English Lop Rabbit – information and facts about the English Lop Rabbit Breed. Learn more about English Lop Rabbits in this article. Breed photos are included.
A fancy breed that was developed in England, the English Lop is believed to be the first breed of lop rabbit developed by humans. The breed was developed through selective breeding. Accordingly, English Lop is possibly one of the oldest domestic rabbit breeds. Noticeably long ears, bold head and large body characterize this rabbit.
English Lop Rabbit Facts
Being the first lop rabbit breed, English Lop belongs to the first fancy breeds of rabbit developed in England. This was largely for exhibition purposes in the 19th century, in response to the popularity of animal fancy. It’s also during this time that the rabbit is steadily mainstreaming as a household pet at the height of the Victorian era. Before this, the domestic rabbits are only being raised for the purposes of meat, fur and wool production.
Later on, English Lops were bred with other Continental giant breeds. And this effort gave rise to the production of new breeds of lop rabbit. Some of the breeds that developed from this are the French Lop and the Holland Lop. French Lop was the offspring of a successful breeding between English Lop and Flemish Lop. Holland Lop, on the other hand, was developed from French Lop and Netherlands Dwarf.
Dating back in history, it was accounted that English Lop has large ears to keep cool from the hot climate in Algiers.
2. Characteristics and Appearance
The English Lop is the original Lop. The average weight of an English Lop is 5.5 kg. And it can live up to 5 years or more. Female English Lops are anywhere between 10 to 15 pounds, and their male counterparts would be lighter at around 9-12 pounds.
English Lops have substantial length and more slender when compared with other varieties of Lops. But their most unique and remarkable characteristic is their long ears. These long and loosely hanging ears can run from 21 to 32, when measured from tip to another. These ears are considered the largest of any rabbit breed.
When English Lops reach the age of 5 months, their ears tend to stop growing. But for males, since their skulls approach maturity, they can still grow as much as an inch longer.
Generally, English Lops are bred in both solid and broken colors. Broken colors are broken by white. Because of this, these cute rabbits can come in different colors like black, orange, blue, agouti/opal, chinchilla, red eyed white, and blue and black torts among many other varieties.
Aside from the pointed whites, ARBA allows the showing of all recognized colors of English Lops in either solid or broken colors.
These lovable rabbits have smooth and soft ‘flyback’ coat. Ideally, their large ears should be properly furred and silky.
When it comes to their bodies, English Lops resemble a mandolin cut in half, with a wide nose and a broad head. They don’t have any visible crown. They have strong shoulders, which complements a round and deep body rise over the hips and flanks.
Due to their large ears, English Lops can have a tendency to step over them, most especially when the space is little. Thus, English Lops require a relatively large hutch or a shed in order to move around without stepping on their ears. If kept outdoors, a wooden hutch made with heavy wood and waterproof roof would suffice. On the other hand, if it’s kept indoors, a cage with a wire lid in a plastic can also be a good option.
Compared to other rabbits, English Lops don’t need much attention for its grooming since it has short hairs. These rabbits can easily adapt to the hot weather as long as there is a cooler shade to rest at. However, in cold temperatures, their ears are at risk of frostbites. This is the reason why they should be kept in an enclosed, warm and dry area.
Because of their large ears, they are prone to ear infections. Their ears should be consistently checked to prevent any accumulation of excess wax.
3. Personality and Traits
When these lops reach their adult stages, they’re often referred to as the ‘dogs of the rabbit world’. This is because they are known to be quite lazy, outgoing, curious and friendly. They are relaxed and have a placid temperament, making them relatively inactive.
They really are a wonderful pet material and most kids would love these rabbits. Interaction between children and English Lops must be closely monitored since English Lops are large rabbits.
4. World Record
Interestingly, a rabbit of this breed holds a world record. On November 1, 2003, an English Lop called ‘Nipper’s Geronimo’ held a Guinness World Record for having the largest measured ear-span of a rabbit. The complete span was measured at 79 cm (or 31.125 inches). This was during the American Rabbit Breeders Association National Convention in Wichita, Kansas.