Brazil is an amazing place that lights the imagination with possibilities. While many dream of exploring the rainforests of Brazil, have you ever considered owning a rare rabbit from this amazing country? The Brazilian rabbit is a rarity if you’re outside of Brazil but these hardy, adaptable, and docile rabbits can easily make amazing pets. If you get the chance to add one of these cuties to your family, don’t hesitate!
Argent Blue, Baladi, English Spot
All Experience Levels
Friendly, adaptable, and docile
The Brazilian rabbit, also known as the Rustico, is believed to be a descendant of rabbits kept by Portuguese sailors. Once they arrived in Brazil, these amazing rabbits formed a population of their own with distinct traits. Unfortunately, these cuddly rabbits aren’t common in the United States. They aren’t even recognized by most organizations as a breed. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take advantage of making one of these rabbits a pet if you get the chance. Continue reading below to learn more about these amazing creatures.
Brazilian Rabbit Breed Characteristics
How Much Do These Rabbits Cost?
While easy to find in Brazil, in America, Brazilian rabbits are considered quite rare. In Brazil, you can easily get one of these rabbits for an extremely low cost. In America, however, that’s a different story. You’ll only find a handful of Brazilian rabbit breeders in the US. The majority of these rabbits in North America are descendants of those imported to Arizona in the 1980s. This means, if you want a Brazilian rabbit in the USA you’ll most likely pay $100 or more.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Brazilian Rabbit
Do These Rabbits Make Good Pets? 👪
In their homeland of Brazil, these rabbits are often used as meat rabbits. That doesn’t mean they don’t make excellent pets, however. With the docile nature and easy adaptability of Brazilian rabbits, they can easily be socialized. They get along well with people, can be taught tricks, and can even be trained to come when you call. The only issue you may face is when it comes to the habitat for these rabbits. In their Brazilian homes, these rabbits run free range. Keeping them in a hutch all day may be an issue so it’s recommended to allow them time outside with supervision.
Does This Rabbit Get Along With Other Pets?
Brazilian rabbits do well when properly introduced to other pets, including other breeds of rabbits. However, many homes have other animals as part of the family. When it comes to dogs and cats, you may have issues. Dogs can be the easier animal to socialize with rabbits. If your dog doesn’t have a strong prey drive, it may even make friends with the rabbit. Cats are a different story. Cats naturally hunt small mammals. While Brazilian rabbits are slightly bigger than the prey most cats hunt, there can still be issues. If you have a cat in the same home as a rabbit, you should carefully monitor the situation at all times.
Things to Know When Owning a Brazilian Rabbit:
Food & Diet Requirements 🥕
Like most rabbits, Brazilian rabbits that live free eat mostly weeds and grass. In captivity, however, these rabbits will live on a diet that consists mostly of hay, pellets, and vegetables. This hay should be high-quality grass hay. You should avoid alfalfa. Hay should always be made available to rabbits. Their diet can also include up to ¼ cup of pellets and up to 2 cups of fresh veggies daily. Vegetables that are great additions to a rabbit’s diet include cucumbers, lettuce, zucchini, and bell peppers.
Habitat & Hutch Requirements 🏠
Brazilian rabbits need room to move around in their hutch. Hopping, stretching, and standing are part of their daily activities. Most who raise these types of rabbits recommend cages or hutches that are at least 6 x 2 x 2 feet in size. Inside the habitat, your rabbit should have access to food, fresh water, and a litter tray. You’ll also want to ensure your pet has a hide box. These boxes are enclosed and filled with clean bedding.
Brazilian rabbits can be kept outside. To raise your rabbits free-range you’ll need a rabbit-proof fenced-in yard. Being free-range doesn’t mean your rabbit won’t need protection from the elements. You’ll still need to provide your rabbit with a hutch for sleep and shelter. When nightfall comes, locking your rabbits inside the hutch is the best way to keep them safe from predators. The hutch will need to be insulated and kept between 55–80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Exercise & Sleeping Needs 🐇
Brazilian rabbits love to explore and play. If kept in a hutch, they need plenty of room to experience this. They’ll also need lots of access to toys to keep their minds stimulated. When outside of the hutch, grant your rabbit plenty of space and attention. This will help them socialize and become amazing pets.
At night, your rabbit needs to be in a hide box. In the wild, rabbits will search until they find a safe place to hide away during the night. Your pet rabbit is no different. It will feel safer and get better rest. Keep in mind, however, that an outdoor hide box and hutch must be insulated to keep your rabbit protected from cold weather.
Training a rabbit needs to be consistent and full of healthy treats. Unlike other pets, rabbits don’t understand punishment and wrongdoing. Instead, use positive reinforcement and treats your rabbit will enjoy. By doing this you can train your Brazilian rabbit to use the litter box, come when called, and how to enter and exit their hutch. You may even find that your rabbit learns a few other tricks to show off just how well they do with training.
If you’re new to rabbits, it’s important to know they aren’t fans of being in the water. Brazilian rabbits feel the same way. Instead of bathing your rabbit, use a warm, wet washcloth and spot clean dirty areas. You can even use cornstarch to provide a dry bath. While Brazilian rabbits don’t need a lot when it comes to their short fur, you will need to keep their nails trimmed.
Lifespan and Health Conditions 🏥
Brazilian rabbits are a rare breed so not much is known about the health of these animals. What we do know is that they are considered hardy and adaptable animals. Knowing this, it’s possible Brazilian rabbits could live upward of 12 years when well cared for. While they aren’t known for breed-specific illnesses, they can experience illnesses that are common in all rabbit species.
Male vs Female
Many of the differences between male and female Brazilian rabbits are visual. Males are larger with thick bodies. These are known as commercial bodies since males are mostly used for meat production. The females have a slim body type that is arched or semi-arched. Females also suffer from unique health issues. Unspayed females can contract uterine tumors. This is why it’s preferred to have females spayed unless they are being used for breeding.
3 Little-Known Facts About Brazilian Rabbits
1. Brazilian Rabbits Have a Double Coat
Even though Brazil is one of the warmest countries, the rabbits that hail from there have a warm, double coat. The plush, downy undercoat is protected by long, wiry guard hairs.
2. These Rabbits Have Cousins!
Yes, Brazilian rabbits have native cousins. One is the domestic Brazilian rabbit. These rabbits are believed to be descendants of rabbits that were taken to Brazil by European sailors. There’s also the Brazilian Cottontail which is a wild rabbit species.
3. Brazilian Rabbits Feed the Hungry
In Brazil, Brazilian rabbits are a source of food for impoverished families. It’s easy for these families to raise rabbits due to what the animals eat. Husks, weeds, and foods people don’t eat are the main sources of the rabbit’s diet. This helps avoid competition for food.
While Brazilian rabbits may be a common sight in Brazil, they are just now making a mark in other parts of the world. These rabbits are docile, friendly, and can easily adapt to most situations. If you want a rabbit that will enjoy your company and can be trained easily, this could be the perfect choice for you. If by chance you find one of these rare rabbits, don’t hesitate to make it a new member of the family.
- Related Read: Volcano Rabbit
Featured Image Credit: Ilan Ejzykowicz, Shutterstock