If you’re considering a rabbit as a pet, you might want to check out the French Lop rabbit. While they are very large, they are affectionate and enjoy a good cuddle.
French Lop rabbits: French Lop rabbis originated from France but can now be found all over Europe and the United States. They are a large breed and have long ears that hang past their jawline. These rabbits are affectionate and make for good pets. However, due to their large size, they need extra space to move around in. While once known for their meat production, French Lop rabbits are now primarily bred to be pets and are good for show competitions.
What is a French Lop rabbit?
As you can guess from its name, the French Lop comes from France. It is a domestic animal, which means it is more of a pet animal and certainly not a wild rabbit.
French Lop Rabbit History and Origin
In the early 1800s, the French Lop rabbit was first bred. It’s believed it was a product of the Giant Papillon and the English Lop.
Around Europe, in particular the Netherlands, the French Lop grew in popularity. In the early 1970s, the rabbit was introduced to the United States, where it quickly became a favorite.
While the French Lop rabbit was first created for meat purposes, it is now primarily a pet animal. You can find them on hobby farms and even inside homes.
Characteristics of French Lop Rabbit
Size, weight, shape
With an average weight of 10 to 15 pounds, the French Lop rabbit is considered quite a large rabbit. They are particularly known for their long, shaggy ears, which can measure between 5 and 8 inches long. However, its predecessor, the English Lop has ears that are more pronounced.
As for their bodies, French Lop rabbits are thickset and have large heads and stout bodies. Their front legs are on the shorter side while their hind legs are parallel to their body.
Coat and Colors
When you pet a French Lop rabbit, you will be impressed by how thick its fur is. This rabbit has a very dense coat that is soft and luxurious.
French Lop rabbits have two color variations. While some have a solid-colored coat, others have broken colors.
These color variations can include black, fawn, and chinchilla coloring.
French Lop rabbits live between six and eight years.
The behavior of French Lop rabbits is uniquely defined by their size. These are large rabbits and because of this, it dictates all of their care and behavior.
First, note that French Lop rabbits need plenty of space. Not only do they need space to simply move around, but they also need ample area to run around and play.
Even if you want to scoop up your pet rabbit for a cuddle, you may need to work a bit harder as the large size of French Lops means they can bound away pretty quickly. Take the time to communicate with your rabbit and if they seem scared, give them plenty of space.
Overall, French Lop rabbits make for great pets. They are calm and peaceful and quite happy to be around other people.
They have been known to live peacefully among cats and dogs. Furthermore, they are not very skittish and are great for small children.
French Lop Rabbit Care
Despite its large size, the overall food needs of a French Lop rabbit are the same as any other type of domestic rabbit.
70 to 80 percent of its diet should be hay. This needs to be a good variety, such as Timothy Hay, and your rabbit should have a continuous supply of it.
Hay is extremely important for the health of rabbits. In addition to nutrients, hay allows rabbits to munch on something crunchy, which keeps their ever-growing teeth in check.
As for the other 20 to 30 percent, it should be a mixture of rabbit pellets and vegetables. Select a rabbit pellet that has a mixture of complete nutrients.
You can feed your rabbit nice, crunchy vegetables. Favorites include carrots, spinach, and kale.
In addition to vegetables, you can also feed your rabbit fruit but do so sparingly as it contains natural sugars. Good fruit to feed your rabbit includes apples, bananas, and even orange slices.
For a typical rabbit, you want to ensure they have about four feet of living space in their cage. However, because of their large size, French Lop rabbits need almost twice this space. For this reason, it is not recommended to house two French Lop rabbits in the same cage.
You may be able to find an extra-large cage but if not, you will have to build your own. Be careful not to put wire down on the floor as this can hurt your rabbit’s paws. Instead, add a layer of straw or newspaper for a cozier atmosphere.
French Lop rabbits primarily live inside but you will want to provide your pet with the opportunity for daily exercise. You can choose to let your rabbit explore your home but beware as its large size can cause accidental damage.
Instead, set up a fenced area outside for your rabbit to explore. The walls of the fence should be high enough that your large rabbit can’t easily hop over it and escape.
French Lop Rabbit Health
French Lop rabbits, like all rabbits, have teeth that don’t stop growing. To combat this, they need a continual supply of crunchy food, like hay, to keep their teeth filed down.
Unfortunately, even with the best of intentions, some rabbits can develop malocclusion, which is when the bottom and top front teeth don’t meet. The result is teeth that grow outwards and keep growing because their placement doesn’t allow them to be filed down while eating.
If you notice that your rabbit’s teeth are growing, that your rabbit has trouble eating, or that they are salivating a lot, take them to the vet for a diagnosis. Your vet may have to manually file down your rabbit’s teeth to stop any discomfort.
Rabbits are very clean animals and will groom themselves by licking themselves, much like a cat does. However, this can cause digestive issues, especially when your rabbit molts in the spring and there is extra hair.
To combat this, make sure your rabbit has a diet that is rich in fiber. Furthermore, you should brush your rabbit at least once a week.
There’s a good chance your rabbit will enjoy the extra pampering and will look forward to its grooming sessions.
French Lop Rabbit Uses
The original purpose of breeding French Lop rabbits was for meat and while it isn’t as common, it is still a good option.
Rabbit meat is far more common in Europe than it is in the United States but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a market for it. Many local farmers will sell rabbit meat, so this may be a good part of your hobby farm.
The main purpose of owning a French Lop rabbit is to have it as a pet. These animals are affectionate and calm, which makes them loving members of the family.
Just be aware that they are large animals so you need to have enough space to house them. Furthermore, while they are good with kids, small children should be taught to be quiet around the rabbits and not scare them.
If you have a French Lop rabbit as a pet, you might want to also consider entering it in show competitions. There is a growing calendar of rabbit competitions and this animal is a great contender.
For your French Lop to be shown quality, it needs to meet a few criteria. For appearance, your French Lop should have high shoulders that are nice and solid and its neck shouldn’t be visible.
As for its ears, they should hang about 1 1/2 inches below the line of its jaw and the tips of the ears should be furred.
Show rabbits have very distinct qualities, so be sure to contact the rabbit association to determine if your pet is ready to shine.
Of all the rabbit breeds in the United States, the French Lop is one of the most common. These are well sought-after animals and there will always be a market for rabbits, which makes breeding them rather lucrative.
Where to Get French Lop Rabbit Breed
The good news is that it is very easy to find a French Lop breeder. They are very popular in both Europe and North America, which means you probably won’t have to travel far to find a rabbit.
The average price of a French Lop rabbit is between $40 to $50, which makes it similar to other popular rabbit breeds. However, if you aren’t interested in a show-quality rabbit, you may be able to find one at a cheaper price.
French Lop rabbits are one of the most popular breeds in the United States and for good reason. They are affectionate, adorable, and while quite large, are fairly calm.