While all rabbits have unique personalities and looks, one specific breed will elicit quite the first reaction. Hotot rabbits are pure white but the black circles around their eyes make them an amazing sight to behold.
Hotot rabbit: While you may be familiar with more popular rabbit breeds, Hotot rabbits are a good consideration. They have bright white bodies and deep black circles around their eyes, which makes for a striking contrast. These rabbits have had a roller-coaster history in terms of popularity. While they are becoming a more popular breed now, they are still considered threatened. You can find American breeders but it can take a bit longer and you may have to travel. Furthermore, their scarcity results in a higher price. However, Hotot rabbits are friendly and cuddly and make for great pets.
What is a Hotot rabbit?
Hotot rabbits are medium to the large-sized rabbit. The full name is actually Blanc de Hotot, but they are more commonly known simply as Hotot rabbits.
There is both a full-size Hotot and a dwarf Hotot breed. However, the dwarf breed is not a miniature version. Rather, it was bred with full-size Hotot rabbits and other animals to create its much smaller size.
Hotot Rabbit History and Origin
Developed in France, Hotot rabbits have had a turbulent history. The original breeder was a woman named Eugenie Bernhard, who was a pioneer in the field.
The purpose of crafting such a rabbit was for both meat and fur, which you can see in the size of the Hotot rabbit as well as its thick, bright white fur.
Interestingly, the black eye bands that make Hotot rabbits stand out were not something that Bernhard wanted. However, without them, this breed would not be so unique.
After the initial breeding, Hotot rabbits became very popular in the early 1900s until the 1920s.
Rabbit enthusiasts loved the unique appearance of these rabbits, as their eyes are incredibly unique. During this time period, the rabbits spread throughout Europe and made their way to North America.
However, Americans were not as keen as was hoped with these rabbits, and eventually, breeders stopped their efforts as there was no demand. Furthermore, in the aftermath of WWII, Hotot rabbits were not as popular in Europe, either.
At one point it seemed as if Hotot rabbits would become extinct. However, as Europe moved on from the devastation of war, the breed gained some traction and started to become popular again.
Then, during the 1970s, Americans found favor with Hotot rabbits and the breed was once again available.
Although you can find Hotot rabbit breeders throughout the United States, they are still a threatened species and not highly available.
Characteristics of Hotot Rabbit
Size, weight, shape
Hotot rabbits are classified as medium to large-sized rabbits. They grow to be about 8 to 11 pounds in size.
Their shape is fairly standard for a rabbit, with a slightly curved back and paws of standard size.
There are two colors to look out for with a Hotot rabbit, white and black. The fur should be all white.
There should be absolutely no markings on the fur of a Hotot rabbit and its lustrous, thick coat makes it seem all the whiter.
As for the black, this is seen in the black circles around the eyes. According to the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA), these circles should be no more than 1/8th of an inch wide. For European standards, this equates to 5 mm in thickness.
While some rabbits will have different markings, for them to be recognized as a true Hotot breed, the eye circles need to be within the guidelines.
Because Hotot rabbits were initially bred for their coats, they have luscious, thick fur. When you look at the anatomy of their coats, there is a reason for this.
Hotot rabbits have guard hairs, which are the protective hairs on an animal. The purpose of this layer is to protect the undercoat of their fur.
The long guard hairs on the Hotot rabbit contribute to its fullness. All of the hairs on this rabbit are bright white and have an almost shiny appearance.
The lifespan of a Hotot rabbit is about seven to nine years, which is fairly average. Because these rabbits only exist in captivity, they are not susceptible to predators and therefore can live much longer than those in the wild.
Hotot rabbits behave very well although they can be quite energetic. It is best to provide them with plenty of space, both inside and outside.
These rabbits will happily explore their surroundings and you can even try to teach them a few tricks, say with an obstacle course. They are surprisingly quite hardy and while you don’t want to expose them to extreme temperatures, they can be outside when it is colder out, which makes them more versatile.
Overall, Hotot rabbits are very sweet animals. They are affectionate and love a good cuddle.
This is a good rabbit to consider if you want one for a pet as their larger size means they can be handled by children.
It’s best to raise a Hotot rabbit from when they are little. This way they get to know all the family members and feel more comfortable around them.
Hotot Rabbit Care
As with any rabbits, there are a few standard practices when it comes to Hotot rabbit care. First, you should have a good place for them to stay.
These rabbits are usually kept inside, so you want a cage large enough for their size. Aim for a cage that is at least 4 square feet in size. While you can house multiple rabbits in the same space, ensure each animal has enough space to move around.
Hotot rabbits need plenty of exercises so allow them time to roam on their own. If you don’t like the idea of your rabbit wandering the house, simply put up a fenced area in your garden for your rabbit to move around.
Just remember that these are larger animals, so make sure the fence is high enough that they won’t hop over the sides and escape.
Once your cage is set up, you will need to think about proper food. Hotot rabbits need a fresh, continuous supply of grass hay.
While hay should make up about 80 percent of your rabbit’s diet, the remaining 20 percent can be a mixture of vegetables, seeds, pellets, and fruit. Aim for an abundance of leafy vegetables, such as broccoli and spinach, as it has plenty of nutrients as well as a crunchy texture.
Hotot Rabbit Health
Overall, Hotot rabbits do not have major health concerns to be aware of, which is why they make such great pets. The biggest concern is overgrown teeth but there are some simple actions you can take to prevent this.
Rabbit teeth grow continuously so they need crunchy food to keep them in check. You should also bring your rabbit to the veterinarian on a regular basis to ensure they are healthy.
Common signs that there are dental issues with your rabbit include eye discharge, jaw swelling, excessive drooling, and a decreased appetite.
Hotot Rabbit Uses
The usage for all rabbits has drastically changed over the years but here are a few common reasons to own Hotot rabbits.
One of the primary purposes of Hotot rabbits was for its meat. While rabbit meat is not common in the United States, there is still a market for it.
The other primary purpose of Hotot rabbits was for their fur. Just a few minutes of petting this animal will show you how impressive its coat is.
However, fur, in general, is not very popular and while there is still a market for it, wearing fur is declining rapidly.
Rabbits are growing in popularity when it comes to unique pets. These animals like a good cuddle, are happy to live in a cage and have unique personalities.
Hotot rabbits have calm personalities and are very affectionate. Having them as a pet is perhaps their finest purpose.
Further to the idea of owning a Hotot rabbit as a pet, in order for this to happen, they need to be bred. There are some but not many American Hotot breeders and this could be an emerging market to tap into.
Where to Get Hotot Rabbit Breed
Across the United States, you can find Hotot rabbit breeders. However, they are not extremely common so you may have to look around.
Start by searching online and be sure to get in contact with other hobby farm enthusiasts. You may have to travel far to find a breeder.
The average price for a Hotot rabbit ranges between $50 and $150, depending on its size and how old it is. In contrast, more common rabbit breeds cost between $20 and $40.
With their bright white fur and black circles around their eyes, Hotot rabbits are unique and stunning to behold. They have wonderful, calm temperaments and are great as pets.