The Florida White rabbit is known as an “all purpose rabbit” and it certainly has a lot going for it! A small breed, this rabbit is used not only as a show-rabbit but also as a meat rabbit and a companion pet. It has a wonderful personality and a fantastic coat, too. Unfortunately, these rabbits are also used in laboratories for tests as well.
If you’re interested in learning more about this bunny and seeing whether they might be the right pet for you, keep reading below to find out more.
History Of The Florida White Rabbit
The Florida White rabbit was originally developed for commercial purposes, such as for meat and laboratory use, but is now seen as a popular pet in the United States. It was accepted into the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) in 1967. Let’s take a look at where these rabbits came from.
This little bunny was originally created by American Rabbit Breeders Associations Judge Orville Miliken. He created the Florida White by crossing an albino Dutch, an albino Polish and a small New Zealand White rabbit with the intention of creating an “all purpose” rabbit that could be used as a laboratory animal, as well as a meat rabbit, a show rabbit and as a companion pet.
He quickly realized that laboratory animals needed to be smaller than New Zealand rabbits and so started to create a breed that met those needs. Miliken then named this breed after his home state of Florida and this rabbit won its first “Best in Show” (BIS) at an ARBA convention in 1977.
Characteristics Of The Florida White Rabbit
The Florida White rabbit is a breed that has less variation when it comes to physical characteristics — all members of the breed look very similar! These bunnies are normally born in litter sizes of between 6 to 8 kits and a Florida White will cost you between $25 and $100, although they may be more if you are looking for a show quality pet.
These bunnies have a commercial type body that is round and compact. They are muscular and usually weigh between 4 to 6 lbs. Their neck is short and they have a round head. Their ears are also fairly small and generally stand upright, although they can also flop down.
The Florida White’s coat is short and soft with rollback fur. This means that when the fur is stroked from the opposite direction, it returns to its original position. They do not shed very much and therefore do not need to be groomed very often. We will go into more detail about grooming your Florida White later on.
As their name suggests, this Florida breed is a white rabbit! This breed is known for it’s all white body without any markings and for it’s albino red eyes.
The Florida bunny rabbit is a docile and friendly breed, especially once they get to know you. They can be a harder breed to socialize and therefore will need to spend a lot of time with their owners. However, once they trust you, they are a good natured and relaxed breed of rabbit and will do well in many different homes.
It is important to remember that, like with all rabbits, you should always respect your Florida’s personal space, especially when they are new to your home. If they are afraid or frightened, then they might try to bite.
The Florida White rabbit has an average lifespan of between 5 to 8 years, although they can live much longer when cared for properly.
Known Health Issues
The Florida White rabbit does not have any breed-specific health problems, but they are susceptible to similar issues that all rabbits face. We have laid out the main concerns below.
– GI Stasis — this is a potentially deadly condition in which the digestive system slows down or stops completely. Symptoms include loss of appetite, small or no fecal pellets and lethargy. It can be treated if caught quickly.
– Ear Mites — this is a common parasite of pet rabbits. You may see your rabbit shaking their head a lot if they are affected. Your vet will be able to treat them.
– Malocclusion — this is when the upper and lower teeth are misaligned so that the normal process of chewing doesn’t wear down your rabbit’s teeth. Regular dental checkups are very important. You should also make sure your rabbit eats plenty of hay.
– Vitamin D Deficiency — if your rabbit lives their whole lives indoors, they can develop a vitamin D deficiency. To combat this, let them outside regularly, or let them hop around in a room with plenty of windows.
Like all rabbits, they can also suffer from back issues if they are mishandled or accidentally dropped.
Regular vet checkups will ensure that you catch any health problems before they become too serious. You should also make sure that you are buying from a reputable breeder.
Now we know all about the traits and characteristics of the Florida White, it is time to take a look at what living with one of these bunnies is really like. Fortunately, they do not have very high care needs and were actually created to be less demanding that other similar sized breeds. Below we will cover their food and diet, their exercise needs, their grooming requirements and their living space requirements.
Food And Diet
The exact amount you feed your Florida White rabbit should be based on their size, age and activity level. They should be eating a portion of hay that is at least as their body size every day, alongside pellets and fresh vegetables. Fresh water should also always be available to them.
Hay is very important as it helps to keep your Florida White’s digestive system moving, as well as helping to wear down their teeth so they are less prone to dental issues. At least 70% of your rabbit’s diet should be hay.
High-quality supplementary pellets help to provide extra vitamins and minerals that keep your rabbit healthy. Take a look at a supplementary pellet food we recommend below.
Best Food For The Florida White RabbitBUY ON AMAZON
We recommend the Russel Rabbit food from Supreme Pet Foods for the Florida White rabbit. This is a nutritionally balanced and tasty mix promote natural foraging. This food has a timothy hay base to provide an excellent source of fiber for optimal digestive health and there is no added sugar or unnatural ingredients. Alfafa is also included for fiber and there is calcium for your Florida’s bones and teeth. Vegetables included provide the necessary protein, vitamins and minerals your bun needs to stay healthy, too.
In the wild, rabbits run around three miles a day. Therefore, it is very important that you give your pet rabbit enough exercise every day to keep them active and entertained. They should have at least three hours of free-range time, whether this is out of their hutch in the garden or just around the house.
The Florida White will enjoy time hopping around outside of their hutch, whether this is inside or outside. This will also help to keep them at a healthy weight as well as mentally stimulated, which will lead to less destructive behaviors. They will also enjoy playing with you, particularly with some toys, and this is a great way for you to bond with your bunny and socialize them.
If you can, purchase a large, secure enclosure for your Florida White rabbit to move around in that can be set up in the yard or garden. They will particularly enjoy being able to hop around in fresh air and feel the grass under their paws!
Family Compatibility and Trainability
The Florida White rabbit can be a great pet for many different people. Gentle and easy-going, this rabbit does well with individuals, couples, families and the elderly. They also get on very well with children. Always remember to socialize this rabbit properly from a young age, so they learn that humans are not a threat.
Like all rabbits, the Florida White can be trained to use a litter tray. They can also be trained to come when their name is called!
While it is up to you whether you keep your Florida White rabbit inside or outside, many owners recommend keeping this breed indoors. They will certainly enjoy going outside from time to time, especially if you have a secure enclosure for them to move around in, but Florida White’s can be a littler harder to socialize.
If you keep these bunnies inside the house, they will bond more quickly with their family members and be a much more sociable and affectionate rabbit. They also don’t take up too much room, so keeping their hutch inside shouldn’t be an issue. Always remember to let them have some free-rein time too, though!
Whether they are inside or outside, the Florida’s hutch should be large enough that they can easily move around. Try to stay away from hutches with wire floors as these can cause sore hocks within rabbits. Take a look at the hutch we recommend below.
Best Hutch For The Florida White RabbitBUY ON AMAZON
We recommend the Scurrty Indoor rabbit home for the Florida White rabbit. With two levels, this hutch provides plenty of room for your rabbit (and maybe a friend!) to move about in. There are two front doors for easy access, giving you space to clean and giving your rabbit an entry and exit way. The bottom tray on this hutch is deep so you don’t need clean it out every so often and it is easily removable for when you do.
The indoor rabbit hutch itself is made of fir wood and the roof is made of SBS asphalt that is weatherproof and protects against both rain and sun. This means this hutch is an excellent choice if you would prefer to have your Florida inside over the winter, but living outside over the summer. The home itself is on four wheels for flexibility and movement and is simple to assemble, too.
The Florida White rabbit does not require very much grooming thanks to their low-shedding coat. You should brush these rabbits once a week, although this should be increased during shedding season when you should brush them two to three times a week.
You should very rarely bathe your rabbit. It is not really necessary, unless they are really dirty. Bathing can also be a traumatic experience for them. You should also trim their nails as and when is needed.
Florida White Rabbit FAQ’s
How big should my rabbit’s cage be?
The rule with rabbits is: the bigger the better! If you have the space for a big hutch then your rabbit will always appreciate the extra room to roam and exercise. No one wants to be stuck in a cramped space!
If you do not have a lot of space, then the cage should be at least 4 times the size of the rabbit. A guide is 24″ by 36″ for smaller rabbits (less than 8 lbs) or 30″ by 36″ for larger rabbits. Hutches with multiple stories are also popular as they give your bun more space.
Why should I keep my Florida White rabbit indoors?
It is down to personal preference whether you keep your Florida White rabbit indoors or outdoors. The reason many owners suggest keeping this bunny indoors is because this little white rabbit needs to be socialized, especially if you want them to be friendly and cuddly with you! They will be much more welcoming to being picked up and offering affection i they live in close proximity to you, instead of in a hutch at the bottom of the garden.
That being said, these rabbits can live happily outside, just make sure you bring them inside for time with the family often.
The Florida White rabbit breed is known as the “all purpose rabbit” for many reasons. While this bunny is often sadly used as a laboratory animal and for meat, they also make a wonderful pet thanks to their small size and great personality. Bred to have low care needs, the Florida White rabbit doesn’t require very much — just make sure you socialize them properly and give them enough exercise and they’ll be your best friend. Do you think the Florida White could be for you?