French Lop Rabbit

The French Lop Rabbit beauty lies in its cuddly physique as this rabbit breed is enormous.  It is one of the largest breeds weighing about 10 up to 15 pounds.  As its name suggests, it has lop ears which measure about 5 to 8 inches in length and hang down just below its jaw.  Its front legs are quite short and also straight, while its strong hind legs measure parallel to its body.  It has a dense and soft fur that are available in two colors—  solid colors and broken ones.  It comes in varied colors as well ranging from black, chinchilla, agouti, and fawn.

French Lop Rabbit black and white

Photo: David Bainbridge  | Flickr

Behavior and Temperament

This breed is known to have a docile, calm, and laid-back temperament.  It is friendly to its owners and socializes well.  It can also tolerate other pets.  It can be handled even by children, but not the very small ones because the French Lop is a large breed and it is not that easy to handle or cuddle around.  Because it has very strong hind or back legs, it can easily cause injury or accident without it meaning to do so, especially when agitated or excited.  Thus, special caution should be considered when handling this pet.

Considering the large size of the French Lop, it requires a larger hutch for it to run around and explore.  However, this breed can also stay indoors but just like any other rabbit breed, can be chewy, thus, it should be provided with chew toys or it can be destructive to your furniture and other stuff.

It is also advisable that this pet should be provided with companionship or a partner especially when it reaches its sexual maturity.  However, the owner should take note that it becomes aggressive especially during mating time.  The ideal age for the female to start breeding is when it reaches its 9th month.  It can produce large litters, which is usually between 5 and 12.

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Health Care

The French Lop rabbit can be placed indoors or outdoors.  In case the owner decides to place the pet rabbit outdoors, it should be provided with a secure hutch to make sure that the pet is protected from the sun, snow or rain.  It is also a great idea if the rabbit is provided with a partner to be entertained.

Similar to most of rabbit breeds, the most vital component of the French Lop’s diet is hay.  The recommended type of hay is the timothy hay which is rich in calcium.  It is also important that the pet is provided with high protein pellets in addition to its main consumption of timothy hay.  Treats like slices of strawberry, apples and other fruits can also be provided.  Commercial treats can be bought from pet stores, but must be given sparingly because most of these commercial treats are high in sugar as well as starch.

Some vegetables that the French Lop enjoys are lettuce, turnips, kale, collards, parsley, cilantro, and basil.  The green and leafy tops of carrots and radish are also very good sources of nutrients, which is more than the veggie itself.  Vegetables to be avoided are broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, because these could cause gas which may lead to the rabbit having gastrointestinal diseases.  Other vegetables that must be avoided are corns and potatoes as they have very high amounts of starch.  It is important that it is provided with unlimited supply of fresh clean water that should be readily available.

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History and Background of French Lop Rabbit

The French Lop Rabbit breed was initially introduced in France in year 1850.  It is the result of crossing two breeds, the Butterfly Rabbit from France and the English Lop.  The latter is still bred in the same country and is usually seen at the Grand Prix show in Paris.   The French Lop closely resembles the breed Flemish Giant.  The only difference is that it has a shorter body and weighs slightly lighter, only 10 to 15 pounds.

In 1993, the French Lop became popular in Germany, Belgium and Netherlands.  Since then, this breed became one of the most sought after rabbit breeds in the UK.  It was imported to the United States in 1970 and has now become one of the favorites of rabbit enthusiasts.

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