Mini Lops are a beloved breed of small, although not quite dwarf, rabbits originating in America.
Their downward-hanging floppy lop ears, their enormous range of colors, and their friendly temperaments in familiar environments make them one of the most popular breeds of rabbits of all time.
Lops are several breeds of rabbits with ears that hang down rather than stand up.
There are at least 14 breeds of lop rabbits, not all of them recognized in every country.
Lop rabbit breed names can be confusing. Here is how you can distinguish the various major breeds of lop-eared rabbits one from another.
- Mini Lops are a breed that originated in Germany and was taken to the USA in 1972. They are small but not dwarf rabbits. They can weigh up to 5 pounds (2.4 kilograms).
- Miniature Lops are a different breed. They don’t grow to weigh more than 3.5 pounds (1.6 kilograms).
- Original Lops are a large meat rabbit that can weigh up to 20 pounds (9 kilograms) fully grown.
- English Lops have especially long ears.
- French Lops have shorter ears but weigh more than English Lops.
There are nine more breeds of Lops we could describe for you, but you probably get the idea.
Choose a Mini Lop if you are looking for a rabbit with manageably long ears, not so small that it is fragile, not so large that it is hard to feed.
You can depend on a professional rabbit breeder to ensure that you get the breed you want.
Essential Facts About Mini Lop Rabbits
Size: 4 to 5 inches (10 to 12 cm) tall.
Weight: 3.5 to 5 pounds (1600 to 2300 grams) as an adult.
Longevity: 8 to 14 years.
Litter size: 5 to 8 kits, up to 3 times a year.
Colors: Black, white, blue, chestnut, chinchilla, fawn, lynx, opal, cream, red, orange, tortoise, smoke pearl and sable.
Temperament: Friendly, playful, intelligent—but evasive or aggressive when confronted by boisterous children or predator pets.
Diet: Mostly hay and a few dark green leafy vegetables. An occasional carrot or berry is fine. Hay or high-fiber timothy hay pellets (such as the Oxbow and Mazur brands) is essential.
Special needs (compared to other rabbits): If you are planning to keep your Mini Lop indoors, buy it a larger cage with a mat floor (not wire). About 12 square feet (1.3 square meters) of floor space is ideal. Does not need a two-story hutch if kept indoors. Needs protection on all sides, plus above, if kept outdoors.
Most common health problem: Overheating. These rabbits should be kept at temperatures below 85° F (29° C).
Also read: 5 Smallest Breed of Pet Rabbits
History of the Mini Lop Rabbit
The history of Mini Lop rabbits can be traced back to Germany, where they first originated from a cross between a German Lop and a smaller Chinchilla rabbit.
The new breed came to be known as Klein Widdern, or “Little Ears” because of their diminutive size and their downward-hanging ears.
A rabbit breeder named Bob Herschbach saw Mini Lops at a show in Germany and brought them to the United States in the early 1970s.
He crossed them with Chinchilla rabbits to create the Mini Lop breed recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association today.
At first, Herschbach continued to refer to his breed as Klein Widder (the singular, Klein Widdern is the plural in German).
By the time another rabbit breeder, Herby Dyke, brought the breed to the American Rabbit Breeders Association, they were known as Mini Lops.
The American Rabbit Breeders Association recognized the breed in 1980.
Through the efforts of individuals like Herschbach and Dyke and organizations such as the ARBA and BRC, the Mini Lop has become one of the most popular domestic rabbit breeds today.
Their small size, distinctive lop ears, and friendly nature make them a favorite of rabbit enthusiasts worldwide.
Mini Lops look like a lovable ball of fluff. Fortunately for these rabbits, they are too small to be meat or fur rabbits.
They have been popular pets and show animals in the United States for over 40 years.
Also read: Also read: Holland Lop vs Mini Lop – What’s the Difference?
Appearance of the Mini Lop Rabbit
The Mini Lop Rabbit is a medium-sized rabbit with a compact, stocky body that makes it quite robust.
This breed stands out with its characteristic lop ears, which hang over its face, giving it an adorable look.
As a Mini Lop Rabbit owner, you’ll notice that these rabbits come in various colors, making them even more attractive and unique.
Some of the common color patterns for Mini Lop Rabbits include:
- Agouti: This pattern includes a mix of colors on each hair, giving the rabbit a unique, wild appearance. Common agouti colors are chestnut, chinchilla, lynx, and opal.
- Orange and Fawn: These vibrant shades make the Mini Lop Rabbit truly eye-catching. The rich orange color is evenly distributed, while the fawn color is paler with a white undercoat.
- Black and Blue: Mini Lop Rabbits with a black or blue pattern have a striking, solid appearance. Their fur is uniform in color, with the blue having a cool-toned, slate gray hue.
- White and Pointed White: These rabbits have pure white fur, while pointed white rabbits have darker shades on their nose, ears, feet, and tail. This creates a striking contrast against their otherwise white fur.
- Shaded: Shaded Mini Lop Rabbits have a gradient look, with darker fur on their ears, face, back, and legs, gradually blending into lighter shades. Examples of shaded colors include tortoiseshell, sable, and seal.
- Ticked and Wide Band: Ticked rabbits have a base color with small, evenly distributed flecks of another color throughout their fur. In contrast, wide band rabbits have a base color with large patches of another color on their coats, creating a distinctive pattern.
In addition to their colorful fur, Mini Lop Rabbits are generally friendly, playful, and affectionate pets.
They have a lively personality, making them great companions for families, singles, and first-time rabbit owners.
With proper care, your Mini Lop Rabbit can live a long and healthy life, providing you with endless joy and companionship.
Size and Weight
Mini Lop Rabbits are known for their small, compact size and stocky build.
As a dwarf breed, they have a distinctive appearance that makes them an attractive pet option for many people.
Let’s take a closer look at the size and weight of these charming animals.
One of the key features of Mini Lop Rabbits is their size.
In general, they tend to weigh between 3 to 6.5 pounds when fully grown, with most rabbits reaching their adult weight around 9 to 10 months old.
Their growth rate is quite fast during their first few months, with birth weight varying the most between individual bunnies.
Because they are a small breed, Mini Lops don’t require as much living space as some larger rabbit breeds.
However, it’s crucial to remember that they still need enough room to move around and explore comfortably.
Like any rabbit, they appreciate the opportunity to stretch their legs and exercise daily.
Some physical features that distinguish Mini Lops include:
- A short and stocky body
- A slightly wider hind region
- A round, circular body type
These characteristics make Mini Lops unique and easily recognizable as a dwarf rabbit breed. When providing a home for your Mini Lop, consider their small size and specific needs for exercise and comfort.
In summary, Mini Lop Rabbits are a small and stocky breed, with an adult weight typically ranging from 3 to 6.5 pounds.
Their compact size and unique appearance make them a popular choice for pet owners, but it’s essential to provide proper care and adequate space for exercise and exploration.
Also read: When Do Holland Lop’s Ears Drop?
Temperament of the Mini Lop Rabbit
When it comes to the temperament of Mini Lop rabbits, they are generally known for their friendly and sociable nature.
In fact, these little bunnies make excellent pets for both experienced and first-time rabbit owners, thanks to their easy-going and affectionate disposition.
Friendly and Playful: Mini Lop rabbits are often described as friendly and playful, making them a popular choice for families with children. They enjoy interacting with their human companions and will actively seek out attention. Keeping your Mini Lop entertained with toys, tunnels, and hiding spots will ensure they stay happy and engaged.
Energetic vs. Laid-back: While some Mini Lops can be quite energetic, others may be more laid-back in their temperament. It’s essential to spend time with your rabbit when they’re young to understand their individual personality and adjust your interactions accordingly. With proper care and attention, you can create a strong bond with your Mini Lop, ensuring they’re comfortable and happy around you.
Doe vs. Buck: When it comes to the temperament of female (doe) and male (buck) Mini Lops, there may be some differences. Does might be more affectionate and cuddly, whereas bucks can be more assertive and territorial. However, this can vary from one individual to another, and neutering your rabbit can help to minimize these behavioral differences.
To sum up, Mini Lops are generally friendly, playful, and affectionate rabbits that make great pets for people of all ages.
By understanding and catering to their individual personalities, you’ll be able to enjoy a happy and lasting relationship with your Mini Lop.
Also read: Are French Lop Rabbits Good Pets?
Taking Care of Your Mini Lop Rabbit
Mini Lops have some special needs that dogs and cats don’t.
We will start with something that enthusiastic animal collectors sometimes overlook.
Mini Lops are instinctively frightened by potential predators. They will never make friends with a family dog that has a hunting instinct.
They certainly can’t be kept in the same home with anacondas, boas, and pythons. Let your Mini Lops be the star of their show.
Wild rabbits like to spend almost all of their time with other rabbits. Your Mini Lop prefers to have a companion rabbit, too.
If you keep just one Mini Lop rabbit, it will turn to you for companionship for several hours a day. Without company, Mini Lops become fearful and shy.
Even if you provide a predator-free environment for your Mini Lop, it is important to socialize it by giving it diverse experiences with toys (tunnels, cardboard rollers, baskets, and lots of chew toys), safe places in your backyard or park (carefully supervised by you), and the greatest variety of people possible.
Young rabbits that learn that humans can be friends live longer and happier lives.
There is one aspect of human behavior that is important for raising a healthy rabbit:
Always be gentle with your rabbit.
Never drop them. Never bind their hind legs so they struggle to get free.
Trying to escape you can easily result in a fractured spine that can leave your rabbit crippled for the rest of its life.
Make sure children know not to hold their bunny too tight, not to restrain its hind legs, and only to hold it in their laps if it is comfortable there.
Food and Water
All rabbits eat grasses. Their bodies and their probiotic bacteria can convert fiber into fats in ways that human bodies cannot.
Rabbit teeth never stop growing. They need to gnaw to keep their teeth from growing upward into their faces.
They can get the fiber they need from a mostly hay or hay pellet diet or by gnawing on your furniture.
Chances are that you will prefer for them to get their chewing and gnawing time with hay.
It’s OK to use carrot sticks, celery sticks, and berries as special treats for training your rabbit to come when you call its name and to do simple tricks.
It’s not OK to give rabbits table scraps, baked goods, candy, meat in any form, or dog or cat food.
Part of the joy of owning a Mini Lop is watching it play.
Buy your Mini Lop a rabbit tunnel. Most models come with paper windows that give a scared rabbit a chance to look out to make sure it is not trapped.
Rabbits love straw houses. They will eventually eat them, but, for your Mini Lop, that is part of the fun.
Or buy your rabbit braided seagrass twists or bundles of willow sticks so it can chew, chew, chew. Get your rabbit a rolling braided straw globe filled with hay that it has to roll around to get a snack.
Avoid buying your rabbit plastic toys. If they break, rabbits will swallow the pieces, and they can become stuck in your rabbit’s digestive tract.
Also read: Are Rabbit Toys Safe for Birds?
Grooming Your Mini Lop
Grooming your Mini Lop Rabbit is essential to maintain their health and keep them looking their best.
Regular grooming helps prevent fur matting, remove debris, and minimize shedding.
When grooming your Mini Lop, start by gently brushing their fur. It’s best to use a brush specifically designed for rabbits, such as the Hairbuster.
Brush your rabbit’s fur at least once a week to keep it neat and clean. During shedding seasons, you may need to increase grooming frequency to prevent excessive loose fur from accumulating.
Be sure to check your rabbit’s ears for any signs of dirt or buildup. If necessary, clean them gently with a damp cloth or a rabbit-safe ear cleaning solution.
Remember to handle your rabbit gently and securely during grooming to reduce stress and make the experience more enjoyable for both of you.
Mini Lop Rabbits need their nails trimmed regularly as well. Use a small pair of pet nail clippers to trim their nails, being cautious not to cut into the quick (the blood vessel inside the nail).
Doing this every four to six weeks should keep your rabbit’s nails at a comfortable length.
A key aspect of grooming is also monitoring your rabbit’s eyes for any signs of irritation or discharge. Gently clean the eye area with a soft, damp cloth if needed.
In summary, proper grooming is crucial for the health and well-being of your Mini Lop Rabbit. Regularly brush their fur, trim their nails, and clean their ears and eyes as needed.
This routine will ensure your rabbit stays clean, tidy, and comfortable.
Keeping Your Mini Lop Disease-Free
Making sure your Mini Lop gets lots of fiber doesn’t just prevent malocclusion, teeth that are so long that it cannot close its jaws or chew.
Fiber also keeps your rabbit regular, preventing a condition called gastric stasis.
Rabbits groom themselves constantly. They swallow hair. It can form a bezoar, that is, a hairball, like a hairball in a cat.
Rabbits are different from cats in that they cannot cough up their hair balls.
The hair has to come out the other end, or it can block the passage of food. Prevent this potentially fatal form of constipation known as gastric stasis by giving your rabbit a high-fiber diet.
Pet rabbits need to be kept separate from other animals, including wild rabbits. Rabbits can pick up mites, fleas, parasites, and respiratory infections from wild animals and other pets.
You will have a lot fewer trips to the vet if you simply segregate them.
Popular Bunny Names for Mini Lop Rabbit
Here’s a table with popular Mini Lop Rabbit names, reflecting their breed characteristics.
The Mini Lop Rabbit is known for its small size, droopy ears, and affectionate temperament.
Many of these names are inspired by their unique appearance and lovable nature.
|Boy Bunny Names for Mini Lop Rabbit||Girl Bunny Names for Mini Lop Rabbit|
These names emphasize the small size, droopy ears, and affectionate temperament of the Mini Lop Rabbit breed, making them fitting choices for your rabbit.
Also read: Pet Rabbits Names
Frequently Asked Questions About Mini Lop Rabbits
Where can I get a Mini Lop rabbit?
Although you can occasionally find a Mini Lop rabbit at a pet store or at an animal rescue shelter, it is always best to buy your Mini Lop from a breeder.
Professional rabbit breeders put their reputations on the line when they sell you a rabbit, especially when you are buying a show rabbit.
They will be a great source of information about your rabbit, and they can introduce you to the parents of your rabbit.
You can find a Mini Lop breeder on the Mini Lop Rabbit Breeders Near Me page of the Rabbit Breeders US site.
How much will a Mini Lop rabbit cost?
You may be able to buy a pet Mini Lop for less than US $50, but a show rabbit will cost $100 to $500.
Count on spending $150 on a hutch and $50 on feeding bowls, water bottles, and toys, plus $20 a month for food.
Veterinary health insurance from Nationwide (the only company that insures pet rabbits in North America) should cost less than $20 a month.
It can save you hundreds of dollars and spare your family heartbreaking decisions later in your rabbit’s life.
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