Palomino Rabbit

  • COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States
  • YEAR RECOGNIZED: 1957
  • USES: Fur, meat
  • WEIGHT: 11 pounds (5 kg) max., senior does
  • BODY TYPE: Commercial
  • FUR TYPE: Flyback; ARBA Commercial Normal Fur Standard
  • COLORS: Golden, lynx

THE PALOMINO RABBIT was developed for the appeal of its color, in many specimens reminiscent of the golden horses that bear the same moniker. Mark Young, from Coulee Dam, Washington, who established the Palomino in the 1940s and 1950s, was outspoken about wanting to develop a new rabbit breed. If his motives went beyond simply founding a new breed, regardless of type, they went unrecorded.

Young’s approach to establishing the Palomino was simple and direct: he selected buckskin and yellow-brown specimens from the litters of multiple meat-type rabbits he’d purchased without regard to their pedigree. Over several years of inbreeding and outcrossing the buckskin rabbits, Young developed the Palomino in two color variations, a golden and a silver-tinged lynx.

Young wasn’t forthcoming about his choice of original bloodlines because he really didn’t know them. It’s evident from the commercial conformation and size of the Palomino that the New Zealand, a very similar breed except in color, was a contributor.

Young’s original name for his rabbit, Washingtonian, was not a crowd-pleaser. Seeking a change in label, Young reputedly set out a coffee can for written suggestions of a new name. Among the entries,
Palomino emerged the winner.

Palominos can be shown up to 11 pounds (5 kg). They’re medium to large, with long, erect ears and well-developed shoulders and hindquarters, typical of meat-type rabbits. They enjoy a reputation for being trainable and having a pleasant disposition.