There are many breeds of rabbits, bred for many reasons. The Blanc de Hotot is a gorgeous but rare breed.
The Blanc de Hotot Rabbit
Origin. Blanc de Hotot is a breed of rabbit that first appeared in the early 1900s. People keep rabbits as pets now, but breeders initially bred the Blanc de Hotot rabbit for its fur and meat.
The name is French and means "White of Hotot." The breed has white fur and is originally from Hotot-en-Auge in Normandy, France.
Notable traits. The Hotot bunny is an attractive breed with a white coat and black rings around the eyes. They're also sweet and docile, making them great pet bunnies.
Endangered. Blanc de Hotots are rare and considered an endangered breed. If you're interested in keeping a pet Hotot bunny, it'll be hard to find one, so buy from a respectable breeder.
What's a Dwarf Hotot? The Dwarf Hotot is a smaller breed that looks like the Blanc de Hotot. It has the same fur and black rings around the eyes, but they weigh only 3 pounds.
Blanc de Hotot Size and Shape
The Blanc de Hotot is a large breed of rabbit. Most adult Hotot bunnies weigh between 8 and 11 pounds.
Hotot bunnies have a commercial body type. In rabbit breeding and standards, a commercial body type is full-bodied, meaty, and medium-length.
Along with being full-bodied and a round body type, a Hotot bunny has a small tail and medium ears that stand up tall.
Blanc de Hotot Lifespan
A rabbit's lifespan depends on genetics and health. Most rabbits live to be 8 to 12 years old, but Blanc de Hotot rabbits tend to live longer.
Common health issues. There aren't genetic conditions specific to Blanc de Hotot rabbits. They can get many of the conditions that can affect all rabbits, such as the following:
- Myasas (flystrike)
- Gastrointestinal stasis
- Ear mites
- Uterine cancer
- Urinary tract infarction
- Dental diseases
Symptoms to watch. Rabbits tend to hide any symptoms they have, so keeping a keen eye on their behavior is vital to their health. Some abnormalities to watch for are:
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in bowel movements
- Changes in activity levels (lethargy)
- Respiratory discharge (runny nose, coughing, and sneezing)
- Cold or hot ears
- Teeth grinding
- Bald or dry patches of skin
Vet care. Not every vet is adept with treating rabbits, so find a vet near you with plenty of rabbit experience. Your Hotot bunny needs an annual vet visit to monitor their overall wellness, trim their nails, and examine their teeth.
Caring for Rabbits
You need to prepare a lot to bring home a rabbit. Caring for rabbits is a bit more complicated than caring for a cat or dog.
Enclosure. Your rabbit's enclosure can be an exercise pen, a custom cage, or a rabbit-proofed room, so the bunny can't harm itself. The enclosure should have a covered or cushioned floor.
An enclosure should be about four times larger than the rabbit, so it will have room to move. If you intend to keep your rabbit enclosed most of the time, a larger enclosure is better.
If you're keeping your rabbit outside, the enclosure should have shade and protection from weather and predators.
Enrichment. Your rabbit's enclosure should have plenty of platforms, tunnels, and hides to explore. Open enclosures can be stressful or boring for them.
They also need toys. Different rabbits prefer different toys, but some popular options are:
- Wood toys to chew on
- Untreated wicker toys or phone books that they can shred
- Cardboard boxes
- Toilet paper tubes with hay or treats inside
- Boxes of shredded paper to dig through
- Hard, plastic toys like balls
Rabbits are accustomed to running for miles outdoors, so they need at least 2 hours of unenclosed exercise daily. A large room is ideal for open exercise, but make sure you've removed visible wires, toxic plants, small spaces, and other potential dangers.
Other supplies. Besides enclosure decor and enrichment, you'll need the following for the enclosure:
- Litter box with shredded newspaper
- Sturdy dishes for food and water
- Nail trimmers
Rabbit Temperament and Personality
Rabbits are prey animals, so it takes them a while to be comfortable in a new place. They enjoy petting and attention as long as you're down on the ground with them.
They're easily startled, so consider how your lifestyle will impact their health. A loud or busy home may stress out your rabbit.
Handling your rabbit. The best way to hold your rabbit is to have its back legs secure and its rear in the crook of your elbow. Otherwise, it may get scared, kick, and potentially hurt itself or you.
If your rabbit is scared, it may scratch or bite. Socializing and training your rabbit can help it be comfortable while handling.
Blanc de Hotot Diet
The central part of a rabbit diet is hay. You can supplement hay with hay-based food pellets and leafy greens.
Timothy hay is the ideal type of hay for rabbits. The hay should be clean, fresh, and green.
Fruit as a treat. You can give your Hotot bunny a maximum of 3 teaspoons of fruit per day as a treat. Too much sugar is bad for their health.
Water bowl or bottle. Your rabbit also needs clean, fresh water available at all times. You can put water in a sturdy bowl it can't knock over or a hanging bottle.
Grooming Your Hotot Bunny
Rabbits clean themselves. Taking a bath can be a traumatic experience, so you should avoid bathing them.
Brush your Hotot bunny at least twice a week if it's shedding. If it isn't shedding, it can go a week or two between brushings.
Your rabbit will need its nails trimmed every 4 to 6 weeks with a small pair of trimmers made for cats.
You Know the Blanc de Hotot Rabbit
Blanc de Hotot rabbits are beautiful, gentle animals. Their endangered status makes them hard to come by, but they're a gentle companion to add to your family.