Brazilian Rabbit

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Brazilian Rabbit

To help understand the Brazilian rabbit, the breed details are divided in to the following categories:

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The Brazilian is a commercial meat rabbit and is not recognised by the BRC (British Rabbit Council) or the ARBA, (American Rabbit Breeders Association).

Brazilians are sometimes referred to as 'Zils'.

Breed Name
of Origin

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History of the Brazilian Rabbit

Brazilian rabbits are native to South America and common in the small market areas and suburban districts of Brazil. There are small pockets of breeders in the UK and a small population has grown in Arizona from their beginnings in 1980.

Although the breed is popular in the domestic pet trade the Brazilian is not yet recognised by the BRC or the ARBA.

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The Brazilian rabbit comes in many colours (see below) but mainly the varieties are:

  • Self
  • Broken
  • Californian

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Size, Weight, Shape & Ears

The Brazilian is classed as a medium sized rabbit.

The average weight can be anywhere from 7 to 10 lbs.

Brazilian rabbits have an interesting trait, the shape of the males, are round and stocky, and have a commercial shape while the females are mandolin-shaped with a semi-arch profile.

They have thick, well furred ears that they often carry open and canted forward.

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The Brazilian people’s love of bright, pastel colors is evident as the breed is fixed for dilution and for melanin (black) pigment but occurs in nearly all possible colors and coat pattern variations in the dilute black family –

  • blue is the most common,
  • along with opal,
  • blue chin,
  • blue frosted white,
  • blue steel,
  • smoked blue pearl,
  • tortoise-shell,
  • blue fawn

and all these in:

  • self,
  • broken
  • and Californian patterns.

A single litter often looks like a patchwork quilt. Other than in the Californian pattern they all have blue-grey to hazel colored eyes.

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Fur Type / Coat

Their fur is quite thick, with long course guard hairs. They have thick, fluffy underfur that either stays erect when ruffled or rolls back slowly. The male kits look like dandelion puffs!

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Average Life Span

The Brazilian rabbit lifespan can be anywhere from five to 10 years depending on the level of care they receive.


Brazilian rabbits are calm, gentle, intensely friendly and social, getting along with other domesticated pets like cats, dogs and guinea pigs etc. They are best kept in pairs or trios and seldom fight, even as adults. What they want most in life is to be piled in a heap with each other, you or any other warm body they can find. The bucks will even go in and brood the bunnies on cold nights and are also very attentive and protective of the babies.

Like all domestic rabbits, they are most active at sunset and at daybreak. They are timid, easily stressed and little physically fragile so they are not recommended as pets for very small children that would perhaps insist on picking them up.

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Originally bred for their meat in the poorer areas of Brazil.

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Breed Status

Brazilian rabbits are not common but neither are they endangered or a rare variety.

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Rabbit Care & Handling

Grooming: Brazilians require simple brushing at least once a week to remove loose and excess fur and prevent matting of the coat.

Diet: Like other rabbits, Brazilians are herbivorous. The main ingredient of their diet is hay, preferably Timothy grass hay, which is rich in the fibre and needed to prevent diarrhea, obesity, and hairballs. Commercial rabbit pellets also add nutrients to the daily diet. Fresh water should always be available, either from a sipper bottle or in a stable water bowl.

Housing: The Brazilian makes a great indoor rabbit and housing them inside protects them from any extreme temperatures, predators and other outdoor dangers. If indoors, the areas where they are free to explore should be “rabbit-proofed” for safety. They should also be allowed to roam and exercise, preferably where they can get sunlight and fresh air. Extension hutches, exercise pens or lawn enclosures are recommended for safe outdoor exposure.

Health: Brazilian rabbits can be susceptible to colds and viral infections. Exposure to draft, sudden changes in temperature and stress can lower the rabbit’s resistance to sickness. They are also vulnerable to conjunctivitis (a bacterial infection of the eyelids caused by smoke, dust, and fumes) and ear mites. Intestinal ailments like coccidiosis (parasites propagated by unsanitary conditions), bloat and hairball obstructions are also common.

Here is a list of resources to help you care for your rabbits…

  • The Ultimate New Rabbit Checklist - The best place to start if you are thinking about raising any breed of rabbit.
  • How to Raise Rabbits – information and resources on the subject of raising pet rabbits.
  • Breeding Rabbits – more about how to successfully breed rabbits for fun, showing, or profit.
  • Rabbit Supplies – find rabbit supplies and equipment at astounding value.
  • Rabbit Health – up to date information & resources for ensuring your rabbit is in the best health.
  • Rabbits Diet - Extensive info about hay, water, safe foods, treats, weight management & FAQs on diet.

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Breeders, Clubs & Organizations

Brazilian Rabbit Breeders – locate Brazilian breeders using the online rabbit breeders directory, search or submit your own rabbitry.

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