Lop rabbits or Lop-eared rabbits make up some of the most popular and well-known breeds of pet rabbits. Anyone can tell them apart from their droopy hanging ears.
The Ears of lop rabbits have a different internal structure compared to erect eared rabbits. The cartilage within the ear of the rabbit cannot hold up their ear upright and thus they hang from the side much like sheep ears.
These rabbits were first produced in Europe around the 19th century and some even believe them to be some of the oldest breeds of domestic rabbits. In fact, they were studied by the pioneer of modern biology, Charles Darwin himself back in the year 1868.
Due to their popularity as pets, lop rabbits can be found throughout the world. With good care, lop rabbit breeds make excellent indoor or outdoor rabbits. Let’s learn a bit more about their features, breeds, cost, lifespan, care & more through The Definitive Guide On Lop Rabbits below.
The most definitive feature of lop rabbits is their ears. Hanging ears makes lop rabbits have a unique look that sets them apart from other rabbit breeds.
Lop eared rabbits have one or both ears that droop from their head and even though they may be able to get them erect from time to time, the ears generally remain hanging.
Lop rabbit ears actually have a genetic deformity that weakens the cartilage around their ear canal, making it unable to support the weight of their ears.
This is a prominent feature most lop eared rabbit breeds have ears that are quite large compared to their body.
Another distinct feature of lop rabbits is the small bumps on the side of their head which are the openings of their ear being lifted up.
These bumps often called the crown is really similar to other animals that have droopy ears like sheep and can only be found in lop rabbits.
Most folks don’t realize that there are many different breeds of lop rabbits!
Even though all lop rabbits originated from the same breed of rabbits, these days more than 15 distinct breeds are recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association and the British Rabbit Council, which are the highest authority on rabbit breeds in the world.
The English Lop was is said to be the first breed of lop rabbit. The breed was developed around the 19th century in England specifically to be kept as pets.
This was a relatively new concept at the time as most rabbits were kept for their meat or fur. This was the first time when people started considering rabbits as house pets.
English Lop rabbits have large slender bodies with broad shoulders and a hunched back.They come is lots of colors and patterns, the most common ones are black, orange, fawn, chinchilla and white with red eyes. They also have the longest ears of any rabbit breed, reaching up to 32 inches or 81 cm.
English lops are very gentle and well-behaved and are called the dogs of the rabbit world. They make very good house pets and do well around other pets or children.
The French Lop breed of rabbits was developed in France from breeding English Lop rabbits with Flemish Giant rabbits.
French Lops look quite different from English lops, they did not inherit the extra long ears that English Lops have, instead they have smaller ears that still hang to the side, which is a characteristic of all lop rabbits.
French lops are one of the more heavier rabbit breeds. They typically weigh around 10-15 pounds and have a thick heavy body.
They need a bit more space compared to other rabbits and generally do better when housed indoors.
French Lops are very docile and can be great house pets but due to their large size they should be monitored when around children.
Holland lop is one of the smallest lop rabbit breeds, it was first developed in the Netherlands by breeding French Lops and Netherlands Dwarf Rabbits.
It was recognized by the ARBA as a distinct breed in the year 1984 and soon became one of the most popular breeds of rabbits in the USA.
Holland lops have a solid or broken coat of fawn, blue, grey, or dark brown colors. They have small yet muscular bodies and usually weigh less than 4 pounds or 1.8 kilograms.
They are small, easy to handle and make excellent indoors or outdoors pet rabbits even for first time rabbit owners.
Mini Lop rabbits are another popular breed of lop eared rabbits. They resemble dwarf rabbits closely but the breed was actually produced from mating German Lops and Chinchilla rabbits.
Mini lop rabbits are are one of the smaller breeds of rabbit, rarely weighing more than 6-7 pounds or 3 kilo grams.
Mini lops come in a variety of colors which include chinchilla which is a grey color, black, white, white with red eyes, white with blue eyes, blue, brown orange and fawn.
Due to their small size, Mini lops can be a bit skittish, which makes it hard for new rabbit owner to handle. Desipte their small size, mini lops need lots of space to play around and plenty of interaction throughout the day.
Closely resembling the Holland lops, American Fuzzy Lop is another breed of dwarf rabbit that is quickly gaining popularity amongst rabbit owners.
They have a wooly coat similar to Angora rabbits but their fur tends to be shorter and more manageable.
American Fuzzy lops hardly ever get bigger than 4 pounds or 2 kilograms. They are highly social and get along fine with other pets or children in the house.
That being said they are not the perfect rabbit breed for first-time rabbit owners as they require quite a bit of grooming to keep their fur in good shape.
The Teddywidder Lop rabbit is one of the newest lop rabbit breeds. They were first developed in Germany and are an incredibly rare breed. These rabbits have a soft wooly fur that covers their whole body.
Teddywidder rabbits are dwarf rabbits and only grow up to 4 pound, even though they are highly social and playful as pets, their grooming needs are hard for new rabbit owners to manage.
Another breed that is come about fairly recently. The Velveteen Lop was developed in 1991, inheriting the soft velvety fur from its rex rabbit parent and the characteristic long ears from the English lop parent.
The Velveteen lop is still quite rare and difficult t find everywhere but a lot of rabbit owners love this breed for its looks, fur, and great temperament.
Lop rabbits make up some of the most popular breeds of rabbits in the USA. A lot of people really love keeping lop rabbits for their adorable looks, gentle nature, and their ease of care.
Depending on the breed you want, most rabbit shelters around the country generally have a few lop rabbits that you can adopt for less than $25-$100. It may vary on the adoption fee in your particular shelter.
Adoption is a much more sustainable way to get your self a cute rabbit pet, it can help out rabbits that need a loving home.
If you buy a rabbit from a pet shop or a breeder then a common breed of lop rabbit like a Holland Lop, can cost around $20-$50. It all depends on the state you live in and what the local prices are in your area.
If you are looking for a specific breed of rabbit or a specific color, then a pedigree breeder is your best bet especially if you are looking for show quality rabbits. You can check out a list of rabbit breeders who sell lop rabbits here.
How long a Lop rabbit lives will depend on a lot of factors, whether they are housed indoors or outdoors, temperature, their food, care, and enrichment in their environment.Spaying and neutering pet rabbits also plays an important role in a rabbit’s lifespan.
That being said, the biggest factor for a rabbit’s lifespan is its breed size. Smaller breeds of rabbits typically live a bit longer than larger breeds.
Smaller dwarf breeds such as mini lops can easily live up to 8-12 years. Medium-sized breeds such as Holland Lops live around 5-7 years and giant lop rabbit breeds such as French lops live up to 5 years.
Some individual within the breeds may live more or fewer years but that is the average lifespan of lop rabbits.
No matter the breed, all rabbits live longer, happier lives when are kept with other rabbits to keep them company and in an indoor environment.
Learn more on about rabbit lifespan on our post How Long Do Pet Rabbits Live? Rabbit’s Average Lifespan?
Rabbits are the third most popular pet in the US. There are almost 5 million pet rabbits and more than 1% of all Americans have a rabbit at home. You can see from their popularity amongst pet owners that rabbits make excellent pets.
Lop rabbits are loved for their hanging ears and playful nature. In fact lop rabbit breeds make up one of the largest population of pet rabbits in the USA.
They are quite easy to care for, can be housed indoors as house pets or in the yard in a hutch or a shed.
Lop rabbit ears need a bit more care when compared to other breeds of rabbits. Lop ears, especially larger ones in breeds like the English lops can get heavy and brush the floor. Make sure that they remain clean.
Rabbit ears can get infected with ear mites which even though not painful or life threatening may require a vet visit. They can also step on their own ears causing bruises or sores.
Rabbits also use their ears to regulate body temperature. In summer days, especially if you are living somewhere really hot, a lop rabbit may need some help cooling down. A fan, a cold water bottle or a cold towel can be essential.
Closing it all off, lop-eared rabbits can be amazing pets and wonderful housemates. Different lop rabbit breeds have vastly different looks and even though they do need a bit more care compared to rabbits with erect ears, I’m sure that there is a lop rabbit for everyone!
If you enjoyed this post about lop eared rabbits then make sure to check out some of our other posts on pet rabbits as well.
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