American Rabbit Characteristics, Origin, Uses

The American rabbit is a dual purpose breed which was developed for both meat and fur production. Some people suggest that the American rabbit was the first breed of domestic rabbit developed in the United States.

The body shape of this breed suggests that it may well have been bred from blue Vienna, Beveren, Imperial and Flemish Giants. The breed was originally known as the German Blue Vienna, but it was renamed after World War I to the American Blue Rabbit.

In recent years, rabbit keepers (especially rescue organizations who are unfamiliar with the history of rabbit breeding in the United States) have been referring to mixed breed or “mutt’ rabbits as “American”. The American rabbit was once a very popular show animal.

The breed was actually developed in the 1910s, and is now one of the rarest breeds in the United States. The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy listed the breed as Critically Endangered.

The breed was recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association in the year of 1917. And the white variety was recognized later in 1925.

Physical Characteristics of American Rabbit

The American rabbit is classed as a large breed. It has a mandolin or semi-arch body shape and a coat ideal for using as fur. The head of the breed is well shaped and rather narrow with the ears, proportionate in length, tapering to a point.

These rabbits have a long loin and a common rounded or commercial shape typical of quality New Zealand rabbit or Californian rabbit breed. When shown, this shape calls for a slightly different posing posture than for commercial form rabbits, in order to best display the length of body and modified point of highest arch over the hips.

The coat of this rabbit breed is free from molt and good deep color. Which is free from any stray colored hairs, with dense, soft, fine and silky texture.

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Currently two color varieties of the American rabbit breed is available, White and Blue. The White variety has white coat with red eyes. And the Blue variety has a rich, clear, dark uniform slate blue, as deep as possible, uniformly covering the entire body.

The Blue variety of these rabbits are reputed to have the darkest blue of any domestic rabbit breed. Like most other rabbit breeds, the American does are heavier than the bucks. Average body weight of this rabbit breed is between 4 and 5.5 kg. Photo from Wikipedia.


The breed was once very popular as show animal. But it was originally developed as a meat and fur breed. American rabbit is also very suitable for raising as pets.

Special Notes

The American rabbit was very familiar and noted for a good ‘sweet’ temperament and also for good mothering abilities. It is a hardy breed and typically docile in nature.

They produce large litters and are usually very good mothers. The fryers grow faster and reach marketable weight very quickly. They are very friendly and it’s very easy to care for them. Even the novice can also take good care of them.

The average lifespan of these rabbits is between 5 and 8 years. But they can live longer in captivity and if properly cared. Review full breed profile of this rabbit breed in the chart below.

Breed NameAmerican
Other NameGerman Blue Vienna
Breed PurposeMeat and fur. Also good as pets and show animal.
Breed SizeLarge
WeightAverage body weight is between 4 and 5.5 kg
Suitable for Commercial ProductionYes
Good as PetsYes
Climate ToleranceAll Climates
Color VarietiesBlue & White
Country of OriginUnited States

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