Holland Lop is a popular rabbit breed that is known for its drooping ears. These rabbits aren’t born with drooping ears. So, they start to drop as the rabbits grow older.
In most cases, Holland Lop rabbits’ ears start to drop when they are anywhere between 10 and 12 weeks old. However, it can occur sooner and later, depending on a few factors.
This article focuses on when this rabbit breed’s ears typically drop, what causes it, and other related information.
When Do Holland Lop Rabbits’ Ears Typically Drop
Knowing when your Holland Lop rabbit’s ears drop is important. This is because it will help you know whether it’s growing healthily.
Newborn Holland Lop rabbits don’t have drooping ears. So, don’t be alarmed if your existing pets have given babies.
While the ears usually droop at about 10 or 12 weeks old, it can occur at even 4 weeks old. That said, it can take much longer for your Holland Lop rabbit’s ears to drop. Sometimes, it can take 16 months or more.
That is nothing to be concerned about, as explained further in this article.
What You Should Know About How Much These Rabbits’ Ears Drop
What you should note about the ears dropping is that it’s not always a drastic change. Sometimes, the ears may drop at the ages mentioned above but not fully.
When the ears drop fully, your rabbit may not be able to control its ears’ movement anymore. It can take far longer for that to happen.
Therefore, you can expect the ears to start to drop to a considerable degree by the time your rabbit is six months old.
However, it will continue to drop in small increments till it is about a year old.
Your rabbit’s ears at a year old will most likely be the position it will have for the rest of its life. That said, as some rabbits have faster development, this timeline can be considerably shorter.
What this discussion indicates is that there’s no fixed time for a Holland Lop rabbit’s years to drop. It can vary based on factors such as genetics, body structure, and so on.
Also read: Holland Lop vs. Mini Lop
Factors That Cause and Affect the Rate at Which Holland Lop Rabbit’s Ears Drop
Your Holland Lop rabbit has cartilage at the top of its head. This cartilage is what makes up its ears. This entire area on your rabbit’s head is known as its crown.
The ear carriage, which is the term used to describe the way the ears look, is dependent on the crown. It can affect the rabbit’s ears based on its shape, size, and growth rate.
How the Crown Affects Your Holland Lop Rabbits’ Ear Drop
The crown grows wide from front to back and from side to side. Your rabbit’s ears will only start to lop once the crown has reached the correct portions to allow that.
At that point, your pet may lose ear control.
Rabbits with smaller and narrower crowns will have less droopy ears. If it’s too small, then their ears may never droop fully as well. That is nothing to be worried about.
However, if its siblings or parents have droopy ears, you can consult your veterinarian for further information.
In addition to the shape and size, the crown ligaments, muscles, and cartilages can affect the ear drop. They may prevent the rabbit from fully losing ear control.
The Crown May Continue to Grow Even After Your Rabbit Is Mature
Your rabbit’s ears will continue to drop as long as the crown keeps growing. So, you can consider measuring it to see if it’s still growing, but there’s no reason to worry about that.
A rabbit’s crown can continue to grow even when they are about 2 to 3 years old. However, its growth after a year old will be negligible.
How Genetics Can Affect the Degree and the Time It Takes for Your Rabbits’ Ears to Drop
Genetics affects Holland Lop rabbits’ ears because the parents may have a large or small crown.
Therefore, your rabbit’s crown is likely to have a similar shape and size as its parents’ crowns.
In some cases, you may take care of rabbits in the second generation, i.e., the children of your existing pets.
You can use the time it took for the parents’ ears to drop as a reference for their children.
You may not interact with or see your rabbit’s parents in some cases. Just keep the periods mentioned above in mind in that case.
Genetics Can Vary the Degree of Ear Drop
Genetics is one of the most critical factors that determine the degree of dropping. This is because lop ears are a polygenic trait. Thus, it’s affected by two or more genes.
As a result, a Holland Lop may not have fully drooping ears if it doesn’t have the right genes. This may occur even among purebred Holland Lop rabbits.
On the other hand, a rabbit can have lop ears even if one parent is a Holland Lop. In that case, the parent that isn’t a Holland dwarf must have passed on the lop ears gene.
How Growth Rates Can Affect the Time It Takes for Your Rabbits’ Ears to Drop
Some rabbits can grow faster than others. Some young rabbits have growth spurts in which the crown’s proportions change drastically.
The Holland Lop rabbits’ ears may drop significantly at that point.
However, some rabbits’ narrow crown structures may not cause the ears to drop. This may even occur when the rabbit has reached its growth spurt.
Things to Keep in Mind About Your Holland Lop Rabbit’s Ears
All rabbits need periodic ear cleaning. It ensures their ears are healthy and at minimal risk of infections.
However, cleaning may be more important for rabbits with lop ears.
This is because ear wax accumulates in the ear canal’s folds. So, have your vet check your pet and carry out any necessary cleaning procedures.
Try to avoid doing the cleaning yourself. You may injure your rabbit in the process.
Do Lop Ears Affect Your Holland Lop Rabbit?
In most cases, lop ears don’t affect Holland Lop rabbits. The only important point is that they won’t be able to move or control their ears.
Many rabbits lift their ears to pick up on threats. This is because it helps them hear more clearly. However, Holland Lops won’t be able to do so.
That said, that inability does not affect their hearing negatively to a great degree.
If you let your Holland Lop rabbit play outdoors in your backyard, keep a close on your pet.
This way, you can determine if there is a threat nearby. As prey animals, rabbits are always at risk from predators. Your presence will also act as a deterrent from predators.
Last Few Words
While most Holland Lop rabbits’ ears drop, they may not fully drop in some. Therefore, your rabbit may still be able to control its ears instead of having airplane ears (lop ears).
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