how to tell if a rabbit is wild or domestic

They need to run free, and be safe while doing so. Despite this, there is a range of differences. All pet rabbits are breeds that originate in Europe. Just bear several things in mind: If you answered yes to all of these questions, you have a new family member. 6+ Weeks Old. All of the traits rabbits have that make them suited for the wild have been bred out of the house breeds. Ears. Unfortunately, the outcome for a domestic rabbit released into the wild isn’t likely to be very good. You may think they both look alike, but they’re relatively easy to tell apart once you know how to recognize how they differ physically. As a means of surviving, rabbits tend to have very nervous dispositions. It’s a process of breeding and trait selection that unfolds over many generations. You cannot lock a rabbit in a hutch all day. Even domesticated rabbits carry zoonotic diseases. Let’s take a look! Save my name and email in this browser for the next time I comment. THere are a few domestic rabbits that are the agouti color, though so you do have to look for size and body shape, too. Consequently, they are not even the same species as outdoor rabbits. I've seen wild rabbits before but the rabbit that I saw looked WAY WAY WAY DIFFERENT from the wild rabbits that i've seen in my state (Connecticut). If the rabbit cautiously approaches you, then it’s domesticated. Rabbits are creatures of instinct. If you suspect your rabbit is overweight, there are certain signs that can help you determine that, such as:. Some domestic rabbits, however, do wear the colour of their ancestors. In theory, if the owner of a pet rabbit cannot be found, you can keep it. Another sign of an anxious rabbit is being aggressive. The rabbit may be hungry or thirsty. Tell her to use one hand to grasp the rabbit's scruff and use her other hand to scoop under his rump. A wild baby rabbit’s diet is similar to any rabbit. Will A Wild Baby Rabbit Survive in Captivity? Wild rabbits are much smaller than domestic rabbits, with adult Cottontails weighing up to 1.81 kg (4 lb) and domestic rabbits reaching more than 4.54 kg (10 lb), according to breed. Not only that but just judged on appearance you can tell: Wild rabbits are light brown in colour, whereas a domestic bunny usually has a spotted coat or albino fur, with droopy lop ears. The head of a wild rabbit will be longer and thinner. A hare’s ears are more prominent than those of a rabbit, and often have black tips. First, ensure the rabbit is healthy. There are 14 breeds of rabbit found in the U.S. though, none of which are domesticated. If that’s not a sign that your new pet situation isn’t working out, what is? Pets are considered property under U.S. law. They will shrink, shake, and whimper at your touch. To find the precise age of a rabbit is impossible until the guardian can identify the exact date of birth of the rabbits. If the rabbit is safe and healthy, try to locate its owners. Wild rabbits feel trapped in such settings and become frightened. Leave the hutch open at night, with food and water, as they’re more likely to come home at night. Some pet owners still release domesticated rabbits into the wild. These are the sorts of questions we will be looking at in this article, so read on for everything you could possibly need to know about wild and domestic rabbits! How to Tell if my Rabbit is Male or Female - Easy Tips Best It means the rabbit is frightened and trying to protect him/herself. If the rabbit has a microchip, a phone call will likely identify the gender, and history of the rabbit. Be aware though; some domesticated rabbits … Long Answer. If they’re becoming a nuisance, erect a fence. Your email address will not be published. To tell the age of a rabbit, assess the rabbit's overall appearance and behavior. Hares are usually the much larger of the two species. Domesticated rabbits are less likely to run away. If the rabbit approaches you, they are seeking help. If a child has lost his rabbit, their first thought will be to place these. Do you have enough space in your home to accommodate a rabbit? Pet rabbits are fed and protected from predators, so they lack the instincts to survive in the wild. She should then lift and turn the rabbit onto his back. Wild rabbits, meanwhile, will not cope with being domesticated. While you should never say never all signs indicate that it isn’t a good idea to try. Any free animal should be left alone. Keep in mind that wild rabbits typically only experience a life of a year or so under the best of circumstances. You can usually tell if a rabbit is wild or domestic by looking at its physical traits. So, say you catch a wild rabbit. What Happens if You Release a Domestic Rabbit into the Wild? A pet rabbit is raised by its keeper with care and love. Talk to the animal in a rhythmic, singsong tone of voice. You may be able to approach them and scoop them up, especially if tempted with a yummy treat. As the International Society for Animal Rights explains, microchipping is not a legal requirement in any state. They may have a local group dedicated to your area. If the rabbit is domesticated, somebody will be missing his pet. If the orphaned baby rabbit you’ve found isn’t moving, check to see if it’s still breathing. Rabbits are a lot of work. Many eastern cottontails have a white streak down their nose. But a house rabbit lost in the wild world will find it difficult to place for hiding. Less obvious in appearance is a domestic rabbit with agouti coloring. Offer water, and some fresh fruit or vegetables. Appearance: The obvious domestic stray is a lop-ear, albino, or spotted individual. Limpness is usually a symptom of severe dehydration, shock, or sepsis. Furthermore, during the development of the rabies vaccine by Louis Pasteur, bunnies were used for diagnostic testing and they are very vulnerable to this disease. look just as cute and cuddly as their domestic alternative, a domesticated rabbit may not even be able to find food, 9 DIY Hedgehog Cage Plans You Can Build Today (With Pictures), 7 DIY Guinea Pig Beds You Can Build Today (With Pictures), 9 DIY Hamster Toys You Can Make Today (With Pictures). Apply gentle pressure with your fingers to find your rabbit… Have you done everything you can to locate the owner? Do not attempt to handle the rabbit. Check your local area for ‘missing’ posters. Most often, a wild rabbit will be a Cottontail. Most wild rabbits are shades of browish and are not solid colored but have tiny specks in the fur. Domestic rabbits can live a good deal longer than that indoors, but they may not survive a week in the wild on their own. Wear gloves before touching the rabbit. When you know what to look for, the differences between wild and domestic rabbits become clear. Wild rabbits never have floppy ears, and will usually have light brown fur. Wild rabbits do not cope well with confinement. It can sometimes be difficult to know if these are wild bunnies or missing … I'm having so much trouble trying to tell the difference. Required fields are marked *. This is even true of a rabbit that has been mistreated. The sight of rabbits hopping and playing is a common one for people in rural territories. If … Domesticated rabbits lack the instincts required to survive in the wild. Though often weighing less than a pound at this point, their instincts will begin to keep them safe in the wild as they rely solely on whatever food sources they can forage. I found a rabbit in my boyfriend's yard and I have been looking up internet articles on how to tell a domesticated rabbit from a wild rabbit. You should also observe its behavior as pet rabbits are likely to come towards you if undisturbed. Head Shape. If you cannot find anything, check social media. You can tell if a rabbit is wild or a pet by looking at its size and shape. Sometimes people think this means their domestic rabbit is, in fact, a cross between a cottontail and a domestic rabbit-this is not the case. Wild buns do not take to captivity well (excluding wild born domestics, the European or pet rabbit), whereas Domestic buns do quite well and will commonly live to be nine or ten years of age. This will terrify the animal. Let’s take a look! They won’t get along. Finally, a stressed rabbit will appear very nervous. How can you even tell the difference between the two? Your email address will not be published. If the owner of the rabbit gets in touch, you must surrender the animal. Do not shout or make any sudden movements. Alternatively, you can do some detective work yourself. Tempting though it may be, it’s never a good idea to bring a wild animal into your home. You can't tell, but a vet or shelter can (kind of). How to Tell if a Rabbit is Wild or Domestic? Wild rabbits have long, narrow faces; pet rabbits have plumper cheeks and wide, round eyes. Likewise, you should never attempt to tame a wild rabbit. Is the little cottontail hopping around in your front yard a decent potential pet? 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. An escaped pet knows that humans can provide safety and food, though. Not even a professional or an exotic pet vet can tell the precise age of a rabbit. You may also notice that your rabbit has cold ears, or feels strange when you pick it up. Never forget that all rabbits are prey animals. They’ll hesitantly approach you for help. Look for any signs of bleeding, or another injury. A lost pet will be scared and confused, and possibly hungry. Some people may jump straight to a digital notice, hoping for a faster response. It is clear that these animals can have this deadly viral infection. While domestic rabbits are social and prefer to live in groups, the wild rabbits are more likely to do their own thing anyway. Wild rabbits, especially, are skittish. Keep the rabbit calm. How Can I Tell if a Rabbit is Wild or Domesticated? A stressed rabbit will fight another rabbit and may bite the rabbit guardian when the guardian is trying to handle or pet the rabbit. i have a small baby rabbit and i dont know if its wild or domestic, i cant ask a vet since there are no vets in my country i cant ask the one who brought it because they dont what breed the rabbit is please help me how can i know Any rabbit’s digestive system is very delicate, and if they ingest anything out of their natural menu, that can cause stress in their stomach, as well as diarrhea. Agouti is the natural coloring of many small animal species, including cottontails and jackrabbits. Domestic Rabbit Rescue Q&A with House Rabbit Network April 20, 2020 After the premiere of our recent film, Remarkable Rabbits , viewers had additional questions about domestic rabbit rescue and care. In fact, there are many different kinds of domestic rabbits and some of them can reach sizes of more than ten pounds. Unfortunately, it isn’t so simple as that. If you are confident that you have located a domesticated rabbit, you have two primary responsibilities. Domesticated rabbits end up on your property for several reasons. Keep it close to you to transfer your body heat or wrap it in a soft hand towel … Take the rabbit’s temperature. Owners may have released the rabbit. Conclusion. You’d be forgiven for thinking they all look identical. Another easy way to know if a rabbit is male or female is to check if you can notice the testicles. Regardless of domestic or wild, all rabbits tend to run and hide if they are scared. Hares are the same color (Or white in the winter in the north) but have very long ears and long back legs, usually. Give the rabbit a provisional once-over. But how do you know if the rabbit you see is a stray or even domestic? Rabbits are often seen eating grass, flowers, and vegetables in our gardens. This is not the best thing for the animal. This is assuming that you can accommodate the rabbit in your home. If you only have one rabbit, you can give it some companionship, but it will still be lonely at night or when you are away at work. You will never get a wild rabbit as big as a Flemish Giant or as small as a Netherland Dwarf, or with floppy ears like a Lop, or that are ginger-coloured or black and white. You’ll soon have your answer. Like all domesticated pets, a rabbit could escape and then almost immediately regret the decision. Are you certain the rabbit is not wild? These rabbits would not survive in the wild. Check lampposts, and the windows of local shops and homes. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. A responsible owner would have microchipped the rabbit. You could take the animal straight to a vet for this. Observe the size, shape, and most notably, the behavior of the rabbit. You may want to wear gloves since you are going to be touching a rabbit's genital regions. If your rabbit is breathing, call a vet immediately. The best course of action is to try and trap the rabbit and get him to safety. Secondly, do what you can to reunite the animal with his or her owner. And, of course, they also have the adorable little tail that looks like a swab of cotton. Therefore, both domestic and wild rabbits can have rabies. Observing the rabbit will reveal if it’s wild or if it’s escaped from captivity. 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. If you’re still unable to find an owner, take the rabbit to a vet. Here are some guidelines. Wild bunnies are even able to release a guttural noise that sounds quite a bit like a human scream. Is that all it takes to make it domestic? Expect your rabbit to be lonely. Do you understand the complex needs of rabbits? If you see any, take the rabbit for professional help. Non-domesticated rabbits will be afraid of humans as they are prey animals and will never approach us. The shock and fright of unwelcome handling can cause cardiac arrest. The rabbit may be trying to get home and has grown disoriented. Is it even possible to domesticate a rabbit? Some domestic rabbits can have longer or more decorative fur such as angoras or lionheads whereas a wild rabbit’s fur will be more uniform (and shorter than the fancy domestic breeds) throughout their entire body and is … It is true that some domesticated (companion animal) rabbits can come in almost this exact same speckled brown colouring – which is when it can be most confusing to tell them apart. If you are shopping around for a domestic rabbit, the chances are pretty good that you will be able to find something well suited for your home. A rabbit guardian will provide the rabbit with it’s favorite timely and an unlimited supply of hay. If the rabbit gets out into the wild, then it can be difficult to catch, but this is quite feasible with the help of friends and using the walls of prefabricated pens. “As a completely different species, they aren’t able to interact, communicate effectively, or understand each other,” Dr. Wilkinson says. It would be much more difficult to explain the traits of a domestic rabbit because unlike their wild brethren, their physical traits are not so monolithic. Bottom line? Research … If not, the rabbit is unsafe and needs to see a vet. No wild rabbit native to the U.S. has floppy ears. The size discrepancy is the easiest way to differentiate between rabbits and hares. Of course this should go with a grain of salt, as domesticated rabbits that ended up in the wild might show this same behaviour, but I did want to mention this. I’ve loved rabbits for as long as I can remember, so it felt natural to share my passion for lagomorphs with a much wider audience. You shouldn’t try to house a wild rabbit with a domestic rabbit. The differences are, in fact, so pronounced that domestic rabbits and wild rabbits could not even breed with one another, were they given the chance. Featured Image: skeeze and MikesPhotos from Pixabay. Are you sure you have the time and patience to care for them appropriately? The rabbits we keep in our homes are specifically bred to be domesticated pets. They both have that 'aguoti' coat, thaat flecked brown, white, black coat and looks like th photo below, it's a wild rabbit. Domestic rabbits come in a great variety of colours, including the wild rabbit's agouti colouring, and weight ranges from about 2-3lbs to as much as 16lbs or more. Reuniting both parties is a happy ending for all concerned. Attempting to engage may frighten the rabbit. Never, under any circumstances, force a rabbit to interact with you. If the rabbit’s owners cannot be tracked, the vet may refuse to help any further. How you should treat a rabbit depends on whether it is wild or domesticated. Forget what you may have heard. If appearance doesn't tell you, observe the rabbit's … This is not to say that your pet rabbit will never encounter a … Baby rabbits are easy to discern, since they're very tiny and born blind and deaf! So, it makes sense that you’d want to know how to tell if a rabbit is wild or domestic. Lay the rabbit with his head towards her stomach and tail on the edge of her knees. Without a microchip, if you can't find testicles assume it is a young rabbit (of either gender) or an unaltered adult female. Keep your distance, staying still and quiet. No wild rabbit would trust a human. This should be between 100 – 103 degrees Fahrenheit. An avid animal lover, Roland started this blog to help all varieties of pets and their owners on their journey to living their best lives. If you do not have a domestic rabbit, you may not understand their food. How to tell how old a rabbit is? Once a rabbit is sterilized you should wait 6 months before introducing them to the rabbit they will be living with. In addition to being very frustrating to you, the process would also be very traumatizing for the animal. Wild rabbits tend to have little or no color variations, being primarily brown (except white phase snowshoe hares), and are usually just a few pounds when full grown. The rabbit will also likely be missing its human owners. This does not mean the animal has been mistreated. Remember that domestication is almost never something that happens in real time with a single animal. Physical Traits of Wild Rabbit Image: skeeze from Pixabay. The discrepancies in their appearance and behavior are distinct. Food is usually a great motivator. Facebook, in particular. If you do not have a domestic rabbit, you may not understand their food. Knowing these differences helps you understand how to react if a rabbit hops into your yard. Unlike most other animals, male rabbits have a scrotal sac for each testicle, and they are not behind the penis but at each side, and slightly forwards, nearer the belly. How to Tell If Your Rabbit is Sad or Depressed. Let them approach you. The first step is to keep it warm, especially if the animal is cold to touch. If the rabbit is wild, leave them be. Nevertheless, observing a few behavior changes can give you the idea of a rabbit’s estimated age. It may take them another 4 to 6 weeks to fill out into their usual 2-3 pound weights as they grow to be anywhere between 12 and 20 … Sadly, this may not be the case. This most commonly manifests in the ears and the hind legs. However, if the bunny hasn’t reached this state, it’s possible to revitalize it. If your rabbit has survived their adventure, they’ll likely make their own way home eventually. The animal knows that humans can offer safety and comfort. Sometimes a female rabbit will be fine on its own. Consequently, a domesticated rabbit may not even be able to find food in the wild. In the wild, it would be with other rabbits 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Things to look out for include: If you encounter a rabbit and wonder if it’s wild or domesticated, just wait. This will give you easy access to the genital area. The rabbit may have dug a tunnel, ending up in your yard. Wild rabbits are medium-sized with fairly long ears and faces (not short ones like some pet breeds, such as the Netherland Dwarf). How Intelligent are Domestic Pet Rabbits? One and a half months into their lives, wild rabbits are considered fully adult. Wild rabbits will generally use this when approached. While we provide information resourced and canine education, the content here is not a substitute for veterinary guidance. Wild rabbits may look just as cute and cuddly as their domestic alternative, but they are going to have an incredibly difficult time adjusting to life in your home. does not intend to provide veterinary advice. Its eyes will also be narrower – almost almond-shaped. It takes the hormones this long to leave the body. If you have a dog or cat carrier, encourage the rabbit to enter it. This means they’ll have contact details for the owner. You can usually tell if a rabbit is wild or domestic by looking at its physical traits. Domestic rabbits have wide, round eyes and chubby cheeks. Though domestic and wild rabbits look similar to the untrained eye, the two are better off not meeting. Adolescents usually have unmarred coats and spend a lot of time playing and exploring. A wild rabbit’s coat will also be coarser than that of a domesticated rabbit. Some rabbits escape captivity, too. For the most part, the majority of wild rabbits look pretty much the same. If your rabbit is limp and not moving, you should first check for breathing. If you are prepared to help the rabbit, observe the following protocols. Wild rabbits don’t belong indoors, and domesticated rabbits better stay inside. For example our Chinchilla bunny has a typical weight range of 13-16lbs which is even more than our New Zealand's typical weight of about 10lbs, and New Zealand's are known for their large size! My objective is to help owners to keep their pet rabbits happy and healthy. All rabbits have large ears, prominent teeth, and fluffy tails. For the most part, the majority of wild rabbits look pretty much the same. Domestic rabbits are prone to becoming overweight when their natural diet is modified and they begin eating processed food. If the rabbit has its head arched back and mouth open, it’s probably too late to save it. 9 DIY Hedgehog Cage Plans You Can Build Today (With Pictures) →, 7 DIY Guinea Pig Beds You Can Build Today (With Pictures) →, 9 DIY Hamster Toys You Can Make Today (With Pictures) →. They’ll become sick and stressed, and often die. We still see this color often in our domestic rabbits (see Figure B). If the ears are upright, the rabbit may be wild. What To Do If You Find a Lost Domesticated Rabbit, How to Check the Health of an Escaped Pet Rabbit, How to Reunite an Escaped Pet Rabbit with the Owner. You may also need to catch a domestic rabbit running around in the wild that someone has thrown away, as domestic rabbits are not adapted for independent survival in nature. Can I Keep a Lost Domestic Rabbit as My Own Pet? Instead investigate the options in your community for disposing of the rabbit. These will reveal if the rabbit was born free or escaped captivity. Can Wild and Domestic Rabbits Live Together? How do you tell if a rabbit is wild or domestic? Symptoms of rabies in rabbits How do you tell if a rabbit has rabies or what symptoms do you expect it to have? Your chances of achieving lasting results with an animal that has a life expectancy of a year or so is incredibly low. To the layperson, wild and domesticated rabbits look identical. Domesticated rabbits have been carefully bred over many decades to ensure they have qualities that are suitable to the home environment. Wild and domestic rabbits are equally adorable, but looks aside, what exactly do they have in common? This includes putting up your own posters, and using social media. A domestic rabbit will be noticeable by its droopy lop ears, spotted coat or albino fur. We should start by saying that the difference between the two beasts is not simply a matter of having a roof over their heads. The natural, or "wild" coloring of hares, cottontails, and European rabbits is the same: known as "agouti" coloring. You should try to find the owner of an escaped rabbit. If your pet rabbit is not working out, don’t just open the door and let it hop out.

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