Do Rabbits Lay Eggs: The Truth Behind the Myth

I asked my 4-year-old daughter the other day if she thought rabbits lay eggs. Her answer was yes.

As an adult, we all know better. But have you ever wondered why you were brought up to believe in the “Easter Bunny eggs?”

Let’s bring this myth to light.

Do rabbits lay eggs?

It’s safe to say that rabbits do not lay eggs as people were led to believe because of the story of the Easter Bunny. Rabbits, in fact, have live births like that of most female animals.

While it’s not particularly proven yet, there was a possibility that prehistoric ancestors of the rabbits laid eggs. The notion was that millions of years before human civilization, most animals had initially laid eggs.

This marked a series of evolutionary events that had spun species into finding better ways to avoid predators because giving live birth vastly improved their chances of survival.

Whether the truth is that or not, rabbits are mammals. This means female rabbits have embryos inside of their uterus and get pregnant for the span of 31 to 33 days. After that, they give birth to about 12 or so babies.

Why do some people think bunnies lay eggs?

The mass belief that rabbits lay eggs came from the religious holiday Easter. In which the Easter bunny is shown laying eggs, representing fertility and life. The two have become famous symbols throughout history.

Since then, rabbits have gained a reputation for reproducing rapidly during the spring. Making them a perfect symbol of life not only for the spring but for the holiday of Easter. Making Easter egg hunts something to enjoy.

On the other hand, according to an article in “Woman’s World,” the story is that the bird’s nesting resembled that of the holes that rabbits make while baby rabbits wait for their mother’s return. So, you can see how people can get that confused.

The origin of the story of rabbits laying eggs

For you to fully understand the scope of the origin. We must go back to the 1700s. Where German immigrants in the state of Pennsylvania, brought over the tradition of rabbits laying eggs. The rabbit was known to the German community as Oschter Haws.

The story goes that the rabbit would lay eggs and gift them to children that were well behaved. This encourages other kids to build a nest and leave them for the Easter Bunny to hop on by and leave an egg for them.

By now you probably guessed it. If not, here’s a little fun fact. As kids would leave cookies and milk for Santa Claus. They would leave carrots for the rabbit in case it got hungry. And like all traditions, it spread across America in no time.

Which, in time, the story of the Easter Bunny expanded into chocolate eggs and toys to leave for the kids. Now thinking about it, you may have heard of the movie based on the Easter Bunny, called “Peter Rabbit.”

Where did the Easter Bunny’s decorated Easter eggs come from?

Again, revisiting the German story.

The Easter Bunny was known for laying out colorful eggs for the kids to recognize. So, it encourages parents and other adults to decorate the eggs and leave them around during egg hunts. 

This was in order to convince kids that the Easter Bunny left them there.

How do rabbits actually have babies?

With what we’ve learned so far, you’re probably wondering how rabbits have babies? As stated earlier, rabbits are known for having fast reproductive rates, that female rabbits, once pregnant, give birth in about 31-33 days.

If you thought that was amazing and/or weird, well, to let you know, rabbits can become pregnant as early as four months of age. The female rabbit is fertile for 3 days per month. Allowing the male rabbit to mate with them through sexual intercourse.

When do rabbits give birth?

Rabbits are known to breed from February to September. With the females having up to twelve babies per litter, which they have about four to five liters per breeding season.

As common with rabbits during the time of breeding. The rabbits would make a nest in grass areas, flowerbeds, or under bushes to keep their babies safe.

So, where does the Easter Bunny come from?

With the Tradition of Rabbits laying eggs coming along with German Immigrants in the 1700s. The pagan belief that the goddess of spring known as Eastre/Ostara, not Ishtar as some have come to believe due to pure speculation, has turned her frozen pet bird into a white bunny.

Why does the mythical Easter Bunny bring eggs?

When you hear the name Eastre/Ostara, the goddess of spring. You’re probably not going to know that she is associated with fertility. And is a friend to all children of all ages.

When her pet rabbit lays the eggs, Eastre is then said to give them to the children that were well behaved. Inside the eggs would lie a gift, and that the gift seemed to have been omitted from any research that was found.

Sadly enough, as in most age-old stories, it has changed so much, to know that only the Easter Bunny himself delivers the eggs to good children.

How did the Easter Bunny make its way into the Bible?

It has long been asked how the Easter Bunny became rooted in the Christian religion? Especially if the Easter Bunny is not mentioned in the Bible at all. Well, according to the Huffington Post. A monk named Bede may have told a bad joke.

He made the connection to the pagan festival Eosturmonath, written in a book around 750 C.E. Which many researchers have concluded that the Monk made up the goddess and the rest was history.

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Author: John