The Giant Chinchilla rabbit was bred in the USA from the Standard Chinchilla. Often called the 'Million Dollar rabbit', it is a very large meat and fur breed. Giant Chinchillas are becoming increasingly rare, but can be docile and gentle pets.
The Giant Chinchilla is an American breed developed in the early 1920s from the first Chinchilla rabbits imported from Europe in 1919. These 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. They 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 they matured much more quickly than other rabbit breeds. The Chinchilla arrived in the United States in 1919; one of the first to own them was a Mr. Stahl of Missouri, who wanted to breed a more profitable rabbit with a larger pelt and more meat. He developed the Giant Chinchilla by crossing over-size Chinchillas with Flemish Giants, to produce a large rabbit similar in type to the Flemish giant, but with the coat and rapid growth rate of the Chinchilla. The Giant Chinchilla was first shown in 1922, a rabbit known as the 'Million Dollar Princess'. The Giant Chinchilla is somtimes known as the Million Dollar rabbit, and was a very profitable commercial breed for many years. With the decline in the meat and fur trade, the Giant Chinchilla became relatively rare (it is now under watch by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy). Although it is mostly bred for showing these days, the Giant Chinchilla is still judged on its commercial value, with meat-producing qualities scored highly on the show table.
The Giant Chinchilla is a very large rabbit, weighing 5.5-7kg (12-16lbs).
The Giant Chinchilla has a substantial build, with a long body, broad straight back, rounded haunches and powerful legs. The head is wide with full cheeks and large erect ears.
The Giant 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.
Giant Chinchilla rabbits are generally docile, good natured and gentle. They are friendly and sociable rabbits, enjoy lots of attention and can be quite playful. Giant Chinchillas are usually good with children and other pets.