The Blanc de Hotot rabbit is an adorable breed with a unique appearance. They're all-white coat combines with the adorable black rings around their eyes to make them look super cute. The Blanc de Hotot rabbit has established itself as a prized addition to rabbit exhibits, breeding programs, and family homes. It is revered for its graceful and charming demeanor.
Origin and History
This breed was developed by Eugenie Bernhard, the second woman in history to ever develop a new rabbit breed. Bernhard established the breed in 1902 with the purpose of being used for their meat and fur.
To develop this breed, she crossbred a Papillon with a white Vienna rabbit, in addition to a Flemish Giant. The breed took around 20 years to perfect, eventually incorporating over 500 breeds. The Blanc de Hotot was officially recognized in France in 1922 prior to being exported to the United States, where they quickly became extinct.
A man named Bob Whitman brought the breed back to the United States and, in 1979, the breed was recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association.
Appearance and Physical Traits
The Blanc de Hotot rabbit is a medium-sized breed with a distinctive appearance. This rabbit's most notable feature is their smokey, spectacle- or eye-liner-like black rings around their eyes, complimenting their white coat, which is dense and soft to the touch.
The fur is short and close-lying, making it easy to groom. The ears of the Blanc de Hotot are medium-sized and erect, while their body is compact and muscular. Adult Blanc de Hotot rabbits typically weigh between 8 and 11 pounds, with females being slightly smaller than males.
This rabbit's most notable feature is their pure white coat, only broken by the black rings around their eyes. They weren't developed in any other color.
Enclosure Size Requirements
The Blanc de Hotot can be kept indoors or outdoors as long as they have enough space to roam around. Whether kept indoors or outdoors, they should have time outside their enclosure interacting with others.
The enclosure should be large enough for the rabbit to move around freely, stand up on its hind legs, and stretch out comfortably. A minimum enclosure size of 4 by 2 by 2 feet is recommended for a single rabbit. The enclosure should also be secure and predator-proof, with solid walls and a roof to keep the rabbit safe. Inside the enclosure, provide a comfortable resting area, such as a soft bed of hay or bedding material.
The Blanc de Hotot is unique from some other rabbits due to their rollback fur. This means that when you brush the fur from the backside forward, it will roll back into place.
The Blanc de Hotot rabbit has an average lifespan of 7 to 10 years, but can live longer when cared for properly.
These beautiful, gentle bunnies are easy to care for. They are sociable and super-friendly, and they don't need too much excercise, especially if they are given enough attention. Caring for a Blanc de Hotot rabbit involves providing a nutritious diet, regular grooming, and veterinary care.
Your rabbit should eat a large bundle of hay each day, equal to their body size, in addition to high-quality rabbit pellets and fresh veggies. Fresh water should also be available at all times, either in a dish or water bottle.
Enrichment is an important part of providing a happy and healthy life for a Blanc de Hotot rabbit. These rabbits are social animals and thrive on interaction and stimulation. Some enrichment activities that can be provided for a Blanc de Hotot include providing toys to play with, such as balls and chew toys.
The Blanc de Hotot rabbit does not require a lot of grooming. They need to be brushed once every week or two when they aren't shedding, and once or twice per week while they are shedding.
You shouldn't bathe your rabbit unless absolutely necessary. Regular baths can strip your rabbit's coat of its natural oils and can dry their skin out.
Behavior and Handling
The Blanc de Hotot rabbit is gentle, friendly, and enjoys attention. They're laid back and don't require a significant amount of exercise, but they do enjoy a lot of mentally stimulating toys. Use caution if your rabbit appears to be frightened, though. They are known to bite when they're scared.
When you first bring them home, socialization is important. They have a habit of being frightened in new environments, so don't be upset if it takes them a little time to warm up. Spending time with them outside of their enclosure, petting them, providing them with toys, and plenty of attention will help them become more well-rounded.
Blanc de Hotots don't have breed-specific health issues, but they can experience normal health issues common to other rabbits:
- Overgrown teeth: Rabbit teeth never stop growing, and they need high-fiber diets and plenty to chew on to maintain their teeth
- Hairballs: Just like cats, rabbits groom themselves, and over time they can consume too much hair
- Flystrike: When flies lay their eggs on patches of fur, this condition can occur. Keep your rabbit clean conditions, and check them daily, especially in warm weather.
- Malocclusion: Rabbits can develop this condition when the upper and lower teeth are misaligned.
- GI stasis: When the intestines aren't working properly, rabbits can develop gastrointestinal issues. You may have to gently rub their tummies, or consult your veterinarian.
- Ear mites: Rabbits are susceptible to ear mites, so plan to check their ears regularly to check for infestation.
Availability and Cost
The Blanc de Hotot rabbit is endangered, so it will be more difficult to find than other rabbits. It's still possible to adopt a rabbit even though they're endangered, but the truth is, rabbit lovers are hoping rabbit breeders will help bring their population back up. You should expect to pay between $50 to $150 for this bunny, plus the cost of the enclosure and maintenance needs.
You may want to reconsider if you're thinking about keeping this rabbit breed, unless you plan to participate in a breeding program to help make a difference in their population.
Is the Blanc De Hotot Rabbit Right for You?
If you are looking for a rabbit that looks like they're wearing eyeliner, you have come to the right place. This could be the breed for you. Plus, they're quite friendly and love attention, which is a huge bonus! However, many breeders may request you breed your rabbit to raise their numbers. If you have the dedication, however, this is a fantastic breed to keep and love.