Last Updated on February 7, 2024 by Admin
The French lop is without a doubt among one of the popular large rabbit breeds thanks to their, size, appearance, calm, and friendly nature. If you’re interested in knowing more about the French lop, this article looks at their history, appearance, temperament, health, and lifespan. We also delve into their diet, general care, housing, cost, and whether they make good pets. Keep reading!
The breed is originally from France and was developed in the 1850s by cross-breeding the English lop and the giant Papillon. The breed was later introduced in the United Kingdom in 1933 and the United States in 1970. French lop were initially bred for their meat and today they’re also a popular pet and show animal recognized by both the American Breeders Association and the British Rabbit Council.
Size and physique
This large rabbit breed has a large round head, chubby cheeks, broad shoulders, and a thickset body type. French lops weigh on average between 10 to 15 pounds and they have long 5 to 8 inch ears that hang below their jaw. The breed has rounded haunches and short powerful legs.
Fur and color
The French lop has a dense coat with rollback fur (returns to its original position when stroked in the opposite direction). Their coat is easy to maintain and comes in two color categories: solid and broken. The former means a rabbit has one fur color and they include white, black, brown, blue, fawn, grey, and variation. On the other hand, broken color means a rabbit has fur with more than one color and is patterned. Some of the variations include opal, chocolate brown, Chinchilla, Chestnut Agouti, blueish blond, Siamese (cream and brown), Lynx, and Opal.
French lops are gentle giants that are docile and friendly. They are easy to bond with provided you give them attention and affection. In terms of training, the breed can be taught basic commands, tricks, and even good litter box habits which may come in handy especially if they’re housed indoors. Due to their good nature, this breed is convenient for small and even large families. Nonetheless, always supervise your kid’s interaction with this giant bunny to prevent any mishandling. Lastly, the French lop can also get along with other household pets provided they’re properly introduced.
The average life expectancy of a French lop is 5 to 8 years, however, some can live a couple more years, with the right care. The giant breed usually reaches sexual maturity by around 9 months old with 28 to 35 days as their gestation period. The average litter size for the French lop is 5 to 6 kittens. Just like other large rabbit breeds, some of the common issues to look out for are Ear mites, arthritis, wool block, Malocclusion (tooth misalignment), and GI stasis (slowing down of passage of food in your rabbit’s gastrointestinal tract.) To improve their quality of life, it’s always advisable to take your French lop for checkups, at least annually.
Adult French lops need a balanced diet that comprises 85% hay, and 10% greens, While fruits and pellets combined need to make 5% of what they eat. Also, ensure that your rabbit has 24/7 access to fresh drinking water. On the other hand, 1 to 14-day-old kittens of this giant breed exclusively rely on their mother’s milk, and around 3 weeks old, they can also start feeding on solid food. This includes Alfalfa hay and pellets which are high in calories that help your baby bunnies to fully develop. When the kits are around 5 to 6 weeks old, their mother weans them and by 12 weeks old, your baby rabbits should have a fully developed digestive tract which allows them to also include vegetables and fruits sparingly.
When it comes to the overall care of French lops, firstly, they need their coats to be brushed once a week, except during shedding season when they need semi-weekly grooming. If their fur is dirty, avoid bathing them but rather use a damp cloth for cleaning. Water will often lead to rabbits having hypothermia or worst case scenario death.
The other thing you need to do is to occasionally trim their nails, preferably once every two months to prevent injuries to you or your bunny. Mental and physical stimulation are also things you’ll need to consider for your giant rabbit. In other words, provide them with a secure free-range area they can play in, for at least three hours. Regardless of whether your French lop is housed indoors or outdoors, make sure that their play area is safe and at least 10 x 4 x 4 feet. On top of that, provide your bunny with chew toys, digging boxes, and tunnels to keep them engaged and mentally stimulated.
The bigger your rabbit’s living space, the better. The rule of thumb is to make sure that the French lop’s housing is at least four times their size. To be specific, an ideal French lop hutch or cage Should measure 6 ft. long, 2 ft. wide, and 3 ft. high. For their enclosure floor, avoid wire mesh to prevent your rabbits from developing sore hocks. A solid floor made from Vinyl material is always recommended. Whether your bunny is housed indoors or outdoors, always ensure that their enclosure is attached to a playpen or play area that’s at least 10 x 4 x 4 feet.
Do French lop bunnies make good pets?
Yes, adopting a French lop is a good idea considering that they thrive on human interaction. On top of that, their docile nature also makes them get along with different family structures. Nevertheless, supervision is always recommended especially when children are handling the giant bunny or when they’re interacting with new pets. If you intend to have them as indoor pets, make sure that you have a spacious rabbit-proof house or at least a secluded and secure area, in which your bunny can play.
What’s the average cost of French lop rabbits?
The French lop rabbit cost may vary depending on the breed’s pedigree, health, size, color, and age. On average, the purchase cost from reputable sellers ranges between $30 and $100.In addition, their housing costs between $70 to $200, monthly food expenses between $50 to $80, and other supplies such as bedding, and grooming equipment can cost around $200 collectively.