To help understand the Hulstlander, the breed details are divided in to the following categories:
This beautiful BEW (blue eyed white) breed is recognised by the BRC (British Rabbit Council) but not the ARBA, (American Rabbit Breeders Association).
The Hulstlander rabbit is sometimes referred to as the 'Hussie'.
Type & Conformation....20
Presentation & Condition....5
The Hulstlander rabbit owes its name to the district of Hulstlander in the Province of Overijssel, Netherlands, where their creator, Mr. de Graaf lived.
With an interest in the inheritance of certain characteristics of the blue eyed Vienna rabbit, in 1977 he started by cross-breeding a blue eyed white Netherland Dwarf, (known as 'Pools' in Holland) with a small white Vienna.
Failing to breed any kits on his first attempt using the blue eyed white Netherland Dwarfs, Mr. de Graaf tried mating a larger German ruby eyed white Netherland Dwarf, (known as Hermelin in Germany) with a small White Vienna.
He chose the German variety of ruby eyed Netherland Dwarf because not only were they bigger than the blue eyed whites but the German variety of Netherland dwarfs were also a little bigger still.
He was successful with this attempt, producing kits in a variety of colours. But to get the blue eyed rabbits he was looking for he then mated the youngsters to each other and then to the blue eyed white Dwarfs from the Netherlands.
Of course this gave him two different strains to continue working with, the blue eyed and the ruby eyed. He noticed that the blue eyed strain had some very desirable features unlike any other breed of rabbit and began working intensively to set these characteristics on his new breed, and named it the Hulstlander.
In 1984, Mr. de Graaf’s Hulstlander rabbit was accepted to by the Dutch National Rabbit Organization.
It then went on to be accepted by the BRC in 2002 and went in to the Rare Breeds category.
There is only one variety of Hulstlander rabbit and that is the Blue eyed white or BEW.
The Hulstlander is a small to medium sized rabbit. (Ring size D)
For showing purposes the ideal weight of a Hulstlander rabbit is between 5.29 lbs (2.4 kgs) and 5.95 lbs (2.7 kgs). A full 10 of the allocated points are given for rabbits within this weight.
Rabbits over 6lbs are given 9 points as are rabbits weighing under 5lbs. Rabbits weighing less than 4.4 lbs (2.0 kgs) are only awarded 8 points of the maximum 10.
The body should be short, compact, with well-developed front and hindquarters. The front legs should be short and sturdy. The body should be well covered with firm muscles.
The head is strongly formed, short and broad. The eyes are clear, bright and lively.
They have large, thick ears that are held wide apart in an upright ‘v’ shape and should be well
covered with fur with well-rounded tips. Ear length is 8 to 10cm (3 to 4 inches), ideally 9cm (3.5 inches).
The coat is pure white, free from any trace of ivory or yellow from head to toe. Unusually for a pure white rabbit, the eyes are an arresting blue colour, rather than pink. The nails are colourless.
When showing Hulstlanders any slight variations from the correct type including fur being slightly too long, too thin, coarse, harsh, woolly or having a slight yellowish tinge are classed as faults in the breed but are quite common to most.
The coat is a medium length, very dense, lustrous white with a thick undercoat and short guard hairs that seem to give the coat a sparkling sheen.
The coat surface should be smooth and glossy, free from moult or matting and without excessively protruding guard hairs.
Hulstlander rabbits get a mixed press when discussing their general personality traits, and of course you can't really generalize, as all rabbits have their own individual characters anyway. But Hulstlanders have been described in a positive way by most, especially those that breed them or spend a lot of time in their company.
They have also been described as playful and a little bit cheeky. They are naturally very inquisitive, intelligent and loving - they love attention and adore their heads being stroked. Hulstlanders are funny to watch too. They have an adorable habit of wanting to stand up on their hind legs a lot, a bit like a Meerkat checking out territory. But they do have a tendency to topple over, so they sometimes prop themselves up in a corner to gain leverage, very funny!
Providing they are handled from a young age (even by children) Hulstlanders are placid but confident, quick learners so they make a great indoor rabbit being friendly and outgoing around their owners and other known family members.
However, they are eager explorers and will enjoy time outdoors in a run or a secure area of garden everyday so they must be given access to the outside.
Some can be territorial and aggressive of course, but as with any rabbit, there is always a reason. This could be any number of factors including; not being handled enough or correctly, being left alone with no companionship, being ready to mate and nest preparing, or suffering illness or injury of some kind.
Hulstlanders were created for their distinctive beautiful blue eyes and pure white coats and were purely for show rabbit purpose.
The Hulstlander has been classed as a rare breed in the UK and has been categorized as such in the breeds directory, however there are a few notable breeders in the UK and Europe that have fallen in love with the breed and they are currently gaining in popularity.
As well as enjoying the nooks and crannies of indoor life, the Hulstlander is a very inquisitive explorer and loves time spent outside. Of course this means getting dirty bits!
The Hulstlander rabbit exhibitor must perfect the art of keeping their show rabbits clean so that they can be presented to the judge in immaculate snowy white condition.
There are numerous ways of cleaning the white feet of the Hulstlander rabbit, and every exhibitor has their own secret method. Of course the easiest way is to prevent them getting dirty in the first place. This can be easier said than done, but the novice exhibitor must adapt their maintenance regime to achieve this standard of cleanliness in their exhibition stock.
Because it is mostly only bucks that are shown as adults (bucks are generally cleaner than does), with a little ingenuity and some extra work the show buck can be kept clean. Show bucks should be kept on wood shavings to prevent them getting sore hocks, therefore it is imperative that a regular supply of ‘white’ shavings that do not contain colouring or dye is provided.
If the hutch is thoroughly cleaned out on a regular basis, say once a week, then all that is required to prevent those white feet getting stained is to add a thin layer of fresh shavings each day and to remove the toilet corner every two or three days.
Here is a list of resources to help you care for your rabbits…
Hulstlander Rabbit Breeders – locate Hustlander breeders using the online rabbit breeders directory, search or submit your own rabbitry.
Nederlandse Konijnenfokkers Bond - Dutch National Rabbit Organization.
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