How to Speak Rabbit

This page contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.

Raising bunnies is a fairly new adventure for me. As a courtesy, I figured I needed to learn a few bunny terms so I could speak intelligently with other bunny owners.

This is not a deeply thorough list, but it should make it possible to not offend.

rabbit – a small mammal (Leporidae Lagomorpha) Wikipedia
bunny – a common name for a rabbit
buck – male rabbit
doe – female rabbit
colony/nest/herd – a group of rabbits


rabbitry – where rabbits are kept
cage – wire home for your bunny
hutch – wire/wood home with an attached run area (I recommend putting wire on the bottom as well. Did I mention Willow is an escape bunny?)
colony housing – rabbits living in a community in a fenced enclosure
free range – bunnies that don’t live in a cage or hutch

bunnies in hutch

solid – 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

Here’s a picture of Aspen. His fur is broken, white with black
ears and eye circles. He has a couple of spots on his back too.

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 bunnies
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 6-8 weeks
sexing – determining the gender of a rabbit (a very tricky thing to do when they’re little)

binky/binkies – jumping happily
chinning – rubbing their chin on something to mark ownership
flopping – rolling on their back in enjoyment
kisses – licking you, a show of affection

image credits
cage/hutch pictures ©
bunny pictures in order of appearance
© onkelramirez1 / Pixabay
© webandi / Pixabay
© monikasmigielska / Pixabay
© Ernst-Ranftl / Pixabay