Everything You Need to Know About the New Zealand Rabbit

Posted by Katherine Ripley
The Sufficient Living

The New Zealand rabbit is like a giant snowball.

The New Zealand rabbit breed is not actually from New Zealand, but developed in America around 1910. It's one of the few rabbit breeds that was brought from America to England, rather than the other way around.

New Zealand rabbits come in white, black, red, and broken: a mixture of white and black or white and red. The white rabbits are by far the most popular and are bred the most often. New Zealand white rabbits have a condition called albinism, where the animal lacks melanin, the pigment which gives animals their skin, hair, and eye color.

It is estimated that about 90 percent of the rabbits raised for meat are New Zealand rabbits. Their white fur is also a popular commodity. But they are also raised to show, and they make great pets.

Hover over the image for more information.

General Appearance

New Zealand rabbits are relatively large rabbits with well-balanced features. Their backs are rounded, and they have a slightly plump appearance.


A New Zealand rabbit weighs between 9 and 12 pounds, making this a large breed. Their bodies are muscular, broad, and well-proportioned, with a pronounced curve in the spine.


A New Zealand rabbit has very long back feet, while its front feet and legs look petite.


The New Zealand rabbit's head is well proportioned to its body. It has a slender face and full cheeks. Its upright ears are large, but proportional to its body and head.


The New Zealand rabbit has a dense, soft, medium length coat. The texture and composition of their coat, with an undercoat layer and a guard hair layer, suggests they were originally bred using Angora rabbits.


The New Zealand rabbit is exceptionally calm and docile. They are usually content to be handled by anyone, including children. They also get along well with other pets.

Body image: Pocket Pause

recommended for you

Everything You Need to Know About the New Zealand Rabbit