Rabbit Breeds

CynthiaGraves Posts: 15 ✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in Rabbits

We are starting Rabbits and so far we have 4 does and 2 bucks. The bucks are New Zealanders, as are 2 of the does, the other two are a cross between that and Champagnes.

Those are the meat breeds but what should I have for tanning the furs? Would anyone here recommend what they have used to make tans? I want the fur to use on Doll clothes I make and maybe hoods etc. My husband says rabbit skins are too thin and I shouldn't pursue tanning them.



  • chimboodle04
    chimboodle04 Posts: 286 ✭✭✭

    We plan on starting our small breeding trio soon and have decided to go with a silver fox breed due to the fact they are heritage, are a good meat breed, and are known for hide/fur quality.

  • Marjory Wildcraft
    Marjory Wildcraft Posts: 1,585 admin

    Gosh, I just tanned the hides of any kind of rabbit :) I am a fan of using mixed breeds - they tend to be hardier and more robust (like mixed breed dogs). ALthough I do agree with @chimboodle04 with raising heritage breeds too. Gosh, we need to preserve those genetics. For doll clothes, I don't think you really have to be too fussy about the fur. Or may gor for a short hiar like a Rex as it would fit more proportionally on a doll? Yup, the skins are thin - which makes them oh-so-easy to tan! Thank goodness, deer hides are real work 😀

  • CynthiaGraves
    CynthiaGraves Posts: 15 ✭✭✭

    Thanks !

    IF anyone lives in the Pacific Northwest with Silver Foxes I would love to have a breeding pair. The people I have contacted so far are no longer doing them.

  • chimboodle04
    chimboodle04 Posts: 286 ✭✭✭

    I just found this site for rabbits for sale. You can search by state and it will tell you which breeds are raised by different rabbitries, contact info, etc. https://rabbitbreeders.us/state-rabbit-breeders-index/

  • hmsadmin
    hmsadmin Posts: 123 admin

    I would second silver foxes! The few I had were docile and sweet, and though I never processed their hides, I can see why they are renown for them. I think the perk of tanning rabbit hides is that they are thin, so they're much easier to work with, especially when you're new to it.

  • Chris A.
    Chris A. Posts: 27 ✭✭✭

    For your own use of tanning hides the rex are velvety and you can use the hides pretty much all year and have good ones. I notice that the other breeds shed often throughout the year so sometimes their pelts are only good in the winter when they are not shedding.

    Currently I have two silver fox mixes that I am breeding to a NZ and all of them are shedding like crazy now!!

  • solarnoon.aspen
    solarnoon.aspen Posts: 219 ✭✭✭

    I also raise rabbits for meat AND fur and find that the practice of harvesting at 12 weeks means the skin is very fragile, whereas waiting for 8 months or so produces thicker skin and hopefully, if this is in the colder months, better fur. My neighbour/mentor swears by older meat for flavour, although of course it costs more per pound to produce it.

    I have New Zealands and their fur is good for tanning. American Chinchilla is a good rabbit for meat to food ratio and for its fur. My little rex rabbits have superb fur however they are so small, not much in the meat department.