Over the years, rabbits have become more and more popular as pets – their hoppy legs, twitchy noses, and iconic ears have made a lot of people fall in love with them. This article takes a look at one of the most common breeds of pet rabbits – the French Lop.
French Lops are great pets for adults and older children, but they may prove to be more troublesome around younger kids due to their large size. However, as long as they are properly socialized from a young age, they will interact and bond with you superbly, making very sweet and loving companions. That said, before going for this type of pet, there are a variety of aspects you need to take into consideration. This post will highlight some of the most important ones.
Just like any other pet, bringing a French Lop home requires quite a bit of preparation and knowledge on your part to ensure that you are fully aware of what you are getting into. This is especially true with this specific type of pet because while most people know what to expect with dogs and cats, caring for a rabbit isn’t as straightforward.
Are French Lop Rabbits Good Pets?
This large-sized rabbit breed can make for a lovely pet due to their docile temperament. This bunny loves being adored, and will readily reciprocate your adoration tenfold.
Due to their large size, they require a lot of space where they can play and move around, and any hatch has to be big enough to comfortably accommodate their large size. As a result, they may not be suitable pets for apartment dwellers who have limited space.
While they can live well both indoors and outdoors, it is worth noting that they are different from cats and dogs in the sense that they tend to chew indiscriminately. This means that any item that you value, including cables, shoes, clothes, and mobile phones, should be kept out of their way.
While they don’t tend to destroy items more than any other type of rabbit, ensure that your rabbit is always occupied with a few toys to chew on. They can be litter trained, but as rabbis, it will take quite some time and patience on your part.
These rabbits are renowned for their huge personalities as well as their gentle, docile demeanors. They thrive on interacting with their owners and love to be petted and picked up. As a result, they tolerate handling as well as other animals and kids very well.
As long as your French Lop rabbit is socialized and handled appropriately (no pulling of fur, ears, etc.) from a young age, you won’t have to worry about behavioral issues as he/she will make a playful and affectionate companion.
Because of their large size, French Lop rabbits may not be the most suitable companions for first-time pet owners. Additionally, because they are larger, they are very strong with powerful hind legs that can kick out suddenly if startled, which, if you have him/her in your lap at the time, could result in injury.
These rabbits will readily accept another rabbit companion, but you will want to avoid housing them with other smaller species smaller than them in size such as guinea pigs as they could easily injure them.
If you intend to introduce an adult French Lop to a new companion, a lot of care should be taken as they may fight before they get to know each other. If your French Lop is neutered, the likelihood of fights occurring is low, and a mixed-sex pair is more likely to form a strong bond.
How Long Do French Lop Rabbits Live?
The French Lop has an average lifespan of 5-7 years. Some of the main factors that may determine how long these rabbits may live to include:
The French Lop is not affected by any health issues that are particular to its breed. That said, one of the most common health problems in rabbits, in general, is dental issues, so you will want to keep an eye on your French Lop’s teeth to ensure that they are in good health.
Overgrown teeth is a common dental issue that occurs when a rabbit has a poor diet. It is important to provide a diet that is high in fibrous green vegetables and high-quality hay to ensure that your bunny’s continuously growing teeth are worn down naturally to prevent enamel spurs and overgrown teeth.
If you notice that your French Lop is not eating as much or has fewer droppings, check his/her mouth to determine if they have overgrown teeth which can grow into the jaw or fact and cause a lot of pain.
A proper diet will also ensure that digestive problems don’t occur. Otherwise, your French Lop can easily develop diarrhea, which could, in turn, result in your pet having a soiled coat that can attract flies in warm months.
If your rabbit is unable to groom himself properly, the flies could lay eggs in his fur and when they hatch, the maggots will eat the rabbit’s skin causing your pet extreme pain. This condition is referred to as flystrike and poses a serious threat to your French Lop’s health and lifespan in general.
The French Lop also tends to gain weight easily, which may be hard to notice due to its large size. Being overweight can result in the development of other health issues, so you want to monitor how much you feed your gentle giant.
Due to their sizes, French Lop rabbits require enclosures that are bigger than a typical rabbit cag. Whether you decide to keep the enclosure outdoors or indoors, it needs to have enough space for your rabbit to relax and stretch its body comfortably as well as to move about with ease.
Outdoor enclosures should have adequate protection from elements such as rain, sun, snow, etc. You also need to be mindful of the temperature as well as predators that may be around your area.
French Lop rabbits should spend just as much time outside their enclosures as other rabbit breeds. They need to move around freely, whether it is within your home or outside in a fenced backyard where they can get a feel of the ground beneath their feet.
French Lop Colors
The French Lop has a soft, short coat that comes in two color types; solid and broken. Within these two color categories, there are a variety of colors, including brown, white, black, blue, fawn, chinchilla, opal, agouti, sable, Siamese (brown and cream), and steel.
They don’t have any specific markings that define their breed from other rabbit breeds.
How Much are French Lop Rabbits?
A French Lop rabbit costs $75 on average to purchase. You might also want to take into consideration the cost over a lifetime, including grooming items, toys, treatments such as vaccinations and neutering, food, pet insurance, and carriers, among other expenses.
How Big Do French Lops Get?
The French Lop is very large, typically weighing anywhere from 10-15 pounds. They have long ears that hang below the jaw, ranging between 5 and 8 inches in length. Their bodies are stout and thickset, while their heads are large.
This rabbit breed has chubby cheeks, with a wide forehead and thick ears. Their front legs are short and straight whereas their hind legs are powerful and carried parallel to their bodies.
Are French Lops Friendly?
French Lops are one of the friendliest rabbit breeds you will come across. They are renowned for their calm, sweet, and affectionate demeanors, which is what makes them one of the most popular pet options among rabbits.
Do French Lops Shed?
French Lop rabbits have a rollback coat that is short, dense, and soft. Because their coats are not very long, they don’t need too much attention, but they tend to shed more during particular seasons.
During seasons where they don’t shed as much, one brushing a week using a bristled brush should be sufficient. During springtime (when they shed the most), you will want to increase their grooming to twice or even three times a week if necessary.
What Do French Lops Eat?
Just like other rabbit breeds, the French Lop rabbit is herbivorous, with a diet that mainly consists of vegetables, hay, and pellets. Hay is very important for both dental health and digestive health.
Grass hays such as orchard, oat, and orchard can be fed to French Lop rabbits in unlimited quantities, while varieties that have high calories such as alfalfa can only be provided occasionally. Pellets should also be provided daily – pellets that are high in fiber are the best option and avoid varieties that contain mixes of other foods such as seeds, corn, or dried fruit.
Fresh foods are also key in your French Lop’s diet and should include dark, leafy greens such as romaine lettuce, kale, and spring greens. Spinach should make a majority of their diet, with other vegetables such as broccoli, bell pepper, cauliflower, and summer squash incorporated in smaller quantities. Fruits and starchy vegetables can also be provided occasionally as treats.
Ensure that all fresh foods provided are washed thoroughly, and any uneaten fresh food should be removed from the area that the rabbit inhabits. Ensure that fresh water is always available, either in a stable water bowl or from a sipper bottle.
At What Age is a French Lop Fully Grown?
During their first year, French Lop rabbits grow rapidly, chunking out for the next eight months before ultimately achieving full growth at eighteen months. When fully grown, a French Lop is around three feet in length from toes those when fully stretched out.
How Many Babies Do French Lops Have?
The gestation period of the French Lop rabbit lasts for 31 days. The female, which is referred to as a doe, gives birth to a litter of babies called kits or kittens, with a typical litter size of 6 or 7, although it is not uncommon to find a litter that comprises of up to 12 kits.
Newborn kits are usually completely hairless and blind until 10 days after their birth. Baby rabbits are typically weaned at 4 weeks. A doe can have up to five litters per year.
What is the Difference Between a French Lop and a Holland Lop?
The most obvious difference between the French Lop and the Holland Lop is size – while the French Lop can attain up to 15 pounds, the Holland Lop can weigh a maximum of 4 pounds. Due to their small size, Holland Lops are much more active than their counterparts, hence requiring quite a bit of room to run around.
While French Lops achieve their full size in eighteen months, the Holland Lop is fully grown at 6-7 months. The Holland Lop lives for longer, with an average lifespan of 10 years.
The French Lop was first bred as a domestic rabbit in France in the 19th century, while the Holland Lop was first developed in the 1950s in the Netherlands and got recognized by the ARBA in 1979. The fur of French Lops is dense and soft, whereas that of Holland Lops is glossier and shorter.
When it comes to temperament, the French Lop is extremely social, enjoying both human attention as well as interactions with other rabbits. The Holland Lop is very affectionate as well, but it is also known for being very hyper and a bit more skittish than their counterparts.
How High Can a French Lop Jump?
Despite its size, the French Lop rabbit can jump up to 36 inches or even higher in some cases.
How Much Should a French Lop Eat?
A French Lop’s daily diet should include their body size in hay at a minimum and a handful of any of the aforementioned greens twice a day.