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Are Lucky Rabbits' Feet Keychains Really Made from a Rabbit's Foot?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 16, 2024
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Most rabbits feet keychains are not actually made from a real rabbit's foot. Faux rabbit feet normally are covered with fake rabbit fur, and may be dyed in a variety of colors. To give the fake foot that dried bony feel, the internal structure is often made of latex. There are keychains made with real rabbit's feet available, though to be considered truly lucky, some believe the rabbit must be killed in very specific circumstances.

The superstition behind rabbit's feet keychains has roots in European cultures as well as hoodoo — a mixture of different American magical traditions. The reason why rabbits' feet are considered lucky also varies from the belief that rabbits embody spirits to the value placed in the rabbit's highly reproductive nature. To carry around a piece of a rabbit is believed to keep that luck with the carrier.

The full superstition regarding the luck of the rabbit's foot is quite complex. Not only must it be a real rabbit’s foot, but it must be the left hind foot, as it's considered luckier than the right hind foot. The luckiest feet are those taken from rabbits that are caught or killed in a cemetery. Even the times that the rabbit is killed may matter; some sources suggest that only a rabbit captured during a full moon, new moon or on Friday the 13th will have a lucky left hind foot. Some sources recommend cutting the foot off of the rabbit when it’s still alive, while others suggest that the rabbit must be killed by shooting it with a silver bullet, or killed by a cross-eyed person.

There are still many rabbit's foot keychains made from real rabbits' feet. They’re widely available on the Internet, in tourist shops, and sometimes casino vending machines. They’re often thought to be particularly lucky for gamblers, and are usually fairly cheap. As with any amulet, icon, or other lucky piece, the efficacy of the rabbit’s foot is highly questionable. A rabbit killed for the purpose of obtaining rabbit's foot keychains might want to argue that his feet were certainly not his fortune.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By SteamLouis — On Mar 22, 2011

I personally think that we as humans are always looking for someone or something that can protect us or help us because life is unpredictable and there are always hurdles we need to get through and destinations we want to reach.

I realize that a rabbit's foot is a controversial good luck charm because there is an animal rights aspect to it. I just want to point out that good luck charms exist for a reason. People started believing in them because they were probably faced with unfortunate or dangerous circumstances and needed a source of comfort and security.

I remember my dad had told me that if a traveler kept a rabbit's foot with them, they would have a safe journey and would reach their destination easily. This tradition probably came about a really long time ago when traveling was a difficult and dangerous thing to do. You might have faced hunger, illness or thieves along the way.

There might not be any scientific data about the effects of a good luck charm on a person. I think that simply believing in something can provide an immense amount of courage and comfort. For this reason, I think that most lucky charms, including rabbit's feet, have a positive influence on our psychology and just help us get through some of our fears and struggles. I also completely support the protection of animals and I think that rabbit's feet should be attained in a way that is not cruel to rabbits.

By bear78 — On Mar 22, 2011

I remember that there was a frenzy for rabbit's foot when I was in middle school. All my friends carried a faux one either as a key chain or on their school bags. I had one too. I sincerely did not know that there is a real version of these faux ones.

I personally think that killing rabbits and carrying around their foot with you for luck is a horrible thing to do. I respect people's beliefs and you have the right to think the way you do. But is there any proof that hurting an animal and carrying it's foot has any true benefit or change of fortune for an individual? I think we are just hurting an animal for our entertainment.

The faux ones are nice, and I think it's okay to keep believing that a rabbit's foot is lucky as long as we only buy faux rabbits foots.

By anon38122 — On Jul 23, 2009

Where can you buy real rabbit's foot at? The one that is described in the article on your webpage, is there anyway of getting one of these, which is considered very lucky, according to this article? I would really like to get one.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia...
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