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Why are most domesticated rabbits white?
04-30-2012, 04:24 AM, (This post was last modified: 04-30-2012, 04:26 AM by Ram.)
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Ram Offline
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Why are most domesticated rabbits white?
Wild rabbits show grey or brownish fur from spring to fall. They switch to white fur in the winter. It is for protection, since they can camouflage in the white snow environment during the winter.

If the white fur is for camouflage in the snow, then why the domesticated rabbits are mostly white? Their captivity environment isn't all white. Huh
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04-30-2012, 07:49 AM,
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Alan Offline
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RE: Why are most domesticated rabbits white?
I can't say I've noticed a great deal of white rabbits here. I used to volunteer at a rabbit rescue and the majority weren't white. Tongue
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04-30-2012, 11:27 AM,
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RE: Why are most domesticated rabbits white?
Some of them were selective breed for their color. Not sure if they can all change colors though.
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05-19-2012, 02:07 AM,
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The CatDog Offline
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RE: Why are most domesticated rabbits white?
I think that the pure white rabbits are breed just for to be pets. As most of the times you see an uptick of people getting rabbits during Easter for some reason. The white rabbit is the official unofficial mascot of Easter.

It's just dependent on what the breeders are putting out there and there is a small majority of the normal looking or natural coloration rabbits are out there but imho are probably not as popular with children.
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05-19-2012, 05:19 AM,
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Fishbone Offline
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RE: Why are most domesticated rabbits white?
The white, pink eyed rabbits are basically what would be called albino, it is a natural genetic mutation, it's mode of inheritance is simple recessive. So if they keep getting bred to each other they will all be homozygous for the trait, and will come out white. I assume these are the ones you are talking about. They are bred in abundance here in the US, and other places I'm sure, primarily for feeders, but the way rabbits breed allot of them make it into pet stores. In allot of the rabbit "breeds" there are white rabbits that are not from this trait, I would assume that most of those colours are polygenic in nature, but there may be some that are co-dominant or incomplete dominant as well. I have never bred rabbits, so I couldn't say for sure.
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05-19-2012, 06:23 AM,
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The CatDog Offline
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RE: Why are most domesticated rabbits white?
That makes perfect sense. Big Grin

Yes, the none albino ones are the ones you see more in stores. Taking exception for the long-eared rabbits, those are more in the brown coloration that people seem to prefer. I'm not sure of the exact breed for the white ones though. It's been quite a few years since I've had a rabbit.
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05-19-2012, 04:52 PM,
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Ram Offline
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RE: Why are most domesticated rabbits white?
What I heard from a friend who hunt, the wild rabbits in the area change their color during the winter, but it takes time. So the best time to hunt the rabbit is before they change into snow white and can fit into the environment. At least the rabbits here in Michigan is white during the winter only.

The last time I went to a pet store, I saw rabbits of all colors. It is not winter.
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05-20-2012, 03:31 AM,
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Fishbone Offline
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RE: Why are most domesticated rabbits white?
Well, all rabbits don't change white in the winter either. There are over 50 species of rabbits and hares, and that is not necessarily including all the man made "breeds". Saying a rabbit changes white during winter is like saying Freshwater fish are orange.
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05-26-2012, 01:26 PM,
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Mantis Offline
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RE: Why are most domesticated rabbits white?
Most rabbits I've seen are brown or patchy. I guess it's a regional thing, don't you think?
My favourite colour is green, my favourite number is 19.
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06-07-2012, 01:20 AM,
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Rphoenix Offline
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RE: Why are most domesticated rabbits white?
Where I live, they're actually an equal assortment of colors - white with red eyes, white with black eyes, brown with black eyes, black with black eyes, gray with black eyes - there are a lot of them here!
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06-11-2012, 06:33 AM,
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Sian Lewis Offline
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RE: Why are most domesticated rabbits white?
I've owned a heap of bunnies over the years, 3 were white and the rest were various other colours including one who very much resembled a wild rabbit with his colouring. He lived to be 15 years old.
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06-11-2012, 08:29 AM,
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RE: Why are most domesticated rabbits white?
Interesting questions and answers. I agree with the previous comments that suggested breeds are selected for traits such as color. In New Zealand domesticated or pet bunnies are not all white. In my local pet store there are a variety of colors available including brown, black and spotted. I think perhaps the abundance of white rabbits is just because they are popular. Perhaps people don't want brown rabbits which remind them of wild rabbits?
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06-11-2012, 04:43 PM, (This post was last modified: 06-11-2012, 04:44 PM by Ram.)
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Ram Offline
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RE: Why are most domesticated rabbits white?
I haven't seen any brown rabbits in the wild. They are greyish to me.
In the pet stores, they are brown or white, or black. No grey wabbit there.
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09-18-2012, 11:44 PM,
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RE: Why are most domesticated rabbits white?
That is a good question. Every rabbit I have owned was mostly white. I had one with black spots, but the main color was white. That is something that I have never thought of before. I guess it is just how they are bred.
You are right, in the wild all of the rabbits are usually a brownish color and they usually blend in pretty well.
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12-11-2012, 02:25 PM,
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RE: Why are most domesticated rabbits white?
I had rabbits of all colors. Very few where really fully white.. Most of them had patches of brown and grey on them. Personally speaking I love white bunnies. They are really cute with their red eyes. But my favorite pet rabbit was Garry a soft grey and white bunny.. he was really naught and would often run away.. when we opened the cage.. He was eaten up by a cat at night when he opened his cage and got out. He was the last of my rabbits.. I was so sad that I never had rabbits again.
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