The Easter bunny hides thousands of eggs for children every year, but do pet rabbits actually lay them?
When the Easter bunny is your only exposure to rabbits, it's easy to see why people may think that rabbits actually lay eggs. If the sneaky Easter bunny is hiding a massive amount of eggs every year, he has to be getting them from somewhere. This train of thought can lead people to think bunny rabbits may produce them on their own. After all, mammals like the spiny anteater and platypus' lay eggs, so it makes sense that bunnies might, too. But do rabbits lay eggs? (It's hard to imagine baby bunnies popping out of shells!) Here's the truth behind rabbits and eggs.
Do Rabbits Lay Eggs?
We all have a lot of egg-ticipation over the question, do bunnies lay eggs? So we did our research, and the answer is no! The Easter bunny makes this especially confusing since most Easter traditions involve hiding eggs. Don't worry. If you have ever wondered if baby rabbits come from eggs, you are not alone. People frequently search for the answer on Google to the tune of 1,000 to 10,000 average monthly searches.
Pet bunny owners clearly know the answer, especially if you have ever found out the hard way that you didn't have two male rabbits. The answer? Female rabbits have live births and don't lay eggs. Instead, as placental mammals, they have embryos in a uterus, much like humans. After a gestation period of about 30 days, the female rabbit, otherwise known as a doe, can deliver as many as 15 baby bunnies!
Where Did the Easter Bunny Myth Come From?
RELATED: The Story Behind the Easter Bunny--And All Those Eggs
The relationship between eggs, rabbits, and other Easter symbols dates back to their origin stories. When Luthern Church became a fixture in Germany, the Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus merged with many pagan traditions. According to History.com, the Easter Hare came to the Americas in the 1700s with German settlers, who came to Pennsylvania. In the Dutch community, the Easter Hare was known as Oschter Haws. The children in the community would put out hats the night before Easter so the Easter Hare could lay colorful eggs. Eventually, the tradition took root across America and began to include chocolate eggs, toys, and other gifts in baskets.
Another theory is that the myth originated with Eostre or Ostara, an ancient festival celebrating the Spring Equinox. Since birds lay eggs and rabbits give birth to large litters in the early spring, these two became a symbol of fertility of the earth at the Vernal Equinox (around March 20 or 21).
Since the mythical Easter bunny delivers eggs that are sometimes hard-boiled and other times chocolate-filled, what are we supposed to think?
Easter Eggs and Hunts
Since we know now that rabbits do not lay eggs, let's talk about Easter eggs! Our chickens lay green and blue eggs that literally look like they came directly from an Easter basket you'd see in a magazine. These chickens are actually called Easter Egger chickens! These colorful eggs make spring the best season where we live since the ladies don't lay as much during the winter months. The goddess of spring visits every morning when I collect eggs.
We are overprepared for Easter egg hunts. Our new life as chicken keepers gives us another reason to love these symbols of Easter. We have Easter gifts that are fresh and delicious. This symbol of Easter makes wonderful scrambled eggs and looks beautiful in a basket.
So yes, Santa isn't as exciting as the Easter bunny when it comes to holiday traditions where we live. After Easter Sunday we're going to need excuses to fill all the baskets we bought!
The main takeaway? Despite the old myths, bunnies are not laying eggs!
Have you ever lived with a pet bunny? They're adorable! Tell us on our Wide Open Pets Facebook page!
READ MORE: So, Where Does The Easter Bunny Live?
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