The Florida White is a breed of rabbit developed in the United States from a Dutch, a Polish and a small New Zealand. Originated by Orville Millken, an ARBA judge, the breed was accepted by ARBA in 1967. Since then, the breed was further developed by Fibber McGehee, a longtime ARBA member and judge. He won Best in Show at the 1999 ARBA Convention with one of his.
Developed primarily as lab rabbits and to provide meat for smaller families, they have proven to be a wonderful pet and show prospect as well.
The Florida White matures at about 5 or 6 pounds. While they are not for everyone due to their limited color selection (only white) and their red eyes, they do make very nice pets as well as excellent show animals and they produce a good meat to bone ratio for anyone looking to raise small meat rabbits for their families.
They make excellent 4H projects for kids because they are small enough to be handled easily without the temperamental issues that some dwarf rabbits can have. They are good mothers, breed easily and are good choices if you don't have a lot of room to keep rabbits.
When you go to choose yours, look for rabbits with a short, well-coupled body with a nice roundness to the back. The hindquarters should be well-muscled. Look at the height of the body at the peak of the arch in the back and compare it to the width from hip to hip. Ideally they should be as equal as possible. When developing this breed, this depth of loin was a very important component.
As a meat rabbit, the Florida White is fine boned yet has large muscles. This creates an excellent meat to bone ratio so you end up with more meat per pound than bone. One rabbit this size could easily feed two adults. For anyone interested in self-sufficiency, this is a nice breed to consider.
For those interested in showing, take a look at the ARBA membership site to find breeders. While you can get some wonderful pets from rescue organizations, most are merely guessing what breed they are. If you truly want them, get them from a breeder. If you aren't concerned so much with what kind of rabbit you are getting and just want a nice pet, rescue organizations are perfect.
While the White is still a relatively new breed compared to some, they have grown in popularity, especially with 4H and show people. This breed offers a lot to like, including a nice, docile temperament, a fast growth rate, a beautiful coat and healthy meat.
While some people still won't like anything with red eyes, the Florida White may just be the perfect breed to change their minds. This chunky little rabbit has won the hearts of many across the country so far, and will continue to do so well into the future.
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