Mini lops are one of the most popular rabbit breeds in the world and with good reason. The miniature lop is adorable, yes, but there’s more to it than floppy ears and a diminutive size. When it comes to the mini lop, do you have the 411?
The mighty Mini Lop — it’s like Grumpy Cat without the grump. Its downward-facing ears might give it a dour appearance, but when it comes to personality, the Mini Lop is a clever, cheerful, easygoing companion, who gets along well with kids and other pets. Think you might want to adopt a Mini Lop? Then you need to know the facts.
The Mini Lop: History
What’s in a Name?
It’s no surprise that such a beloved bunny should spawn nicknames around the world. Mini Lop lovers have referred to these bundles of cuteness as:
- Monarch of the Fancy
- Lops of Excellence
- A basketball with a head
Where Did the Mini Lop Rabbit Breed Start?
The Mini Lop rabbit breed developed from the efforts of two German breeders in the 1950s. They dubbed their new lop breed “Klein Widder,” which translates to “little ram.”
Several different breeds went into the development of the Mini Lop, including:
- English Lop
- French Lop
- New Zealand
- Polish Lop
- Dwarf Lop
Interestingly, the Holland Lop doesn’t figure into the combination. Perhaps it’s because the Holland Lop is almost twice the size of the Mini Lop breed!
Is it a Recognized Breed?
The Mini Lop first received breed recognition in Germany in 1973. Breeders brought the Mini Lop breed to the United States in 1979, and it received breed recognition from the American Rabbit Breeders Association in 1980. The British Rabbit Council recognized the Mini Lop breed in 1994.
What does a Mini Lop look like? What does it eat? And how would you describe its personality?
Just How “Mini” is the Mini Lop?
Though sometimes called a dwarf lop, the Mini Lop isn’t a true dwarf rabbit. It is small, however. Adults weigh a maximum of 6.5 pounds (a little less than 3 kilograms).
Mini Lops are Small but Mighty. They’re famous for being strong and muscular. Some call them the Arnold Schwarzenegger of the rabbit world!
What Colour Mini Lops Will You See?
Mini lops have a short, thick coat that comes in a variety of colours and patterns, including:
- Agouti (alternate bands of dark and light colour)
- Smoke pearl
- Broken (single colour with patches or markings of another colour)
- Pointed White
- White with black points
- White with blue points
- White with chocolate points
- White with lilac points
- Shaded Colours
- Frosted pearl
- Sable point
- Smoke Pearl
- Ticked (white coat flecked with different colours)
- Silver Fox
- Wideband (bands of colour)
- Solid Colours
What’s the Mini Lop Personality Like?
On one hand, lop-eared rabbits tend to be laid-back. On the other hand, smaller breeds have a reputation for being tightly wound. Which is it?
All rabbits are individuals with their own personalities. On top of that, any rabbit’s experiences will affect how they react in different situations. But overall, Mini Lops tend to be:
Are They Smart?
Like all rabbits, mini lops can learn:
- To do tricks with the help of clicker training
- Verbal commands
- How to play games
- To come when you call their name
- And more!
Do Mini Lops Bite?
All rabbits are individuals, which means that some are, well, touchier than others. Also, any individual’s experience will impact how they interact with people.
In general, though, Mini Lops don’t use biting as a first response. As long as they have plenty of interaction with their people, plenty of exercise, and lots of activities to keep their minds busy, they’re no more prone to bite than other breeds.
Care and Feeding of Your Mini Lop
From diet and exercise to companionship and play, learn what your Mini Lop needs to stay healthy and happy,
What do Mini Lop Rabbits Eat?
Fortunately, what’s good for rabbits, in general, is good for your Mini Lop.
Hay, Kibble, Greens
Timothy hay and alfalfa hay are the two most popular choices for your rabbit’s diet. Many types of nuggets are also made from these types of hay.
Which Fruits and Vegetables are Safe for Rabbits?
Fresh fruits and veg are as good for your rabbit as they are for you. But it’s important to be careful.
Feed fruit sparingly, as too much sugar isn’t good for any of us.
Also, be careful of certain vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, which can cause gas. Rabbits can’t expel gas the same way we can. As a result, it can cause serious problems for them.
Introduce new foods slowly and one at a time. And if your rabbit develops loose stools, stop and feed more hay. If the problem continues, consult your vet.
Here are a few fresh foods that your rabbit will like.
Rabbit safe herb and greens:
- Carrot tops
- Cauliflower leaves and stalks
- Dandelion greens
- Romaine lettuce
- Turnip leaves
Rabbit-safe vegetables include:
- Courgette (zucchini)
- Celery (cut into small pieces, as the strings can lodge in bunny teeth)
- Salad peppers (remove seeds)
Be careful with:
- Broccoli (can cause gas)
- Cabbage (can cause gas)
- Brussel sprouts (can cause gas)
- Lettuces (some varieties are high in water and can cause loose stools)
- Carrots (high in sugar)
- Fruit (high in sugar)
Which Foods are Toxic to Rabbits?
Of course, some foods should never be on your bunny’s menu. These include:
- Potatoes and potato tops
- Sweet potatoes
- Rhubarb (including the leaves)
- Tomato leaves
- Mushrooms and other fungi
Also, be careful of:
- Bananas (extremely high in sugar)
- Custard apples (high in sugar)
- Figs (high in sugar)
Lots of other foods are bad news for bunnies for various reasons, including:
- Pieces of bread and other processed carbohydrates
And of course, many garden plants are toxic as well.
How Long do Mini Lop Rabbits Live?
With proper care and feeding, your Mini Lop can be a happy part of your family for 10 years to 14 years, though some individuals have been known to live as long as 18 years.
Do Mini Lop Rabbits Need a Friend?
Rabbits are social creatures and are happiest in groups of two or more.
If you intend to have more than one rabbit, take the time to bond them properly. Bonding rabbits means slowly accustoming them to each other’s presence and encouraging them to develop a lifelong friendship.
If you cannot have more than one rabbit, then make sure your bunny has plenty of opportunities for social interaction with you.
How Much Attention do Mini Lop Rabbits Need?
Like all of us, a bunny needs a good balance of social interaction and privacy. Your bunny wants to be part of your family, so think of them as you might a cat or a dog. But make sure they have somewhere private to go when they “want to be alone.”
Place their enclosure somewhere where people often spend time.
Make time to play with your bunny every day, and make sure they have lots of toys and activities to keep their active minds busy.
Include your rabbit when you have family time. Plenty of rabbits like to hang out on the sofa when their families are watching TV, for example.
Teaching your bunny tricks is a great way to engage clever bunny minds while bonding with them socially.
And if your family is away from home for long stretches of the day, consider playing a radio or TV softly so your bun doesn’t feel completely alone.
Do they Like to be Held?
Whether a bunny likes to be held often comes down to an individual’s experiences and personalities. Some rabbits like to be held, and others would prefer to love you in other ways. Still, others may not want to cuddle at first, but, with patience, may come to enjoy it.
The important thing, however, is to be gentle and to hold your rabbit properly. Here’s how.
Grooming Your Mini Lop
Mini-lops are short-haired rabbits, so grooming is fairly straightforward.
- Inspect your bunny daily for cuts, scratches, hair mats, etc.
- Check ears and eyes for discharge or signs of infection.
- Make sure your rabbit’s bottom is clean to prevent flystrike.
- Clip your rabbit’s toenails every month to six weeks.
- Your mini lop can care for its coat but might enjoy being brushed or combed.
Your Mini Lop’s Home
You might think that your Mini Lop needs less space than other rabbits. Not so! All rabbits need, at a minimum:
- Enough vertical space to stand up without touching the ceiling
- Horizontal space enough to hop three times from end to end
- Plenty of room for lying down and stretching out
- Daily access to a run or other exercise space
Are You Ready for a Mini Lop Rabbit?
A Mini Lop rabbit — or, even better, more than one — makes a great family companion. Clever, energetic, and friendly, they’re a lot of bunny in a very small package.
Do you have a Mini Lop? What’s the best thing about them? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!