The Giant Chinchilla Rabbit is a very large size rabbit with an average adult weight of about 6.5 kilograms, with the does (female rabbits) slightly bigger than the bucks (male rabbits). It was developed from the original Chinchilla rabbit, now called Standard Chinchilla rabbit, by cross breeding with numerous large breed rabbits until an ideal weight was achieved. It has a long body, wide straight back, upright and erect ears, large eyes, and generally grey color of fur.
The Giant Chinchilla appears more like a gray-colored Flemish Giant, but the fur color of the chinchilla rodent and the other chinchilla rabbits remained as its main feature. Unlike the other chinchilla breeds, it has flyback fur.
Like the other chinchilla rabbits, the Giant Chinchilla was developed primarily for its pelt and meat. In shows, it is judged mostly on its meat-producing qualities than its appearance.
The Standard Chinchilla is one of the few rabbit breeds which originated from the United States of America and are not found in the wild. The average lifespan is seven to nine years depending on the care and diet.
Personality and Temperament
The Giant Chinchilla rabbit is generally very gentle. This is the reason why it is also known as a good pet, despite its original intent to be a fur and meat source. Compared to most rabbits, it produces large litters which it takes care of excellently.
It is playful and can get along well with children and other pets specially if kept since tender age. And like most rabbits, they love chewing things up which they do instinctively to keep their ever growing teeth in check. So do not let things you do not want to get chewed within the reach of this huge rabbit.
Health and Care
Although a very large rabbit, care should still be taken when holding or picking up a Giant Chinchilla as it could be frightened and may injure itself while struggling. Worse, it may even hurt you as it has very strong hind legs that can inflict serious injury.
The proper way of picking up a Giant Chinchilla rabbit , much like the way you would a puppy or kitten, is to grab gently but firmly the skin at the back of its neck with one hand and support the rest of the body with the other.
Being a very large breed, it is expected that they produce large amount of urine and feces that needs to be cleaned regularly. A large cage is also necessary to allow it to move about and have play and exercise.
It feeds on rabbit pellets and requires some good quality hay and fresh vegetables for supplement. Plenty of water must always be accessible to ensure its good health. Water for bathing is not necessary as rabbits do not like bathing anyway.
The Giant Chinchilla is best kept with another Giant Chinchilla for companionship. The problem is that they are territorial and will fight if kept with one of the same sex, and will breed if kept with an opposite sex. To avoid fighting and breeding (if the owner is not ready for it), it is possible to keep together two desexed males or a desexed male and a female.
History and Background of Giant Chinchilla Rabbit
The first Giant Chinchilla was first shown in 1922 by Mr. Stahl in Missouri, it is a doe and named “Million Dollar Princess” owing to its large built which was a big potential source of pelt and meat. But with the drop in the demand for fur in the 1940s, and even with its being a good source of meat, there are now fewer breeders of Giant Chinchilla which makes it classified as relatively rare.
From the time it was first shown to public, there have been lots of changes with the Giant Chinchilla. What we have now is an even bigger rabbit than what was originally raised by Mr. Stahl.
The Giant Chinchilla was developed by cross breeding the standard chinchilla with large breeds of rabbits until the ideal size and color was achieved. It came out even larger than the Heavyweight Chinchilla (later renamed American Chinchilla) though it did not retain complete resemblance with the Standard Chinchilla, it being a cross breed with other breeds, unlike the Heavyweight.