Magpie rabbits are a fairly new breed that originates from the UK. They are actually Harlequins, but instead of having yellow/orange patches they have white patches making them appear black and white, much like the bird. To achieve this colouration, breeders cross Harlequins with rabbits that have the “Chinchilla factor”, for example the Silver Fox or Chinchilla. The silver/white pigmentation gene is dominant and thus replaces the yellow pigmentation gene.
It has to be said that luck plays a large part in the breeding of Magpie rabbits. Breeding two perfectly marked rabbits together will not simply guarantee that the offspring has similar markings.
Magpie rabbits should weigh between 5.5 and 8.8lb (2.5 - 4kg). They should also have noticeably rounded ear tips, a slightly elongated body, short muscular legs and a very short neck.
Magpie rabbits tend to be calm and evenly tempered rabbits and can be great family pets, but their lack of awareness can make them quite difficult to look after.
There are no other variations of the Magpie Rabbit. The standard for this breed is very hard to achieve, and some people even say that it’s impossible.
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