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What is a Giant Chinchilla?

By J.M. Densing
Updated May 21, 2024
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The Giant Chinchilla is a breed of large rabbit with unique coloring that resembles the coat of an actual chinchilla. Another nickname for the breed is the million dollar rabbit. The breed was first developed in the United States by crossing two other rabbit breeds in the early 1900s. It is commonly bred for use as a livestock animal because its size makes it ideal for meat production. The Giant Chinchilla is also bred as a pet rabbit, and it is known to be a gentle companion for its human owners.

The Giant Chinchilla is a relatively large breed of rabbit. Males typically weigh about 12 to 15 pounds (5.4 to 6.8 kg) and females weigh about 13 to 16 pounds (5.9 to 7.3 kg). The rabbit has a large head with long upright ears, sizable shoulders and front legs, and a lengthy body with a rounded bottom. The unique coloring of the coat is caused by bands of color present on each hair. Closest to the skin the hair is a bluish color, then comes a band of pale off white, then the tips of the hairs are black; these bands produce a striking effect that is highly prized by some rabbit fanciers.

The development of the Giant Chinchilla breed occurred in 1921. A breeder named Edward H. Stahl decided to breed a larger Chinchilla rabbit because he thought it would be very desirable to the fur industry due to the fur's unique appearance. He bred a perfectly colored, regular-size chinchilla male with a female Flemish Giant, a breed known for its enormous size, in his basement. After a few tries he produced his ideal Giant Chinchilla rabbit, a female whom he named "Million Dollar Princess." The new breed proved to be popular, and he was actually the first rabbit breeder to earn a million dollars from the sale of rabbit breeding stock.

Young Giant Chinchilla bunnies grow very quickly, weighing 7 to 9 pounds (about 3.2 to 4.1 kg) at only 12 weeks old, and females can bear several large litters each year. Breeders can produce large quantities of rabbits in a short time, and if they are being grown for meat production they quickly reach useful weight. They are also relatively cheap to feed, making them a cost effective livestock animal.

When kept as a pet, the Giant Chinchilla has a reputation as a gentle companion. They are easy to care for, having docile natures, and they frequently enjoy human attention. They need to be groomed about once a week, more often when they are shedding, and their diet consists mainly of standard rabbit pellets and hay. They require a sturdy hutch or enclosure due to their size. Some owners allow indoor pets to roam freely during the day, much like a dog or cat.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Giant Chinchilla?

A Giant Chinchilla is a breed of rabbit, not to be confused with the small South American rodent of a similar name. It was developed to produce a larger rabbit with a luxurious coat resembling that of the chinchilla rodent. These rabbits are known for their friendly nature and are often kept as pets or raised for their fur and meat.

How big do Giant Chinchillas get?

Giant Chinchillas can weigh between 12 to 16 pounds, with some individuals even reaching up to 20 pounds. They are considered one of the larger rabbit breeds, with a sturdy and robust body shape. Their size is a defining characteristic that distinguishes them from the standard Chinchilla rabbit breed.

What is the history of the Giant Chinchilla rabbit breed?

The Giant Chinchilla rabbit originated in the United States in the early 20th century. It was developed by crossing Chinchilla rabbits with Flemish Giants to create a larger breed with the desirable chinchilla-like fur. The breed was officially recognized in the 1920s and has since become popular in various countries.

What is the temperament of Giant Chinchilla rabbits?

Giant Chinchilla rabbits are known for their docile and gentle temperament, making them excellent pets. They are typically good-natured and can be quite affectionate with their owners. Their calm demeanor also makes them suitable for families with children, as they are less likely to be aggressive or skittish.

What kind of care do Giant Chinchilla rabbits require?

Giant Chinchilla rabbits require regular grooming to maintain their thick fur, a diet high in fiber including hay, fresh vegetables, and a small amount of pellets, and plenty of space to move around due to their large size. They also need mental stimulation and social interaction to stay healthy and happy.

Are Giant Chinchilla rabbits good for breeding?

Giant Chinchilla rabbits are often bred for their desirable traits, such as their large size, good meat quality, and beautiful fur. However, breeding these rabbits requires knowledge of proper rabbit care, genetics, and attention to the health and well-being of both the parents and offspring. Prospective breeders should educate themselves thoroughly before starting a breeding program.

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Discussion Comments

By CarrotIsland — On Nov 10, 2010

@gardenturtle: I am also a proud owner of a Chinchilla. Chinchillas are known to have the highest fur density of any other land animal. They have more than 20,000 hairs per square centimeter. Their fur is so extremely dense that parasites such as fleas cannot live on them. They suffocate.

Humans grow one hair from each hair follicle, the chinchilla has more than fifty hairs from one follicle.

By GardenTurtle — On Nov 10, 2010

We have 2 Chinchilla rabbits for pet and they are so beautiful. They are very tame and love to be cuddled on. Before we chose the Chinchilla for a pet, we did a little research on it. We found out some interesting facts.

The Chinchilla fur is said to be the softest fur in the world and it is 30 times softer than human hair. It is recommended that Chinchillas be bathed in dust or volcanic ash to remove the oil that quickly gathers in their hair.

Martha Stewart has 15 Chinchillas for pets. The Chinchilla doesn’t have dander, which is great for children with allergies.

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