Can Different Breeds Of Rabbits Mate? Crossbreeding Info – Rabbit Pros

Can Different Breeds Of Rabbits Mate? Crossbreeding Info

Many bunny lovers keep more than one pet rabbit and it’s common among my rabbit friends to wonder if different breeds of rabbits can successfully mate and produce healthy bunnies.

Pet rabbits of different breeds can mate as long as they are of similar enough size to be able to successfully complete the act of mating. Bunnies born to different breeds of parents are called mixed breeds or crossbreeds and they are quite common and popular as pets.

However, before you decide to breed your pet rabbits, let’s talk about why you might want to crossbreed rabbits and then look at the dangers of crossbreeding rabbits.

Why Would You Crossbreed Rabbits?

Rabbit breeders (those who raise rabbits to sell) and pet owners usually have different reasons for crossbreeding rabbits. Let’s start with rabbit breeders.

Rabbit Breeders Will Crossbreed Rabbits For Two Primary Reasons:

  1. To create a new breed of rabbits.
  2. To improve certain characteristics of an existing rabbit breed.

A breed of rabbits is simple a linage of bunnies that share certain recognized traits from generation to generation. Once established, breeders can petition one or more of the rabbit associations to recognize their breed of rabbit.

In America, the primary organization is the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA).

Nearly all of the 50 breeds recognized by the ARBA were created by crossbreeding. Some breeds were recognized over 100 years ago, and others have been recognized as distinctive breeds within the last decade.

Examples Of New Rabbit Breeds That Originated As Mixed Breeds

New BreedOriginal BreedOriginal BreedOriginal Breed
Holland LopNetherland DwarfFrench LopEnglish Lop
CalifornianNew Zealand WhiteHimalayanChinchilla
Jersey WoolyNetherland DwarfFrench Angora
ThriantaHavanaEnglish SpotTan
TeddywidderFrench AngoraLionheadDwarf Lop
Silver MartenTanChinchilla
Table of Common Rabbit Breeds That Began As Cross Breeds

While all of the above breeds have been around for decades, modern-day breeders are still crossbreeding rabbits to create new breeds.

For example, the Perlfee is a beautiful bunny that looks much like a Siberian Squirrel, and while it’s been a rare breed in Europe for decades, now US breeders are creating an American Perfee Rabbit. { Click Here to learn more about the Perlfee Rabbit. >>> }

Why Pet Rabbits Are Crossbred

When pet owners crossbreed rabbits, it’s usually done just because they love their bunnies and want babies around. Or it’s a mistake. These mixed breed bunnies are not as desirable as purebred rabbits, but they still make great pets.

When I did a survey of my rabbit friends asking how much they actually paid for their bunnies, I found that the majority of pet rabbits are crossbreed. I also learned that crossbreed bunnies are significantly less expensive than purebred bunnies.

If you’d like to learn more about the price of various breeds of pet rabbits, check out my pet rabbit price article.

Danger Of Crossbreeding Pet Rabbits

The primary danger of crossbreeding rabbits is to the health of the mother. If the male rabbit is significantly larger than the female, the babies may be too large for the doe to be able to successfully birth. This can lead to baby mortality and put the life of the mother at risk.

As long as the rabbits are of similar size, there are really no additional dangers to crossbreeding pet bunnies. Note that I said ‘additional’ dangers.

Even the healthiest pregnancy and birth have inherent dangers to both the baby(s) and the mother. This is true for all species, including rabbits.

Should You Breed Your Pet Rabbits?

I’m not a fan of pet owners breeding their pet rabbits, regardless of the breeds of those rabbits.

There are a number of reasons you should be vary cautious about breeding your pet buns.

First, to breed your bunnies they need to be intact (not fixed). There are lots of advantages to having your pet bunny spayed or neutered, and keeping them intact hoping for bunnies someday means forgoing those benefits.

Next, you need to remember that rabbits breed like rabbits. If you have an unfixed male and female rabbit in the same area, you will have unexpected bunnies, and maybe lots of them.

Finally, mixed breed rabbits are not in high demand. You’ll likely be giving them away, and will not recoup the cost of raising the babes. In our pet rabbit price survey, we found that many people got their crossbred bunnies for free or for just $5 or $10.

Besides, if you have friends looking for inexpensive or free bunnies, there are tons of rabbits out there looking to be rehomed from pet owners who can’t keep them any more.

~Stacey

Stacey

My name is Stacey Davis, and I and my family had rabbits for decades. Here on RabbitPros.com we share our love of rabbits, our experience, and lots of research to help you enjoy your pet bunny even more and as stress-free as possible.

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