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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gents,

This is my understanding...in the US rabbits are "cottontails" and live above ground, having their young in forms. "Jackrabbits" are what I'd call a hare, a quite different species from rabbits. There are a few sub-species of both but the basics are as above.

I ask this as a result of a post shoot chat in the pub; a chum said that using ferrets as we do on rabbit burrows is unlawful in the States. I agreed but pointed out I didn't think your bunnies lived in burrows anyway. Put me right.

Regards
Eug
 

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In Nova Scotia what we call rabbits are really snowshoe hare.A rabbit is born with its eyes closed and no hair.A hare is born with its eyes open and with hair.As a rule rabbits are born in areas having longer summers while hares are born in areas having shorter summers.
 

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The jackrabbit lives West of the Mississippi, and is a lot bigger than a cottontail. I'd say at least twice as big. We don't hunt those for food, at least no one I know does.

BT
 

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Rabbits do make use of burrows, brush piles, old machinery, and other odds and ends of junk that one would be able to use ferrets in (if it were legal). The cottontail rabbit is by far the most common and widespread of the rabbit species but there are a couple of others I believe. It can get confusing as "rabbit" is also commonly used to describe hares such as the snowshoe and jack"rabbits". For some reason I seem to believe the Swamp Rabbit mentioned earlier is also considered a hare. In addition to the differences mentioned above, hares also can also change color to white in those areas in which snow is common.

I had to do a little further research, it appears the Swamp Rabbit is a rabbit and not a hare. "Cottontail" seems to be a catchall for the particular genus of rabbit that lives in North America. It also seems this genus of rabbit nests above ground much more commonly than the rabbits of other parts of the world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks gents.

Do the cottontails actually routinely dig burrows, or just occasionally inherit / make use of one?

Eug
 

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Those I've seen appeared to have taken over an abandoned burrow. I have seen several rabbits dig an entrance hole under an edge of an outbuilding or shed but it didn't involve moving much more than a couple shovel fulls of soil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks again uglydog.

Not much of a market for ferrets with you guys then; I'll have to think of another scheme!

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Eug
 

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I think that digging a burrow for cottontails in my area anyway is dependant on neccessity. I raised rabbits growing up which we kept in a chickenwire pen. rather than use the wooden rabbit hutch that we provided for them they dug burrows. However, if they got out of the pen, which some inevitably did, then they seemed to be happy enough diving into the sticker bushes and making a home there.

just my .02 cents
Eric
 

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My father is the securitary of a Beagle Club, he and my grandfather both have won Beagler of the Year awards in the 15 years they've belonged. Im the newbie, not even a member yet but Im working on it and been told by several members that Ive done more work than most. They have work details in the 3 of the 4 enclosures the club has, covering I beleive 120 acres. If you want some true depth as far as the cottontail goes I can get the information for you. It will take me a little while to get it, and get it back to you. Send me a message if you do, I wont get back online for a few weeks.

From what I can recall from similar discussion with them and what Ive seen at the club. The cottontail borrows holes and burroghs when needed. They dont like to do so though or I beleive that because a few years ago Minks almost destroyed the club. Dad told me Minks would hide in the holes and then suck them try. The fences in the club are typically just rolled back inside the enclosure and they put logs and rocks to hold them down and in time it will grow up on the fence. Ive seen a few spots where it looks like if a cottontail dug it would have dug out. But I keep being told a cottontail wont dig.

As far as Ferrets go, Ive always wanted one since I was a little kid watching the movie BeastMaster! Doubt I get one now unless they are good with kids.
 
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