All of our babies are thoroughbred, high-quality French Lops and all will be large as adults. A French Lop has a minimum adult weight of 4.5kg but most of ours reach about 5.5-6.5kg as fully grown adults aged about 15 months.
The Breed: French Lops are noted for their large size, stocky build, broad faces, long ears and docile, great character, affectionate nature and are often referred to a the ‘gentle giants’ of the rabbit kingdom. They are big, cuddly characters with a placid, easy-going, sometimes rather lazy(!) temperament and make wonderful companion pets, particularly when handled and cuddled regularly - as ours always are!
Housing: In view of their space requirement, they are much better-suited to becoming litter-trained house-bunnies. Most of ours will be partly litter-trained (if not fully) by adoption time.
French Lops make superb house-rabbits and ours enjoy going for walks /runs on a lead and harness with their ears bobbing or swinging as they trot along the footpath or local fields. In many ways, owning a French Lop is like having a small puppy (or a living cuddly toy) but, be warned - you'll soon be hooked on them and once you've enjoyed the love and companionship a French Lop can offer, you'll probably never look twice at any other breed!!
* Living indoors: French Lops require a lot of fuss, cuddles, attention and interaction and, for this reason, living as house-rabbits is generally, by far, the best arrangement and we prefer our French Lops to become house-bunnies whenever possible. Indoor Cages and Play Pens can be useful for confining a youngster while undergoing litter-training or while s/he settles into your home. These are available to order online or can be collected when you visit on adoption day when you take your new furry bundle home. We stress that these cages are not suitable accommodation for confining adult French Lops and can only be considered as your bunny's 'base', ie a storage area for food bowls, water bottles, hay rack and toys or an alternative to a litter-tray. They are far too small to confine any French Lop or large breed bunny. However, using one of these with a large play pen in front will provide additional space if you need to confine your bunny whilst unsupervised, eg while you're out at work or overnight.
* Living outdoors: If French Lops live outdoors in a conventional hutch, this will need to be a minimum of 8' long, ideally 8' x 4' which are convenient dimensions as this is the size sheet timber is supplied, and 2' tall to allow them to stretch out and move around comfortably. Sheds can make good accommodation when fitted with a cosy bed, litter tray and lots of toys to play with but they must have suitable ventilation during warm/hot weather. Of course, the windows will be too high for them to see out of so please ensure they have lots of human contact rather than being forced to stare at the walls all day! A children's 'Wendy House' could be an alternative to a shed. Forsham Cottage Arks produce a 7.5' x 2.5' hutch which would be suitable for a pair of Frenchies. A large run will also be required since Frenchies are not a breed to be 'cooped up' for long periods.
Providing companionship and Stimulation: Where possible, we always prefer babies to be adopted in pairs to provide companionship for each other. This is essential for bunnies living outdoors where they are very likely to suffer from boredom if housed in a hutch and run with inevitably less stimulation and contact than indoor house-bunnies. Bunnies are social animals and not really suited to a solitary lifestyle. Please note that rabbits must never be housed with guinea-pigs.
Best Suited To: Most adopters are adults, usually childless couples or families with older children (aged 12+) with a mature, calm and quiet, gentle and responsible attitude towards these wonderful beasts. Our Frenchies have been adopted by young couples and active-retired pensioners, sometimes as an alternative to a puppy, and all are thoroughly loved and pampered.
PLEASE NOTE: French Lops are NOT suitable pets for young children. Rabbits are not generally suitable pets for young children (under 10 years of age) and children tend to quickly lose interest when they disappointedly discover that rabbits are not necessarily the cute and fluffy bundles depicted in story books: guinea pigs and rats tend to make very much better pets for children. French Lops are a large and heavy breed and children will be unable to lift them correctly which can risk injury. We have taken in 2 re-homing French Lops previously owned by children and each had suffered broken forepaws amongst other injuries caused by mis-handling. Therefore we prefer our bunnies to be adopted by adults as their own pets and any handling by children must be under supervision.
Bonding with Owners: Male bunnies tend to bond very strongly with adult female owners - and this usually includes following their 'mum' everywhere, walking to heel and, if you leave doors open around your home, you'll probably find your faithful friend rarely leaves your side. Girl-bunnies generally bond better with adult male owners although differences are less notideable in our Frenchies because they’re all so soft, docile and affectionate.
French Lops have great character and their attention-seeking antics can be quite amusing company. As you snooze on the sofa, be prepared for your big furry friend to take a flying leap and land on your stomach or to nibble your shoe-laces if you don't bend over to pick him up for his cuddle! They can be a very popular alternative to a pet dog, ie they will give and receive bounds of affection but don't require so many daily walks. Once you've experienced the love and affection of a French Lop you'll probably be 'hooked' instantly and never look twice at another breed and nothing can beat a bunny-hug from a big, cuddly Frenchy!
Rabbits Need SECS! All rabbits need SECS: Space, Exercise, Companionship and Stimulation and, for this reason, we urge all adopters of outdoor hutched bunnies to adopt bunnies in pairs, either boy-girl or girl-girl (never boy-boy). Outdoor bunnies living in a hutch are extremely prone to boredom; they are social animals and not suited to living in isolation. Indoor house-bunnies naturally receive more stimulation so a partner is not essential although is still desirable and your bunny will be much happier with bunny-company.
Castrating Boys: If a boy is castrated as an adult then you will need to wait 4 weeks before introducing a girl whereas, if he's castrated immediately his testicles appear (usually about 12-14 weeks for a French Lop; 12-16 weeks for a mini lop), then the happy couple can be reunited the same day. Castration will prevent boys from spraying and make them less amorous towards human females or inanimate objects!
Spaying Girls: We recommend that girls are spayed at about 5-6 months of age, by which time their internal organs will be larger making surgery easier. If you keep 2 littermate girls together then it's best to have both spayed together on the same day then returned to each other within 24 hours to ensure their bond isn't broken. Spaying will prevent stroppy hormonal behaviour (bunny 'PMT'!), false pregnancies and, most importantly, uterine cancer which is relatively common in unspayed females from about 4 years of age. The surgery must be performed by a bunny-savvy vet.