One of our favorite breeds are the American Blue rabbits, an endangered rabbit in "critical" status with the ARBA. AZ Rabbits is currently the largest American Blue breeders in the state of Arizona. All our American Blues have pedigrees and are from the best lines available. They are a great rabbit that we are passionate about and hope they will continue to make their comeback to the backyard rabbitries. They are great meat producers and have beautiful pelts. Only foundation stock quality American Blues will be sold, regardless of purpose, to help preserve and improve the quality of this breed. We are continuously working on fine tuning this "critical" breed so that future generations can enjoy these beautiful rabbits of our ancestors.
The American Blue rabbit orginally comes from Pasadena, California, developed and introduced by Lewis H. Salisbury in 1917. Like many American people, the American breed rabbit is a combination of immigrants welded together by blood to become a distinctly different and American creation. At least three different breeds of rabbit were used. The American White variety was introduced in 1925.
But, we can see the heritage of this rabbit when we look at it: we see the Flemish, the Vienna, and the Imperial in the mandolin shaped American. This unique shape is shared in the U.S. by the Flemish Giant and the Beveren. Before the European War (WWI), the American Blue was known as the German Blue, but was re-named after the war, just like many immigrants who naturalized here.
Intended as a meat and fur rabbit, the American standard calls for bucks to weigh 9 lbs and does to weigh 10 lbs at senior weight. Long in body, topline starting behind the shoulder, the topline rises high over the hindquarter and down again, with a wide meaty loin.
Since the development of compact and commercial type rabbits like the New Zealand and Californians, the American breed has lost its position as a leader and is now completely ignored by the commercial market. Currently there are a small number of faithful breeders keeping this American original alive.
By the standards of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, this breed has been rated as "critical" for potential loss (extinction).
Not just a historical curiosity, the American is a good meat, fur and show rabbit. With some breeding care, the American can be a large and hardy animal, with large litters and fast weight gain potential. A good American is large and hard to ignore on the show table.
The reason it has survived for almost 100 years is because of the potential that was developed by Lewis H. Salisbury. The potential is in there, waiting to be tapped by the American rabbit breeder.
(The above was taken from an article written by Franco Rios, "The American Breed: History of the American Rabbit Breed")
American Blues produce large litters of 8 to 12 kits, which has a fast growth rate to fryer size in 8 to 12 weeks.
If you are interested in breeding the American Blues for meat and to help increase the number of American Blues in a selective, quality conscious manner, please contact us. We will help you get started and introduce you to others who can be a great resource as well.