English Spot Rabbit – information and facts about the English Spot Rabbit Breed. Learn more about English Spot Rabbits in this article. Breed photos are included.
Developed in England in the 19th century, the English Spot is a domestic breed that was bred selectively. Known for its curiosity and fun loving nature, this ‘Spotted Beauty’ has marked its own journey in the world of rabbitry.
English Spot Rabbit Facts
Interestingly, the English Spots are believed to be one of the oldest among the fancy rabbits. While the origin of the breed may still be unknown, it was well accepted that the English Spots originated from the English Butterfly. The breed is thought to be a relative to Checkered Giants because of resemblance in physical features, including the cheek spots, butterflies, eye circles, colored ears, as well as herringbone. The clear difference of the Checkered Giants and the English Spots is their size, since Checkered weighs larger at an average weight of 10-14 pounds.
Since the 1850s, English Spots have been common in England. They were later imported in North America in the year 1910. The development of the breed continued, which resulted in the formation of the American English Spot Rabbit Club in the year 1924. French named this progressing breed “Lapin Papillon Anglais”, equal to English Butterfly Rabbit because of the butterfly marking which can be found on the nose.
While previous generations of English Spot have color patches in its white coloring, successive breeding developed a rabbit with clearly defined markings.
2. Characteristics and Appearance
The average weight of an English Spot rabbit is 5 to 8 pounds. Classified as a medium-sized breed, English Spot is distinguished for having colored markings on its body. These markings run through the butterfly, eye circles, cheek spots, herringbone, colored ears, and a chain of spots found along its stomach.
The English Spot rabbits have a full arch body, coupled with long front paws that would carry them off the table. Ideally, their hips should be well round and should be broader when compared with the shoulders. Their legs are described as long and slender, with the hind legs being parallel with the body. Remarkably, the ears of an English Spot are vertical. You can see that an English Spot is well marked if it does not show off the markings without the correct body type.
This awesome breed has seven color varieties: black, blue, chocolate, gold, gray, lilac and tortoise.
Like what I have said earlier, English Spots are known for its six types of body markings. These include the butterfly, cheek spots, eye circles, colored ears, herringbone and chain of spots.
The butterfly refers to the butterfly marking found in the nose. If you look straight at the nose of the rabbit, the butterfly will just peak in the middle and have wing on both sides. The cheek spots are those colored dots below the eye on both of the rabbit’s sides. The solid color circles found around the eye area are the eye circles. The herringbone pertains to the straight, solid line that runs along the English Spot’s backbone. The herringbone starts from the base of the ears to the tip of the tail.
But above all of these notable characteristics, the most known feature of the English Spot is the chain of individual spots. These spots can be found in both sides of the English Spot’s body and runs from the neck’s base to the hind legs. These spots are ideally as round as possible. And when they run down the rabbit’s sides, their sizes slowly increase.
However, its notable characteristic can also be the breed’s downside most especially to its breeders. Because of the numerous body spots, there are also numerous marking disqualifications for the English Spot. And this is why it’s a big challenge for breeders to raise English Spots.
3. Personality and Traits
English Spots are known to be very active rabbits. Indeed, they would need about 1-2 hours a day just for running. Their activity is at peak during the morning and the night, and they slumber for the rest of the day.
Because of the arched nature of its body, the English Spot will have to run a table’s length in shows and fairs in order to be judged and fully assessed.
The most important part of English Spot’s diet is hay, just like the majority of the rabbits. But they also enjoy other vegetables such as parsley, thyme, cilantro, dandelion and basil. The green and leafy tops of radishes and carrots are excellent choices as nutrient sources as well.
The female English Spot has good motherhood skills. She can raise her young bunny with the litter of other breeds, so fostering care for her baby is not a problem. For English Spots, a normal litter would be composed of 5-7 young rabbits, in a gestation period of 30-32 days. For this litter, 25% will be a solid color, 25% will have partial markings, and 50% will have all of the required markings. These partially marked baby bunnies will have a mustache similar to Charlie Chaplin. And because of this, they are called ‘Charlies’.
When an English Spot is on her pregnancy stage, she will need enough food to support her needs as well as the needs of her baby. During the 4th stage of her pregnancy, breeders can put up a nest box filled with straw in the rabbit’s cage. The doe will then burrow in the straw and begin lining the nest with the hair that she pulls from her stomach. The purpose of this is to provide insulation for her litter and keep them warm. When ready, the English Spot will have her young in the nest. And when they reach 8 weeks of age, these young bunnies are advised of separation from their mother. English Spots can live for more than 5 years in average.
English Spots are amazing rabbits. But it takes patience and determination to unlock their best potentials.