Havanas are small-medium sized rabbits with short, deep bodies and deep, rich color. Their lustrous fur gives them the nickname “the mink of the rabbit family.” Although they don’t often catch the fancy of pet owners, their beautiful type is a joy to the practiced eye of judges and breeders.
History, Temperament, and Common Uses:
Havana rabbits originated in Holland, when a rich brown rabbit was born in the litter of a Dutch marked doe in the late 1800’s. The beautiful color spurred breeders to develop it into a new breed. The breed took its name from the chocolate color which resembled that of Cuban cigars from the city of Havana.
Most Havanas have a friendly temperament, but sometimes they can have a bit of an attitude, so doing some research on a particular line is a good idea.
Havana rabbits are usually show rabbits, and are very popular as such. They come very close to their breed standard, often winning top honors at local and national shows.
Grooming, Care, and Additional Notes:
Havanas have short, flyback coats which need minimal grooming. A quick brushing once a week should be enough to keep your rabbit looking his best. You can also go over their coat with slightly damp hands to remove static. Havanas may need more frequent grooming when they are molting.
Havana At A Glance…
Black, blue, chocolate, and broken.
ARBA Body Type:
4 1/2 to 6 1/2 pounds
Important Things to Look for When Buying Show Stock:
A body shaped much like a “half basketball.” It should be short, deep, compact, and smooth. There should be a slight taper from the hindquarters to the slightly narrower shoulders. The topline should be a smooth curve from the base of the ears, rising up to the highest point over the hips, and rounding down to the base of the tail. Look for full, well rounded hindquarters, loin, and back.
Look for a broad, somewhat short head, with full cheeks. The Havana should have a short neck. Ears should be somewhat short, and in proportion to the rest of the rabbit. They should be firm, erect, and carried close together. The eyes should be of medium size.
Look for straight, short legs with medium-fine bone, and dark toenails.
Flyback fur that is soft, dense, and full of luster. Look for fur that is the same length over the entire rabbit. The guard hair should be slightly coarser than the undercoat, and be very lustrous.
All varieties should be dark and very glossy.
Things to Avoid:
A long, narrow, or flat body. Flatness over the shoulders. Narrowness over the loin. Hips that are pinched or undercut. Roughness over the spine or hips. Long head or long neck. Unmatched toenails are a disqualification. Color that looks faded, light, rusty, mealy, or has scattered white hairs.