Rabbit Rhythms 
February 2020 Newsletter

Beautiful Black Bunnies

Belgians are red, and Beverens are blue.  Satins are pretty, and rabbits are just super cute... especially our featured breed the Blanc de Hotot. This rabbit gains attention wherever it goes, being purely white except for what looks like eyeliner around those dark mysterious eyes. This breed has an engaging history and amazing temperament. Read more about this featured breed below.

Speaking of cute rabbits, do you have any feral or wild ones in your yard? It may be tempting to give them a little food, after all what harm could it do? The honest answer is it probably does more harm than good. Check out our reasons why this is not a good idea below.

Is your doe pregnant? Is she not pregnant? Is she just tricking you into thinking she's pregnant? We might be able to answer those questions. 

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Featured Breed: Blanc de Hotot

Blanc de Hotot Rabbit - pure white except for the black "eyeliner"

Breed History
The Blanc de Hotot rabbit was named after the French city, Hotot-en-Auge from which it came. It is purely white except for the unmistakable black "makeup" around its eye. The diva-like eyeliner can be deceiving, as the Hotot is actually a jack of all trades, being used for meat rabbits, pets, and show. The breed is an ancestor of the Geant Papillon, bred by Madam Eugenie Bernhard starting in 1902. It was bred down for 18 years to have fewer and fewer black markings until nothing but the famous eye makeup remained. The breed went extinct during the two World Wars, but was later recreated in 1955 by a Belgian breeder, Hamaker de Haarlem. 

Blanc de Hotots make great pets for families with children because they are so docile and easy going. They are very sweet, friendly and easy to handle. They love affection, and are fairly easy to train. These rabbits are very playful, and can usually keep themselves entertained with a few toys. Check out our Toys for Rabbits page for ideas on what your rabbit may like to chew on.

Don't want a big Hotot? Their dwarf counterpart, the Dwarf Hotot, is just as charming.

Whether petting, showing, breeding, or eating, the Blanc de Hotot Rabbit is a fantastic breed.

  • If you are interested in purchasing a Hotot, or any rabbit, check out our Rabbit Breeders page to find a breeder near you!

To Feed, or Not to Feed Wild Rabbits?

***** Meghan Wonders ***** 

What can I feed the wild cottontails around my house? Is it beneficial for me to feed them at all? 

***** Karen Sez *****
This is a great question, since cottontails are surrounded by all the plants that they eat. So, why then would one feel the need to feed wild herbivores?

In my mind, feeding wild rabbits is not a good idea, and in fact, may have unconsidered repercussions. Wild cottontails are pretty self sufficient for their own survival, and feeding them can disrupt the natural balance around them. More food means more rabbits, which attracts more predators. Additionally, it encourages them to come to humans for their food source, rather than being independent for their own survival.

They may be cute, but they might feel inclined to munch on the garden you spent the whole year nurturing. When they figure out that your house is the solution to all of their problems, it will not just be one rabbit anymore. It will become 2, then 5, then 15, then 40 rampaging through your yard, destroying your lawn, and decimating your garden.

Your Rabbit Health Questions, Answered

Day 34 and still no babies...

This opal Rex rabbit is about to kindle a litter of eight.This opal Rex rabbit is about to kindle a litter of eight.

Anonymous wrote on January 14, 2020:

"I have a rabbit I bought months ago. She got pregnant but I really don't know what day it happened. I've never had a rabbit but she seems pregnant to me. Someone told me she looked around 2-3 weeks pregnant. More time has passed and she still has not nested or pulled hair. When I feel her stomach I feel movement and a little ball forming and going away. I put straw, grass, and hay in her cage and she made a nest. I ended up taking it out because she used it to go to the bathroom.

***** Karen Sez *****

My guess is that your doe had a false pregnancy. What you felt with the movement was probably the intestines instead of little baby feet kicks in her womb.

Rabbits are induced ovulators, meaning that they don't ovulate on a schedule; they ovulate upon certain stimuli. Rabbits may mount others to establish dominance without mating. That pressure on a doe's back and rump may be enough to induce the female to ovulate. And if so, she will show all the signs of pregnancy (weight gain, crankiness, compulsion to build a nest, etc.) for about 17 days. But then, on day 18, her body and hormones will give up the game and return to normal because there was no actual pregnancy to support.

From your story, it sounded like your doe was not ever actually pregnant, at least, not this time around. I'm guessing that your rabbit underwent a false pregnancy and fooled everyone with it.

We go into full detail about false pregnancies on pages 155-156 and 177 of The Rabbit Raising Problem Solver. Get your copy by clicking this link!

Is this a poorly marked English Spot rabbit?What rabbit breed do YOU think this rabbit is?

What breed is my rabbit?

My sister's roommate was leaving and had a pet rabbit, which she gave to me. She wasn’t sure what breed she was and I’m not sure either. The bunny is soft and small, and the ears stand straight up. She’s white with grey spots. I believe she’s about 5 or 6 months old.

***** Karen Sez *****

I think I have a very good idea what breed your rabbit is, that is, without seeing a pedigree or anything to know for sure! Hop over to this web page and tell me if you think your rabbit looks like the one pictured on that page.

As usual, Karen had quite a bit more to say, including the possibility of a mix of breeds in this rabbit. You can read the entire answer here: https://www.raising-rabbits.com/what-breed-is-my-rabbit1.html

Like this Rabbit Rhythms February 2020 Newsletter?

Maybe your friends would too...

Your friends at Raising-Rabbits.com wish you a wonderful February 2020. 

Enjoy your rabbits!

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