The Featured Pet for this week is: The Mini Lop Rabbit!
I personally really love rabbits as pets – with lops being my favorite! Mini Lops are quite cute with their long floppy ears, and in my experience, if they are handled regularly they tend to be very affectionate and sweet. I had several types of rabbits growing up, including mini lops, and I bred them for some time as well. They are smaller than a typical regular rabbit which makes them a little less awkward to pick up, and due to their gentle nature they can be good kid pets.
Some other perks to the mini lop rabbit are that once they are adapted to their owners and families, they become quite playful and are sometimes considered to being akin to a pet dog. They also can be litter-box trained if enough time and dedication is spent working with them!
The Mini Lop is related to the regular Lop-eared Rabbit and was bred to be a miniaturized version of it. They were originally derived from the German lops, however the Mini Lop that is in the United States is believed to have been developed from several varieties of lops. They were first recognized in the United States as a their own breed in 1982, however they are still not recognized in England.
Mini Lops are a breed that is fairly popular for rabbit shows because they are recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association, Inc. (ARBA) and the Mini Lop Rabbit Club of America. They come in a range of colors, with the following color and pattern groups being officially recognized at shows: Agouti (chinchilla, chestnut, opal); Broken (white with colored spots); Ticked (steel gene and ticking); Self group, white pointed (solid color with no ticking); Shaded (shaded markings with colors); and Wide Band (cream, orange, red, and fawn).
Here I will include some general guidelines on how to select and keep a healthy mini lop! When first purchasing your rabbit, try to get a younger one – between 2 to 3 months old – because that is an ideal age to start the training and handling process to get your rabbit used to you. Look for healthy signs – such as an alert rabbit with no matted fur, healthy eyes with no drainage, and hard and dry stools. If you want to get more than one rabbit, you will most likely want to choose 2 females because 2 males will have have a tendency to fight.
Your Mini Lop will be it’s healthiest and live the longest if provided with the correct foods and nutrients, as well as fresh water daily (through a water bottle ideally). Their basic diet should consist of grass hay and green foods. You can buy commercially prepared rabbit pellets which should contain the correct nutrients, however you will want to offer them fresh green foods daily as well. This includes romaine lettuce, cabbage, celery, broccoli, and most other greens.
Mini Lops need lots of exercise, so you will want to make sure they have an enclosure that is big enough for them to run around in or make sure they get enough time outside of their cage each day. If you choose to house your rabbit outdoors, make sure that they have shelter from the elements and/or are allowed indoors during extreme temperatures (80′s and above and very cold temperatures). Make sure to clean out their cage or hutch at least twice a week. This will ensure that your Mini Lop is happy, healthy, and a joy to be around!
If you would like to learn more about Mini Lops in general check out the Mini Lop Rabbits page!
Jasmine is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.