The French Lop Rabbit is one of a few different Lop breeds. In this article, we want to talk to you a little bit about the history of the French Lop bunny, as well as give you a brief overview as to whether this rabbit breed is the right option for you.
The best pet is the one that you’re most interested in caring for. That’s why it’s so important to do a little bit of research before deciding on which rabbit is the right fit for your lifestyle (and your home).
Origins of the French Lop Rabbit
The intention of the French Lop Rabbit was to create a superior meat breed. In order to accomplish that, a breeder decided to crossbreed the English Lop and the Flemish Giant. However, there were probably a few more breeds thrown into there for good measure.
Since this all happened in the 19th Century, we really do not have that much information about the actual breeds that went into the development, because nobody kept that many records then.
What we do know, however, is that the French Lop rabbit started to become quite popular at the tail end of the 19th Century as a show rabbit. This is, partly, down to the fact that the Victorians were really starting to love fancy rabbit breeds at the time.
So, somebody saw the French Lop Rabbit in France (being French was also popular then) and imported it over to the United Kingdom. It was only a small breeding stock at first, but eventually, everybody wanted the French Lop Rabbit, so a rapid amount of breeding took place in the United Kingdom from the late 19th Century to the early 20th Century.
French Lop Rabbit Colors and Appearance
As with most lop breeds, the French Lop bunny is fairly large. Many of them can weigh as much as 15 lbs! Also like other breeds of lop rabbit, the highlight of this breed will be the ears. They can be up to 8 inches long, which is huge. This rabbit isn’t the largest on the ear front, but they are large enough to catch your attention!
The fur is incredibly soft to the touch and pretty dense. It is a wonder that this breed was never properly raised for fur. We can imagine that there would be some people out there that would enjoy the fur of the French Lop.
This breed is available in a variety of different colors. All of these colors are officially recognized by breeding organizations:
There are a few more colors on top of this, some of which are also recognized by professional breeding associations. However, the four colors listed there are the ones that you are likely to be encountering the most!
French Lop as a Show Rabbit
The modern French Lop has always been intended to be a show rabbit. This means that the majority of the time that you see this breed, it is going to be during one of the many, many rabbit shows around the world.
However, despite the name, you won’t see it anywhere near as often in France in comparison to the United Kingdom and the United States. This is because the bulk of the development of this breed actually took place in the UK before it was shipped over to the United States.
The way in which the French Lop is shown is a little bit different to other breeds, though. With most other breeds of rabbits, there will be a maximum size limit for the rabbit. However, no such thing exists with the French Lop rabbit. It can be any maximum weight you want although, as we said, it is pretty rare for the rabbit breed to go outside of 15 lbs.
If you are lucky enough to own an award-winning French Lop, you will be pleased to know that this is an incredibly good breed to sell. Due to the show competition, and the constant desire to improve the breed, there are a lot of people willing to part with a substantial amount of cash in order to develop the French Lop breed even further!
In theory, you could make enough of an income to cover a part-time job with a beautiful French Lop rabbit.
French Lop as a Pet Rabbit
The French Lop does make a good pet rabbit. However, it is a big, strong breed and many people do not recommend it to first-time rabbit owners. Not necessarily because it is aggressive. It isn’t. It is quite a friendly bunny.
Despite its adorably disarming look, it doesn’t really understand its own power. We certainly wouldn’t recommend it to children. The French Lop has some powerful legs and children have been known to be injured if the rabbit manages to escape their arms. So, though they are a kid-friendly rabbit, you’ll still need to be careful.
While this rabbit can be raised both indoors and outdoors, we do recommend the former. This is because the French Lop does need a lot of space to roam around, and they need a large rabbit hutch to relax in.
Since they are an active rabbit, it would be easier to open the hutch indoors and allow them to roam around throughout the day than it would be heading outside and making sure everything is secure. This is a rabbit that does enjoy socialization anyway, so the rabbit would probably prefer to live indoors with you anyway!
The average lifespan of the French Lop is 5-years. This is about normal for a lop rabbit like this.
What is the Temperament of a French Lop Rabbit
Like most lop rabbits, the temperament of a French Lop Rabbit is gentle and calm. They are known for their intelligence and curiosity.
French Lops have hearty apple-shaped bodies with long silky ears that droop to either side. The extra appendages paddle in the rabbit’s passing footsteps as it travels across any surface – rug, couch, or burlap sack filled to capacity with hay.
Gentle in nature, French Lops generally get along well with other breeds and animals both domestic and wild. When introduced as kits or rabbits of older age they will often times cohabitate peacefully without much introduction necessary on anyone’s part (except for those who might want to keep them in separate spaces).
What is the Lifespan of a French Lop Bunny
A French Lop Rabbit typically lives anywhere from 6-8 years.
French Lop Rabbits are fairly small and weigh up to nine pounds, so it’s easy for them to get around as they get older, but this should still be taken into consideration. The common American pet with apple-shaped bodies weighs in at an average of twelve pounds.
As you can see the weight difference between the breeds makes their aging process different based on how much they are using those muscles. Luckily, since rabbits get plenty of exercise hopping through their environment, their muscles stay active and healthy for a long period of time.
In general, these animals live two or three times longer than domesticated dogs or cats.
French Lop Was Bred for Meat. Does it Make for a Good Pet?
The initial intention of the French Lop bunny was to be a meat rabbit. However, this is something that only happened in France. Nowadays, the rabbit is purely a show breed.
We are sure that there are some people out there that will be raising the French Lop rabbit for meat and fur purposes however it is not really recommended. There are so many better breeds out there for meat and fur that it makes no sense raising a French Lop. Not with the amount of space that they require.
Just stick to having the French Lop bunny as a show breed or a pet. We are sure that you will be much, much happier like that.