Looking for a rabbit that is show-worthy and that will make a great pet? Then look no further than the Palomino rabbit.
The Palomino rabbit was bred in the mid 20th century and comes in two colors: Lynx and Golden. The rabbit breed is a medium-sized rabbit with a commercial body and upright ears. Palominos are hardy, friendly, and social rabbits, so they make great pets for first-time fur parents.
Let’s learn more about the Palomino rabbit with regard to its origins, characteristics, temperament, breeding purposes, and more.
What Is a Palomino Rabbit?
The Palomino rabbit breed is medium-sized rabbits that typically weigh between 8-10 pounds.
They have an average lifespan of 5-8 years; however, if you take good care of your pet rabbit and ensure its needs are met, then your bunny can live longer.
With a maternal, sweet, and friendly disposition, the Palomino makes an excellent pet for people who are single or families with kids. This hardy rabbit that needs a medium level of care can live either indoors or outdoors.
Palomino Rabbit History and Origin
Mark Young from Coulee Dam in central Washington state is considered to be the father of the Palomino rabbit.
In 1910, Mark bought local meat rabbits so he could breed rabbits for meat production and show purposes. Mark also wanted to put his Lone Pines Rabbitry on the map.
Mark started breeding rabbits to produce a litter that had yellow or buckskin fur. By the 1950s, Mark was breeding rabbits that were beige in color, and in 1951, he called these bunnies “The American Beige.”
Later, they were called “Tawnies” and then the “Washingtonian.”
Wondering what rabbit breeds were used to create the Palomino? That’s something not even Mark kept track of.
Mark still wasn’t happy with the name for the beige rabbit breed, so at an American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) convention in 1953, he invited attendees to come forth with name suggestions. The winner? Palomino.
In 1955, the Palomino Rabbit Co-Breeders Club was established and its members love promoting their rabbit “Pals.”
In 1957, ARBA recognized the Lynx Palomino coloring, and the following year, the Golden Palomino was recognized.
Palomino Rabbit Characteristics
Here are the characteristics that set the Palomino rabbit breed apart from other rabbit breeds:
The Palomino rabbit has a medium-sized commercial body, so it is well balanced with the width of the body being equal to its depth. The hindquarters of the Palomino are well-rounded.
The Palomino’s ears are large and upright. The bunny sports dark brown eyes.
Adult Palomino rabbits generally weigh between 8-10 pounds.
The Palomino rabbit has short to medium rollback fur that is coarse in texture. It doesn’t need a lot of maintenance but to keep your rabbit’s coat looking great, groom your rabbit with a rabbit-friendly brush at least weekly.
Brush the fur twice a week during molting season to help your rabbit shed more evenly and faster. Plus, grooming your bunny during shedding time ensures clean-up is easier as there won’t be as many tufts of fur lying around your house.
Palomino rabbits are sociable, friendly, and docile. They enjoy being around people and lapping up love and attention. This is one reason why they make excellent pets.
Because these bunnies are so sociable, they need to spend quite a lot of time outside their cage or hutch so they can get the exercise and playtime they need.
Depriving your pet Palomino of exercise time will only make your bunny lethargic and depressed, and shorten its lifespan.
Like all rabbits, Palominos thrive best when they have other rabbit friends. Consider bonding your Palomino if you have the time, patience, and resources to keep at least 2 bunnies.
The Palomino rabbit breed comes in 2 color varieties. Both fur colors sport a white undercoat.
The Lynx coloring is not true lynx or lilac agouti. Instead, it is a diluted gold or cream with some silver or gray surface coloring. The Golden coloring is a bright fawn or orange/beige cream.
Both colorings are accepted by ARBA.
Palomino Rabbit Care
To make sure your Palomino rabbit is looked after well, follow these best care practices.
Cage or Hutch
Your “Pal” needs an enclosure that is at least 12 square feet; double this if you have bonded two Palominos.
The cage or hutch should be tall enough so your rabbit can stand on its hind legs and not bump its head against the ceiling. Your bunny should also be able to comfortably hop 3 times in the enclosure.
Kit out the enclosure with soft bedding, a litter box, bowls for food and water, and a hay dispenser. Add some toys to keep your bunny mentally stimulated too.
An Exercise Pen
The run or exercise pen should be large enough so your Palomino has sufficient space to exercise and play.
In the pen, add some toys and a litter box.
Indoors or Outdoors
Palomino rabbits can be kept indoors or outdoors because they are a hardy breed.
However, if you keep your bunny inside, you need to first rabbit-proof your home. You don’t need to go crazy and do this to your whole home; only focus on the rooms that your rabbit will have access to.
All electrical cords need to be covered with stiff plastic tubing or spiral wrap so your bunny doesn’t chew on these and electrocute themselves and kill your appliances.
If you keep your bunny outside, then you want to weatherproof and predator-proof the hutch to make sure your bunny is safe. A wooden hutch that is raised off the ground is a good starting place.
Ensure any openings like windows are covered with fine mesh wire.
Rabbits are herbivores so their diet needs to be well-balanced with hay, greens, pellets, vegetables, and fruits so they can thrive.
Feed your Palomino a diet that consists of 70% good-quality hay, like Timothy grass. Steer clear of clover hay as the protein and calcium levels are too high in comparison to what your rabbit needs.
The next major component of their diet is fresh leafy greens. Make sure your bunny has access to unlimited clean, freshwater every day.
Keep fruits and high-carb veggies for treats or as rewards during training. For every 5 pounds of body weight, you can feed your Palomino ¼ cup of pellets that are high in fiber to ensure your bunny’s nutritional needs are met.
Check your bunny daily to ensure they are healthy and schedule regular checkups with the vet.
Take your Pal to the vet if you see an eye or nasal discharge, changes in appetite, drooling, diarrhea, lethargy, or dark red urine.
Luckily, the Palomino isn’t at risk for developing Woodlock, which is a digestive issue, because it has a short, coarse fur coat.
Another health issue you should be on the lookout for (in addition to the above-mentioned symptoms) are overgrown teeth especially if your bunny’s diet doesn’t mainly consist of hay.
Your rabbit’s teeth grow continually at nearly 0.4 of an inch every month. Continuously chewing on hay and rabbit-friendly wooden toys help your bunny to keep their teeth from overgrowing.
Overgrown teeth are painful as they can grow into your rabbit’s jaw, and they can also cause other serious health complications.
Ensuring your rabbit lives in a clean environment reduces the risk of fleas and mites, so spot clean the rabbit hutch daily and deep clean once a week.
Deworm your rabbit during fall and spring to ensure your bunny stays healthy.
Check for flystrike, which can occur if your rabbit’s fur is wet. Wet fur attracts flies, which lay their eggs in your bunny’s fur. Once these eggs hatch, the maggots eat your rabbit’s skin. This can be deadly if not caught early on.
Breeding the Palomino Rabbit
The Palomino rabbit is bred for 3 main purposes:
Palominos are quite popular as pets. They are hardy and don’t require a lot of care.
These rabbits are ideal for first-time rabbit owners, seniors, and even families with kids, especially if you teach your kids how to properly and gently handle the Palomino.
Palomino rabbits are also bred for rabbit competition shows.
The Palomino rabbit breed is quite similar to the New Zealand rabbit, which is popular in rabbit meat production. While the main purpose of breeding a Palomino isn’t for meat, they can be bred for rabbit meat.
Palomino Rabbit Price
If you are looking for a pet Palomino, expect to pay around $30. However, if you are looking for a show-worthy Palomino that comes with a pedigree, you’ll pay anything between $100-400.
The Palomino rabbit is quite a special rabbit with its commercial body shape and Lynx or Golden coloring. They make excellent pets and are great company for fur parents.
Ensuring your Palomino rabbit’s needs are met, taking the bunny for regular checkups at the vet, and feeding your “Pal” a healthy and balanced diet means you’ll have a lifelong companion.