French Lop Rabbit – information and facts about the French Lop Rabbit Breed. Learn more about French Lop Rabbits in this article. Breed photos are included.
One of the most popular domestic rabbit breed, the French Lop was first bred in the 19th century in France. The breed is the offspring of a successful crossbreeding between the English Lop and the Flemish Giant. The French Lop has a heavier stature and shorter hairs than the English Lop, it’s reference breed for comparison.
Best described as a cuddly rabbit, French Lop is the only lop-eared rabbit placed under the ‘giant size’ category. While space and diet are important considerations that have discouraged others in raising the breed, the French Lop is still one of the ‘best bunnies for your money’.
French Lop Rabbit Facts
The French Lop is widely believed to be a product of the crossbreeding between the English Lop and the Butterfly Rabbit of France.
The Butterfly Rabbit is still being raised in France. As a matter of fact, it is still being shown in the Grand Prix Show in Paris, one of the most prestigious rabbit shows in France. This rabbit closely resembles the kind of Flemish Giant that we have today, it’s just that it’s shorter in the length of the body and its weight is approximately 15 pounds.
In the succeeding years of the development of the French Lop, its popularity spread across the neighboring countries of France, especially the Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. In 1933, there are reports that ten French Lop rabbits were brought from the Netherlands for an exhibition in the United Kingdom. However, this did not result in a reasonable increase in popularity in French Lop. It’s only in the year 1960 when the French Lop rabbits really became popular as a mainstream rabbit breed in UK.
In the years 1970 to 1971, the French Lop rabbits were imported to United States.
2. Characteristics and Appearance
The weight of a French Lop rabbit is around four and a half kilograms, or 11 pounds. This signifies that the French Lop is indeed a very large rabbit. The ears of the lop hangs down below its jaw at a length of about 5 to 8 inches long.
The French Lop has an almost cubic body appearance, complemented with a short thickset body and a large head. The front legs are described as short and straight while the hind legs are parallel to the rabbit’s body.
When it comes to the coating, the French Lop is also worth commending. Its coat is dense and soft, which appears in two colors – solid and broken. Under these two classifications are the varieties agouti, black, broken marked, chinchilla, and sooty-fawn.
It has an average lifespan of five years or more.
3. Personality and Traits
A placid and relaxed temperament is what best describes the French Lop rabbits. Aside from this, owners won’t have problem in having other animals as pets because the French Lop rabbits are tolerant of other species. They are also gentle with children. Indeed, when they are already acquainted to socializing at an early, they can be used to it and become very friendly. If this was developed, they can be very wonderful pets.
Because of this sociability of the French Lop, it’s okay to house them along with a companion rabbit. Generally, rabbits are social animals and should be kept with a companion. It’s very ideal to keep rabbits in pairs. However, in the case of French Lop rabbits, they can’t be housed with a different species like a guinea pig in order to avoid the risk of injury. This has to be preempted.
Similar to other rabbits, they also go through some stages where changes in their behavior become more apparent. For example, when they go through the age of sexual maturity, they tend to become more aggressive towards their opposite sex. But when compared to the other breeds of rabbit, this aggressiveness is less visible with the French Lops.
But if there’s one concern why they are not good for beginners, it’s not for their personality. It has more to do with their size. Because of their very large size, they need to be handled very well with strength. They have very strong back legs that could cause injury when handled improperly.
French Lops need to run in order to stimulate their minds and exercise. Otherwise, the lack of which could contribute to obesity, gut stasis as well as behavioral issues.
4. Raising a French Lop
The large size of the breed needs to be properly accounted by the rabbit breeders. One of the most important applications of this is in the building of the hutch or the cage. The cage or hutch of the French Lop is relatively bigger compared to the other rabbits in order for them to be able to move freely.
While they can be fit with boor indoor and outdoor environment, it still has to be remembered that rabbits want to chew anything they can see. Also, it’s difficult to train the French Lop rabbits in a litter box.
For the hutch, a large waterproof hutch can provide shelter for the rabbit for the weather changes, may it be rain, show, or heat. French Lops are not that adaptable to heat and would require frozen water bottle or fan. If they are inside, a hutch or cage can be an option.
Just like the other rabbits, the hay is the most important component of the French Lop’s diet. The hay reduces any chance of blockages and malocclusion. At the same time, it provides the rabbit with an indigestible fiber, which is necessary to keep the gut moving. A standard intake of a high quality, high protein diet is recommended.
Today, the French Lops continually to mark its name in the rabbit industry. Now that you know its basic information, you’re a step closer to a wonderful rabbit journey with the cuddly Frenchie.