Quick Guide to Rabbit Terms

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  • Agouti - A hair shaft that has three or more bands of color, with a definite break between each color. Usually dark slate at the base, with two or more alternating light or dark bands or rings of color, which is further inter fused with contrasting dark guard hair, such as chinchillas.
  • Albino - A pink-eyed, white furred/wooled rabbit.
  • Anterior - A normal birth, where the front feet and head are presented first.
  • Awn Fluff - The soft, crimped, intermediate wool fibers ending with a straight tip. A type of wool fiber described in the Giant Angora standard.
  • Awn Hair - The strong, straight guard hair protruding above the undercoat (Awn Fluff) in the Giant Angora.
  • Bangs - The longer wool appearing at the front base of the ears and top of the head in some wooled breeds.
  • Bare Spot - A portion of the rabbit's pelt that lacks fur due to molt or any other cause.
  • Barren Period - A time during which a rabbit will not conceive and reproduce.
  • Base Color - The color of the fur next to the skin.
  • Belly Color- The color on the underside of the rabbit, extending from the forelegs to the crotch area.
  • Blaze - The white markings found on the head of the Dutch rabbit. It covers the nose, whisker bed and runs along the jaw line. The shape is that of a wedge, which tapers from the nose area to the base of the ears.
  • Breach - Hind feet and rump presented first.
  • Brindling - (1) The longer tipped guard hairs carried up the sides of Tans. (2) An intermixture of two colors without definite pattern.
  • Buck - male rabbit
  • Butting Teeth - A form of malocclusion where the incisors meet together evenly instead of the upper incisors overlapping the lower incisors (also called "pegged" teeth). A Disqualification from Competition.
  • Caked Teats or Udders - Engorgement of a does mammary glands and teats with an abundant milk supply (inflammation usually indicates mastitis).
  • Cannibalism - The practice of a doe eating her own young.
  • Cobby - A short and stocky body type which is close coupled and very compact.
  • Conjunctivitis - Inflammation of the inner membrane of the eyelid and sometimes the portion of the membrane that covers the white of the eye.
  • Coprophagy (Cecottrophy) - The normal practice of the rabbit consuming some of the droppings (soft night feces) directly from the anus.
  • Cottony - A very fine, soft-textured fur or wool which lacks guard hair.
  • Crossbreeding - Mating individuals of different breeds.
    Crown - A strong basal ridge of cartilage at the top of the head between the ear base on some lop-eared breeds.
  • Dam - female rabbit that produced an offspring. A rabbit's dam is its mother.
  • Dew Claw - An extra toe or functionless digit on the inside of the front leg.
  • Dewlap - A pendulous fold of loose skin which hangs from the throat. Common in does.
  • Doe – female
  • Ear Canker - An inflamed scabby condition deep inside the ear. It is caused by an infestation of the ear canal by rabbit ear mites. A Disqualification from Competition.
  • Flank - The side of the rabbit above the belly between the ribs and hips (See Figure 1 Above).
  • Fryer - A young rabbit, on average about 3 to 5lbs.
  • Gestation - The time between mating and kindling of a doe, usually about 31 days.
  • Guard Hair - Longer, coarser, projecting hair in the rabbit's coat that offers protection to the undercoat.
  • 'In kimble' - pregnant female rabbit
  • Kindling - giving birth to young.
  • Kindling Box - a box provided to does so that she can make a nest and have babies in it. Also called a nest box.
  • Kit - baby rabbit
  • Litter - Young rabbits being raised by a doe.
  • Malocclusion - The misalignment of teeth.
  • Moult - The process of a rabbit losing its fur or shedding.
  • Muzzle - Projecting portion of the head surrounding the mouth, lower jaw, and nose.
  • Myxomatosis - a severe viral disease of rabbits that decimated the wild rabbit population when it arrived in Britain 50 years ago. Domestic rabbits are also susceptible to the disease and deaths in pets are reported every year.
  • Open Doe - A female rabbit being of breeding age , and not having been bred yet.
  • Out breeding - Mating or breeding of unrelated rabbits of the same breed.
  • Palpate - A test to determine pregnancy. To see if the doe has young in the uterus, by feeling the abdominal wall.#
  • Rabbit fever - An infection in rabbits and other wild rodents caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis that can be transmitted to humans by contact with infected animal tissues or ticks. Also called tularemia.
  • Roughage - Hay, grass or grasslike substance.
  • Sire - male rabbit that produced an offspring. A rabbit's sire is its father.
  • Succulent Feed - Grass, green growing plants, which contain a high percent of moisture.
  • Suckling Period - The time period in which the young nurse from a doe
  • Vent Disease - Found in both bucks and does. Indications are: reddened, scabby, usually pus producing male and female organs.
  • Viral Haemorrhagic Disease - It’s a deadly disease that any rabbit can catch, and it kills most of those that get it. It first appeared in Britain in 1992 and was a notifiable disease until October 1996, when the MAFF (now DEFRA) lifted restrictions on affected premises - the disease had become so widespread that such measures were futile.
  • Weaning - The separation of young from the doe. Ending the lactating and nursing period.
  • Wool Block - Undigestible mass of wool blocking food from passing through the digestive tract. Always feed some roughage, as it helps to clean out any undigested wool in the digestive tract.
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