The Standard Chinchilla Rabbit is a medium sized rabbit with an average adult weight of about 3 kilograms. It has a medium length compact body, upright and erect ears which are close together, large eyes, and generally grey color of fur.
It is not to be confused with the Chinchilla Rodents found in the Andes Mountains and known for their dense and velvet-like fur. The Standard Chinchilla rabbit is named after, and bred to resemble, that chinchilla rodent particularly its dense grey fur which was in demand for fashion and clothing. It became a cheaper alternative to the chinchilla rodent’s fur. The chinchilla rabbit is also a good source of meat.
The Standard Chinchilla is popularly bred in 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 Standard Chinchillas are playful in nature and are sociable and most of the time gentle. However, under a new owner, a Standard Chinchilla rabbit is quite timid and can easily be frightened turning them aggressive. It needs a lot of caring and attention until the new owner gains its trust. As such, it is not advisable for beginners, particularly children.
Socialization is important for the Standard Chinchillas, the need to be taken out of the cage and let them have a walk outside to receive sunshine and fresh air. They love playing with almost anything, and common household things may be utilized to be their toys. Care should be taken not to let them access things you do not want to get chewed, as they love gnawing which is their way of preventing their teeth from overgrowing.
It can be trained to follow simple commands, perform tricks and be litter-trained. Standard Chinchillas are naturally active and very playful. For this reason, they require bigger space even when compared to that of the larger breeds.
Health and Care
Because of their dense fur, the Standard Chinchillas are prone to hairball problems. Hairball is the accumulation of fur in the stomach of rabbits, and other animals, resulting from their unintentionally swallowing fur that fall off when they groom themselves.
The best way to prevent formation of hairball is by including fresh pineapple chunks into their diet. There are components of pineapple, particularly its acidic nature, which helps loosen up hairs caught in the gut and subsequently have it go through the digestive tract.
If you do not feed your Standard Chinchillas (or any other rabbits for that matter) with hard food and you do not give them chewable toys – they will die! That is because they have a continuously growing teeth which, if not worn down by the food they eat or the toys they chew, would grow overgrown until they could not chew anymore.
Their diet includes variety of vegetables and commercial rabbit pellets. They should not be overfed to avoid obesity which would result in poor hygiene as fat bunnies would have a hard time grooming themselves which may result to attracting flies and parasites which are detrimental to their health.
History and Background of Standard Chinchilla Rabbit
The Standard Chinchilla rabbits, or simply Chinchilla rabbits at that time, was created by a certain M.J. Dybowski, a French engineer. It was first shown to public in April 1913 at Saint-Maur, France.
The new breed was a big hit particularly for the fashion industry as its thick, dense and velvet-like fur greatly resembled that of the Chinchilla rodents of South America which was a popular source of fur at that time.
When the Chinchilla rabbits were introduced in America, American breeders immediately worked to produce a bigger breed to be more suitable source of meat and fur. This gave birth to the American Chinchilla, one of the few rabbit breeds that originated in America. To have an even bigger chinchilla rabbit, selective b reeding were conducted and resulted in the development of the Giant Chinchilla.
Having different breeds of chinchilla rabbits, the original chinchilla rabbit was renamed Standard Chinchilla, the mother of all Chinchilla breeds. The chinchilla breeds differ in sizes: the Standard Chinchilla has an average weight of 3 kilograms; the American Chinchilla 4.8 kilograms; and the Giant Chinchilla 5.9 kilograms, but all share the distinctive fur color of the chinchilla rodent.