KSS Rabbitry
Haskell, Oklahoma


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About Rabbits

English Spot Rabbit History
(From the American English Spot Rabbit Club website)

English Spot painting
As you can see from this old painting, the English Spot is a unique
and interesting breed of rabbits bred for show, meat and fur.

What is the English Spot?

The precise origin is unknown, just like many of the other older breeds, but it has said to have come from the English Butterfly. The English Spot made its way to America around 1910, but has been prevelent in England since as early as 1850. Some of the first exhibitors of the breed were Bob Scott, Sr., M.W. Meek and Mrs. Margaret Buggunhiem. James Blyth and W.J. Seyfried, the first club secretary, together organized the American English Spot Rabbit Club Inc., in 1924. In the past, the English Spot was a white rabbit with patches of color, very similar to the present day broken variety. Through selective breeding the English Spot acquired its name by becoming a white rabbit with clearly defined markings and especially spots.

The most distinctive thing about the English is, of coarse, its spots. This is the one thing that makes it different from all other breeds. There are seven varieties and they exhibit a full arch body type. This meaning the breed is judged while it is allowed to move naturally on the show table. English Spot does are excellent mothers and will foster young easily. It is not unusual to see English does raising other breeds as well as their own young. In a normal litter of spots you will see three different animals: 25% of the litter will be all one color, called 'selfs' or 'sports', 50% of the litter will be the desired marked English, while the remaining 25% will be animals with partial markings, typically having a moustache similar to Charlie Chaplin. That is why these are called 'charlies'. English Spots do not need a lot of room: 30" x 36" doe and litter pens and 30" x 30" single rabbit pens are plenty of room. As for feed, three to five ounces daily with a bit of oats or hay for a healthy coat and all the fresh water they can drink, will keep them in good condition. If you are looking for a beautiful, hardy rabbit that has challenging genetics, the English Spot is the rabbit for you.

English Spots come in seven different colors called Varieties: Black, Blue, Chocolate, Gray, Gold, Lilac and Tortoise.

Black was the first color Spots came in. The color should be an intense deep black running well to the skin where it blends with a slate blue under color. The eyes are a dark brown.

Blue is the dilute of black and is a beautiful color. A blue should be a dark intense blue running down to a slate blue under color. Proper blue color should not show tints of brown or tan. The eyes are a blue-gray color.

Chocolate - a properly marked chocolate is extremely striking. A chocolate should be a rich, dark brown blending into a dove gray under color. The proper surface color should be that of a candy bar. The eyes should be a dark brown.

Lilac is the dilute of chocolate. It is a dove gray with a hint of pink and should not have a bluish tinge. The eyes are blue-gray. The lilac is a beautiful color.

Gold is one of the more challenging colors but when a gold is the proper color it is a truly amazing. The gold should be a bright, clear gold with no hint of shading. The gold should be uniform in color along the whole body except for the eyes where it maybe lighter. Golds are a challenging color and best left to an experienced breeder. The eyes should be brown.

Gray is unique to the English Spot in that it is NOT an Agouti color but consists of three separate colored hairs - a solid black hair, a black hair with a tan tip, and a black hair with a narrow tan band near the tip. The under color should be a dark slate gray color. In addition there are tan markings on the head and lacing around the ears, eyes and nostrils, and a triangle behind the neck. The eyes should be brown.

Tortoise - The only accepted variety of tortoise in the English Spot breed is the charcoal shading type. The color should be bright orange with smoky shading over the head, ears, and lower flanks with the darkest shading being over the butterfly and ears. Eyes are brown.

Body Type:
The English Spot has a full arch body type. The body of the English Spot should be naturally carried up off the table, showing daylight underneath. The full arch and long limbs allows this animal to carry its body well off the table. The rabbit's hips should be well rounded, of a good depth and slightly broader than the shoulders, but not of a wedged shape. The feet and legs of the English Spot are to be long, slender and be medium to light boned. The longer the legs the better. Hind legs should be longer, and are to be parallel with the body. The head should be in proportion to the body and the ears are to be held erect. In does, the head is not to be as broad as the bucks. Does are allowed to exhibit a dewlap. Does will generally show more tapering than bucks. The body is to be long, and show a full arch, and is to be well balanced. Body type is the first thing a good breeder looks for when purchasing new stock. A speciman who is marked extremely well will not show off these markings without the correct body type.

All of the markings are to be both clean and create a sharp contrast on the white background. The ideal English Spot rabbit will have no stray spots on the head or near the herringbone. It will also have no breaks in the herringbone or white hairs in the colored markings. The sweep will be balanced and look similar to a comma with a narrow start. All of the spots are to be as round as possible. The experienced breeder looks for animals that have clean and distinct markings. They also look for animals with uniform color of markings. Plain or heavy marked animals should not be overlooked in the breeding program.

John and Jan Marshall once described the English Spot as "the most beautiful rabbit ever developed. Combining beauty of markings, a graceful body, a hearty constitution, a gentle disposition, add a touch of curiosity and wrap it up in a 5 to 8 pound rabbit and you have the English Spot."

~ KSS Rabbitry ~
Katelynn S. Sokolowski

Haskell, Oklahoma
Phone: 915-482-1560
Email: katers20011@yahoo.com
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