English lop rabbits never fail to charm their owner since the Victorian era. Besides their floppy ears, they are also famous for their curious personality. However, they can become fearful if mishandled, so you need to give them the utmost care. Their long ears also require proper grooming.
Facts About English Lop Rabbits
|9 to 10.5 lbs
|5 to 7 years
|Agouti, Broken, Self, Shaded, Ticked, Wide Band
|French Lop, American Fuzzy Lop
|Best Suited for
|Experienced rabbit owners with large spaces, Senior citizens
Before the Victorian era, rabbits were only used for meat, fur, and wool. But after Queen Victoria reigned, these bunnies were also considered for domestication. Known as the “King of the Fancy,” English lop rabbits are one of the oldest breeds in the world of domestic rabbits. These floppy-eared bunnies originated in England during the 19th century. They came into existence through selective breeding.
The long ears of the English lop became an attraction, resulting in their popularity as a fancy breed. They were also qualified for competitions due to their ears and body weight. Through trade ships, the English lops arrived in America.
However, this breed’s popularity dropped after new breeds were introduced. Thankfully, the demand peaked again in the 1950s and 1960s through the help of the breeders. The Lop Rabbit Club of America also supported English and French lops. The British Rabbit Council and the American Rabbit Breeders Association recognized the breed.
Features of English Lop Rabbits
An English lop rabbit has a semi-arched or mandolin body type. The arch starts at the shoulder and rises to the loin hips. The body length of an English lop is about 8” to 10”, while its shoulder height is 14” to 18”. When it comes to its ears, the average length is 9 to 13 inches. However, they can reach up to 21 inches.
English Lop Ears
The round ears of these bunnies stop growing once they are about four to five months old. But for the males, their ears can grow an inch as their skulls mature. These ears usually fall on the sides of their faces.
Since an English lop rabbit has a smooth and short coat, grooming is easy. It has flyback fur, so it will immediately fall back into position when you brush it in the wrong direction. The colors of the coats of the English lops are divided into six patterns. They are the agouti, broken, self, shaded, ticked, and wide band. Below is the table of the categories and their colors:
|Chestnut agouti, chinchilla, opal, and lynx
|Broken and tri-colored (black/orange, blue/fawn, lilac/fawn, chocolate/orange)
|White, black, chocolate, blue, and lilac
|Sable, sable point, tortoise, seal, smoke pearl, and frosted pearl
|Steel and silver/silver fox
|Orange, cream, fawn, and red
Temperament and Behavior
English lop rabbits are sometimes called lazy because of their laid-back behavior. You won’t expect them to hop and play now and then. They would instead relax and lay down. These bunnies are perfect companions for senior citizens who want peace. However, as kits, they are active, curious, and energetic.
Because English lops are friendly, they want the attention of their owners. You can play with it once in a while. These adorable creatures also love to be petted and carried around. Scratching their backs will also make them happy. Since they are not gnawing type, you don’t have to give them many toys. Just put some rabbit trinkets that will keep them busy for a moment.
You can also put other rabbit breeds in the enclosure of the English lops. Although they are big, they don’t intimidate other bunnies. They can quickly get along with their rabbit companions. As a reminder, though, these rabbits don’t like pushy kids. They become fearful when they are mishandled.
Grooming English Lop Rabbits
Like other lop eared rabbit breeds, you need to give special attention to the ears of the English lops. Because of their length, they can easily catch dirt from the ground. It makes them more prone to ear infections and infestation. Prevent this from happening by regularly grooming the rabbit.
Before cleaning the ears of an English lop, go to the vet first to ask for the best cleaning solution for the bunny. After getting the vet-recommended solution, get the bunny and put it on your lap. Hold its ear upright, then gently put some of the cleaning solution. Once done, massage the base of the ear for about 20 to 30 seconds. Remove the earwax with a cotton bud once it comes up. Do this process to the other ear.
Checking the Rabbit’s Teeth
Because of the short skull of lop rabbits, they tend to suffer more from dental problems. To prevent these, you must ensure that the English lop has a proper diet. Giving it the right amount of hay will keep its teeth healthy and strong. You can also check this article to find out what other foods are best for your rabbit.
Aside from diet, you must regularly check your rabbit for tooth problems. To do this, check for any bumps on your rabbit’s cheeks by massaging them. Your bunny may have overgrown teeth if you touch something sharp or sore. Check if your English lop has symptoms of dental problems like drooling and bad breath.
English lop rabbits are large, so they require proper habitats or enclosures. The cage must have a strong frame, and the space must be twice the size of the rabbit so it can easily stretch out. Before building, ensure the cage is large enough for the bunny to hop at least three times. You can attach a rabbit hay feeder to the enclosure. Aside from their sleeping quarter, you may also want to add a play yard where they can eat, drink, explore, and poop.
As a reminder, use materials that won’t make your rabbit’s feet sore for the cage floor. You can also use hay, pelleted horse bedding, and wood pellets as bedding. As much s possible, never use newspaper and paper bags to prevent the cage from getting soiled. You also don’t need absorbent cloth since rabbits pee and poop on their litter box, unlike guinea pigs. You can use an old cloth or a blanket.
Instead of using special lights, you can use a small LED light as lighting for the rabbit cage. It will give the right amount of visibility that your rabbit needs. The ears of the English lop help to regulate their body’s temperature, so they are not sensitive to weather. However, don’t put them outside if the temperature is 40 degrees below.
Health Issues of English Lop Rabbits
Otitis is a condition wherein rabbits’ middle and inner ear canals are inflamed. It is a common health issue for English lops due to their large ears. The primary cause of otitis is a bacterial infection from the external area of the ears. However, it can also come from fungal yeast, ear mites, and a weak immune system.
If your English lop is suffering from otitis, you notice the following symptoms:
- Discharge from ears
- Dry eyes and throat infection
- Leaning on the infected ear
- Nerve damage
The vet may have to conduct electrolyte and fluid therapy while administering antibiotics. If it’s from fungi, antifungal medications will be given. The vet may perform surgery if the ear canal of the rabbit is already ruptured. If the condition is not severe, your rabbit will be prescribed the needed medicines.
Like other rabbit breeds, English lops have delicate spines. Spinal injury is common to nervous rabbits, frequently mishandled by their owners. Since the rabbit’s spine is inflexible, it can break due to the sudden kick from the hindquarters. Here are some of the signs of spinal injury in rabbits:
- Partial or complete loss of movement in the affected area
- Exaggerated spasms or reflexes
- Rapid, heavy breathing
- Loss of appetite
- Soiling of the fur
If your rabbit has spinal surgery, it will need intensive nursing care. You must be very careful handling the bunny, especially its pressure points. Because of the rabbit’s limited movements, it may require a urinary catheter. Monitoring its bladder and intestine health, nutrition, and bathing is also vital.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are English lop rabbits ideal as pets?
English lops are good pets for experienced owners and senior citizens. They are calm and friendly as adults. However, grooming their long ears need special attention. Aside from that, they need large spaces because of their large body. English lops are also suitable for kids; however, they can be fearful if mishandled.
What is the cost of an English lop?
You might buy an English lop rabbit for about $50 to $70. But if you want an English lop that can compete in rabbit shows, you must prepare at least $100 to $150 and probably even more. The price may depend on the breeder, lineage, show or breeding potential, and coat color.
How high can English lop leap?
With enough determination, an English lop can jump as high as four feet. Hence, you must ensure that the fence of your garden or home is high enough to prevent the rabbit from escaping.
What food should I give to my English lop rabbit?
Like other rabbits, the primary food English lops should eat is hay. This fiber helps in its digestion. Besides that, it ensures that the rabbit’s teeth are trimmed and healthy. You can also give small amounts of vegetables like carrots, kale, and celery. Tiny pieces of fruit like strawberries and blueberries are good treats.
Is The English Lop The Rabbit For You?
English lop rabbits are considered a fancy breed because of their long ears and large body. Besides their features, they also have friendly personalities that many owners adore. However, these creatures need a lot of care because of their ears. Before getting an English lop, ensure that you can give special attention to its grooming.