If you’re looking for a rabbit to add to your family, why not consider one of the more unusual breeds? The Blanc de Hotot is a beautiful, white rabbit with ultra-soft fur and a sweet disposition that’s perfect for almost any household.
Keep reading for everything you need to know about Blanc de Hotot rabbit care and what these bunnies need to thrive in your home!
Blanc de Hotot rabbit history
As with many other pet breeds, there’s quite a fascinating history behind the Blanc de Hotot rabbit. Its name, which means White of Hotot, was derived from the place where it was first bred: Hotot-en-Auge in the French province of Normandy.
It was actually a woman who first bred them. Eugénie Bernard crossed three other rabbit breeds (Flemish Giants, Checkered Giants and White Viennas), after which she painstakingly selectively bred the result to the Blanc de Hotot we know now. The breed was first officially recognized in France in 1922, around 20 years after Eugénie first set out to create it.
The Blanc de Hotot was subsequently spread throughout Europe, especially Switzerland, although it never became very common. As with many pet breeds, World War II caused a sharp decline in their numbers. In the United States it actually died out not long after introduction, although it has since been reintroduced.
The Blanc de Hotot was originally bred for its meat and fur, though nowadays it’s mostly kept as a pet. Although its numbers appear to be growing and you should be able to find one without breaking the bank too much, it’s not exactly the most common rabbit breed. According to the Livestock Conservancy, it’s considered endangered in North America.
Blanc de Hotot rabbit appearance
Eugénie Bernard’s goal when she started crossing different rabbit breeds was to create a variety with white fur and black eyes. Well, as mentioned above, it took her a long time, but she certainly succeeded!
The Blanc de Hotot is a striking white rabbit with black “eyeliner”. The breed is relatively rounded and weighs between 8-11 pounds, with the females (referred to as does) being the heavier ones. These rabbits are known for their short but extremely soft and lush fur: petting a Blanc de Hotot is a rather wonderful experience!
Housing for Blanc de Hotot rabbit
As discussed above, a Blanc de Hotot rabbit can weigh up to 11 pounds, putting it in the medium to large range. Not surprising, considering there were some Flemish giants involved in creating the breed!
How large your rabbit cage should be depends mostly on how much time you plan on allowing your rabbit out and about. If you’re planning on letting your Blanc de Hotot roam free for much of the day in a rabbit-proofed room, you can stick to the recommended cage footprint for a rabbit of this size. This would be about 8 square feet per rabbit. Be sure not to go for a wire bottom cage, as these can hurt your rabbit’s feet.
If your Blanc de Hotot will be spending most or all of its time in its cage, like if it’s an outdoor rabbit, then the cage requirements change a bit. Indoors, an exercise pen can be a handy choice, as it can be moved and isn’t too expensive. Outdoors, you should aim to build a nice big elevated enclosure with cover that predators can’t get into.
Rabbits really appreciate some bedding in at least part of their cage. You can use straw to make your Blanc de Hotot feel extra comfy and at home.
Did you know? You should regularly brush your Blanc de Hotot rabbit, especially when it’s shedding.
Blanc de Hotot rabbit diet
Most rabbit experts agree that grass hay, like meadow, oat or Timothy hay, should make up 70-80% of your rabbit’s diet and be available throughout the day. The rest should be as varied as possible, although veggies and leafy greens should make up the majority.
Here are some things you can feed your Blanc de Hotot in small amounts aside from their main diet of hay:
- Leafy vegetables
- Vegetables (preferably non-sugary ones) and vegetable tops like carrot greens
- Pesticide-free garden weeds, like dandelion and clover
- Commercial rabbit pellets
Be sure to also always offer multiple sources of fresh water. Change water and hay daily.
Did you know? Rabbit teeth are prone to overgrowing. This is part of why all-day access to hay is important: it stimulates chewing and grinding, which keeps the teeth short.
Blanc de Hotot rabbit temperament
Most rabbits are pretty docile and the Blanc de Hotot is no different. It’s known for its sweet nature and makes a great first rabbit that’s fun but not overly active. Do remember that due to being a prey animal, it can be skittish as well.
A well-socialized Blanc de Hotot should usually be friendly and won’t mind being handled. It helps to start working with your rabbit early, carefully getting it used to humans while making sure you don’t overdo it. Don’t forget to play with and give your Blanc de Hotot plenty of attention every day. You can even try training your rabbit with the help of a clicker, although they’re notoriously stubborn!
The Blanc de Hotot is a lovely, even-tempered rabbit with an interesting history. It makes a great addition to pretty much any type of family, whether it’s your first or your 10th rabbit!