The Blanc De Blouscat is a French breed of pet rabbit. This breed isn’t too common outside of France. In fact, even finding information on this breed can be difficult unless you read French.
Originally, this breed was developed for both meat and fur. They’re quite large for this reason, which is likely why they are known as gentle giants. However, today they are one of the most popular companion rabbits in France.
Quick Facts about the Blanc De Blouscat
|Species Name:||Blanc De Blouscat|
|Temperament:||Docile, friendly, playful|
|Diet:||Hay, veggies, pellets|
|Minimum Cage Size:||3 feet+|
Blanc De Blouscat Overview
The Blanc De Blouscat was originally known as the Ermine rabbit. It originates from France, where it remains popular today. It is a newer breed, initially being bred in 1906 by Mr. and Mrs. Dulon. Their goal was to create a large, white rabbit by combining a few different rabbits, including the Flemish Giant, Champagne d’Argent, and French Angora.
Originally, this breed was bred for its meat and fur. That is one reason why it is so large.
However, today, it is mostly a companion animal. It is quite popular in its native France but is quite rare beyond that. It should not be confused with the Blanc de Hotot rabbit, though they have several similar features.
How Much Do Blanc De Blouscat Rabbits Cost?
Because this rabbit is rare outside of France, it is difficult to find one unless you live in its native country. Still, if you do happen to find one of these bunnies, you can probably expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $50. Like most rabbits, they are generally pretty inexpensive. Rabbits have lots of babies and don’t take up much space. It doesn’t cost much to breed them. These savings are often carried over to the price of the babies.
Occasionally, these rabbits can cost up to $200 if they are bred for showing. Show rabbits with promising pedigrees are usually more expensive, as they are more likely to win in shows. If you aren’t planning on showing your rabbit, you probably shouldn’t purchase one that is this expensive.
Typical Behavior & Temperament
These rabbits are known for being rather gentle. They like their people and are friendly. They are often known as gentle giants for this reason. They are calm and docile in most situations and around most people, which makes them a great family pet.
They are an active breed, so you will have to provide plenty of playtime. They aren’t a rabbit that is going to sit around in their cage all day. They need plenty of outside time to hop around and expend some of their energy. They love to play, which is a great personality trait for families with children.
The Blanc De Blouscat is a bit smarter than most rabbit breeds. They can be trained to use the litter box and do tricks. Most are fast learners and eager-to-please, so they’ll respond whenever you ask them to do something. We highly recommend teaching them to use a little box, as this will make cleaning up their cage much easier. Some people even have a “rabbit room” with a litter box, which allows the rabbit more outside time.
If you have children, this is one of the best rabbits you can get. They are larger, which makes them less likely to be injured by the children. Most small children can’t manage to pick them up because they are too heavy. Of course, you will still need to teach your children how to behave around rabbits, which means no loud noises and no physical playing.
Appearance & Varieties
These rabbits weigh at least 13 pounds with no upper limit. This makes them rather large by any standard. They fall into the category of giant breeds for this reason. Their bodies are also quite muscular and strong, which makes their large size even more imposing. Their long ears are very thick and are always held upright.
Because they were once bred for their fur, these rabbits have a dense, silky coat that is soft to the touch. They are absolutely pet-able, so it’s a good thing they do like to be pet. Their fur doesn’t require any special grooming, though they do have a molting season. During this period, you should brush them regularly to keep too much fur from entering their digestive system.
While their digestive system can handle a little bit of fur, too much fur can cause blockages, which can be deadly.
These rabbits were specifically bred to only be pure white. They are not any other color and have no markings. They also have red eyes, which is a signal that their fur has no pigmentation at all.
How to take Care of a Blanc De Blouscat
Habitat, Cage & Setup
These rabbits require a similar cage to other large rabbits. Their cage should be at least 3’ W x 2’ H. However, larger is preferable. These are giant rabbits and they are quite active. They require a decent amount of exercise and movement for this reason. A larger cage is better at providing this than a small one.
They will need a food bowl, as well as something to put their hay in. Their cage should not have a wire bottom, as this can cause damage to their feet. This is especially true because of this rabbit’s large size. Preferably, the bottom of their cage should be made out of wood or something similarly solid.
You should take these rabbits out of their cages for exploration regularly. They love to explore outside with supervision, as long as the plants in your yard are safe for them to eat. You should never leave your rabbit unsupervised when it is out of its cage, as they are still vulnerable to predators and getting lost. Indoors, they can chew on wires and get caught in tight spaces.
Do Blanc De Blouscats Get Along with Other Pets?
These rabbits are large and docile, so they do get along with most other pets. However, despite their larger size, they can still be vulnerable to predatory pets like cats and dogs. You should never leave them alone unsupervised with another animal for this reason.
You also shouldn’t keep multiple rabbits in the same hatch, as they can be territorial. This is particularly true for females, but you shouldn’t put two males together either. Females will even be aggressive towards males, except when they are in the mood to breed.
In general, rabbits should be kept alone for the most part. They are solitary animals, so they don’t need other rabbits to socialize with. Most are perfectly content with just their owners.
You can have other animals in your household, but it is best to leave the rabbits in a particular room away from the other animals. This is particularly true if you have cats and dogs. Other small rodents and other similar animals can be kept in the same room as the rabbit. For instance, there should not be any problem with keeping a lizard and a rabbit in different enclosures in the same room. Just don’t have them out at the same time.
What to Feed Your Blanc De Blouscat?
Blanc De Blouscat rabbits need the same diet as all other rabbit breeds. However, because they are larger, they do need to eat more food than other rabbits. They should always have access to high-quality hay. The hay helps their digestive system work properly, helping prevent clogs and similar problems.
While hay is important for nutritional reasons, it is particularly useful because it wears down the rabbit’s teeth. A rabbit’s teeth grow constantly. If they are not worn down, they can grow through the rabbit’s face or cheeks. If left unchecked, this can cause eating problems and potentially deadly infections.
On top of a steady supply of hay, rabbits should also be fed pellets. These pellets really work as vitamins. They’re packed full of nutrients and help ensure that your rabbit is getting everything they need in their diet. These pellets should only make up a small percentage of the rabbit’s overall diet, though. They do not help wear their teeth down and are not particularly good for their digestive system.
You should also provide your rabbit with a small number of fresh veggies. There are certain vegetables that are better than others, so be sure to do your research before feeding anything to your rabbit. Fruits can be given as well, but most are too high in sugar to be a regular part of your rabbit’s diet. They may be used as treats, but moderation is essential.
Keeping Your Blanc De Blouscat Healthy
These rabbits are relatively healthy. While all rabbits are on the healthier side and often have no health problems, these rabbits are particularly healthy. They are not prone to any known hereditary problems. However, as rabbits, they are prone to a few of the common rabbit diseases. Usually, these rabbits become sick because they are not properly taken care of. If their needs are provided for, they rarely become sick.
Because of their larger size, they do need a substantial amount of hay to keep their digestive system running properly and to keep their teeth worn down to an appropriate length. These rabbits do self-groom, so there is little grooming that needs to be done on your part. However, they also tend to eat the loose hair they groom off of their body. This hair can cause blockages, which is a life-threatening condition.
These rabbits can also potentially become obese if they are not exercised properly. They have high energy needs and need quite a bit of outside time to get the appropriate amount of exercise.
Obesity can lead to all sorts of problems. Perhaps most importantly, it can limit the rabbit’s ability to groom themselves. This can cause flystrike, which involves flies laying eggs on the rabbit’s fur. When the eggs hatch, they eat the rabbit. This can be life-threatening, as secondary infections are common. Plus, it’s pretty painful!
Of course, this disease only seems to be a problem for dirty rabbits, as flies are more likely to lay eggs on things that smell bad – like a dirty rabbit. You should groom your rabbit during shedding season. However, even if it isn’t grooming season, you should examine your rabbit’s coat regularly for fly eggs.
Breeding a Blanc De Blouscat rabbit is similar to breeding any rabbit. You should wait until the female is fully grown, which will take a little bit because these are larger rabbits. They’re simply growing for longer periods.
Rabbits do not have a mating season. They also do not ovulate according to a set schedule. Instead, they ovulate after they have mated. They can technically be bred at any time for this reason. However, females only seem to be interested in mating during certain times. This can be difficult to predict. For this reason, you may have to attempt to breed the rabbit multiple times before it actually happens.
Once the rabbit is pregnant, you will need to provide her with a nesting box. This should only be large enough for the rabbit to turn around in. You don’t want your rabbit spending too much time in the box, as this can cause the rabbit to use it as a litter box, which is the last thing you want.
You should also keep the rabbit’s area quiet and peaceful while she is pregnant and after she gives birth. Stressed rabbits will eat their babies and make poor mothers in general. When the rabbit has little to worry about, they make much better mothers, and their babies are far healthier. You should provide the rabbit with as much hay as she wants. Her food consumption will likely increase in the days leading up to birth.
Are Blanc De Blouscats Suitable for You?
These rabbits are suitable for any family, as long as you provide them with the correct care and plenty of time out of their cage. They are suitable for children, but the children will need to be taught how to properly take care of the rabbit. Children should never be allowed to pick up the rabbit, as this can potentially injure them.
These rabbits are quite affectionate, though they aren’t exactly the type to cuddle. They like to play, which makes them most suitable for children and teens who actually want to do something with their pet. If you’re just looking for a soft bunny to cuddle you, this isn’t it.
Blanc de Bouscat (Image Credit: Lionel Allorge, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0