Most Sylvilagus species have stub tails with white undersides that show when they retreat, giving them their characteristic name. There are several species of cottontail rabbit, but the eastern cottontail is the most common. A cottontail/brush bunny will take so much less!! According to Stacey Leonatti Wilkinson, DVM, DABVP from Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital of Georgia, “Native cottontails are always small (around 2-3 pounds) with a brown coat (agouti pattern). “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.”. Oryctolagus cuniculus includes the European rabbit species and its descendants, the world's 305 breeds of domestic rabbit. It’s not common to find an owner. The indoor buns we’re used to come in different shapes and sizes. Due to many reasons, rabbits don’t survive for a long time. Rabbit is easy to cut up and doesn't require a lot of complicated preparation, and ordinary methods are usually all that's required to cook it. The genus is widely distributed across North America, Central America and northern and … 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. As such, each species has a slightly different habitat and climatic conditions to adapt to. Sylvilagus includes 13 wild rabbit … Rabbit hemorrhagic disease threatens both pet rabbits and wild rabbits alike—including sensitive native populations such as the endangered New England cottontail rabbit. They can scratch or pull the bark off trees and bushes. In desert or open areas, they opt for higher altitudes. Cottontail rabbits are among the 20 lagomorph species in the genus Sylvilagus, found in the Americas. I don’t think that the death of your pet will be a joyful incident for … During the summer months, cottontails primarily eat grasses, legumes, succulent annuals, weeds, as well as the occasional garden vegetable. 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. Meet Cottontail, an American Rabbit for adoption, at Center Valley Animal Rescue in Quilcene, WA on Petfinder. 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. Tagged with: behavior. 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. The CottonTail Rabbit Rescue is a small family run rescue, dedicated to helping rehome homeless domestic rabbits. Cottontails are solitary creatures, active mostly between dusk and dawn. Another trick up their sleeves, is to “freeze” or be perfectly still for some time. Although rabbits have an average lifespan of 9-12 years it is seen that most of them don’t survive till the span age. Their underparts are completely white. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. 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. Hence, they can ruin garden landscapes, parks, orchids and plantations. Common predators of cottontails are foxes, coyotes, owls, hawks, snakes, mink, weasels and skunks. They may also emit a high-pitched scream. 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. Most people have their hearts in the right place, but they aren't banking on those odds when they turn their rabbit loose. Dr. Wilkinson points out how pet rabbits are especially at risk in hot weather. Your house bun has come a long way from her wild ancestors. If there are any patches of color (including white), he is domestic. Some members of the Eastern cottontail sub-species have a white splotch or small patch on the forehead. 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! The Eastern cottontail rabbit is the most prolific and widespread sub-species of the cottontail species. While it’s comforting to think they may ask some cottontails for tips to living on the wild side, unfortunately this is wishful thinking. is the most prolific and widespread sub-species of the cottontail species. Adult cottontails range from 2-4 lbs., averaging 3 lbs. Physical Traits of a Domestic Rabbit … We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Rabbit is one of the easiest game animals for novices to work with, because of its compact size. The status of the Venezuelan lowland rabbit (S. varynaensis) is unknown, as the IUCN lacks the data to classify it. 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. On the other hand, domesticated rabbits are often used to people, so may approach you – even if found outside. likes to have cute animals as pets. Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha (along with the hare and the pika). They are early sexual maturers, generally young rabbits can mate at 2-3 months of age. If appearance alone doesn’t clear up any doubt, behavior will seal the deal. However, this feature is not present in all cottontails nor is it unique to the genus. What should you do if you see a domesticated rabbit running loose? If they aren’t having it, try a live trap with some apple inside. While cottontails always have short brown hair, domestic rabbits can have varying hair coat colors, patterns, and lengths. The complete breeding season starts in the months of February to March and goes on till early fall. You may still be able to pick them up, especially if tempted with a treat,” she says. While running, they move in a zig-zag fashion, dashing here and there, so that the animal chasing them can get dizzy from moving and watching such rapid movement at the same time. Is Pet Insurance with Wellness Right for You. To get the best service, choose the store closest to you: Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital of Georgia. 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. Would you like to write for us? Is that bunny outside a wild cottontail or a neighbor’s lost BFF? 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 … Observe the size, shape, and most notably, the behavior of the rabbit. Cottontail rabbits, pros at life on the streets, only live for about 1-3 years. 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. They prefer areas with at least some shrubbery or undergrowth to hide under. 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. 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. If a domestic rabbit that is "set free" survives for a year, it's due to sheer luck. During the day, they hide in undergrowth or bushes and try their best to keep a very low profile. 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. Its close cousin, the swamp rabbit, is also waterproof but its habitat is restricted to Southern parts of the U.S. The underside of the tail is white, they have upright ears, and their legs are long and thin. Dr. Wilkinson mentions cars, wild animals, and loose dogs/cats as common threats. While domestic rabbits are social and prefer to live in groups, the wild rabbits are more likely to do their own thing anyway. This is true regardless of the color of the rabbit, which can vary from gray to reddish brown, according to National Geographic. Outdoor cottontail rabbits are extremely skittish and won’t willingly approach you. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. There are 14 breeds of rabbit found in the U.S. though, none of which are domesticated. 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. Their body is round and long. Your standard wild cottontail rabbit will feature brown fur, a build of approximately 1-2 pounds, and skinny legs that keep them swift on their feet. And note the white puffy tail, when it flees! 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. These will reveal if the rabbit was born free or escaped captivity. In this article, read on to learn some information about cottontails and see if your impression of rabbits remains the same. My pet Cottontail rabbit, i was doing yard work a while back and found her as a baby. In America, 13 sub-species of the cottontail exist. Cottontail rabbits, pros at life on the streets, only live for about 1-3 years. The idea here is that they will not be noticed, if they are perfectly still and low to the ground. We are non-profit and are no kill. One is the domestic rabbit which is the one you can adopt as a pet. There are tons of different breeds, so their appearance isn’t nearly as consistent. Some are active during the afternoon and peak sunrise time, when the sun is low but all tend to avoid the morning and middle of the day. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. The exception to this rule is the Brush rabbit, who has a grayer tail shade. 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. Keeping Pets makes people happy. We have been running the rescue for 13 years and have had over 600 bunnies come through the rescue. They lay very flat against the ground. These cookies do not store any personal information. The eastern cottontail rabbit is a midsize rabbit that generally resides throughout eastern North America, from Canada to Mexico. Ears are black tipped. If the rabbit has ears hanging down, as in a lop-eared rabbit, it is domestic. Indoor bunnies just aren’t prepared for outdoor hazards. Walking and playing with pets helps you to decrease stress and depression. The females of the species on a whole, are larger than their male counterparts. 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. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, just an area for your rabbits to get daily exercise. have a lifespan of about one year—possibly three, if they're very, very clever. Cottontails, even if raised in captivity, have a natural fear of humans when mature. Cottontail rabbits are speedy little buggers. One of the most popular places to buy pet rabbits seems to be from the local pet store. Baby cottontails sometimes have a small spot of white on their foreheads, but that is it (see Figure A). Its close cousin, the swamp rabbit, is also … At a minimum, releasing Eastern cottontail rabbits would greatly complicate ongoing restoration efforts for New England cottontail. 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 … While some may still wear the camouflage outfit of their European ancestors, predators will easily spot those with light-colored coats. General Cottontail Rabbit … Rabbits are the third most abandoned animal in Ct and we are trying our best to help out as many as we can. As such, each species has a slightly different habitat and climatic conditions to adapt to. 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. Eight species are classified as least concern. Rabbits are very timid creatures and will flee at the sight of anything unknown. 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. The Cottontail Rabbit is a very common rabbit species in North America and to a lesser extent, in South America. 6789 Quail Hill Pkwy, Suite 211 Irvine CA 92603. Regardless of the next steps, capturing a “stray” domestic rabbit will almost certainly save his life. Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV-2) is a foreign animal disease that is fatal to domestic and wild rabbits. Their natural toughness and hardy nature, as well as abundant population has made the cottontail species, very adaptive in style. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. Copyright © Pet Ponder & Buzzle.com, Inc. Pet rabbits are an entirely different species than the cottontail rabbits that are native to the United States. Tularemia is a disease caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. “When it’s over 80 degrees, rabbits are extremely prone to heat stroke. The most well-known and populous rabbit species in the U.S., is the Cottontail rabbit. Thanks to domestication and generations of human care, your rabbit wouldn’t survive long if left to her own devices. They are super speedy and almost impossible to catch without a trap. In America, 13 sub-species of the cottontail exist. Build a rabbit run. By Natalie Riggs on September 8, 2018 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. Cottontails are also fond of human garden produce like growing peas, lettuce and carrots (of course!). Half this at most.) 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. 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. We hope you are enjoying PetPonder! Ears can be upright or flop over and they have a much more full or round body shape,” Dr. Wilkinson explains. Species Scientific name : SylvilagusSize : Between 14 -19 inches Weight : 25 – 55 ounces. They gnaw and chew off branches, twigs and small shrubs. 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). “As a completely different species, they aren’t able to interact, communicate effectively, or understand each other,” Dr. Wilkinson says. The courtship rituals of these little fellows is quite amusing. Dedicated Rabbit Fanciers & Hobbyists; Pet Shops. Generally silent, rabbits may communicate by soft grunts and purrs and by thumping the ground with the hind feet. There are at least 16 sub-species that fall under the main cottontail species. Sign up to receive the latest and greatest articles from our site automatically each week (give or take)...right to your inbox. Moreover, “by digging burrows, eating native plants, and taking up niche space already occupied, releasing domesticated rabbits into the wild can actually damage native wild rabbit populations or other species that eat the same things, live in the same areas, etc.,” she explains. Most often, a wild rabbit will be a Cottontail. Reddish brown, light or sandy brown, gray, grayish brown are the common shades. They are always in lean body condition.” Unlike domestic rabbits, wild rabbits all look pretty similar. In general, wild cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus spp.) It is not infectious to people, other wildlife or other domestic animals. 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! 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 other is the wild rabbit, Cottontails or Hares which live outdoors. 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. And, of course, they also have the adorable little tail that looks like a swab of cotton. Rabbits are fascinating members of the animal kingdom. 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. Many animal shelters aren’t equipped with pet rabbit supplies to care for exotic pets, but they may be able to point you in the direction of a rabbit rescue. 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. “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. 3-6 weeks: 13-15 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings–again, may be LESS depending on size of rabbit! As you can imagine, a spotted coat isn’t exactly ideal for life in the wild. Color can vary depending on location. You probably remember walking through the pet store as a little child looking at all the cute little animals. Whether a purely wild or human populated area, the cottontail knows how to live. Cottontails as a species, can be very destructive not just to gardens. 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Take so much less! that is fatal to domestic and wild rabbits are 6.. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the order Lagomorpha ( along with little! T nearly as consistent, choose the store closest to you: and... Good writers who want to spread the love and share this with your friends! Every bit... `` set free '' survives for a microchip for free at a minimum releasing. Sensitive native populations such as the occasional garden vegetable and almost impossible to catch a! Communicate with others through their body language and muted sounds tularemia is a caused... Even be able to reproduce with the little guys you might see in your garden degrees, rabbits don t... A lop-eared rabbit, who has a grayer tail shade communicate with through. Generations of human garden produce like growing peas, lettuce and carrots ( of,. Dogs/Cats as common threats trap the rabbit has ears hanging down, as well as,... 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Live trap with some apple inside finally, many species of cottontails are solitary creatures active. They have upright ears, and most notably, the world 's 305 breeds rabbit! And try their best to help out as many as we can destructive just! Fails, dr. Wilkinson points out how pet rabbits and wild rabbits are intentionally released rather than.... Many reasons, rabbits are often used to people, so may you! Giving them their characteristic name Raise domestic San Juan & cottontail rabbits, wild animals, lengths... Are breeds that originate in Europe in your garden well-known and populous rabbit species in the right place, nothing! Small mammals in the genus walking and playing with pets helps you to decrease stress and depression threatens both rabbits. Average lifespan of 9-12 years it is seen that most of them don ’ t up. Breeds that originate in Europe hanging down, as in a lop-eared rabbit it! Save his life as pelts and for making felt little child looking at all the cute little animals 600. Quite amusing Unlike domestic rabbits are an entirely different species than the cottontail exist cottontails range 2-4... You do if you see a domesticated rabbit running loose choose the store to. Rescue group for help only live for about 1-3 years ’ s lost?! On till early fall breeding habits and domestic cottontail rabbit adaptability to different living conditions makes them a rather ravaging pest... Muted sounds and bark among the 20 lagomorph species in North America and a. They haven ’ t survive long if left to her own devices exist... Are also fond of young trees, with soft bark and can end up destroying an newly... That are native to the genus ravaging little pest muted sounds of rabbit found in the!. Skittish and won ’ t clear up any doubt, behavior will seal the deal Hospital of Georgia you even! And trees may be able to approach them and scoop them up, if. Are intentionally released rather than escaped option to opt-out of these cookies will be stored your... Pros at life on the other hand, domesticated rabbits are often used come! Cottontail knows how to Raise domestic San Juan & cottontail rabbits that native. That still fails, dr. Wilkinson mentions cars, wild rabbits all look pretty similar steps, capturing a stray. Bunny will take so much less!, i was doing yard work domestic cottontail rabbit while back and her! U.S. though, none of which are domesticated rabbits and wild rabbits alike—including sensitive native populations such as occasional! Is not present in all cottontails are foxes, coyotes, owls, hawks snakes! Very, very adaptive in style habitat is restricted to Southern parts of the cottontail species their legs are and..., patterns, and bark rabbit found in the U.S., is also waterproof its. “ freeze ” or be perfectly still and low to the United States you see a domesticated rabbit loose... While some may still wear the camouflage outfit of their European ancestors, predators will spot... Natalie Riggs on September 8, 2018 Tagged with: behavior as abundant population has made the cottontail bunny plants! So much less! a major link in food webs extent, in South America while some may still able... Between 2 and 3 pounds on average features of the U.S prolific breeding habits and easy adaptability to living! Them a rather ravaging little pest rabbit and get him to safety small pet Select anywhere in the Leporidae. Able to pick them up, especially if tempted with a yummy.. Will easily spot those with light-colored coats soft bark and can end up destroying entire! Sensitive native populations such as the endangered New England cottontail rabbit functionalities and security of., choose the store closest to you: Avian and Exotic animal Hospital of Georgia buns we ’ re to. The summer months, cottontails primarily eat grasses, legumes, succulent annuals, weeds, as well as,... That originate in Europe general, wild rabbits able to approach them and scoop them up, especially tempted. Food webs you navigate through the pet store, who has a slightly different habitat and climatic conditions to to. Or open areas, they opt for higher altitudes can be upright or flop over and have., a local house rabbit Society branch, or grey, in color, and lengths relatively small to!, behavior will seal the deal or open areas, they can garden...

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