English Spot rabbits are called spotted beauty because of their distinct markings. Besides their appearance, they also have a calm temperament. These bunnies are ideal household pets since they are affectionate and easy to care for. Are you ready to own an English Spot rabbit breed? Learn more about it through this article!
Facts about English Spot Rabbits
|5 lbs to 8 lbs
|5 to 9 years
|Chocolate, black, blue, lilac, gold, tortoise, gray
|Best Suited for
|Singles, couples, families with children, and first-time owners
Background and History
English Spot rabbits are one of the oldest fancy breeds. They appeared in England in the 1850s. It was the period when rabbits were developed for meat and fur. Ironically, this breed was primarily created for rabbit shows. As of now, its origin is still unclear. Some breeders argued that it was a descendant of the Checkered Giant. It was because of its butterfly mark, eye circles, and cheek spots.
The English Spot was imported into Germany and other European countries in 1889. Through National English Rabbit Club, the breed’s markings were standardized in 1891. It was in 1910 that these gorgeous bunnies arrived in the United States. After 12 years, ARBA officially acknowledged the English Spot rabbit breed.
Features of English Spot Rabbits
Because of its markings, the English Spot rabbit breed was called the “Spotted Beauty”. It is a medium-sized bunny with a full-arched body, weighing five to eight pounds. The arch starts from the nape of the neck going to the hindquarters. Its well-rounded hips are wider than the shoulders, and its hind legs are parallel to its body. Since its legs are long and slender, the daylight under its belly is noticeable. The bunny’s ears are long and vertical.
This breed has a short and dense flyback coat. Show quality English Spots have clean and distinct markings. They also possess six types of body markings unique to the breed. One of these is the chain spots located at the base of the neck to the hind legs. It also has a butterfly marking on its nose, eye circles, and cheeks spots.
An English Spot also has ear markings and a dorsal stripe from the top of the ears to the tip of the tails. ARBA recognized seven varieties of this breed. These are chocolate, black, blue, lilac, gold, tortoise, and gray.
The English Spot rabbit breed does not produce only spotted babies. Because the trait is a heterozygous gene combination, litters will consist of some solid colored babies, some with a few markings, and about half will be Marked like English Spots. For another breed that has interesting markings, check out the Harlequin Rabbit Breed.
Temperament and Behavior
The English Spot rabbits are one of the calmest and easy-to-care breeds. As rabbits for shows, they are accustomed to human interactions. They don’t mind being picked up, handled, and cuddled. These bunnies are also sweet, so they are perfect first-time pets for children.
It is also rare for English Lops to demand too much attention from their owners. They can quickly adapt to a busy household, naturally going with the flow. Enough love and care will make them happy. Since these furry pets are not overly active, they can live in tiny homes. However, you should give encourage them to exercise to prevent obesity.
Although these rabbits are not as active as other breeds, they are not dull pets. In fact, they love playing with toys and their owners. Giving them treats will also make them lively and enthusiastic. You may also see them showing their acrobatic moves. English Spots are also intelligent creatures you can train to use the litter. With training, these bunnies can also recognize their names.
However, English Spot rabbits can quickly get frightened, so prevent making loud noises. They may bite you if they are upset. If you let them stay indoors, you should make your house rabbit-proof. Since these bunnies are curious, they may chew the wires and your valuables. Overall, singles, couples, and families with children are ideal owners for them.
Grooming English Spot Rabbits
An English Spot rabbit breed has short fur, so maintaining its coat is pretty easy. You may also not notice when it is molting. However, ensure that you brush its coat at least once a week. Rabbits are clean animals that love grooming themselves. Thus, they are prone to ingest their fur when they are shedding. Ensure that you remove the loose fur off your pet to prevent it from suffering from woolblock.
If you keep show-quality English Spot, you can make its coat glossy by applying a conditioner. But ensure that a vet prescribes the conditioner. Due to rabbits’ sensitive skins, you should not use any chemicals. You must never bathe your pet since it may lead to stress, shock, or worse, death. Apply the conditioner by putting a small portion in your hands and gently rubbing it on your pet’s coat.
Besides its coat, you must also take care of your bunny’s nails. Rabbits that have long nails are prone to injuries. They would scratch themselves or break their nails after jumping on solid flooring. Thus, you must never neglect to trim your pet’s nails. You can cut it at least once a month. But ensure that you use a nail clipper designed for bunnies. Having a partner who can hold the rabbit for you will also make your work easier.
You must also keep the bunny’s teeth strong and healthy by providing it with hay regularly. Giving it some chew toys and twigs will also help to prevent the overgrowth of its teeth. To clean your bunny’s ears, you can wipe them with a damp cloth to loosen the wax. You may also ask the vet for any ear solution you can use.
Like other rabbit breeds, Eglish Spot rabbits need a proper diet to live longer and happier. They have sensitive guts that require the right amount and type of food. Thus, you must take caution when feeding your bunny. Ensure that you are giving it the right veggies and fruits. They must also be fresh at all times.
Your pet needs an unlimited supply of hay daily to have a healthy gut. It is a source of fiber that improves the gut’s motility, making it easier for your pet to pass stool. Also, it helps your bunny to have strong and healthy teeth. There are different types of hay: timothy hay, alfalfa, meadow, orchard grass.
Aside from fiber, your bunny also requires other vitamins and minerals. Leafy greens can help your pet meet the nutritional requirement its body needs. They are also rich in water, so they help in hydrating your rabbit. But as a warning, not all leafy greens are suitable for rabbits. Carrot tops, watercress, cilantro, and basil are some leafy greens safe for your pet.
Fruits are highly nutritious, but you must give them with caution to bunnies. Fruits with too much sugar can cause an imbalance in the gut’s flora. It may lead to gastrointestinal stasis. Your bunny may also become obese, resulting in other severe health conditions. Berries, grapes, melons, and nectarine are some fruits allowed for rabbits.
English Spot rabbits also need an unlimited supply of clean water. It doesn’t only keep them hydrated but also regulates the temperature of their bodies. A well-hydrated bunny also passes stool quickly. Ensure to fill the water bottle with clean water. Also, you must replace the water every day to prevent any contamination.
Since an English Spot rabbit breed has a laid-back personality, you can let it live indoors. But with its curiosity, you must remember to make your home rabbit-proof. It may chew the electrical wires that can electrocute it. You can also train it to use a litter box to prevent mess inside your home.
You must provide a broad and comfortable cage if you want your bunny outdoors. The ideal cage size for medium-sized rabbits like English Spots is 30” by 32”. It must also be sturdy enough to protect your pet from predators and strong winds. As much as possible, the cage must be under a shed or a tree to keep your bunny away from direct sunlight.
In case you are taking your pet for a walk, ensure that there are no toxic houseplants in the area. There must also be no predators around. English Spot rabbits feel extreme fear when they sense predators in the area. The pavement must also not be hot enough so they can walk comfortably.
Health Issues of English Spot Rabbits
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease is a viral disease common to lagomorphs like rabbits. It can spread through direct contact with an infected bunny’s carcass or blood. Your bunny may also get through food and water contamination. Some of the symptoms of this condition are muscle spasms and difficulty breathing. You may also notice your pet bleeding in the nose and mouth.
Unfortunately, RHD is incurable. However, there is a vaccine that can help your pet to prevent the disease. You can protect your bunny by not letting wild rabbits go in your yard. As much as possible, you must not add new bunnies. If you have to, keep them in separate housing. In case you see a deceased bunny, you must get rid of it carefully by putting it in a double bag.
Myxomatosis is another viral disease that your bunny may suffer from. It is caused by the poxvirus known as the Myxoma virus. This disease spreads through mosquitoes and flies. They may have bitten an infected animal and transmitted it to another one. Bunnies that have myxomatosis have the following symptoms:
- Skin nodules
- Swelling around the eyes and genitals
- Skin lesions
- Lethargy and depression
If your pet shows symptoms, it must be diagnosed through virus isolation. To prevent this disease, you must keep your bunny safe from mosquitoes. Cleaning your home and surroundings regularly will help. Also, a vaccine is available to protect your pet. You must also follow the proper procedure in trading rabbits.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the average cost of an English Spot rabbit breed?
The average cost of an English Spot rabbit breed ranges between $10 to $50. However, you must take note of the initial costs of owning this breed. It includes the hutch, food, and supplies. Also, show-quality bunnies are more costly. The price may depend on the rabbit’s condition and where you have purchased it.
Can English Spot rabbits live long?
The average lifespan of English Spot rabbits is about five to nine years. But through proper care, these bunnies may live longer.
Will the English Spot be your next buddy?
English Spot rabbits are one of the best pets you can have because they are laidback and adaptable. Also, they have distinct markings that you will surely love. But like other rabbit breeds, they need proper care and attention to grow healthy and strong. Undoubtedly, the attention and love you would pour out to these bunnies will be worth it!