New Zealand rabbits have quite a history. Interestingly, they were actually developed in the US for numerous different purposes. Nowadays, they are more commonly kept as pets. But how big does this particular breed get? What does it all mean for ownership? Let’s find out!
So, how big do New Zealand rabbits get? New Zealand rabbits typically weigh between 9-12 lbs (4–5.4 kg) at full size. Females (does) are generally larger than the males (bucks). They are considered a medium to large breed.
A mix-breed developed from Belgian Hares and Flemish Giants, it’s no real surprise they reach the size they do.
They are almost a perfect combination and average of the two.
Nonetheless, New Zealand rabbits are known for being particularly broad and muscular.
They have a deep body that is only medium in length and possess well-rounded haunches.
Let us now take a closer look at their growth rate and what this all means if you did decide to get this breed as a pet!
At What Age Is A New Zealand Rabbit Considered Fully Grown?
New Zealand Rabbit rabbits generally reach their full-grown adult size by 9-10 months of age, on average. This breed is known for having a particularly fast growth rate compared to other breeds.
While this timeframe compares to most other breeds, what we have to consider here is their final size.
New Zealand rabbits have quite a lot of growing to do.
But it does not take them long.
At least comparatively.
For instance, a Dutch rabbit typically takes between 5-7 months to reach 3.5-5 lbs.
The same can be seen in the Holland Lop.
Then there is the Flemish Giant, which can take up to 18 months to reach their final size!
But back to New Zealand’s. That’s what you are here for, right.
One other thing to consider is that the New Zealand breed enters sexual maturity early in life too.
Females can become fertile as early as 8-12 weeks of age, meaning that they can safely be bred at 5-8 months, depending on the rabbit.
These rabbits are not hanging about!
And males are known to sexually mature a little earlier than this! Likely because they are typically smaller in size.
For reference, here is the variation of size between the sexes of the breed:
- Bucks (males) weigh 9–11 lb (4.1–5.0 kg),
- Does (females) weigh 10–12 lb (4.5–5.4 kg).
How Big Of A Cage Does A New Zealand Rabbit Need?
New Zealand rabbits require a large cage or hutch that is at least 30 inches (76.2 cm) in length, 24 inches (60cm) in width, and 18 inches (45.7 cm) in height, at a minimum. Although the more space, you can afford, the better.
In fact, some owners decide to get a slightly different size cage/hutch depends on the sex of New Zealand they are keeping.
For instance, you will often stumble across reports of junior rabbits and bucks being kept in a 24″ x 24″ cage.
Does on the other hand, are usually afforded a little more space (to account for their size and allow extra room for a nest box) – 30″ x 24″ is not unheard of.
Nevertheless, like any breed of rabbit, New Zealands require an adequate home. Besides, they spend a lot of time here.
Enclosures must therefore have enough space for the rabbit to stretch out fully and comfortably, hop, and even sit up on their back legs.
Outdoor and indoor enclosures work, although indoor enclosures are considered optimal.
This will keep your rabbit safe from the elements, drastic temperature changes, and of course and other animals/potential predators.
In terms of the cage/hutch itself – they should be made of sufficiently sturdy material.
Solid metal bottoms are recommended instead of wire as this will protect your rabbit’s feet and generally be much more comfortable.
Of course, you are going to need to line it with rabbit-safe bedding that is spot-cleaned daily and deep-cleaned weekly.
Providing plenty of hiding places, tunnels, and toys for your New Zealand to explore and play come advised too.
How Much Space Do New Zealand Rabbits Need?
New Zealand rabbits need plenty of space, both in and outside of the cage/hutch, for optimal health and well-being.
They should spend plenty and sufficient time outside of their cage/hutch to play and roam around.
Of course, before you do so, you need to ensure the area is safe for your rabbit.
And you’ll be surprised at the kind of dangers that could be in an environment.
Toxic plants (both houseplants) and outdoor plants, electric cables, wooden furniture legs, fencing – these are all some of the kinds of things a rabbit will chew on.
Puppy playpens are particularly useful for these reasons.
They are a confined and concealed area that will prevent escape. Some even come with a lined base to protect your floor from any mishaps.
You can even put a puppy playpen outside – but just be sure to keep it in a protected area of your yard.
You want to place it out of direct sunlight and away from any potential predators.
Failing the puppy playpen, you can even construct your own concealed area.
Some owners even like to dedicate a room inside to their New Zealand rabbit and let them out in there (once it has been rabbit-proofed).
This is something to consider if you have the luxury of the additional space.
Otherwise, the playpen option is ideal. Besides, you can often put them up and take them down when not in use.
Nevertheless, it is strongly recommended that you monitor your bunny at all times while they are out of their cage/hutch.
New Zealands are pretty big rabbits.
Medium to large in size, in fact.
Plus, they grow fast!
So if you do intend on keeping one, you’ll soon notice the junior you take home will not stay small for long.
Nonetheless, these rabbits never become too much of a challenge to hold.
And they like being held too, so long as you do it right!
They are relatively docile and easy-going in temperament. Perfect for young children.
It’s no surprise that they have become popular pets.
Even if they were originally bred for other purposes, I’d rather not say here.
And with a number of variations – particularly in regards to coat color – you’ll be sure to find the right one for you.
Red, White, or Blue Fur.
Either way, these make great pets.
And a breed to definitely consider, for sure.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.