- Average weight: 2.0 kg to 2.9 kg (4.5 to 6.5 lbs.)
- Size: Medium
- Lifespan: 5 - 8 years or 7 - 10 years if cared for properly.
- Best for: Singles, families with kids but not very small ones, first-time pet owners
- Body type: Compact
- Country of origin: Holland
History of Havana rabbit
The Havana rabbit originated from Holland (Netherland) where it first appeared in 1898 and not Cuba as the name might suggest. It has deep colors resembling the Cuban cigars originating from Havana, i.e., chocolate colored. Several other breeds including the Fee de Marbourg, Gris Perle de Hal, and Perlefee, owe Havana their ancestry.
According to pets4homes.co.uk, “a brown kit with a wonderfully lustrous coat was born in a litter of Dutch rabbits in Holland in the 1880s and immediately became popular because of their rich, dense fur.”
The American Rabbit Breeder’s Association (ARBA) accepted it shortly after 1916 when it was introduced, and since then the blue, black and broken colored Havana Rabbits have also been recognized.
Appearance, body type, coat, and colors
The Havana rabbit is compact with a short round body. Its top line will form a semi-circle that goes down to the tail. This bunny has short legs and nails that are dark colored.
Their ears are firm, erect (straight), close to each other and proportional to its body. The head is supposed to be broad, with fuller cheeks, a short neck, and medium eye sizes.
If you look at these rabbits from above, their rear end is supposed to taper, and they should be slightly narrower towards their shoulders. However, the neck should not look pinched or narrower.
The Havana is a medium size bunny weighing 2.0 kg to 2.9 kg with a lifespan of between 5 to 8 years
Its coat is low maintenance, lustrous and soft with flyback soft fur that makes these bunnies to be known as the mink of the rabbit family.
This fur should be the same length throughout the body and it should be groomed once a week for indoor rabbits and twice when they shed it, often during spring with a slicker brush.
Chocolate, black, blue and broken colors are the colors that ARBA has recognized so far.
Caring for your Havana bunnies
Their diets should contain not less than 80% hay. There are many good quality brands such as Small Pet Select 2nd Cutting "Perfect Blend" Timothy Hay Pet Food, Standlee Premium Western Forage Timothy Grass, Vitakraft Timothy Hay, Premium Sweet Grass Hay among others.
Keep pellets low, about 5% while the remainder can be a balanced diet of rabbit-friendly vegetables, fruits, greens, flowers and so on. Fruits and non-leafy vegetables are only given as treats.
Note that some fruits, vegetables, and greens may have little nutritive value or harmful. Overfeeding may cause your rabbit to be obese. Also, limit the number of fruits and vegetables.
Their enclosures should be spacious and of the recommended size. Outdoor ones should be raised and can be made using wood and wire to make them predator-proof and weatherproof and, on a shade. A sleeping area can have straws and shaving will ensure your bunny is comfortable.
Ensure you clean the cages regularly. All droppings should be removed daily, any dirty areas spot-cleaned while these hutches must be thoroughly cleaned once in a week, changing your bunny’ bedding.
Irrespective of whether your rabbits are indoors or outdoors, the Havana rabbits need a lot of time out of their cages to sunbathe and stretch their legs as they walk around.
They do not require specialized healthcare besides the normal ones that any rabbit needs to be happy and have good health. Ensure they are vaccinated against infectious diseases such as myxomatosis as well as against viral hemorrhagic disease if your country requires you to do so.
Check if your Havanas have overgrown teeth especially if they don’t feed in much hay and roughages.
Another possible health problem is flystrike, which is as a result of flies laying eggs on soiled, feces clumped dirty body areas such as their bottoms, especially if you have outdoor bunnies. Once the eggs hatch, their maggots feed on your rabbits.
Neutering for bucks can be done after three and a half months while spaying of does can be done when they are aged 4-6months. This may increase their longevity and make them less aggressive, something they are not usually.
Always keep an eye on your bunny to ensure it is normal. Any changes in eating, littering and behavior may indicate something is wrong including it being sick.
Temperament and behavior
The Havanas make great show rabbits as well as pets, and they prefer to roam indoors or outside in a secured area. They have a calm, relaxed and friendly personality. Although they are not very energetic, they can run and do some little hopping while indoors or outdoors.
Give them time to get used to other pets and human beings as this will ensure they do not get stressed or scared.
Also, they often feel vulnerable if not correctly handled or picked up. When stressed, they can scratch or kick the handler causing injuries to themselves or the person.
Seniors looking for an energetic pet may find it not so much fun. However, this bunny will be an excellent pet for families including those with children. Some of them will enjoy you stroking their back backward, fondling their ears or head.
Toilet paper rolls, tubes, soft pieces of safe wood, purchased toys will be ideal to keep them company.
Finally, unlike cats and dogs that are easily trainable, these pets require time and patience to be able to use their litter boxes. Litter boxes should be placed around areas where they spend most of their time.
Finally, consider buying two since they like each other’s company than being alone.
Havana rabbits for sale and prices
These bunnies will cost you around $20 - $50+ depending on if they are purebred, pedigreed or show quality.
To get them, look for ARBA approved breeders, rescue centers, and rabbitries. Searching them online will make it easier for you to get them fast.
List of references