Florida White Rabbit - history, description, standards, photos of the Florida White breed. Is this dual use rabbit breed the right one for you?
Florida Whites were initially the brainchild of a rabbit judge named Mr. Orville Milikin. His intent was to create a half-pint meat rabbit with fine bone structure which would dress out with a favorable meat to bone ratio. At least one rationale was his observation of trends toward smaller families in the USA. Such a rabbit might be easier to keep for people in urban or suburban settings, who would be happy for meat in smaller “packages.”
At the same time, Mr. Milikin realized that laboratories housing 12-pound New Zealand White rabbits by the hundreds would be able to shift their needs to a smaller rabbit which could just as easily provide the laboratory’s needed answers.
Mr. Milikin began his successful breeding program in 1960, using REW Dutch, REW Polish, and a small, typey, New Zealand White rabbit. The Florida White gained ARBA acceptance in 1967.
But while the breed had gained acceptance, it was far from the commercial gem it is today.
Between the years of 1967 to 1999, the breed passed through the hands of several skilled rabbit breeders, each of which contributed to its refinement. The list reads like an abbreviated “Who’s Who” of ARBA lore: Fibber McGehee, Dale Allison, Oren Reynolds, Billy Dodge, Kat Stearns, Larry Petty, and Dr. Terry E. Reed.
Fibber McGehee was instrumental in the process. He continued to add some additional, excellent
quality REW Polish and another single NZW. He finally succeeded in fixing the compact commercial type in the
Bone size was heavier in the earlier days, but through the efforts of these excellent breeders, the smaller, finer bone was fixed in the type of the breed.
The Florida White Rabbit Breeders Association (FWRBA) was chartered by the ARBA in 1972.
White has been so perfected in type and condition that it tends to win more
than its fair share of shows, both locally and nationally. Florida Whites have
won Best In Show several times at ARBA national conventions in both open and youth, in 1977, 1993, and 1999.
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According to the FWRBA website today:
“The number 1 consideration in showing the Florida White is the body or type which carries 55 points, though the condition of the rabbit which would include firm flesh and fur carries 35 points (fur + color + condition) cannot be left out."
Florida Whites are fine-boned with a small commercial body type weighing 4-6 pounds.
They yield a high percentage of meat in comparison to bone, being among the top 5 breeds for dress-out percentage.
Its only variety is red-eyed-white - an albino rabbit with red eyes.