Butterfly Rabbit or English Spot Rabbit-appearance, character, care

Known as the butterfly rabbit, English spotted or English spot, the butterfly rabbit is a breed of rabbit that is characterized by its beautiful spotted fur. The special thing about its spots is that they are distributed in a very particular way, giving this rabbit a unique appearance.

Origin of the butterfly rabbit

The butterfly rabbit is one of the oldest rabbit breeds, which was developed in England in the 19th century. The main purpose of this particular breed was for display purposes, which at that time, was not very common as rabbits were used primarily for breeding and meat consumption.

Although the exact breeds that gave rise to the butterfly rabbits are unknown, it has been established that they are probably a cross between English and German spotted rabbits. In 1910, the English butterfly rabbit was imported to North America and years later, in 1924, the ARBA accepted this type of rabbit as a recognized breed.

Characteristics of the Butterfly rabbit

When it comes to size, butterfly rabbits are a medium-sized breed. They have an arched body type, the long slender legs and the hind legs are parallel to their body. They also have rounded hips and vertical ears. The average weight of these rabbits is usually between 2 and 3.5 kg. The largest are considered giant butterfly rabbits.

Without a doubt, the most representative characteristics of the butterfly rabbit are those related to its hair. The ideal coat pattern for the breed is very specific, since the butterfly rabbit must present a base color, usually light, on which specks or spots appear. These specks must follow the following distribution: a chain of points that extends from the hind legs and tail to the neck, where a line begins that follows the spine of the animal. It must also have a mark on the front legs, as well as on the cheeks, a circle around the eyes and a colored nose.

The ears and their base should have the same color as the spots. All these marks are well defined, they are not diffuse nor do they present any shade of the base color. Also, this hair is always short and very dense. Only show-worthy butterfly rabbits have markings. This includes a mark on the nose that looks a lot like a butterfly (hence the name).

The English Spot rabbit breed can come in many different colors , but the ARBA only accepts the following colors: the butterfly rabbit black, blue, chocolate, gold, lilac, and black tortoise.

Black butterfly rabbit:

• Black spots should have a bold, deep black color.
• The coat should be shiny and deep, turning the skin to a slate color.
• The eyes should be dark brown.
• Color must be free of loose white hairs, rust, with a tint or undercoat of any other color that is not required.

Blue butterfly rabbit:

• They should have a deep, rich blue color that runs close to the skin.
• Undercoat should be slate blue.
• The eyes should be light blue-gray in color.

Chocolate butterfly rabbit:

• They should be deep brown and shiny. The color should run very close to the skin, turning dove gray near the undercoat.
• Eyes must be dark brown, a ruby ​​is allowed.
• Faults due to discolored or light color.
• Big flaws for white hairs, rusty color and solar whitening.

Lilac butterfly rabbit:

• It is a diluted chocolate.
• Color should be worn close to skin with a slightly lighter undercoat.
• The eyes should be a light blue gray.

Golden butterfly rabbit:

• Golds should be bright yellow, with white lines around the eyes, nose, lips, and ears.
• All prints tend to be the same color, except for the eye circles, which are usually whitish.
• The eyes should be dark brown.

Gray butterfly rabbit:

• Color should be dark and uniform in color.
• Hair around the eyes, nose, lips, and ears should be tan in color.
• The eyes should be dark brown.
• Faults in grays include sand, brass, or with a brown tint, which have ring color on the body part of the marks.

Black butterfly rabbit tortoise (like shell):

• It is the only shaded color accepted for displays in English.
• The markings on the face should have a darker shading than the rest of the body with the ears and the butterfly in the darkest points.
• Markings in the center of the body from the top line to the middle of the flank should be a lighter shade of bright orange.
• All shaded spots should allow the orange color to shine through.
• The eyes should be dark brown.

English Spot rabbit care

These rabbits are short-haired, so brushing them will be much easier compared to other breeds of rabbits such as the Angora rabbit . Regular brushing is recommended to remove dead hair and dirt. However, baths are not recommended, as with most rabbits, as they are unnecessary, eliminate the protective barrier of their skin, are stressful and can lead to the appearance of respiratory diseases if the rabbit is not completely dry or if it breathes in. Water.

Butterfly rabbits are a very active and lively breed that loves to play and run around everywhere. Therefore, it is not recommended to keep them in spaces that are too small or confined in cages. If they have a cage for certain times or for when they are alone, it is vital that the bed is made of a soft material and that it never has a mesh base, as this causes sores on the rabbit’s feet.

As for the butterfly rabbit’s diet , it must be balanced and varied. We can give you specific feed for rabbits, combining it with large amounts of hay and fresh vegetables. Fruits must be limited by the large amount of sugars they contain.

We recommend that you schedule regular visits with your vet, to be sure that the rabbit does not have any problems.

How long does an English spot rabbit live?

The average life expectancy of these rabbits is approximately 12 years, as long as they have a healthy rhythm of life with good nutrition and exercise.

Like all other rabbits, the most important component of a rabbit’s diet is hay. It wears down the teeth and reduces the risk of disease. We must not forget that the feeding of a rabbit must be based on hay .

Most common diseases of the butterfly rabbit

The butterfly rabbit is not susceptible to any hereditary disease , however there are a few things to keep in mind. One of the most popular problems is tooth overgrowth, but this can be prevented with a balanced diet consisting mainly of hay. If you suspect that your rabbit has overgrown teeth, simply go to a local vet to avoid any infection.

All rabbits have teeth that never stop growing, but in some breeds growth is faster than in others. This is the case of the butterfly, in which if the teeth do not wear quickly, they tend to grow too much causing problems such as malocclusions in the mouth.

If you decide to keep a rabbit as a pet, you should also check its ears periodically for mites, as it is quite common, especially in outdoor rabbits. It is very important to monitor the ground on which our rabbit rests. Well, floors that are too rigid or the bases of mesh cages cause plantar sores, which are very painful and take a long time to heal.

Where to adopt a butterfly rabbit?

Although you may never have heard of butterfly rabbits before, it must be said that it is a fairly common breed, which is increasingly in more and more places. Therefore, it should not be too difficult to find a refuge or association specialized in the reception and adoption of rabbits that has available copies of butterfly rabbits.

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