Today the Mini Lop is the most popular rabbit breed in the United Kingdom. It features in all rabbit shows across the UK and is kept as a pet by many people. The mini lop is a small rabbit with floppy ears. The mini lop is such a cute, delightful bunny.
History of the Mini Lop Rabbit
Adrian de Cock, a Dutch breeder, is the man often credited with the foundation of the Holland Lop – the breed that was used to create the Mini. He put the largest Lop breed, the French Lop, with the Netherland Dwarf and this resulted in a diminutive version of the French. Although the union of these two breeds seems unlikely, de Cock persevered and in 1951 a litter of six kits was born and these tiny babies signalled the beginning of a new breed. Following the arrival of these first kits, an English Lop was added to the breeding mix to make the ears more ‘loppy’. The Holland Lop Breed Society was established in 1970 by Adrian de Cock with the aim of getting the Holland Lop down to a tiny 1.5kg. In 1980 these smaller Lops found their way into Britain after Yorkshire breeder George Scott found them via a contact in Holland. After Scott spent time breeding together the smallest examples of the breed, the Mini Lop was born. The Mini was recognised by the British Rabbit Council (BRC) in 1994 and is already one of the most popular pet and show breeds in the UK.
Please don’t confuse the UK mini lop with the American mini lop.
UK mini lop is a small breed and weighs just 3lbs 8 ozs
American mini lop is a medium breed and weighs around 6lb!!!
The coat of the Mini Lop should be dense and soft and of a good length with lots of guard hairs. They have a compact body that is broad and well-muscled, with a round head and full cheeks. The chest is deep and broad with curvy sides. The shoulders are also very powerful, as are the hind legs and the tail is strong, straight and well-furred. The ears should be liberally covered in fur and should be rounded at the ends. They must be held quite close to the cheeks to form a horseshoe shape over the head. The eyes are round and bright. The Mini lop is accepted in all colours by the breed standard, apart from broken.
Mini lops are bright, cheerful, playful and intelligent. Mini lops can be easily trained to use their litter trays and play with toys. Mini lops will get along well with most other pets and quiet, calm children. Mini lops are prey animals rabbits and will be startled by unexpected noises and events. Ideally you should buy your mini lop from a reputable breeder who ensures that your pet is well socialised and handled from an early age so that they are used to human company. The mini lop is a friendly, delightful little animal that will add joy to your life. However, your mini lop will need plenty of exercise and stimulation to prevent boredom setting in. Mini lops love playing with cat toys, particularly those that have bells or rattles.
All rabbits are delicate creatures and should be handled with care, the mini lop is no exception. Children need to be shown how to pick up their new pet properly to prevent injuries to the rabbit. All rabbits should be vaccinated against VHD1 & 2 and myxomatosis. These are serious diseases that usually prove fatal. Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD1 & 2) is an extremely infectious airborne disease that can cause collapse, breathing difficulties, jaundice, bloody discharge from the nasal passages, fever, weight loss and groaning. There is no cure for VHD. Myxomatosis is carried by wild rabbits and is also highly infectious. Symptoms include swellings around the head, eyes and genitals and conjunctivitis which eventually leads to blindness and eventually death. Vaccinated rabbits can contract Myxomatosis but the symptoms will be much less severe than in animals that haven’t been vaccinated.
The diet of the mini lop should be considered. Not only will high fibre pellets and hay, as well as lots of fibrous green vegetables keep him fit and healthy, they will also help to keep his teeth worn down. A rabbit’s teeth grow constantly, and if they’re allowed to get too long the animal may have difficulty eating or develop injuries in his mouth that will require veterinary treatment. Ensure your mini lop is not overweight. Obese rabbits are unable to groom themselves and may fall victim to flystrike; where flies lay eggs in soiled areas of fur and the hatching maggots cause injuries to the skin. All rabbits should be treated for worms, ticks, fleas and lice and owners of does should consider getting their girls spayed as it can help prevent uterine cancer, which is common in rabbits.
Mini Lop Care
Mini lops groom itself on a regular basis, just like a cat. During periods of heavy moult you can help groom your mini lop to remove excess fur and to keep his fur in good condition. Frequent grooming sessions will also allow you to check him over for any signs of illness or injury. Mini lops should be fed high fibre pellets, hay and some vegetables. If your rabbit is going to live outdoors in a hutch it should provide enough space for him to hop around and stand on his hind legs. The Rabbit Welfare Organisation recommends a hutch of 6ft x 2ft x 2ft with an additional run. The hutch should be fully weatherproof with a fine wire mesh front. A cover should be placed over the front of the hutch in very bad weather and it should be placed out of draughts and full sun. If you have a light, well-ventilated shed that will accommodate a hutch, this would be ideal. The hutch should be cleaned out once a week. Rabbits should be provided with clean, fresh water every day. Mini lops should have lots of human company and get the chance to exercise and play with their owners whenever possible. A run or secure area of garden should be provided so the mini lop can run, play and binky around. If going to live indoors your rabbit should be litter trained and should also be provided with a quiet area where he can escape for a snooze if he feels like it, rabbit tunnels are ideal for this. Keep shoes, phones, papers, toys and clothes well out of his way as he may chew them. However, cables and wires are their favourite so make sure the rabbit doesn’t have access to these as it is dangerous for them and annoying for you if your TV or telephone stops working.
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