American Chinchilla Rabbit Characteristics, Uses

American Chinchilla rabbit is a popular breed and mainly raised as a commercial meat rabbit. Actually Chinchilla rabbits are a group of three rabbit breeds, and the American Chinchilla is the most rare of the Chinchilla breeds.

Standard and Giant Chinchillas are available. Small population of the American Chinchilla rabbit is largely due to the demise of the rabbit fur industry during the late 1940s.

As the name suggests, the American Chinchilla rabbit is an American rabbit breed which was developed in the early 1920s from the Standard Chinchilla rabbit breed.

Standard Chinchilla rabbit is from France, and arrived in the United States in 1919. It was very popular then and several breeders began to selectively breed the Chinchilla to increase their size.

Those large Chinchillas were initially known as the Heavyweight Chinchilla. Then the breed was recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association in 1924 as a separate, large rabbit breed.

And it was named the American Chinchilla rabbit. The breed is not very popular outside the United States and very rare today. And it is listed as critical by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. Review characteristics and full breed profile of this rabbit breed below.

Table of Contents

American Chinchilla Rabbit Characteristics

It is a large breed and has a medium build compact body. It has short neck and fairly broad head with short, erect ears. It has a very soft, silky coat of dense and medium length hair.

Most of the Chinchillas have agouti coloring, where the hairs have different color bands along their length. The tips of the hair is grey, the middle color band is pearl and the undercolor (next to the skin) is dark slate blue. Black ticking are unevenly distributed over most of the body.

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The belly, neck, flanks and eye circles of the American Chinchilla rabbit have pale, pearl ticking and the ears are laced with black. Average body weight of the American Chinchilla rabbit is about 4-5.5 kg. Photo from Wikipedia.


This rabbit breed was mainly bred to be a meat and fur producing breed. But today it is mainly kept for meat production rather than fur, due to the demise of the rabbit fur industry during the late 1940s. The breed is very suitable for commercial rabbit farming.

Special Notes

American Chinchillas are very hardy, docile, good natured and very gentle rabbit breed. They are good breeders, with an average litter of 6-9 kits. The does produce large litters and have good mothering instincts.

The bunnies grow faster and reach market weight quickly. The Chinchilla rabbit has contributed to the development of more breeds and varieties of rabbit worldwide than any other breed of domestic rabbit. It is a very suitable breed for commercial meat production. And their meat to bone ratio is very good.

On average these rabbit’s lifespan is between 5 and 8 years. The breed is also very good as pets. Even the novice can take good care of them, and they do not require regular grooming. Review full breed profile of this rabbit breed below.

Breed NameAmerican Chinchilla
Other NameHeavyweight Chinchilla
Breed PurposeMainly raised for meat production, but also suitable for fur production.
Breed SizeMedium
WeightBetween 4.0 and 5.5 kg
Suitable for Commercial ProductionYes
Good as PetsYes
Climate ToleranceAll Climates
Coat ColorSlate blue/pearl/black Agouti pattern. Same coloring is also found in a number of other rabbit breeds.
Country of OriginUnited States

1 thought on “American Chinchilla Rabbit Characteristics, Uses”

  1. I have an American chinchilla rabbit who is 11 weeks old. I got him three weeks ago, rescuing him for being sold as meat. It is a travesty and should be illegal. These are sweet, loving, smart animals that make great pets and should be treated with respect like dogs and cats. There should be laws against having him for any other purpose then as a domestic companion. The way you nonchalantly describe them as being good pets or good meat is very upsetting.

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