Havana rabbit breed: All info and facts

Last Updated on May 23, 2024 by Admin

The Havana rabbit also known as the Fire-eyes of Ingen, the American, or the standard Havana, is a popular breed in the USA. This article discusses their history, appearance, temperament, lifespan, and health. It also covers the rabbit’s reproduction and life cycle, diet, care, housing, cost, and whether Havana bunnies make great pets.

History

Contrary to the breed’s name, Havana rabbits are originally from Holland, in the Netherlands, and not Cuba. The breed was developed in the late 1898 by a Dutch farmer in a small village called Ingen, near Utrecht.

Mr. Honders, the farmer, used an ordinary black and white Dutch rabbit breed to mate with his buck. As a result, a variety of kittens were born in the process. They included some in white, broken markings, and dark reddish chocolate. He then bred the brown offspring with a Himalayan breed to produce the standard dark brown coat of the Havana rabbit. The breed’s name is derived from the resemblance of the color of Cuban cigars from  Havana City.

The breed gained popularity and was introduced to other parts of Europe between 1900 -1910s, specifically in the United Kingdom in 1908 and the United States in 1916, to mention a few. The Havana rabbit was initially bred for its pelt and, as a result, gained popularity to the extent of establishing the Havana Rabbit Breeders Association in England in 1916. The breed was later on also recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association.

 

Size and physique

Havana rabbits weigh between 4.5 to 6.5 pounds or 2 to 2.9 kgs on average, making them small to medium-sized breeds. In terms of physique, these rabbits have compact bodies, a short neck, and erect ears.

By Mjm91 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17966053

Fur and color

Havana rabbit breeds have short flyback fur (falls back to its original position when combed or brushed the wrong way). They have four officially recognized coat colors namely: chocolate with brown eyes, which is the standard accepted by ARBA in 1916, blue with bluish-grey eyes approved in 1965, black with brown eyes (accepted in 1980) and broken with eye color that varies (was approved in 2008).

 

Temperament

In terms of behavior, Havana rabbits are generally gentle and friendly breeds. They’re also intelligent and quite curious animals that easily get along with people. Over the years, breeders used docile or laid-back pairs to breed offspring that were easy to handle.

 

Lifespan/ Health

The average lifespan of Havana rabbits is 5 to 8 years, nonetheless, the breed can live even longer if they’re properly taken care of. In other words, a balanced diet, annual if not regular medical checkups, and providing your bunnies with mental and physical stimulation will lead to healthy longevity. Just like any other rabbit breed, Havana’s in the course of their lifespan has health issues. Some of the common problems are dental diseases and ear mites that’s why regular veterinary checkups are always recommended.

 

Reproduction and Life Cycle

Havana rabbits reach sexual maturity at 3.5 to 4 months of age and usually have a gestation period of 31 to 32 days. These bunnies are prolific breeders and can have 6 to 8 kits on average and their weaning normally takes around 6 weeks.

 

Diet

A healthy diet plays a pivotal in the longevity of Havana rabbits. A balanced diet consisting of 85% hay,10% greens, and the remaining 5% combined should comprise fruits and pellets. Also, ensure that your bunnies have 24/7 access to fresh drinking water.

1 to 14-day-old kittens should only feed on their mother’s milk and only when they’re around 3 weeks old should you start giving them solid food. This should be specifically  Alfalfa hay and pellets which contain the proper nutrients that contribute to your baby rabbit’s full development. By around 6 weeks the kits completely wean off the doe’s milk. By 12 weeks, your kit’s digestive tract is fully developed allowing them to ingest other types of hay, vegetables, and fruits as treats.

 

Care

Regarding general care, Havana rabbits need their coats to be brushed weekly during regular seasons and semi-weekly during the shedding season. Avoid washing their fur as it may lead to your Havana having hypothermia. If their coat is dirty, use a damp cloth to clean it. The other thing you should consider doing is trimming their nails every two months to keep them tidy.

The other thing you need to consider is to ensure that your bunny is mentally and physically stimulated. This entails providing them with a secure play area,  at least 10 x 4 x 4 feet where they can play for a minimum of three hours each day. In addition, providing them with chew toys, tunnels, and digging boxes is also a great idea to keep them active and mentally stimulated.

Housing

Havana’s need a cage that’s at least four times their size, however, the bigger the better. An ideal Havana rabbit housing should measure 4 ft. x 2 ft. x 2 ft. As for the enclosure flooring, we recommend solid flooring to prevent your rabbit from developing sore hocks. Lastly, a 10 x 4 x 4 feet secure play area such as a playpen is recommended close to their cage or hutch.

 

What’s the average cost of Havana rabbits?

The cost of Havana rabbits may vary depending on various factors such as the breed’s age, size, pedigree, and color. Nonetheless, their average cost is $20-$50, however, if the breed standard is show quality then they can cost up to $100. Other costs include their housing which ranges between $70 to $200, monthly food expenditure is $50 to $80, and bedding and grooming kits are around $200 collectively.

 

Do Havana bunnies make good pets?

Yes, since Havana’s are a friendly breed, they make great pets not just for first-time owners, but large families with kids. However, it’s always advisable to supervise your kids’ interaction when handling the rabbit. This is considering that bunnies have fragile bone structures. Havana’s are also easier to take care of given that they have short fur. Finally, if you intend to adopt this particular rabbit indoors, rabbit-proof your house. For outdoor living space, make sure it’s both escape and predator-proof.


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