Celebrating 100 Years of the American Rabbit

| 8/7/2018 11:07:00 AM

In March of 1918 the American Rabbit Breeders Association, Inc. recognized the American rabbit with an official standard. Lewis Salisbury of Pasadena, California developed the American Blue the previous year, and the breed immediately became enormously popular, with a breeding age doe priced at an unheard of $25. Accounting for inflation that would be over $520 today!

“It peaked in popularity around 1950 and was in danger of being dropped as a breed not too long ago,” Jennifer Tiemann president of the Breeders of the American Rabbit National Specialty Club (BARNSC) says. “We are still a rare breed, but our numbers are climbing due to a dedicated group of breeders around the country. The more members we have the more we can do to promote the breed.”

Tiemann, owner of 3T's Rabbitry in southern Indiana, has been with the club for over eight years and has raised Americans for twelve years. Her son loves the blues, while her daughter fell in love with the white fur. Her daughter has one rabbit that will accept being scratched like a dog.

white american rabbit
Photo courtesy Callene Rapp

“Americans are very versatile not only for show but can produce meat for the freezer. But unlike some breeds they are much easier to handle, have amazing inquisitive personalities and love to be at the cage for scratches. We have found they tolerate heat and cold with ease and are wonderful first time moms where some breeds we have maybe will get it on their third strike.”

According to The Livestock Conservancy the American rabbit is not only unique but restricted to North America. After it’s fall in the 50s the American has become the rarest of rabbit breeds in America. It is currently listed as threatened by The Livestock Conservancy.