Dogs are not the only pet where there are designer cross breeds available — there are designer rabbits too! The Mini Lop is one and was created by breeding multiple different breeds of rabbit to create a small, cute, cuddly and lop-eared bunny that everyone could enjoy. With a wonderful personality, the Mini Lop makes an excellent companion and is one of the most popular breeds of rabbit in the United States.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Mini Lop and seeing whether they might be the bunny for you, keep reading below.
History Of The Mini Lop Rabbit
The Mini Lop rabbit was first bred by crossing a German Lop with a smaller Chinchilla rabbit. However, over time, they were also bred with other rabbits to create the Mini Lop today.
The Mini Lop is often confused with the Holland Lop as they look very similar and often owners are confused as to which breed their rabbit belongs to. Normally, Mini Lops are bigger and some owners claim the two breeds have very different personalities.
The Mini Lop rabbit was recognized by the American Breeder’s Association (ARBA) in the late 1980s. Let’s take a look at their origins below.
The Mini Lop rabbit originated in Germany after a German Lop and a smaller Chinchilla rabbit were bred together. These rabbits were called Klein Widder or “Little hanging ear” because of their small size and lop ears.
The Klein Widder breed was brought to the United States in the early 1970s by breeder Bob Herschbach who had seen them at a show in Germany. He bred the breed with a standard Chinchilla rabbit to create the breed we know today.
He first presented the new Klein Widder breed to the ARBA in the early 1970s, but was not accepted. He changed their name to “Mini Lop” and the bred was later accepted in 1980 when brought to ARBA by a man named Herby Dyke.
Characteristics Of The Mini Lop Rabbit
The Mini Lop rabbit is a very cute little rabbit that is often described as looking like a ball of fluff! They remain one of the most popular companion rabbits in the US for their adorable appearance and wonderful temperament.
This breed is normally born in litter sizes of between five and 8 kits. A Mini Lop kit can cost between $35 and $100 for a pet rabbit, while a show quality Mini Lop could set you back between $100 and $400!
The Mini Lop rabbit is one of the smaller breeds of rabbit and usually weighs between 3 to 6 lbs. Does are smaller than bucks.
These rabbits have a compact body type that is round and heavily-muscular. Their neck is very short and it often looks like they don’t have one! Of course, as their name suggests, their ears are lopped and hang either side of their face, too.
The Mini Lop’s coat is a dense, medium-length coat that is extremely soft to touch! The fur is rollback, which means that when the fur is stroked from the opposite direction, it returns to its original position. Fortunately, these rabbits do not need to be groomed often. We will go into more detail about grooming the Mini Lop later on.
There are many different colors that are recognized by the ARBA for the Mini Lop rabbit. These coat colors are split into seven groups: agouti, broken, pointed white, self, shaded, ticked and wide band.
The most common coat colors for this breed are black, blue, white, chinchilla, chesnut, lynx, opal, cream, fawn, orange, red, tortoise, smoke pearl and sable. So, no matter what color you are looking for, you should be able to find it within the Mini Lop breed!
The Mini Lop rabbit has one of the best temperaments out there! Like a teddy bear, these rabbits love attention and cuddles. In fact, when they don’t get enough attention, they can be known to bite and kick! Therefore, these rabbits won’t take lightly to being stuck inside their hutch all day and you must make sure you have time to play with them.
That being said, the Mini Lop rabbit is a laid-back rabbit who just wants to spend time with their family. They will easily bond with every member of the household. These rabbits also love to exercise and will like to spend time outside playing with toys, especially if you join in too.
You should always respect your rabbit’s personal space, especially when they are new to your home. If they are afraid or frightened, then they might try to bite.
Unfortunately, the Mini Lop rabbit doesn’t have such a long life expectancy as some other rabbit breeds. These rabbits usually live for between 5 and 10 years, with the average being 8.
Known Health Issues
The Mini Lop rabbit is, like all rabbits, prone to some health problems. Many of these issues are the same concerns all rabbits are susceptible to.
– Malocclusion — this is when the upper and lower teeth are misaligned so that the normal process of chewing doesn’t wear down your rabbit’s teeth. Regular dental checkups are very important.
– GI Stasis — this is a potentially deadly condition in which the digestive system slows down or stops completely. Symptoms include loss of appetite, small or no fecal pellets and lethargy. It can be treated if caught quickly.
– Ear Mites — this is a common parasite of pet rabbits. You may see your rabbit shaking their head a lot if they are affected. Your vet will be able to treat them.
– Woolblock — this can be a serious and sometimes fatal issue. As they clean and groom themselves, your rabbit can ingest fur which can become trapped inside the digestive system and create a furball. Unlike cats, rabbits cannot regurgitate furballs and it will become bigger and bigger. This can lead to loss of appetite as your rabbit will believe they are full, or it can block the digestive tract.
– Flystrike — this is when flies lay their eggs on soiled patches of fur and, when their eggs hatch, they begin to eat the rabbit from the inside out. Symptoms include seizures, loss of motion (listlessness) and skin irritations. Always ensure your rabbit’s rear end is clean, especially as they get older.
Like all rabbits, they can also suffer from back issues if they are mishandled or accidentally dropped.
Regular vet checkups will ensure that you catch any health problems before them become too serious. You should also make sure that you are buying from a reputable breeder.
Now we know all about the traits and characteristics of the Mini Lop, it is time to take a look at what living with one of these rabbits on a a day to day basis is really like. Their easy care needs make them a great pet for first-time owners. Below we will cover their food and diet, their grooming needs, their exercise needs and their grooming requirements.
Food And Diet
The exact amount you feed your Mini Lop rabbit should be based on their size, age and activity level. They should be eating a portion of hay that is at least as their body size every day, alongside pellets and fresh vegetables. Fresh water should also always be available to them.
Hay is very important as it helps to keep your Mini Lop’s digestive system moving, as well as helping to wear down their teeth so they are less prone to dental issues. At least 70% of your rabbit’s diet should be hay.
High-quality supplementary pellets help to provide extra vitamins and minerals that keep your rabbit healthy. Take a look at a supplementary pellet food we recommend below.
Best Food For The Mini Lop RabbitBUY ON AMAZON
We recommend the Small Pet Select rabbit food for the Mini Lop rabbit. These pellets provide your rabbit with a high fiber, timothy hay based food that is fortified with all essential vitamins and minerals they need to thrive. Your rabbit won’t be able to selective feed and will only be eating natural ingredients that will help them stay healthy.
Being timothy based, this food is high in fiber and low in calories and calcium, and the hay is completely fresh — being only from the current crop year. Milled in small batches and only available online to ensure freshness, this food is 100% made in the USA and only contains quality ingredients.
In the wild, rabbits run around three miles a day. Therefore, it is very important that you give your pet rabbit enough exercise every day to keep them active and entertained. They should have at least three hours of free-range time, whether this is out of their hutch in the garden or just around the house.
Exercise is very important for the well-being of your rabbit. It helps to keep their joints moving, keeps them entertained and ensures they stay at a healthy weight.
When your rabbit is out of their hutch and exercising, particularly outside, they should be kept in a large enclosure unless you can supervise them all the time. This will help to keep them safe from predators, especially as the Mini Lop is a smaller rabbit. It will also keep them safe from themselves, as they are curious creatures who like to chew things! You should also make sure the enclosure is high so they can’t jump out and escape!
Family Compatibility and Trainability
The Mini Lop rabbit makes a wonderful family pet. These rabbits bond to every member of the family and will love attention from anyone and everyone. They make especially good pets for children too, because they are so cuddly and laid-back.
These bunnies are trainable, thanks to their intelligence. You can teach them to use a litter tray so there is less mess to clean up and you can even teach them to come when their name is called!
You can choose to keep your Mini Lop rabbit either inside or outside. Many owners keep their Mini Lop outdoors as this gives them fresh grass to eat and lay on. Whether they are inside or outside, their hutch should be large enough that they can easily move around inside. Try to stay away from hutches with wire floors as these can cause sore hocks within rabbits. Take a look at the hutch we recommend below.
Best Hutch For The Mini Lop RabbitBUY ON AMAZON
We recommend the Advantek Stilt House for the Mini Lop rabbit . This hutch provides a large space and, with two stories and ramps to allow your rabbit to move freely, you can lock your bunny in the nesting box over night so they are elevated and safe from any predators. The rabbit-friendly wire that surrounds the hutch also helps to keep your furry friend safe.
This hutch is made from rot-resistant wood that can be kept outside at all times. The nesting box has a removable bottom pan for easy cleaning and there is a window so you can check on your sleeping bun whenever! A door on the side of the hutch allows your Mini Lop rabbit to come and go as they please, too, so you can even attach a larger run for more exercise space.
Despite their wonderful, soft coat, the Mini Lop does not actually require much grooming. You will need to brush these rabbits once a week to keep their coat in good condition and to prevent matting. During shedding season, which happens twice a year, these rabbits will shed more than normal, so you may want to be brushing them more frequently during this period.
You should very rarely bathe your rabbit. It is not really necessary, unless they are really dirty. Bathing can also be a traumatic experience for them. You should also trim their nails as and when is needed.
Mini Lop FAQ’s
What vegetables can I feed my Mini Lop?
There are many vegetables that your Mini Lop rabbit will love! They are an important part of their diet, however you shouldn’t overfeed them. Some rabbit favorites are cabbage, cauliflower leaves, radish, rocket, kale, lettuce, spinach, broccoli and Brussel sprouts.
Should I keep my Mini Lop rabbit indoors or outdoors?
This is up to you! Some owners choose to house their bunnies indoors, while others choose to keep them outside. There are pros and cons to both.
Outside, your rabbit will have more space and have access to grass and fresh air. However, they’ll also be more open to prey. Inside, your rabbit will be safer (and warmer!), but they may have less room.
How big should my rabbit’s cage be?
The rule with rabbits is: the bigger the better! If you have the space for a big hutch then your rabbit will always appreciate the extra room to roam and exercise. No one wants to be stuck in a cramped space!
If you do not have a lot of space, then the cage should be at least 4 times the size of the rabbit. A guide is 24″ by 36″ for smaller rabbits (less than 8 lbs) or 30″ by 36″ for larger rabbits. Hutches with multiple stories are also popular as they give your bun more space.
The Mini Lop rabbit is an adorable breed of designer rabbit that makes a wonderful family pet. Cute and cuddly, these lop-eared buns have a fantastic laid-back temperament (when they’re not begging for attention!). Perfect with children, these rabbits are happy when they are being doted on and will love to spend time with you. They don’t have high care needs and, as long as you give them lots of love and exercise, they’ll be your best friend. Do you think the Mini Lop rabbit could be the rabbit for you?