Today we have decided give you some background of our French Lop rabbits. The French Lops was first bred in France around 1850. There were several people breeding lops in France at the time but credit for the breed has been given to Condenier. They are a cross of English Lop and Butterfly rabbits of France.
The English Lop is one of the oldest domesticated rabbit breeds known, and are considered the first lop eared rabbit. The first records of them were from the 1700’s From Africa. They can have an ear span of over 20 inches. The world record is 31. Their ear size helped them stay cool in the humid and hot areas of Africa. The term ‘English’ for the Lops came about when the British standardized them for show in the Victorian Era. Lops are known for their calmness and easy-going attitudes.
The Butterfly rabbit or Giant Papillon is from the Lorraine region of France. They are bred from Flemish giants, large French lop-eared rabbits and spotted rabbits. They have colors and patterns similar to the Rex. The butterfly name came from butterfly shaped markings on their face. In the US they are known as the Checkered Giants. These rabbits are also known for being calm, well temperament and gentle.
French Lops having big calm well-mannered parents are also known for their quite, docile and gentle behavior. With this behavior, lops are one of the breeds suggested for pets and can be handled easily. Lops can weigh into the teens but tend to be around ten pounds. They were first brought to the US around the 1970s. They have almost 20 acceptable show colors including black, gray, chinchilla, soot-fawn for solids. Patterned colors include agouti, broken, pointed white, self and shaded. The most common and easy to find color is the solid and broken chestnuts. There has been a push to add colors such as orange into the French Lops but as they have to crossbreed out to obtain this color the body type is generally considered not as good when judging, although some breeders have been making great strides in getting correct type with their new colored Frenchers. They are a common breed in the US. Being a larger rabbit, they are used for both fur and meat production. It takes up to 18 months for them to grow to full size.
The following is the ARBA guidelines for showing French Lops. Basically you want a basketball shape when setting your French Lop up for shows. You do not want “low shoulders” which mean a gap from the head to the body, or a long neck. The neck should be short as possible, and the body of the rabbit to be rounded with the peak of your circle to be above the center of the hips you don’t want to peak to early or to late. And you want mass, when you go up to a good French lop you go whoa that’s a big rabbit. A good video to watch is
this explains some about posing and evaluating the French Lop, but of course going to local shows is the best way to meet breeders and learn about the French Lop. To find an upcoming show in NY visit http://www.nyrcba.com/dates.html
ARBA Standard for Fench Lops
SHOWROOM CLASSES & WEIGHTS
Senior Bucks–8 months of age and over, weight 10 1/2 pounds and over.
Senior Does–8 months of age, weight 11 pounds and over.
Intermediate Bucks– 6-8 months of age, not over 11 1/2 pounds.
Intermediate Does– 6-8 months of age, not over 12 pounds.
Junior Bucks and Does– Under 6 months of age, not over10 1/2 pounds. Minimum weight 5 1/4 pounds.
NOTE: Junior or Intermediates exceeding maximum class weight may be shown in higher age classifications. No animal may be shown in a lower age classification than its true age.
NOTE: Each age classification shall be divided into two separate groups; those being Broken Pattern and Solid Pattern are judged together.
When posing the French Lop, the front feet should be resting lightly on the table.
BODY–POINTS 40: The body is to be massive and thick set. Shoulders are to be broad, well filled, and of good depth. The shoulders are to carry through to a slightly heavier and deeper hindquarter, which is round and has well filled lower hips. The animal is to be heavily muscled and balanced, with the shoulders blending smoothly into the hindquarters. In profile, the body topline should start at the base of the ears, rise in a gentle curve to its highest point at the center of the hips, and then round over and downward to the tail. A simple dewlap is permissible in does.
Faults-Long, narrow body, flatness over the shoulders or hips; chopped off or undercut hindquarters. Any specimen that shows raciness. large dewlap on junior does.
HEAD–Points 15: The head is to be strongly developed, wide, and sturdy. Does are permitted to be slightly feminine. Head is to be set closely on the shoulders, with the neck as short as possible. The crown of the head is boldly curved, and there should be a slight curvature of the skull from the ear base to wards the nose.
Faults– Long, narrow head; pointed muzzle; flat crown.
EARS–Points 15: The ears are to be well placed on the head, rising from a strong basal ridge (crown), and lopping vertically both sides of the head. Ears are to hang close to the cheeks, with the ear openings turned towards the head. The outline of the ears and crown resembles a horseshoe shape. Length and width of ears are to be in proportion to the size of the animal. When the French lop is sitting in a normal position with the head up, the ears should extend 1 1/2 inches or more below the jaw. Ears should be well furred and well rounded at their extremities.
Faults–Blemishes; poor ear carriage; narrow, folded, or very thin ears. Ear openings turned away from the cheeks.
FEET & LEGS– Points 3: Legs are to be thick, short, straight, and parallel to the body, with good width between the hocks. Toenails on Broken Patterns may be either light or dark. Difference in pigmentation between rear and front toenails is permitted.
Faults–weak ankles; unmatched toenails on Broken Patterns.
BONE–Points 10: HEAVY BONE is very important.
Disqualifications form Competition–Fine bone. General toenail disqualifications apply on all groups except Brokens.
Fur–Points 8: (Rollback) Coat is to be glossy and lustrous, with an ideal length of 1 1/4 inches. it is to be uniform, very thick and dense, and with a good rollback.
Faults– Coat silky; long; harsh; thin; extremely short.
COLOR & MARKINGS–Points 4: Points on Broken Patterns are to be divided equally between color and markings. There should be a nose marking (butterfly preferred), a dark colored circle around each eye, and dark colored ears. Blanket body pattern is preferred. The color line should start behind the head, on the hips. Feet and legs should be white, with the exception of elbow spots, which are normal and desirable. Animals are to conform to the Lop Color Guide description of color for their variety or group. Eyes– Color to conform to the Lop Color Guide description.
Faults–Body and head color patterns not conforming with the general description.
Disqualifications from Competition– Complete absence of any head marking(s) on Broken Pattern animals. Brokens with less than 10% coloration.