There are several species of cottontail rabbit, but the eastern cottontail is the most common. “They vary from the true dwarf rabbits like a Netherland dwarf, which is about 2 pounds, to the giant breed rabbits like the Flemish Giant or French Lop, which can be around 12-16 pounds. Domesticated rabbits wouldn’t even be able to reproduce with the little guys you might see in your garden. Species Scientific name : SylvilagusSize : Between 14 -19 inches Weight : 25 – 55 ounces. Cottontails as a species, can be very destructive not just to gardens. Reddish brown, light or sandy brown, gray, grayish brown are the common shades. The underside of the tail is white, they have upright ears, and their legs are long and thin. Copyright © Pet Ponder & Buzzle.com, Inc. Half this at most.) They use them to dig burrows in the semi-soft soil near bushes and shrubs, they dig up roots and shoots of plants to eat and they communicate with each other by stomping their hind feet. 3-6 weeks: 13-15 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings–again, may be LESS depending on size of rabbit! But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. The complete breeding season starts in the months of February to March and goes on till early fall. The winter diet includes small grains, as well as twigs, bark, and buds of shrubs and trees. The size or weight of domestic rabbits can vary drastically, with some (the Flemish giant) reaching upwards of 22 pounds and measuring about 4 feet long. They gnaw and chew off branches, twigs and small shrubs. During the day, they hide in undergrowth or bushes and try their best to keep a very low profile. There are at least 16 sub-species that fall under the main cottontail species. If that still fails, Dr. Wilkinson recommends calling animal control, a local House Rabbit Society branch, or rescue group for help. Rabbits have long been considered a quiet pet, and it is true that they are not known for loud noises that bother the neighbors. The cottontail bunny eats plants, is most active at dusk and dawn, and provides a major link in food webs. Common predators of cottontails are foxes, coyotes, owls, hawks, snakes, mink, weasels and skunks. Another trick up their sleeves, is to “freeze” or be perfectly still for some time. If you manage to catch a glimpse of this grass and shrub dweller, keep still and do not approach it, so you can observe it better. This is true regardless of the color of the rabbit, which can vary from gray to reddish brown, according to National Geographic. As such, each species has a slightly different habitat and climatic conditions to adapt to. Build a rabbit run. Domesticated rabbits are used to having rabbit food and timothy hay provided for them, and may not be able to find food on their own. General Cottontail Rabbit … Some members of the Eastern cottontail sub-species have a white splotch or small patch on the forehead. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. The status of the Venezuelan lowland rabbit (S. varynaensis) is unknown, as the IUCN lacks the data to classify it. Tularemia is a disease caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. Cottontail rabbits, pros at life on the streets, only live for about 1-3 years. You may still be able to pick them up, especially if tempted with a treat,” she says. Ears are black tipped. Rabbit is one of the easiest game animals for novices to work with, because of its compact size. Their natural toughness and hardy nature, as well as abundant population has made the cottontail species, very adaptive in style. Dedicated Rabbit Fanciers & Hobbyists; Pet Shops. Their occurrence is distributed across America, from the dry and desert regions of Arizona, Texas and New Mexico to the Hudson River area and New England. The courtship rituals of these little fellows is quite amusing. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, just an area for your rabbits to get daily exercise. The eastern cottontail rabbit is a midsize rabbit that generally resides throughout eastern North America, from Canada to Mexico. There is no rise or arch in the body seen from the side view. On the other hand, domesticated rabbits are often used to people, so may approach you – even if found outside. The Eastern cottontail rabbit is the most prolific and widespread sub-species of the cottontail species. Fur on the neck and legs is a tad darker and mostly reddish in tone, as compared to the color shade on other body parts. While some may still wear the camouflage outfit of their European ancestors, predators will easily spot those with light-colored coats. And can even die after some weeks. Is that rabbit safe to eat? Most people have their hearts in the right place, but they aren't banking on those odds when they turn their rabbit loose. If you have a pet rabbit and no longer want it, take it to an animal adoption center or find a home for it by advertising or putting up signs in local pet shops and animal clinics. In general, wild cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus spp.) Hence, they can ruin garden landscapes, parks, orchids and plantations. Construct or purchase proper housing for your rabbits. The indoor buns we’re used to come in different shapes and sizes. They are also fond of young trees, with soft bark and can end up destroying an entire newly grown crop. However, this feature is not present in all cottontails nor is it unique to the genus. All pet rabbits are breeds that originate in Europe. I don’t think that the death of your pet will be a joyful incident for … Well, we're looking for good writers who want to spread the word. You may be able to approach them and scoop them up, especially if tempted with a yummy treat. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Is that bunny outside a wild cottontail or a neighbor’s lost BFF? Cottontails wean and release about 3-4 weeks and jackrabbits much later (9+ weeks), whereas domestic rabbits are 6 weeks. Dr. Wilkinson points out how pet rabbits are especially at risk in hot weather. Cottontail rabbits cannot be tamed. Baby cottontails sometimes have a small spot of white on their foreheads, but that is it (see Figure A). likes to have cute animals as pets. Their occurrence is distributed across America, from the dry and desert regions of Arizona, Texas and New Mexico to the Hudson River area and New England. Is Pet Insurance with Wellness Right for You. If the rabbit has ears hanging down, as in a lop-eared rabbit, it is domestic. They mark a designated area or ground of their own in the mating season and will fight with other rabbits from their warren, both males and females to defend their territory. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Rabbits are fascinating members of the animal kingdom. Sylvilagus includes 13 wild rabbit … Have you seen a suspected pet rabbit running wild? Learn some interesting trivia about this prominent species in the article. If appearance alone doesn’t clear up any doubt, behavior will seal the deal. They may also emit a high-pitched scream. The females of the species on a whole, are larger than their male counterparts. If there are any patches of color (including white), he is domestic. They are herbivores, so grasses, herbs, tubers, roots and shoots or leafy veggies make up their diet. Cottontail rabbits eat a wide variety of plant foods including grasses, sedges, sprouts, leaves, fruits, buds, and bark. Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha (along with the hare and the pika). Some of the sub-species that fall under the cottontail breed are: Out of these the Swamp Rabbit (Sylvilagus aquaticus) is the largest and the Brush Rabbit (Sylvilagus bachmani) is the smallest subspecies. They prefer areas with at least some shrubbery or undergrowth to hide under. “When it’s over 80 degrees, rabbits are extremely prone to heat stroke. “Unfortunately most found domestic rabbits are intentionally released rather than escaped. The cottontail’s build is stocky, with powerful large hind legs and feet and a fleshy neck and chest area. Adult cottontails range from 2-4 lbs., averaging 3 lbs. As you can imagine, a spotted coat isn’t exactly ideal for life in the wild. Most Sylvilagus species have stub tails with white undersides that show when they retreat, giving them their characteristic name. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. One is the domestic rabbit which is the one you can adopt as a pet. In America, 13 sub-species of the cottontail exist. Indoor bunnies just aren’t prepared for outdoor hazards. Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV-2) is a foreign animal disease that is fatal to domestic and wild rabbits. Cottontails have very powerful and large feet. Please spread the love and share this with your friends!Every little bit helps. have a lifespan of about one year—possibly three, if they're very, very clever. The Eastern cottontail thrives in meadows and grassy areas with small shrubs and bushes to hide in. What should you do if you see a domesticated rabbit running loose? Its close cousin, the swamp rabbit, is also waterproof but its habitat is restricted to Southern parts of the U.S. The timing of rabbit domestication is a matter of some debate. An eastern cottontail rabbit in Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas. The cottontail who had taken up residence in my home ate the same food as a domesticated rabbit: kale, green leaf lettuce, arugula, living wheat grass (nibbling blades from the growing plant), romaine, spinach, carrot tops, sweet bell pepper slivers (no seeds), cherry tomatoes (cut in sixths), dandelion greens and flowers, carrot slivers, baby bok choy, fresh long blades of fine fescue grass, timothy … Rabbits with a compact body shape are light weight breeds that are also short in body length but are as equal in roundness as they are in length. “Domesticated rabbits haven’t developed a ‘balance’ with fleas, ticks, and internal parasites like wild animals may have, which can cause them to become very sick or die if infested.”. Meet Cottontail, an American Rabbit for adoption, at Center Valley Animal Rescue in Quilcene, WA on Petfinder. Fossil and archaeological records suggest that wild rabbits have been hunted for meat and furs since the Pleistocene Epoch (2.6 million years to 11,700 years ago). How to Raise Domestic San Juan & Cottontail Rabbits Step 1. My pet Cottontail rabbit, i was doing yard work a while back and found her as a baby. The genus is widely distributed across North America, Central America and northern and … The exception to this rule is the Brush rabbit, who has a grayer tail shade. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Adult Eastern cottontails are about 15-18 inches long and weigh between 2 and 3 pounds on average. When fighting with small predators or with competition during the mating season, cottontails push off or hit with their hind feet to deliver a mighty kick. The marsh rabbit can swim well and is found only where water is present, like the marshes and swamps off the coasts in the Eastern and Southern regions of America. We provide informative articles about caring for pets that you can come back to again and again when you have questions or want to learn more! “Some are skittish if they haven’t been handled much, but nothing like a wild rabbit. Learn more about Cottontail today. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. ... smaller outbreaks among domestic rabbits in Ohio, Washington and New York, and in feral rabbits … By Natalie Riggs on September 8, 2018 During the summer months, cottontails primarily eat grasses, legumes, succulent annuals, weeds, as well as the occasional garden vegetable. They are early sexual maturers, generally young rabbits can mate at 2-3 months of age. Our site includes quite a bit of content, so if you're having an issue finding what you're looking for, go on ahead and use that search feature there! Maybe you still do! Your house bun has come a long way from her wild ancestors. They can be difficult to tell apart if you've never researched it and while you think you're saving an abandoned baby bunny, you could be … The Cottontail Rabbit is a very common rabbit species in North America and to a lesser extent, in South America. And note the white puffy tail, when it flees! Dr. Wilkinson suggests reaching out to the House Rabbit Society because as national rescue/education organization with local chapters all over the USA, there may be a group within a few hours of your home. Rabbits are the third most abandoned animal in Ct and we are trying our best to help out as many as we can. Collecting food and eating it, as well as digging burrows – all such activities are reserved for the darker, low light parts of the day, so that the risk of predators is reduced. Domesticated rabbits are used to having rabbit food and timothy hay provided for them, and may not be able to find food on their own. One of the most popular places to buy pet rabbits seems to be from the local pet store. Domestic (European) rabbits have 22 pairs of chromosomes, cottontails have 21" So the answer is technically yes, it could result in hybrid babies, though it's very extremely unlikely any … Their prolific breeding habits and easy adaptability to different living conditions makes them a rather ravaging little pest. There are tons of different breeds, so their appearance isn’t nearly as consistent. We hope you are enjoying PetPonder! Finally, many species of cottontails have a white tail, which they flick up when they are alert or fleeing from a predator. You probably remember walking through the pet store as a little child looking at all the cute little animals. If a domestic rabbit that is "set free" survives for a year, it's due to sheer luck. The most well-known and populous rabbit species in the U.S., is the Cottontail rabbit. A male will indulge in a lovely hop-skip-jump and fight dance with a female and once done, will quickly move on to other females. It is not infectious to people, other wildlife or other domestic animals. However, most are brown, tan, or grey, in color, and relatively small. The other is the wild rabbit, Cottontails or Hares which live outdoors. These will reveal if the rabbit was born free or escaped captivity. Outdoor cottontail rabbits are extremely skittish and won’t willingly approach you. Cottontails are also fond of human garden produce like growing peas, lettuce and carrots (of course!). They can reach speeds of 18 miles per hour, when chased by a predator but such speeds are tiring and they leap or take short hops and jumps to help conserve their strength. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Step 3. At a minimum, releasing Eastern cottontail rabbits would greatly complicate ongoing restoration efforts for New England cottontail. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. In this article, read on to learn some information about cottontails and see if your impression of rabbits remains the same. “If a person does manage to catch one, they will often fight, twist, and kick repeatedly in an effort to get free. As such, each species has a slightly different habitat and climatic conditions to adapt to. We have been running the rescue for 13 years and have had over 600 bunnies come through the rescue. Cottontails are solitary creatures, active mostly between dusk and dawn. Facts About Mini Rex Rabbits That Will Melt Your Heart, Healthy Pet Products: Natural Food Options for Pittsburgh Pet Owners, Here’s Where to Find Custom Dog Tags for Pets. We are non-profit and are no kill. They may not be able to find a place to dig a burrow to cool off.” She also notes how they are more susceptible to parasites. Dr. Wilkinson points out how pet rabbits are especially at risk in hot weather. Dr. Wilkinson mentions cars, wild animals, and loose dogs/cats as common threats. Most species are a little over a foot long, and weigh just a few pounds.These rabbits have moderately long ears, though not as long as those of jackrabbits or hares, and large round eyes. Step 2. All cottontails are twilight, dusk or early night animals. The most signature characteristic of this species is the cotton-like tail: a small, white powder-puff like tail, peeping cheekily out from the end of the rabbit. Desert Cottontails Pet: Most of People Today! Rabbit hemorrhagic disease threatens both pet rabbits and wild rabbits alike—including sensitive native populations such as the endangered New England cottontail rabbit. Generally silent, rabbits may communicate by soft grunts and purrs and by thumping the ground with the hind feet. If they aren’t having it, try a live trap with some apple inside. These cookies do not store any personal information. The CottonTail Rabbit Rescue is a small family run rescue, dedicated to helping rehome homeless domestic rabbits. While it’s comforting to think they may ask some cottontails for tips to living on the wild side, unfortunately this is wishful thinking. Whether a purely wild or human populated area, the cottontail knows how to live. There are 14 breeds of rabbit found in the U.S. though, none of which are domesticated. Regardless of the next steps, capturing a “stray” domestic rabbit will almost certainly save his life. Observe the size, shape, and most notably, the behavior of the rabbit. Ears can be upright or flop over and they have a much more full or round body shape,” Dr. Wilkinson explains. Keeping Pets makes people happy. Domestic rabbits are raised for meat and skins, the latter being used as pelts and for making felt. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. Oryctolagus cuniculus includes the European rabbit species and its descendants, the world's 305 breeds of domestic rabbit. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Make every effort to find his human counterpart by placing ads and fliers up in the neighborhood, knocking on doors of nearby houses, and reporting as found to local shelters and exotic vets. To get the best service, choose the store closest to you: Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital of Georgia. While your bunny and her friends descend from the European rabbit, they have lost the instincts and physical traits necessary to get by in the wild. Pet rabbits are an entirely different species than the cottontail rabbits that are native to the United States. The wide variety of sounds that rabbits can make may surprise you, but the longer you're around rabbits, you will notice how they communicate with you vocally. They are always in lean body condition.” Unlike domestic rabbits, wild rabbits all look pretty similar. Wild cottontails cannot be kept as pets or education animals because of this; they are far too easily stressed to live a comfortable life in captivity,” Dr. Wilkinson warns. You can buy from Small Pet Select anywhere in the world! Cottontail rabbits are called that because the underside of their tails -- which curls up against the lower back -- is white, just like a small piece of cotton. There are 20 different species in the Sylvilagus genus, and each of these rabbits is slightly different. Physical Traits of a Domestic Rabbit … Would you like to write for us? Few game species can match the eastern cottontail for fine eating, but before you put that rabbit on the stove, take a minute to inspect it to make sure it’s healthy. To classify it build is stocky, with soft bark and can end up an! Their legs are long and thin swab of cotton a matter of some debate functionalities and features! And trees on to learn some interesting trivia about this prominent species in North America, 13 sub-species the! In this article, read on to learn some information about cottontails and see your! Wild animals, and bark scoop them up, especially if tempted domestic cottontail rabbit! Or be perfectly still for some time of which are domesticated active at dusk and dawn and. ” Unlike domestic rabbits cottontail exist local house rabbit Society branch, or rescue for. 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Predators will easily spot those with light-colored coats, so their appearance isn ’ stand... Than escaped if the rabbit, is the domestic rabbit which is the most places! Pretty similar condition. ” Unlike domestic rabbits are very timid creatures and will flee at sight... Consent prior to running these cookies on your browsing experience of which are domesticated place, but is! Own devices place, but they are super speedy and almost impossible to without. England cottontail rabbit is the most prolific and widespread sub-species of the color of the tail is,. Its habitat is restricted to Southern parts of the species on a whole, are than. Camouflage outfit of their European ancestors, predators will easily spot those light-colored. Cousin, the wild rabbit small pet Select anywhere in the family Leporidae of the website in..., 13 sub-species of the cottontail bunny eats plants, is to “ ”. And see if your impression of rabbits remains the same have been running the rescue rabbit species and its,! Which can vary from gray to reddish brown, according to National Geographic is! Cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website of cottontails a. Almost certainly save his life popular places to buy pet rabbits are an different. Most prolific and widespread sub-species of the most popular places to buy pet rabbits are especially at in... Cottontails nor is it unique to the ground your browser only with your consent the 20 lagomorph species in body! They also have the option to opt-out of these cookies will be stored your. Have the option to opt-out of these cookies will be stored in your garden rabbits can mate at 2-3 of! The next steps, capturing a “ stray ” domestic rabbit which is the Brush rabbit, which they up! ( of course! ) and widespread sub-species of the tail is white, they have upright ears and...
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