The Blanc De Hotot rabbit is a larger version of the more popular Dwarf Hotot rabbit. Although the Dwarf is more well-known, the Blanc de Hotot did come first. These rabbits can be big, weighing up to 11 lbs, and only come in one color — white. They are very sweet animals and do well in a family environment, although socialization is very important for this breed.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Blanc De Hotot breed and seeing whether they might be the rabbit for you, keeping reading below to find out more.
History Of The Blanc De Hotot Rabbit
The name “Blanc de Hotot” means “White of Hotot” and refers to the region in France where the breed was developed. “Hotot” is correctly pronounced “oh-toe,” but in the United States you may hear it pronounced “hoe-toe.”
The Blanc De Hotot rabbit is recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) under it’s current name, but in the 1986 Standard of Perfection, the name was, for unknown reasons, printed as just “Hotot.” The “Blanc” part was forgotten and breeders began referring to them as either Standard or Large Hotots.
Fortunately, Bob Whitman, the man who first brought this breed to the United States, made sure the name was referred back to “Blanc De Hotot” in 2006.
Eugenie Bernhard, chatelaine du Calvados, is credited with creating the Blanc De Hotot breed. She is the second woman in history to develop a new rabbit breed. This rabbit was created in Hotot-en-Auge, Normandy, in 1902 with the purpose of breeding a bun that was perfect for meat and fur.
To breed the Hotot she crossbred a Papillon with a White Vienna, as well as a White Flemish Giant, and ended up working on the breed for around 20 years! She crossed roughly 500 breeds to create this rabbit and finally showed the Hotot in 1920.
The Blanc De Hotot was recognized in France in October 1922, before it was exported to the United States. However, the breed did not last long there and was extinct in the US quickly. The Hotot was then imported to Switzerland but, because of World War II, the breed almost vanished in Europe.
Bob Whitman from Texas is responsible for bringing the breed back to the United States and in 1978, imported eight Blanc de Hotots from France and showed them. They were recognized by the ARBA in 1979.
Characteristics Of The Blanc De Hotot Rabbit
The Blanc De Hotot is a large breed of rabbit but can make a wonderful pet. However, despite all their positives, they are still considered a globally endangered breed and so finding one of these rabbits may be a challenge if you decide they are the right bun for you. You should always make sure you are buying from a reputable breeder.
The Hotot can weigh between 8 to 11 lbs, with does often weighing more than bucks. They have a commercial body shape, a small tail and medium sized ears that stand erect on top of their head.
They have a soft, rollback coat that means when the fur is stroked from the opposite direction, it returns to its original position. It is relatively short, except from the extra-long guard hairs that give the rabbit its frosty sheen.
The standard calls for the Blanc De Hotot Rabbit calls for a frosty sheen, but in an effort to improve the body type, the Hotot has been crossed with many other breeds over the years. Therefore, often the frosty sheen isn’t seen on some of these rabbits.
These rabbits do not need to be groomed very often to keep their fur in good condition. We will go into more detail about grooming them later on.
The Blanc De Hotot Rabbit comes in one recognized color — white all over. Their eyes are dark brown and the only marking they should have is a dark ring around their eyes resembling eyeliner. According to the breed standard set by the ARBA, the eye bands should not be over an eighth of an inch thick.
These rabbits have a wonderful temperament. Docile and friendly, the Blanc De Hotot Rabbit will fit well into any environment as long as they get enough attention and love! They are a laid-back rabbit and do not need too much exercise, but will enjoy playing with toys and keeping themselves entertained.
The Hotot needs to be socialized properly when brought into a home. They can be a little worried and wary at first, so you will need to show them you love them and soon they will learn! Spend lots of time with them out of their enclosure, petting them and giving them lots of affection.
You should always respect your Hotot’s personal space, especially when they are new to your home. If they are afraid or frightened, then they might try to bite.
The Blanc De Hotot Rabbit has an average lifespan of between 7 to 10 years, which is longer than a lot of rabbits. They can live even longer if they are cared for properly.
Known Health Issues
The Blanc De Hotot Rabbit does not have any breed-specific health problems, but they can be prone to many of the same issues that other rabbits can suffer from. We have laid out these main concerns below.
– Flystrike — this is when flies lay their eggs on soiled patches of fur and, when their eggs hatch, they begin to eat the rabbit from the inside out. Symptoms include seizures, loss of motion (listlessness) and skin irritations. Always ensure your rabbit’s rear end is clean, especially as they get older.
– Malocclusion — this is when the upper and lower teeth are misaligned so that the normal process of chewing doesn’t wear down your rabbit’s teeth. Regular dental checkups are very important. You should also make sure your rabbit eats plenty of hay.
– GI Stasis — this is a potentially deadly condition in which the digestive system slows down or stops completely. Symptoms include loss of appetite, small or no fecal pellets and lethargy. It can be treated if caught quickly.
– Ear Mites — this is a common parasite of pet rabbits. You may see your rabbit shaking their head a lot if they are affected. Your vet will be able to treat them.
Like all rabbits, they can also suffer from back issues if they are mishandled or accidentally dropped, especially because of their large size.
Regular vet checkups will ensure that you catch any health problems before they become too serious. You should also make sure that you are buying from a reputable breeder.
Now we know all about the traits and characteristics of the Blanc De Hotot Rabbit, it is time to take a look at what living with one of these rabbits every day is like. Fortunately, they do not have very high care needs, but there are still things you’ll need to watch out for. Below we will cover their food and diet, their exercise needs, their grooming requirements and their living space requirements.
Food And Diet
The exact amount you feed your Hotot rabbit should be based on their size, age and activity level. Of course, you will be feeding your Hotot more than the average rabbit, purely because of their bigger size! Ensure you don’t overfeed them; an overweight rabbit is more prone to health issues.
They should be eating a portion of hay that is at least as big as their body size every day, alongside pellets and fresh vegetables. Fresh water should also always be available to them.
Hay is very important as it helps to keep your Hotot’s digestive system moving, as well as helping to wear down their teeth so they are less prone to dental issues. At least 70% of your rabbit’s diet should be hay.
High-quality supplementary pellets help to provide extra vitamins and minerals that keep your rabbit healthy. Take a look at a supplementary pellet food we recommend below.
Best Food For The Blanc De Hotot
Wild Harvest Advanced Nutrition Diet For RabbitsBUY ON AMAZON
We recommend the Wild Harvest Advanced Nutrition Diet for your Blanc De Hotot rabbit. Largely fruit and vegetables based, this provides them with adequate energy levels to stay healthy as well as vitamins and minerals for healthy growth.
This food also contains timothy hay for added fiber that assists with maintaining a healthy digestive tract. Alfalfa and soybean provides protein and useful fats for a healthy skin and coat, too. Fortified with antioxidant nutrients, this Wild Harvest food provides your Hotot with even more added nutrition to help support and maintain overall good health.
In the wild, rabbits run around three miles a day. Therefore, it is very important that you give your pet rabbit enough exercise every day to keep them active and entertained. They should have at least three hours of free-range time, whether this is out of their hutch in the garden or just around the house.
The Blanc De Hotot Rabbit needs socializing and lots of time out of their hutch to bond with their owners, so exercising can be a great way to do this. They can also play with toys which will keep them mentally exercised, so they don’t become bored and destructive. The more interaction and entertainment your Hotot has, the happier and friendlier they will be. If they are stuck in their hutch for too long without time for exercise, they can become bored and destructive.
If you want to leave them alone outside unsupervised, they will need a large secure enclosure. This can be stand-alone or attached their hutch. This will keep them safe from predators and means you won’t need to be on the lookout all the time.
Family Compatibility and Trainability
The Blanc De Hotot can make a fantastic pet for many different people. They will happily live in homes with individuals, couples, the elderly and families with children. They are not overly active but still enjoy exercising and are affectionate and friendly too, so make great companions.
A rabbit can be more difficult to train than a dog or a cat, but this doesn’t mean it can’t be done. You can teach them to use a litter box and you can even try teaching them to come when their name is called!
The Blanc De Hotot can live happily both indoors and outdoors. As a large rabbit, they need a lot of space and so some owners find housing them outside easier. This also gives them space for a run or larger enclosure to exercise in. However, they also love their owners and like to be around them and so can happily live indoors too! Just make sure you let them out of their hutch often for exercise.
It is important you pay attention to the weather when housing your Hotot, or deciding to let them outside to play. They do not do well in very hot or very cold weather and their hutch and enclosure will need protection from the elements.
Whether they are inside or outside, their hutch should be large enough that they can easily hop around inside. Try to stay away from hutches with wire floors as these can cause sore hocks within rabbits. Take a look at the hutch we recommend below.
Best Hutch For The Blanc De Hotot
Aivituvin Rabbit HutchBUY ON AMAZON
We recommend the Aivituvin rabbit hutch for the Blanc De Hotot rabbit. Perfect for use both indoors and outdoors, this two story hutch is made with wood and wire netting to keep your bunny secure. There is adequate space for them to move and hop around and an access door and ramp help your bun to go in and out of the hutch. This means they can freely come and go from their hutch as and when they please.
There is a removable bottom pan for easy cleaning and to ensure your rabbit doesn’t stand in their own poop. This hutch has strong stainless steel casters, exclusive latches and a high quality metal open roof hinge for longer usage and durability.
Fortunately, the Blanc De Hotot Rabbit does not require too much grooming. You should brush them with a slicker brush every two weeks during non-shedding season and once to twice a week when they begin to shed.
You should very rarely bathe your rabbit. It is not really necessary, unless they are really dirty. Bathing can be a traumatic experience for them, too. You should also trim their nails as and when is needed.
Blanc De Hotot Rabbit FAQ’s
What is the difference between the Blanc De Hotot and the Dwarf Hotot?
The main difference between the Blanc De Hotot and the Dwarf Hotot is their size. While they both have the same coloring and black eyebands, the Dwarf Hotot weighs only about 3 lbs, while the Blanc De Hotot weighs between 8 to 11 lbs. The Dwarf Hotot does also not have a frosty sheen on their fur.
Contrary to popular belief, the Dwarf Hotot Rabbit is not just a smaller version of the Blanc De Hotot Rabbit. They were actually created by crossing the Blanc De Hotot Rabbit with other breeds.
How big should my rabbit’s cage be?
The rule with rabbits is: the bigger the better! If you have the space for a big hutch then your rabbit will always appreciate the extra room to roam and exercise. No one wants to be stuck in a cramped space!
If you do not have a lot of space, then the cage should be at least 4 times the size of the rabbit. A guide is 24″ by 36″ for smaller rabbits (less than 8 lbs) or 30″ by 36″ for larger rabbits. Hutches with multiple stories are also popular as they give your bun more space.
The Blanc De Hotot Rabbit is a rare breed that is not very well known, but they can make wonderful pets for many different households. Calm, gentle and affectionate, these bunnies fit in well with family life and do not require too much care. While they are a larger breed, all the Hotot needs is lots of socialization and love to be happy. Do you think the Blanc De Hotot is for you?