There are several different breeds of rabbits. However, the French lop rabbit is a peculiar and interesting breed.
What is a French Lop?
The French Lop rabbit is a cross breed of the English Lop and the Giant Papillion. It is a quite large rabbit breed and it comes in different color variations.
Want to get more information about this interesting rabbit breed? Read more.
The Physical Attributes of the French Lop Rabbit
The French lop is the largest of the lop breed. Weighing between 4 -5.5 kg, this breed has a close resemblance to the Flemish Giant breed. It has a pronounced arch on its back. The French lop rabbit is known for its soft glossy coat, as well as its large head. The fur could be solid colored or have a broken pattern. It also has long, thick ears which hang below its jaw.
The American Rare Breed Association (ARBA) and the British Rabbit Council (BRC) have identified some physical attributes of the French Lop.
French Lop Physical Attributes According to ARBA Standard
The American Rare Breed Association awards show points based on the aforementioned physical attributes.
French Lop Physical Attributes According to BRC Standard
Health and Nutritional Facts About the French Lop Rabbit
Like all other rabbit breeds, the French lop is a herbivore. For your French lop to live a healthy life, you need to take extra care with its diet and nutrition. French lop rabbits require a regular intake of fiber. French lop rabbits need fiber for their intestinal and digestive tracts to function properly.
A primary source of fiber is hay. Your French lop rabbit should be fed constantly with fresh hay. It is important to ensure that the hay is dust free and also free of pesticides or harmful substances.
A French Lop needs about 18% of protein in its diet. However, this may be difficult to achieve as most feeds contain only about 15-16%. In the same vein, your French Lop’s diet should have a minimum of 2.5% fat.
What Should Make up a French Lop’s Diet?
If you own a French Lop rabbit, there are several nutritional foods that should be included in its diet. Although hay is important, it is also advisable to include other sources of nutrients in its diet. Here are some foods that should make up your French Lop’s diet:
- Vegetables: This is one important food that should be fed to your French Lop. Vegetables are high in nutrients and should make up about 50% of your French Lop’s diet. You can feed your French Lop vegetables such as:
When feeding your rabbit vegetables, it is important to ensure that the vegetables are fresh. Stale veggies could cause a stomach upset. You should also chop the vegetables into tiny pieces to make it easier for your French Lop to eat. Although vegetables are great for your rabbit, not all veggies should be included in their diet. Vegetables such as garlic and leek can be very harmful to a French Lop rabbit.
- Fruits: Your French Lop rabbit needs to have fruits in its diet. Fruits are very nutritional. However, they contain a large amount of sugar, which is detrimental to your rabbit’s health. As such, you should give your French Lop rabbit fruits only once in a while. Fruits such as watermelon, pineapples, and apples are safe fruits for a French Lop. However, not all fruits are safe.
- Pellets: For baby French Lops, this is a great source of nutrients. However, adult French Lops should not be fed pellets in large quantities. This is because it could lead to obesity and other health problems.
A French Lop rabbit needs variety in its diet. Sticking to just one meal would make mealtime boring. As such, you should ensure that your French Lop has all the nutrients and variety that it needs. Avoid foods that can be harmful to its health. Do not feed it with fruit seeds, sweets or dairy products. Instead, choose a nutritious feed or hay and stick to it. In the same vein, ensure to give it large amounts of water in order to aid the digestion process.
How to Take Care of Your French Lop Rabbit
Although French Lop rabbits are large, they require just as much care as other rabbit breeds. Do you have a pet rabbit? Here’s how to care for it in six simple steps:
- Build a large enclosure: If you own a French Lop, the first thing you need to get is a hutch. French Lops are larger than most breeds. As such, you need to ensure that its hutch has enough room. Whether it is an outdoor or indoor enclosure, its hutch needs to be spacious enough for it to move freely. A suitable hutch must have enough space for it to run around and play. If its hutch is too small, the French Lop might feel trapped and get distressed. It also important to make the enclosure safe and rabbit friendly.
- Feed it the right kind of meals: A French Lop’s diet is an important element that should never be overlooked. Your French Lop’s diet is the same as the diets of other breeds. Thus, you should ensure that its diet consists mainly of hay. Proteins and fat would also help to boost its diet and health. Your French Lop also needs vegetables and a little amount of fruits in order to stay healthy. Get the right kind of feeds for your rabbit. It is important to get nutritious and safe feeds. In the same vein, avoid foods and fruits that can harm your French Lop. Rabbits, in general, have sensitive stomachs. As such you should watch what you feed your French Lop rabbit.
- Rabbit-proof your home: Want to keep your French Lop safe and alive? Rabbit-proof your home! Like other breeds, French Lop rabbits are prone to chewing and running around. They may chew on electric cords, wires, and other harmful objects. As such, it is important to rabbit-proof your home. Get potentially harmful objects out of their way and sight. In the same vein, provide safer alternatives for them to chew on. Rabbit-proofing your home is a great way of letting your rabbit have fun and safety at the same time. For more information on how you can rabbit-proof, your home effectively check my article “How to rabbit-proof your home”
- Show affection: French Lop rabbits are cuddly and affectionate creatures. Most times, they require extra care and affection. If you own a French Lop rabbit, it is important to show them love and affection. Pet it regularly and give it a lot of attention. This would help to ensure that your bunny is happy and healthy.
- Provide chew toys: French Lop rabbits love to chew. If left unsupervised, they may chew on harmful objects and cords. To prevent this from happening, you can get your bunny a chew toy. This would prevent them from chewing on other objects. It is also a great way of keeping them entertained and happy. A chew toy could be an untreated piece of wood or some hay.
- Visit the vet regularly: Do you go for regular medical check-ups? Well, your French Lop rabbit needs it too! It is important to visit the vet regularly so that your bunny’s health will remain topnotch. Regular medical check-ups is a good way of discovering any health issues and curbing them in time. The vet would also vaccinate your bunny and answer any questions you might have regarding its health.
Essential Supplies for a French Lop Rabbit
Just bought a French Lop rabbit? There are certain supplies that should not be missing in your home. French Lop rabbits may look big and tough but they need sufficient care. If you have a French Lop, here are some supplies that need to be on your checklist:
- A litter box: Just like cats, dogs, and babies, French Lops can be potty trained too. However, it may be harder to potty train these fluffy animals. Getting a litter box would make your job easier. Your French Lop will answer the call of nature in the litter box, making it easier to clean up.
- A large space or hutch: Your French Lop rabbit needs its own space. You can buy or build a large hutch for it to rest and play in. The bigger the hutch, the better. A bigger hutch enables your bunny to roam freely and have fun without feeling trapped.
- A pet carrier: It is important to make regular visits to the vet. But where would you place your bunny during the journey? A pet carrier is the best option. Pet carriers are comfy and safe. They also save you the trouble of having to stuff your bunny in your handbag.
- A food dish: A food dish can be quite handy when you want to feed your French Lop rabbit. All rabbits need pellets or pellet-based foods. As such, it is best to leave some food lying in a food dish. Your French Lop rabbit can easily gain access to its food without having to scout for it.
- Chew toys: Every rabbit needs to be entertained. A chew toy is a great way of keeping your French Lop entertained. It also prevents them from chewing on cords, wires or furniture. You can create a chew toy for your bunny out of a piece of wood or cardboard. However, you should ensure that the chew toy is untreated and safe. Another type of toys that will keep you Rabbit entertained are Logic Toys. For more information on Logic Toys you can check my article “What are Logic Toys for Rabbits?”
- Brush: Rabbits have fur. Often, their fur could get fuzzy or grow long. French Lop rabbits may have short furs but their fur requires grooming as well. Hence, you need a brush to groom your French Lop’s fur. Brushing it regularly will keep it shiny, glossy and healthy at the same time.
French Lops are large, cuddly creatures. They require care and attention just like any other pet. Thus, it is important that you ensure that your French Lop stays healthy and safe. When taken care of properly, French Lops can live for an average of five years.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I litter train my French Lop rabbit?
Litter training a French Lop rabbit is not so difficult. Usually, rabbits are conditioned by nature to urinate and defecate in a spot. Thus, you need to monitor your bunny and find out its favorite spot. Once you have done this, you can place the litter box at its favorite spot. Subsequently, it would begin to use its litter box. Spaying and neutering your French Lop could also help. When you spay your bunny, he will be more likely to use his litter box. You can place hay within the litter box in order to encourage good litter habits.
How do I stop my rabbit from chewing electrical cords and wires?
Electrical cords are very dangerous to your French Lop. As a matter of fact, it could get electrocuted and die. Encase all wires and cords in plastic tubing. This would ensure that your bunny is safe even if it chews on the cords. Also, ensure that all cords and wires are out of reach. Shut all drawers and do not leave your chargers plugged into sockets. However, the best method of prevention is by providing your French Lop with a chew toy. This will keep it occupied and entertained.
How Do I Know if my French Lop is Show Quality?
Show quality rabbits are rabbits which are free of diseases and have the best qualities and physical attributes. Three major attributes of a show quality French Lop are bone, type, and size. It should weigh at least 4.535kg. The front legs must be thick and straight. The hind legs need to be parallel to the body. Its head should be large and the chest broad. Its fur equally needs to be glossy, healthy and short.