The American Chinchilla was bred in the USA from the Standard Chinchilla. A large meat and fur breed, it is now very rare.
The American Chinchilla is an American breed developed in the early 1920s from the first Chinchilla rabbits imported from Europe in 1919. These Chinchilla rabbits originated in France in the early 1900s, and were named for the similarity of their fur to the South American rodent, the Chinchilla. The Chinchilla rabbit was developed using Himalayans, Beverens and wild-coloured agouti rabbits, and first shown in France in 1913. Chinchilla rabbits quickly became a very successful commercial breed throughout Europe, not just for the similarity of their fur to the pelt of a Chinchilla, but also because their coat matured much more quickly than other rabbit breeds. The Chinchilla arrived in the United States in 1919 and quickly became a popular commercial breed. Several breeders began to selectively breed the Chinchilla to increase their size, with the aim of producing a more profitable rabbit with a larger pelt and more meat. These large Chinchillas were known initially as the Heavyweight Chinchilla, but in 1924 they were recognised by the American Rabbit Breeders Association as a seperate, larger breed and named the American Chinchilla, with the original, smaller breed differentiated as the Standard Chinchilla. The American Chinchilla is essentially similar to the Standard Chinchilla in all but size, unlike the Giant Chinchilla which more resembles the Flemish Giant. The American Chinchilla is virtually unknown outside the USA and, with the decline of the meat and fur trade, has become very rare (listed as critical by the American Livestock Breeds Consevancy).
The American Chinchilla is a large rabbit, weighing 4-5.5kg (9-12lbs).
The American Chinchilla has a medium build, with a compact body, short neck and fairly broad head with short, erect ears.
The American Chinchilla has a very soft, silky coat of dense, medium length hair. Chinchillas have agouti colouring, where the hairs have different colour bands along their length. The undercolour (next to the skin) is dark slate blue, the middle colour band is pearl and the tips of the hair grey. Black 'ticking' (guard hairs) are unevely distributed over most of the body. The belly, neck, flanks and eye-cirles have pale, pearl ticking and the ears are laced with black.
Chinchilla (slate blue/pearl/black Agouti pattern)
Chinchilla colouring is also found in a number of other breeds.
American Chinchilla rabbits are docile, good natured and very gentle.