|Common Name:||Hotot, Blanc de Hotot|
|Scientific Name:||Oryctolagus cuniculus|
|Life Span:||7 to 10 years|
|Size:||Large. Weighs 8 to 11 pounds|
|Habitat:||Domestic areas burrow in the wild|
|Country of Origin:||France|
Best Suited For: Singles, seniors, families, apartment occupants
Temperament: Active, sociable, calm, and sweet
Comparable Breeds: White Vienna Rabbit, Checkered Giant Rabbit
The Blanc de Hotots are large, wide-bodied rabbits that usually range between 1/8 inches to ¼ inches. The females are a bit heavier than males as their body weight ranges from 9 to 11 pounds or 4.1 to 5.0 kilograms. Males often weigh between 8-10 pounds or 3.6 to 4.5 kilograms.
The Blanc de Hotots are pure white with black-colored rings around their eyes, as if they have eyeliners. Their bodies are somewhat rounded, so they look cute and cuddly. They even look more sophisticated with those black rings on their eyes.
The female Blanc de Hotots show up with dewlaps. In general, these rabbits have short necks, wide chests and muscular front and rear quarters.
In the beginning, the black rings on their eyes weren’t a part of the standards for this species. Their fur has a lot of protective hairs that produce a shine like a frost.
Their ears are long, measuring up to 4 inches. They are herbivores, so they eat grass, leaves, ferns, and hay.
These white rabbits are strong and active that can easily grow while being kept in wire cages. The females grow up into very responsible mothers. They take good care of their babies and protect them until they can already take care of themselves.
The juveniles take less time to grow and reach maturity. Proper feeding is key to ensure their fast and healthy growth.
Females can have more than 2 litters every year. Each litter comes with 4-6 babies. The baby bunnies are born naked and weak. Their eyes are closed and will open in 7 to 14 days after they were born. You might be surprised to see how fast they can grow and reach maturity.
The Blanc de Hotots are comfortable and okay with living in big groups. European rabbits, including this species, prefer to live in the underground burrows. Only the cottontail rabbits are those rabbits that live under the ground.
Moreover, Blanc de Hotots have a strong sense of smell, vision, and hearing. Their eyes are on the sides of their heads. These eyes are big enough, enabling these rabbits to see almost at a 360-degree angle. Hence, they can easily see predators anywhere they come from. They can also see everything at their back and in front of them. Aside from that, they have a tiny blind-spot in front of their nose.
A male Blanc de Hotot rabbit is known as a buck while the female is a doe. Both genders are called a bunny. A juvenile rabbit is called a baby bunny or kit “kitten.”
History and Origin
This breed of rabbit started from a professional breeder’s aim to come up with a pure white rabbit that has black eyes. The person behind this was Eugenie Bernhard. She was from Normandy in France. Her purpose for developing the Blanc de Hotot rabbit was to produce a new breed of rabbit with beautiful fur and good meat qualities to meet the criteria.
Her project had been in progress in 1902 when she got a Papillon rabbit and crossed it with the White Vienna rabbit and White Flemish Giant. Since her project’s goal was extremely specific, it progressed slowly as she selected different offspring which met the specified criteria from the 500 crosses. She continued crossing different breeds until she succeeded in producing an all-white rabbit in 1912, which was the first Blanc de Hotot rabbit that lived on earth.
Eugenie Bernhard showed the resulting rabbit of her experiment in Exposition Internationale d’Aviculture in 1920 in Paris. She called the rabbit “Geant Blanc de Hotot.” The rabbit was then accepted and identified as a breed in 1922 by the French Governing body.
The Blanc de Hotot rabbit was initially imported to the US between 1921 to 1992. Unfortunately, the breed didn’t last. The imported rabbit died in that country.
In 1927, some rabbits were brought to Switzerland, and people there were fascinated by those black rings on their eyes that made these animals unique. However, these rabbits didn’t do well during World War II. The war significantly affected their populations. Their numbers decreased in countries like Holland, Germany, and France.
Different animal conservation groups in Europe exerted their efforts to save the remaining Blanc de Hotots in those countries. Their efforts helped a lot in increasing the populations of these rabbits in Europe.
In 1978, a man from Texas named Bob Whitman brought 4 pairs of Blanc de Hotots that originated in Fernand Eberli of France. In March 1979, the American Rabbits Breeders Association or ARBA recognized the breed.
The importation of this breed of rabbits did not stop there. In 2004, more rabbits arrived in the US from England, Holland, and Germany. Although there have been importations of the Blanc de Hotots in the past few years, still, that is not a sufficient reason for removing this species from the list of endangered animals in North America.
The fur of Blanc de Hotots is quite more interesting when they undergo the molting process. They will require more attention during this period as problems can arise anytime. Other than this, these rabbits are so strong and hardy. They are okay with being kept inside the all-wire rabbit cages where they can run. All they want it a cozy and secure house that will allow them to sleep well at night.
Like other breeds of rabbits, they will need some hay so that they can keep their teeth longer. This will also help prevent other health problems that may take place if they got their teeth too long and begin to irritate their jaws. The Blanc de Hotots will love a healthy diet consisting of vegetables, fruits, and hay as treats on top of rabbit pellets.
Behavior and Temperament
The Blanc de Hotots like to run and reach speeds of 30-40 mph. The average lifespan for this species is between 5-8 years. Captive-bred specimens may live for as long as 10 years. These rabbits have up to 28 teeth that will continuously grow for the rest of their lives. They can also jump high at 36 inches or even higher from the ground.
When you buy a Blanc de Hotot rabbit, make sure you give time to socialize with the animal. Give it ample attention while it’s young as that will help in taming the animal. Socializing with your Blanc de Hotot means giving some time to take it out of the cage and let it play with you. Daily interactions between the rabbit and you must also involve petting and introducing the animal to young kids and other pets at home.
With its docile nature, your Blanc de Hotot rabbit will be at its best when it is the only pet you have at home. However, it will also feel okay if you have a cat or a dog. The Blanc de Hotot rabbit is known to be sociable to other animals like dogs provided that the rabbit grows up with your other pets.
The sweet disposition of the Blanc de Hotots is making them excellent pets for families that will be having their first pet. Also, they can be good pets for couples, singles, and even senior citizens that are searching for companionship.
While they’re less likely to become too active, rabbits kept indoors will enjoy when taken outdoors. They will take the opportunity to hop on the grass and explore the environment outdoors. Some owners of Blanc de Hotots prefer to go outdoors with their pets on a leash. Most harnesses made for small dogs are usable for these rabbits.
In terms of training, rabbits are more difficult to train compared to other animals like dogs, cats, and birds. While that is the case, you may eventually succeed in potty training your pet, but keep in mind how challenging this will be. Pet owners need to be more patient as it will take time. Once your pet does the right thing or shows good behaviors, encourage it to do the same thing again by giving treats and flattering the animal. Some people who keep Blanc de Hotots found success in putting two litter boxes around the house. This way, they are helping their pets find the right place for defecating.
In the woods, the Blanc de Hotots are extremely sociable. Males will look for a perfect mating partner. Females may produce two to four litters of baby bunnies every year. Each litter may have four to six babies.
Common Health Problems Among Blanc de Hotots
The Blanc de Hotots are not prone to genetical diseases. However, there are some things which you have to observe in your pet. The most common issue affecting this species is having overgrown teeth. You may prevent this with a healthy, balanced diet that consists of mostly hay.
When your pet doesn’t seem to eat, looks less energetic and with fewer droppings than the usual. Its teeth might be growing into its face or jaw. To relieve overgrown teeth, bring your pet to a veterinary clinic where it can shave its teeth and prescribe antibiotics for infections.
Those who take care of a rabbit must check its ears periodically or every 2 weeks for mites. This is also a common problem among the Blanc de Hotots, especially for those kept outdoors. Flystrike is another common issue that may take place when the flies lay eggs in your pet’s soiled coat, typically on the bottom.
When the eggs hatch, its solitary protein source will be your pet. Lethargy, poor appetite, and sudden cries of agony could be indications of flystrike. Bring your pet to a veterinarian once you suspect it deals with flystrike as it can be deadly.
Availability – Where to Get One?
The Blanc de Hotots are widely available on the web and local stores these days. You may also try searching for this breed from any rabbit breeder in your area. When getting a Blanc de Hotot, carefully check the animal’s overall condition. Be sure it is 100% healthy. Check its ears, head, body, and tail for wounds or any problems associated with its fur.
Also, check the eyes of the rabbit. Be sure it is not somewhat cloudy or tearing. In general, the animal has to be active and physically healthy. Getting your Blanc de Hotot from a professional breeder is a bit advantageous than getting it from a local pet store. You can easily get tips and pieces of advice on how to keep this breed happy and healthy for the rest of its life.
The cost of one Blanc de Hotot may depend on its origin, and the price may vary from breeder to breeder and pet store to pet store. Perhaps, you can also adopt one. Do your homework and look for any adoption programs that will give you the chance to take care of this species.
Also, you won’t be spending too much on the necessary supplies. This rabbit is not a demanding pet. It just needs food, a cage, and some toys.
How to Care for Blanc de Hotots
A healthy and balanced diet consisting of 70% hay while the other 30% being fruits, leafy green vegetables, and pellets will help keep your pet healthy and active. Hay comes in different forms, but those who own Blanc de Hotots often prefer timothy hay because it contains more crude protein, fiber, and calcium.
Other types of hay that you can offer to your pet include oat hay, orchard grass, meadow hay, and alfalfa. At the same time, water must be readily available for your pet. Bowls could become soiled with hay, bedding, food, and many more.
The enclosure of your rabbit can be kept indoors or outdoors. This will depend on the temperature and weather. The Blanc de Hotots are sensitive to extreme cold or heat, so check the outdoor conditions first before allowing your pet to come outdoors.
If you prefer to keep the enclosure outdoors, then you have to keep it protected against the harsh environmental elements and even predators. Outdoors enclosures made of wood are the best. Indoor enclosures must be crafted using wire and with a solid base made of either plastic or metal.
Both outdoor and indoor cages require bedding on the base, which must be spot-cleaned daily to keep it neat and clean as possible. Replace it completely at the end of every week. To have a friendly and well-rounded rabbit, owners should take time to bring their pets out of their enclosure and have fun with them.
Owners can’t expect to have a sociable pet without exerting effort. Allow the rabbit to explore its surroundings and show it with your tender love and care by hugging and petting its back, head, and ears. This way, the animal will learn how to be a sweet and affectionate creature.
The Blanc de Hotots can keep themselves entertained for most of the day with simple toys, like paper towel tubes and ping pong balls. Provide your pet with one to two toys and allow it to get out of the cage for some time to play with you or your kids. The Blanc de Hotots are easy to train, and many of them enjoy being carried or sitting on your lap.
A cage measuring 24 inches wide and 24 inches tall will be enough for Blanc de Hotots. If you’re letting your pet play outdoors, then a cage measuring 18 inches wide and 24 inches tall will be enough.
Diet and Nutrition
A balanced diet that consists of more hay will be great is combined with a quarter cup of the rabbit pellets every day. It enjoys infrequent treats, rolled oats, and carrots.
Weekly brushing for your rabbit is needed for its happiness and health. Excess fur must be removed every week, either by using a brush that has soft bristles or wetting your hands to avoid intestinal blockages.
Blanc de Hotots as Pets
They make good pets for anybody, even families with kids of all ages. Kids must learn the basics of handling these rabbits. This way, they will understand the best way to handle and treat the Blanc de Hotots without getting the animals or themselves hurt.
Blanc de Hotots have sweet dispositions, making them great pets for families. They are also quite playful and curious. Rabbits do their best when they are just the only animal in the house, though they can also be friends with other pets at home.
Supervise your kids whenever they interact with the rabbit. Teach the children how to look after the animal and how to handle it with care. Also, remind the kids not to try surprising the rabbit as it may scratch and bite.
The bite of Blanc de Hotots is not a big problem. These rabbits don’t carry venom like snakes, but the wound may incur infection if left untreated. Once your pet bites you, wash the wound and apply the antiseptic solution. Then, seek medical help for proper medication.
With their calm and friendly nature, the Blanc de Hotots are the best pets for singles and senior citizens. They are also good for families with kids. Do you live in an apartment? If that is your case and you’re thinking of getting a rabbit, then this breed is a good choice for you, too. The Blanc de Hotots are not loud and noisy like birds, so they are perfect for apartment occupants that are looking for their first pet.
Fun Facts About Blanc de Hotots
- The Blanc de Hotots are widely known for their lustrous fur. It’s among their most prominent and captivating features.
- These rabbits are hardy and very active. They are also sociable and affectionate to their owners.
- Also, the Blanc de Hotots are easy to handle and will do well in wire cages.
- Females turn to be good mothers once they start reproducing. They also have huge size litters.
- The bunnies grow faster than you could imagine. They can reach the ideal marketing weight in no time. By that time, the breeders will sell them to interested rabbit keepers.
- The Blanc de Hotots are blessed with good eyesight. They also have good senses of hearing and smell. All these things help them a lot in keeping themselves secure against predators. They need these good senses, especially for the ones living in the wild, to ensure their survival.
- Since they are hardy animals, they can live for 5 to 8 years in the wild. However, when raised and kept in captivity, the Blanc de Hotots will last for up to 10 years.
Where did Blanc de Hotots originate?
The Blanc de Hotots are among the widely known European rabbits. They originated in France.
How long does Blanc de Hotots live?
Their life span is shorter if they live in the wild. Wild specimens live for 5 to 8 years, while the captive ones can live for up to 10 years under proper care and nutrition.
What are the possible predators of Blanc de Hotots?
No information has been provided about this. However, bigger mammals and reptiles like raccoons, wild dogs, and snakes can become their predators.
Are Blanc de Hotots good pets?
The Blanc de Hotots are good pets. They are lovable, calm, playful, affectionate, and hardy pets that are so easy to take care of.
Does Blanc de Hotots love being held?
Petting is one of the things they love about humans. Playing with them, petting, and rewarding them with treats are things that make them very happy as captive animals.
Can I keep my Blanc de Hotot outdoors?
This breed can be kept indoors and even outdoors. However, you need to be mindful of the weather and temperature outdoors as extremely high, and low temperatures can be dangerous to Blanc de Hotots.
Do Blanc de Hotots bite?
Though these rabbits are calm and friendly, they still tend to bite and scratch. It may likely occur when they feel threatened or surprised, so proper handling is a must.