added to supplement their daily diet. Freshwater should always be available, either from a sipper bottle or in a stable water bowl.
Housing: The Brazilian makes a great indoor rabbit and offers protection from the weather, predators, and other dangers that can be found outside. If indoors, “rabbit-proof” their area, allow them plenty of room to roam and stretch and offer fresh air and sunlight whenever possible. This can be accomplished with temporary exercise pens or outdoor hutches.
Health: Brazilian rabbits are more susceptible to catching colds and other viral infections. They also tend to get more eye infections. Coccidiosis and hairball obstructions are also common in this breed.
Here is a list of resources to help you care for your rabbits…
- New Rabbit Checklist – General knowledge if you’re just getting started.
- Breeding Rabbits – The best place to start if you are thinking about raising any breed of rabbits.
- Pet Rabbit Guide – Information and resources on the subject of raising pet rabbits.
- Health Guide – Up-to-date information & resources for ensuring your rabbit is in the best health.
- Diet & Exercise – Extensive info about hay, water, safe foods, treats, weight management & FAQs on the diet.