Need some advice on rabbit breeds

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by PotatoChicken, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. PotatoChicken

    PotatoChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 7, 2012
    I am going to be entering the endevor of starting a herd of Newzealand whites. The meat aspect is good and everything but, I also want to show a breed. I'd rather not show N.Z.'s so started looking into lops. Heres were it gets complicated. I was looking through a rabbit book and I saw an english lop. I knew I wanted that breed. I read on and apparently they are harder to take care of. So i flipped on and I found the french lop. Its perfect and I still want that breed now, but its rare and I havent found any yet online or locally. So I was thinking the COMMON holland lop, and I wanted a larger breed, sooooo... Advice? Or perhaps other lops for me think about?

    (p.s. I would like to have the french the most, the english the second if not to hard TO care to care for, and the holland is a last resort)

    Thanks in Advance!

  2. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    I can understand you not wanting to show the NZ's. While some might think "a commercial rabbit is a commercial rabbit", I've heard that some of the things that make a good, productive breeding animal are not the things one looks for on the show table - go figure!

    The English Lop is a distinctive animal, so I can understand your attraction to it. We have a member here who has some as pets; I'm sure they will chime in on the care aspects of them before long - but I understand that those amazing ears do make for some extra care issues. The French Lop is an armful! I've never handled any, so I don't know what their personalities are like. The Holland, as you know, is extremely popular and easy to find, but that means that you need to have an animal that is almost perfect to win at a show.[​IMG] Also, at a maximum showable weight of 4 pounds, the Holland is the smallest of the Lop breeds. It has a long-haired counterpart, the American Fuzzy Lop, that is not quite as popular, but which has the extra care feature of an Angora coat. A "good" Fuzzy won't take as much care as, say, an English Angora, but if you've never dealt with rabbits, you might not want a long-haired breed to start out with. There is another fairly common lop breed that you didn't mention, the Mini Lop. Some people will call anything with ears that don't stand up a "Mini Lop", but the animals that have pedigrees to go with that name are about 4 to 6 pounds in weight, and resemble a scaled-down French Lop.

    There is another breed currently being developed, the Velveteen Lop. Fanciers may argue about this, but a rough description is a 5 to 6 pound version of the English Lop, with the Rex coat. I'm not sure what the current status of the breed is with the American Rabbit Breeders Association, but I think it's showing as an exhibition breed at this time (not all shows will have classes for it, and it can't compete for Best in Show).

    My advice is to go to some shows, and see what is showing in your area. Talk to some breeders, see what they are doing - a mentor is priceless when it comes to starting out in any breed. The link below will take you to the ARBA (American Rabbit Breeders Association) website. They have a page that lists sanctioned shows. Fall is usually a popular time for shows, hopefully there will be some in your area that you can go to. Have fun (I wish I was going to a show . . . .[​IMG])
  3. PotatoChicken

    PotatoChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 7, 2012
    What would I have to do to take care of an english? Thanks for the info!!![​IMG](I know- the French- up to 16#
  4. madamwlf

    madamwlf Nevermore Acres

    Aug 22, 2010
    Mount Airy, MD
    Look into Silver Fox Rabbits. Great meat rabbits, awesome rabbits to deal with and beautiful to boot.
  5. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    Hey there root vegetable, I am the one who will accost you with stories and photos of my pet Elops.

    Personality wise, they are hands down my favorite rabbit breed, and I believe, a good choice for people looking for indoor pets. Though I am sure their are lines out there that differ, mine have all been very calm, very low energy rabbits. They are unfazed by cats, dogs, and other pets. They do not get all wild eyed and freak out like other breeds I've owned in the past (including some fairly calm breeds) tend to do. The do not single mindedly work to destroy my house with chewing and digging like every other breed I've owned attempted to do. x). They actively seek people out, and mine will snuggle for literally hours.

    That said, they have huge ears that are prone to issues with cold temperatures or being torn. The breed is prone to being "pigeon-chested", sore hocks, and having the condition where the eyelid turns in and irritates the eye. Ear infections can be troublesome in this breed, though we have only had one Elop that gets them regularly. They can be hard to get a good flesh condition on, and this covers some of their feeding care:
    They tend to be fairly sedentary, and it is important not to over feed them.

    Many breeders I've dealt with prefer these rabbits going to indoor homes due to their thin coats and large ears. If showing them, nails will need to be kept short (and breeders will not uncommonly keep this breed off wire ) so the ears at not nicked, torn, or punctured. Frostbite is a concern in this breed, and needs o be prevented against if ousting them outdoors. They have gorgeously long "goat" tails, and care must be taken so that these lovely tails are not broken by being stepped on, caught in wire or cracks, etc.

    The blue tort is a beautiful doe we lost to mycotoxin poisoning. The black tort is the love of my life, a neutered buck we almost lost at the same time. We now only feed Oxbow pellets and hay. We have a new little snuggly broken black doe, but I only have limited photo access right now.

    These guys just love attention...and I love giving it to them!

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