Gotland Rabbit: Characteristics, Origin, Uses

Gotland rabbit is a medium sized Swedish variety of rabbit. It is native to the island of Gotland in Sweden. Rabbits have been kept for meat in Sweden for a long time, since the 1500s. And the Gotland rabbit is a local variety of Sweden’s old indigenous/landrace rabbit.

It was a very popular rabbit breed mainly for their good health and very good diseases resistance capabilities. But today, it is a rare breed. In accordance with the popularity of show breeds, this type of farm rabbits which were raised for meat became rarer until all but extinct. A few number of Gotland rabbits were discovered on the island of Gotland in the 1970s.

Now it is considered as an endangered variety, and a few numbers are available throughout the world. There is an organization named ‘the Gotland Rabbit Society‘, which is responsible for the preservation work of this breed. Although many rabbits of unknown heritage may resemble a Gotland rabbit.

But only rabbits born after parents registered by the Gotland Rabbit Society are considered to be purebred Gotlands and may be registered as such. Registered rabbits are maintained in an official gene bank registry. Review characteristics, uses, special notes and full breed profile of this breed below.

Gotland Rabbit Characteristics

The Gotland rabbit is a medium sized breed. Most of the Gotland rabbits share a distinctive and recognizable type. Gotland doe’s body is relatively elongated with a fine head. But the bucks are usually somewhat more compact with a rounder head and thicker muzzle.

Both the does and bucks are same in size. And there is no weight difference between the bucks and does. Their coat is short and fine. The coat is usually straight, although a few rex coated Gotlands have been known.

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The ears of Gotland rabbit are of medium length and relatively thin, pointed rather than rounded. Their eyes are large with an alert expression. And their eye and coat color can be any.

The breed is nimble and fine-boned with a muscular abdomen. They have a narrow nose. As we have mentioned previously, the Gotland rabbit is a medium sized breed. On average, the weight of these rabbits is between 3 and 4 kg. Photo from Wikipedia.


These rabbits were mainly used for meat production. They are suitable for commercial meat production, and also good as pets.

Special Notes

The Gotland rabbit is usually a lively and curious breed. They are generally hardy and well adapted to living outdoors throughout the year. They are very curious and very interested in their environment. As a very hardy breed, they rarely affected by diseases or genetic defects.

It is a medium quality producer, with an average of 6-8 kits per litter. The does are very good mothers, and usually become very protective of their young.

The Gotland kits grow relatively slowly, compared to other meat rabbit breeds. But they require less feed, and access to adequate fresh water is a mandatory. However, review full breed profile of this breed in the chart below.

Breed NameGotland
Other Namen/a
Breed PurposeVery good for commercial meat production. Pretty good as pets.
Breed SizeMedium
WeightAverage body weight is between 3 and 4 kg
Suitable for Commercial ProductionYes
Good as PetsYes
Climate ToleranceAll Climates
Color VarietiesAny
Country of OriginSweden

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