Rabbit: Details about the rabbit called the aristocrat of the fancy –
standards, photos and description; is the Tan the right rabbit for you?
History of the Tab Rabbit Breed
A black rabbit with a yellow belly first appeared in the UK in the county of Derbyshire in 1887. These were the offspring sports of wild European rabbits living in a local warren, mixed with common “hutch rabbits” and Dutch rabbits which were released into the warren.
the novelty of these uniquely marked rabbits with their jet black glossy coats,
many rabbit breeders sat up and took notice. They were soon accorded the status
of a new breed called the “Black and Tan.” Their first showing in local English
rabbit shows was 1888.
Selective breeding was implemented to address type and timidity. The Belgian Hare was utilized to add fiery pizzazz to the tan
coloration. As a result, the rabbit’s body type shifted toward that of the
Belgian hare. The genetics of Gray and Brown Silvers was also used. By the turn of 1900, breeders had improved the breed's personality (which is still a lively one!) and fixed the type of the breed as it is known around the world today.
bred in France by 1894, and reached the shores of the USA before 1908. They
were one of the very first breeds to be recognized by the forerunner of the
ARBA, the National Pet Stock Association.
A Tan (Black) won Best in Show in 2003, at
the 80th ARBA Convention in Wichita, Kansas.
Varieties of Tan Rabbits
Black Tans were the original variety
Blue Tans began appearing in nest boxes by 1900
Chocolate tans cropped up in 1920, either by injecting the
genetics of the Havana Chocolate rabbit, or, as the English breeder, Mr.
Childs, asserts, as the result of a natural mutation occurring within the
breeding stock. Breeders in Belgium also produced Chocolate Tans at this time.
With the presence of the chocolate gene, it was only a matter of time
before Lilac Tans were created, around 1927.
Description and Standards
Tan (black), with very glossy fur.
The Tan is a medium to small arched breed. Adult
bucks weigh up to 5.5 pounds; adult does up to 6 pounds.
They are the original "tan pattern"
rabbit. The fiery red belly fur and markings are specific to Tans and are
present in all varieties. See the ARBA Tan Standard of Perfection for exact
Interested in other rabbit breeds?
Are you trying to decide which breed is best for you?
Do you see a bunny available, but haven't heard of that kind before?
Are you curious about the different types of rabbits?
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