We are so excited to welcome Blanc de Hotot to our Rabbitry!
Our friend, Lisa, of Trinity Hallow, lured us into the breed by exposing us to some beautiful rabbits. Then my mom decided she likes Hotot (pronounced oh-toe) and my kids started begging for “mascara bunnies” and we ended up with the number one rare breed in the U.S. camped out in our back yard!
We alternate between calling these guys “mascara bunnies” and “rock stars” but there’s no doubt they have explosive personalities and a certain je ne sais quoi about them. (I start using French phrases when talking about French bunnies. He he!)
It will be a few months before we have any Hotot babies and it will be a new challenge to get show marked rabbits without any random black spots (Blancs are genetically black rabbits with a Big White Spot), but we’re looking forward to the experience!
I took a rabbit roadtrip to meet another breeder and pick up some rabbits. We have 8 1/2 hours between us so it was a decent undertaking to meet in the middle, especially considering we are both the primary care takers for our family.
The time driving gave me a chance to think about the logistics of transporting rabbits, however.
Rabbits move quite a bit around the country – more than I realized when I started this hobby. Most travel is by vehicle, although there are a few airlines who allow rabbits to be shipped.
Our rabbitry is living proof of how rabbits travel. We have rabbits from Michigan, Georgia, Indian, Washington, Texas, New Mexico, and Ohio here at our little Arizona rabbitry! This is partially because we have some of the more rare breeds and had to do some footwork to get them here, but I’ve been very impressed with how far rabbits move!
Many times people who are attending shows are willing to drive a rabbit with them for a charge of anywhere from $10 to $50. A $10 transport is likely only a few hours, a $50 transport fee will usually include a multi-day caretaking project. There is no set rule book for transporting or Rabbit Relay Guild – but if you ask around you can usually find someone trustworthy who will be willing to let your rabbit hitch a ride for a fee that helps them cover the cost of their own travel.
Because there is no standard, it’s important to ask questions before you confirm the transport:
- How much will the transport cost?
- Who will provide the carrier? You or the transporter?
- What are the carrier dimensions? How about food and water dishes?
- Should you send food with your rabbit(s)?
- What responsibility does your carrier offer in picking up your rabbit? Checking tattoo for accuracy? Healthy check?
- What responsibility does your transporter have if a rabbit gets sick during the journey? What if it dies?
If you’re transporting rabbits, make sure you have all of the above questions answered for each of your passengers, plus you might want to consider a few more items:
- How much room do you have in your vehicle? Will that change based on carrier sizes?
- Are you able to have rabbits in air conditioning at all times? In your hotel room (if traveling overnight)?
- How are you organizing your transport? What is your double check that you have every rabbit you should and get it to the right owner?
- Will you have time to deliver rabbits at a show?
- How confident are you in your ability to see disqualification, wolf teeth, etc.?
We transported at the West Coast Classic this year (and have for a few short journey’s since then). It was an enjoyable, stressful experience for us. We’re definitely open to doing it again, but it was much more work than I initially expected and we had rabbits hanging out at our house for up to a month after WCC waiting for pick up.