Florida White Rabbit

  • COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States
  • YEAR RECOGNIZED: 1967
  • USES: Show, meat
  • WEIGHT: 6 pounds (2.7 kg) max., senior bucks and does
  • BODY TYPE: Compact
  • FUR TYPE: Flyback; ARBA Commercial Normal Fur Standard
  • COLOR: White with pink eyes

ORVILLE MILLIKEN, A RABBIT SHOW JUDGE IN FLORIDA, developed the Florida White in 1960. Milliken wanted an all-white, compact meat and laboratory rabbit. Milliken used white Polish, white New Zealands, and albino Dutch in his breeding program. The breed was further advanced in the 1970s by Eabert (Fibber) McGhee of Oklahoma, who reintroduced Polish and New Zealand genetics and “fixed” the Florida White breed.

Florida Whites fell somewhat short of broad appeal as meat rabbits because of their small size, and labs typically preferred wellestablished breeds whose genetic makeups were better known. But this showy breed was hardly a failure. It does have some application as a lab animal, and its fine bone structure yields a high percentage of meat, so it has maintained a good reputation in the small meat rabbit niche.

Like the larger New Zealand Whites, the Florida breed is a classic white rabbit, complete with pink eyes. At its 6-pound (2.7 kg) maximum, the Florida White is just half the size of an adult New Zealand, making adults of the two breeds easy to tell apart.

Breeders who show Florida Whites can concentrate on maintaining breed conformation and fur quality because, unlike many other breeds, this one comes only in its namesake color.