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How to Speak Rabbit

When you are raising rabbits it helps to know the definition of words unique to the rabbit world. (Did he say BOSS? What’s a fluffle? My rabbit is broken?)

rabbits talking
Eh? What was that you said?

The following terms should get you through most conversations and before you know it you’ll be speaking rabbit.

A Directory of Bunny Terms

The Basics

rabbit – a small mammal (Oryctolagus cuniculus domesticusWikipedia
bunny – a common name for a rabbIt
buck – male rabbit
doe – female rabbit
senior – a rabbit older than 6 months
junior – a rabbit younger than 6 months
colony/nest/herd/fluffle – a group of rabbits

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Bunny Homes

rabbitry – where rabbits are kept
cage – wire home for your bunny
hutch – wire/wood home, often with an attached run area
colony housing – rabbits living in a community in a large enclosure
free range – bunnies that live without an enclosure


solid/self – fur is all one color
shaded – fur is all one color but transitions from dark to light
broken – white fur “broken” with color patches or spots, this can include nose markings, colored ears, and/or eye circles

This is Aspen. He is “broken black.” He’s a white rabbit with black ears, eye circles, and a few random spots elsewhere.

Aspen is broken black
I’m broken black and I’m very handsome.

Making More Bunnies

sire – father
dam – mother
kit/kitten – baby rabbit
breeding – sire and dam mate to produce baby bunnies
gestation – the time between breeding and kindling
kindling – giving birth to kits
nest box/kindling box – a box provided to the dam for having her litter
litter – baby rabbits born from a single mating
weaning – when baby bunnies move to adult food and stop nursing, about 4-5 weeks
sexing – determining the gender of a rabbit (a very tricky thing to do when they’re little)
trio –  two does and one buck, often chosen to start a rabbitry or new line of rabbits.


binky/binkies – an expression of joy, a jump with a twist or kick
chinning – rubbing their chin on something to mark ownership
flopping – a heavy drop onto their side, usually a relaxed happy movement
kisses – licking you, a show of affection

Acronyms You Will Hear Tossed About

ACV – apple cider vinegar
BOSS – black oil sunflower seeds

For an amazingly huge glossary of rabbit terms:
North Dakota State University: Rabbit Terms

Related Reading:
How to Pick a Healthy Rabbit - Take them home healthy!


Pinterest image for basic bunny terms

Image credits
two bunnies talking © croisy / Pixabay
Aspen © Lori Byerly / Dandelion Hill Homestead
Pinterest image / bunnies talking © croisy / Pixabay

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