The Beveren Rabbit Episode
 

In this episode, we explore the Bevern Rabbit Breed, which includes the history of the breed, descriptions, and clubs.  We cover the story of Brer rabbit in the Pea patch.  Parsley for the rabbit, and the word Sack.

History of the Brevern

When I first heard of this breed, I thought of the rabbit on Winnie the Pooh or the Briar Rabbit stories.  I don't know where the association came from, but that was my first thought about the breed.  

The Beveren Rabbit is one of the largest and the oldest rabbit breeds.

According to the American Beveren Rabbit Club, the Beveren breed was developed from crossing “the Brabanconne, St. Nicolas Blue, and the Blue Vienna.” The breed was recognized in 1898 and the standard for the Blue Rabbit of Beveren was put into place in 1902; however, the first exhibition of the breed would not be until 1905. 

Beveren Rabbits quickly made their way to France, where they became hopelessly interbred with the Vienna Blue breed.

Blue Beverens were imported into Britain by Mrs. A.M. Martin and were shown for the first time in 1905 in Norwich.   At that time judges really didn't care for the breed.  This changed after 17 people came together and founded the Beveren Club on May 29, 1918 in Birmingham. 

Beverens then quickly became the most popular fur breed in the United Kingdom.  The strong Beveren Club began to recognize other breeds of fur rabbits and in 1925, changed its name to the British Fur Rabbit Society and later to the British Rabbit Council.

Description of Beveren Rabbits

Beverens have a pronounced mandolin body type, are hardy and docile.  The medium length body has a recognized mandolin shape. The back is broad and meaty while the loin is deep and firm.  The well-sprung rib cage tapers gradually from wide smooth hips. The shoulders are strong. Viewed from the side, the body represents a clear definite arch.  The topline is a smooth curve, with the highest point around the middle of the back.  The head is full from top to bottom. The legs are powerful and well-boned. The coat is dense and glossy and come in blue, white, black, brown and lilac colours. 

There is a rare variety called the Pointed Beveren, which comes in the same colors but has white tipped hairs. The blue variety is the original.

care 

The Beveren is generally a hardy and robust breed. It can be easily reared in most wire hutches.  The more room your bunny has, the happier it will be.  Whether you decide to house indoors or out, you can choose a ready-made enclosure from your local pet supply store, build your own, or construct a hybrid of store bought and homemade.  

diet

A rabbit will generally try to eat anything you give it, but its digestive system is very delicate.  Care must be taken to prevent common and potentially dangerous digestive disorders   First and foremost, all rabbits need a constant supply of fresh water, changed daily.  

Health

Your Beveren rabbit will need regular grooming at least once a week, sometimes more often. Clean the cage with either white vinegar or a cage safe cleaner; don’t use bathroom cleaner or other things that are toxic for the pet cage.

Temperment/behavior

Beveren rabbits are well-tempered, clean, smart, and moderately energetic. They love to explore the outdoors.  Compared to other breeds, it is somewhat a mellow rabbit with a slightly laid back personality, which makes the Beveren an excellent family pet.  

uses

Rabbits tend to be bred for one of four things: meat, fur, show, or pet use. The Brevern rabbit is referred to as an “All-Purpose Rabbit” because it fulfills all four of these purposes.  It is a Multi-purpose rabbit, and It is a fine breed for either meat production or for showing, and they should also make for a great pet!  Even though this is a large breed of rabbit, they are gentle and easily handled. This makes them good for pets or show rabbits as well as meat production.

Club

The American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) maintains the breed standard for all of the recognized rabbit and cavy breeds for it's international membership.  Recognized breeds are eligible for Registration and Grand Champion recognition.

The AMERICAN RABBIT BREEDERS ASSOCIATION, INC. is an organization dedicated to the promotion, development, and improvement of the domestic rabbit and cavy.  With over 30,000 members throughout the United States, Canada, and abroad, its members range from the pet owner with one rabbit or cavy to the breeder or commercial rabbit raiser with several hundred animals.  Each aspect of the rabbit and cavy industry, whether it be for fancy, as a pet, or for commercial value, is encouraged by the organization.

Beverens were initially blue only; today the British Rabbit Council (BRC) recognizes 5 'self' colors: blue ("a clear shade of light lavender blue"), blue-eyed-white, black, brown and lilac. In the UK, their weight is to exceed 3.62 kg (8 lb) with no upward limit mentioned.

In the USA, the ARBA recognizes Beverens in blue, blue-eyed-white, and black only. Bucks should weigh a maximum of 11 pounds (5 kg), and does a maximum of 12 lb (5.45 kg).

The Beveren Rabbit is a big size rabbit and its body weight is classified into four grades; pre-junior, junior, intermediate, and senior. Each grade of male and female rabbits will have a different body weight.

They are an endangered breed in the USA; a number of breeders and homesteaders raise Beverens for meat and to preserve the breed.

The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy places Beveren Rabbits on the "Watch" list, the least threatened of its three lists. (The other two are 'endangered' and 'critical.')  

However, due to the limited number of Beverens in the United States, many American fanciers have begun importing stock from Britain to alleviate some of the problems associated with constant in-breeding. Therefore, breeders are hopeful that the Beveren will continue to gain popularity in the United States and continue its development.

Beveren rabbits are fine meat rabbits. But no matter where they are raised, from the USA, UK, Europe or other, they seem to suffer from a lack of popularity. 

Still rare within the United States today, it’s doubtful the Beveren will see the popularity in America as it has in other countries, which is truly a loss as this is a magnificent breed to exhibit or simply have as a companion pet.  Maybe you can raise this breed and help establish the numbers.

The average lifespan of a Beverren Rabbit 

Like most rabbits, they will live a long, healthy life so long as they are given plenty of outdoor time and fed a diet of 70 percent hay and the rest being a mix of pellets, fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens.   Your Beveren rabbit makes a great pet that loves attention and affection. If you take proper care of your beveren rabbit he/she can live as long as 8 to 12 years.

Have I Missed Anything? If you know something about the breed standard, history or status of this rabbit, please let me know.   Do You Have a Story About This Particular Breed?  What do you love about them? Do you have any tips or tricks up your sleeve for what might make this breed happiest? Perhaps you're a breeder of this type of rabbit. Let us know, and maybe we can set up an interview?