Quantcast

Warm temps make big ears?

Help Support RabbitsOnline:

gentle giants

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
2,806
Reaction score
2
Location
, Illinois, USA
I was looking over a classified ads section for Mini Rex, and I saw an advert for-surprise!-baby Mini Rex. Anyway, thead goes through and gives a description of each kit, and it said that the two bigger bucks in the litter have bigger ears because of warm temps during gestation/early weeks after kindling? Has anyone else ever heard of this before? Here I always thought it was genetics that made the ears bigger/smaller! Silly me!
 

aurora369

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
3,740
Reaction score
3
Location
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
I dunno, but all of Wildfire's babies ended up with big ears, and neither parent had exceptionally large ears... They where all raised indoors, so I don't know if the heat had anything to do with it.

--Dawn
 

Haley

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2006
Messages
9,883
Reaction score
7
Location
Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA
I dont know about individual litters, but Ive read about how rabbits in different areas of the world adapted to have ear length depending on climate.


 

pamnock

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2004
Messages
12,688
Reaction score
46
Location
, Pennsylvania, USA
The "summer ears syndrome" is often debated.Both genetics as well as environmental factors can affect the ears.

Pam
 

gentle giants

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
2,806
Reaction score
2
Location
, Illinois, USA
Holy cow! You mean this actually has some basis in reality? I thought it sounded totally made-up. I had never heard ofthis before. Mabye it's a good thing I usually have most of my litters in the cool weather, fall/winter/early spring.
 

pamnock

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2004
Messages
12,688
Reaction score
46
Location
, Pennsylvania, USA
He does have some basis in reality as temperature does make a slight difference. However, based onthe fact that ear length in the litter varied so widely, genetics were the primary factor.

Pam
 

bluebird

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2004
Messages
1,981
Reaction score
5
Location
Washington, Pennsylvania, USA
I have read lots of articles about this and both genetics and temperature come into play.as dwarfs are already very compettitive i do not breed when its really hot.its a small difference but at a big show the little things make a difference.my rabbits that have the shortest ears were born in winter.bluebird
 

MyBabyBunnies

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2004
Messages
5,503
Reaction score
4
Location
, ,
But do you know what his parents ears were like?They may be long but they may be shorter than his parents. And as withevery rule, there are exceptions.

I have heard this comment about ears before, I couldn't tell you how many Holland Breeders tell me they like to breed in the winter for shorter ears. I don't see it making a huge difference but I can see it making somewhat of a difference -- I mean, many animals earshave adapted over time to become smaller or larger depending on climate.
 

clarzoo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2007
Messages
537
Reaction score
2
Location
, Florida, USA
I have found this to be true in my fuzzy lops.

Babies born in cooler weather tend to have thicker, shorter ears.Babies from the summer have thinner, slightly longer ears, that tend tofold (an undesirable trait in lops).

I don't breed in the summer anymore- and if I plan to, I bring the doe inside.
 

bluebird

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2004
Messages
1,981
Reaction score
5
Location
Washington, Pennsylvania, USA
My point was genetics are the main factor here.you arent going too get dwarf ears on an english lop because it was bred in the winter.but with my observations of over twenty years and raising hundreds of rabbits i get slightly bigger ears in the heat.its a tiny difference.bluebird
 

gentle giants

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
2,806
Reaction score
2
Location
, Illinois, USA
Yeah, I guess I can see what you mean. Thinking about it, I actually did have one summer litter this year, and one of the bucks had an ear that tneded to fold slightly at the tip.Thankfully, he grew out of that. The problem with doing all your breeding in the winter, though, is that the does tend to not want to co-operate. Is there anything I can do to help "convince" them? When I finally get a good rabbit barn built, I plan on putting in light insulation and keeping the temps at least above freezing in the winter, but that could be a year or two yet.
 

JAK Rabbitry

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2006
Messages
1,432
Reaction score
0
Location
Freedom/Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
The reason is that larger ears help to lose heat. It would make sense if you rabbit acquared slightly larger ears to help keep it cool if there was warm weather about...rabbit being sensitive to heat and all...

Same goes for Elephants. They have these big freakin' ears, right? Rabbits and elephant ears have these uber big blood vessels running through them (take a look at your bunny, you can see them, its ridiculous). Elephants flap their ears to help keep cool....the fannign effect cools the blood in these vessels....and the cool blood ciculates. Like Elephant AC. African elephants have bigger Ears than Indians....Its also hotter in Africa.

Is that amazing or what?
 

gentle giants

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
2,806
Reaction score
2
Location
, Illinois, USA
Yeah, if you have ever seen a pic of (can't remember what they are called) the little wild rabbits that live in Alaska, they have ears like a Netherland, too. They're really cute, too. My little Ned, who is a Netherland, is adorable with his teensy ears and big ol' dark eyes.
 

Latest posts

Top