Rabbit Factsheet




Did you know…

  • A female rabbit is called a doe.
  • A male rabbit is called a buck.
  • Our School rabbits are called Sprocket and Sprout.
  • A young rabbit is called a kit (or kitten).
  • Wild rabbits live in groups.
  • Wild rabbits live underground, in burrows. A group of burrows is known as a warren.
  • More than half of the world's rabbits live in North America. Do you know where that is on the map?
  • Rabbits have long ears which can measure up to 10 cm (4 in).
  • Rabbits have a lifespan of around 10 years.
  • Rabbits are herbivores (they eat plants).
  • Pet rabbits that live inside are often referred to as ‘house rabbits’.
  • Rabbits are born with their eyes closed and without fur.
  • They can produce 20 to 40 babies a year.
  • Rabbits have 28 teeth, which keep on growing continuously throughout its life. Rabbits chew 120 times a minute and have over 17,000 taste buds in their mouth. Rabbits love to chew!
  • The predator of the rabbit is a fox.

Or that…

  • Rabbits have an excellent sense of smell, hearing and vision. They have nearly 360° panoramic vision, allowing them to detect predators from all directions. They can see everything behind them and only have a small blind-spot in front of their nose.
  • Rabbits have extremely strong hind limbs which allow them to leap great distances. They can jump up to one metre high and three metres long.
  • Rabbits are territorial animals which live in loosely organised social groups. They live in warrens comprising of an intricate series of underground tunnels with different entrances and exits.
  • When rabbits ‘binky’, this is an expression of joy. They will run, jump into the air, twist their body and flick their feet.
  • Rabbits are affectionate social animals that enjoy the company of other rabbits.
  • Although typically very quiet, rabbits do communicate vocally. For example, low humming when running around is a signal of affection.
  • Rabbits stand upright on their hind legs to give themselves a better vantage point to look for predators. They alert other rabbits to the presence of danger by thumping their hind legs.
  • For the last 60 years rabbits have been increasingly commonly kept as pets in the UK and other countries. In the last ten years there has been an especially big increase in the UK making them the nation's third most popular furry pet. In 2010 about 1 million rabbits were kept as pets.
  • Rabbits need an appropriate diet. Fibre, in the form of hay and grass, is the most vital food for rabbits - it's essential for their digestive health, and they can die without it. Whilst a small daily amount of green veg is good, a diet based solely on vegetables, fruit and carrots does not provide all the nutrients that rabbits need, leaving them malnourished.
  • Rabbits kept as pets should be offered shelter and hiding places - rabbits confined to open spaces with no protection will feel threatened. Predators such as dogs may also scare rabbits.
  • Much like humans, they need to be kept physically and mentally active. A rabbit's natural environment can be imitated by providing enrichment such as tunnels and platforms for climbing, tree stumps, twigs, suitable toys, and places to hide such as cardboard boxes.
  • Digging is an innate and favourite pastime of rabbits, both wild and domesticated. By providing digging substitutes, such as a sand or earth pit, rabbits kept as pets will be able to dig away without damaging your garden or escaping.
  • Not many people know that rabbits can be trained. Those kept as pets can really benefit from reward-based training. For example, they can be trained to exercise and go over small jumps, which in turn is great for their health. Being active provides physical and mental stimulation and keeps them fit.
  • Rabbits are a symbol of new life, hence their association with spring and Easter.
  • The rabbit is one of the 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac. It represents graciousness, kindness, sensitivity, compassion, tenderness and elegance.

If you have any questions about our school rabbits, do ask Mrs Simpson!

Books about rabbits that you might enjoy