RABBIT

From Agepedia

Jump to: navigation , search

RABBIT [lepus cuniculus). The rabbit differs from the hare (q. v.) in being of a smaller size, and having shorter ears and hinder legs. It is said to have been originally introduced from Spain into the various countries of Europe in which it is now found. In its wild state, the color of its fur is brown; its tail black above, and white beneath; but when domesticated, the colors vary much, being white, pied, ashcolored, black, &c. In England, rabbits are reared either in warrens or in hutches; the best situations for the former are sandy hills, on which the juniper is thickly planted, as the leaves of this shrub are eagerly eaten by rabbits, and impart a delicate and aromatic flavor to their flesh. If rabbits are kept in hutches, these places should be kept perfectly clean, or otherwise these animals will be sickly. They are extremely prolific, beginning to breed when about six months old, and producing young seven times a year, the litter usually consisting of eight. Should this happen regularly, the produce of one pair, in four years, would amount to the amazing number of 1,274,840. Rabbits are subject to two disorders, which often prove fatal to them,the rot and a kind of madness. They are taken either by snaring them, or smoking them from their holes by the fumes of sulphur. Their fur is extremely useful in the manufacture of hats, and their flesh is more juicy than that of the hare. It is forbidden to be eaten by the laws of Moses and Mahomet.