English Lop Rabbits
English Lop rabbits are best known for their surprisingly large ears. This fancy breed was first developed in the 1800s in Britain. They average 11 pounds at maturity. They are best known for their very long ears, pointed face and mandolin shaped body.
The ears of an English Lop can average 20 inches or more from tip to tip. Their ears may require extra care, especially in cold weather so they don't get frostbitten.
Males tend to have longer ear measurements because they have a wider head. Females, with their narrower head, may actually have comparable ears, but since they are measured from tip to tip, the skull width is included. They don't have a crown between the ears like other lop breeds do.
This breed comes in solid and broken colors. Like other lops, they are shown as either solid or broken rather than in individual colors. Common colors include black, white, fawn, sooty fawn and golden fawn. They have short fur.
English Lop rabbits need a large cage so they have plenty of room to avoid stepping on their ears. Water bottles work better for them than crocks so they don't drag their ears through the water.
These big rabbits are known for a laidback personality. They tend to lie around more than engage in more active pursuits. They eat the same foods as other rabbit breeds. Hay, pellets and the occasional garden treat is fine.
English Lops are vulnerable to a number of health issues. Ear infections can be prevented by checking the ears regularly for built up earwax. Blemishes on the ears can be mostly prevented by keeping the toenails clipped so the ears don't get cut or scratched by the rabbit walking on them.
Cold weather can affect them because of their large ear surface and lack of a dense undercoat. Insulating the hutch for outdoor rabbits and increasing the bedding quantity can help them stay warmer.
Like other large breeds, breeding is best postponed until the doe is at least 9 months old. English Lop rabbits are known for large litters, ranging from 5 to 12. They are usually good mothers and produce plenty of milk for their litter.
The ears grow quickly on babies. The first four months show the most rapid growth for their ears. During this time, their ears will require special care. Babies are born with normal looking ears, but each week it seems like the size doubles. By 4 weeks of age, the ears will be longer than the baby. Watch the ears during this time for injuries. Treat them promptly to prevent infection.
The record for the longest ears goes to an English Lop named Nipper's Geronimo, whose ears measured 31.125 inches from tip to tip in 2003. This record has been recorded by the American Rabbit Breeders Association and by Guinness World Records.
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