French Lop Rabbits
A French Lop is a popular breed of domestic rabbit that was first developed in France in the 19th century. It was created from crossbreeding English Lops and the Butterfly Rabbit of France. The Butterfly rabbit is still bred in France and can be seen at the Grand Prix Show in Paris, this rabbit closely resembles our Flemish Giant of today, but is shorter in body and weighs approximately 15 pounds. French Lop Rabbits were imported into the USA in 1970-1971.
The French Lop has shorter ears than the English Lop, between 5 to 8 cm long that hang down below the jaw, and an almost cubic appearance with a short thickset body and large head. The front legs are short and straight and the hind legs are carried parallel to the body. French Lops have a dense, soft coat that comes in two color varieties: solid and broken, and within these categories can be found a number of different rabbit colors, including agouti, black, broken marked, chinchilla and sooty-fawn.
French Lops are very large, heavy rabbits which can produce large litters of 5-12 bunnies but should not be bred after three years of age. The ideal age for the female French Lop to start breeding is 9 months old. The average life span of a French Lop is about 5 years.
- Sr. Bucks - 8 months of age and over, weight 10 1/2 lbs. and over
- Sr. Does - 8 months of age and over, weight 11 lbs and over
- Int. Bucks - 6-8 months of age, not over 11 1/2 lbs
- Int. Does - 6-8 months of age, not over 12 lbs.
- Jr. Bucks and Does - under 6 months of age, not over 10 1/2 lbs, Min weight 5 1/4 lbs.
The breed is generally good natured but must be watched for signs of hostility. Because of its size, a French Lop may also need a larger living space and is not really ideal for children.
The French Lop is a fairly low maintenance breed that is relatively easy to find. Like other lop eared rabbits, however, they may be more prone to ear mites. Although straight eared rabbits can also have problems, people often do not check the lop ears as often, which allows an infestation to develop.