Simply adorable, little Holland Lops with long lop ears conquer the hearts of all animal lovers in a flash! With the right care and plenty of affection, these cute rodents are ideal pets for the whole family. Read more on owning Holland Lops.
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What are Holland Lops?
Holland Lops form part of the family of lop-eared rabbits. Holland Lops are great family pets loved equally by young and old.
Where do Holland Lops come from?
Long before Holland Lops were bred in the Netherlands, England and France were the forerunners when it came to breeding lop-eared rabbits. After all, Holland Lops are a cross between a Netherland Dwarf and French Lop, the offspring of which were then paired with an English Lop, resulting in the little Holland Lop with attractive long lop ears. The Holland Lop has been recognised by the American Rabbit Breed Association (ARBA) in 1979 and presented to the public in 1980.
What do Holland Lops look like?
Which particular characteristics best describe the Holland Lop? The large lop ears are a typical feature of little Holland Lops and make them look incredibly cute. With a body length of 20 to 40cm, the ears of Holland Lops are up to 28cm in length and frame their face. Depending on the pairing, the lop ears can be shorter, longer or bigger. However, the young are initially born with prick ears, which then start to tilt slowly after they are four to six weeks old.
These small rabbits have a compact body with large rear legs. They also have a strong head with a sweet snub nose and cute chubby cheeks. It is said that Holland Lops resemble male sheep in profile, which is why they bear their name.
Adult Holland Lops reach a body weight of 1.4 to 2kg and should weigh no more than this so that they can continue to hop about happily and healthily.
If well cared for, Holland Lops can reach up to 12 years of age.
The Holland Lop’s short, cuddly fur is found in all possible colours with different coat features and markings. More than 40 different colour tones are officially recognised in Germany: from red, grey and white, black, black and white, yellow, Siamese colouring to blaze, there are almost no limits to the variety. Even the eye colour of Holland Lops can vary depending on the pairing.
What sort of character do Holland Lops have?
Holland Lops are extremely sociable animals that shouldn’t be kept alone. They need contact with at least one fellow rabbit in order to be happy. Don’t worry though: even pairs or animals in groups quickly gain confidence in contact with people and can become very trusting. Their friendly and fearless nature can make Holland Lops ideal pets even for children, who can really enjoy and learn from the simple care and grooming they require.
What should you focus on with owning a Holland Lop?
A Holland Lop is rarely found in isolation – this is at least desirable for these highly sociable and convivial rabbits. If you’re considering taking a Holland Lop into your home, you should keep at least two together. If you don’t want any offspring, you shouldn’t keep male and female rabbits together – or consider castration/neutering.
Let’s start with the most fundamental thing for owning a rabbit – the cage. It should be of the following minimum size to house rabbits in a species-appropriate manner:
- 150 cm width x 60 cm length x 50 cm height
The surface area of the enclosure should be at least 4m2 for two rabbits, according to animal protection associations. The cage or enclosure of small rodents may of course be bigger too.
Keeping Holland Lops indoors or outdoors?
Holland Lops are ideally suited to being kept both indoors and outdoors too. Make sure that indoor cages aren’t close to radiators, in the blazing sun or in the middle of a draught. If you would like to get an indoor rabbit used to being kept outside, you have to proceed slowly and cautiously. In contrast, animals that are kept outdoors are extremely robust. These litter rodents can even resist temperatures of up to -15ºC in winter. In summer, you should always make sure that their cage and enclosure gets enough shade.
Holland Lops like to retreat to a calm, safe spot from time to time. A secure little wooden hut with straw and two entrances is an ideal retreat spot for these little rabbits. If they are kept outdoors, it also offers pleasant shade in summer and provides some warmth and cosiness in winter.
Caution: Holland Lops are keen diggers and are only too happy to dig holes, through which they can soon escape. Make sure that the enclosure of your beloved lop-eared rabbits is well secured and put a digging box inside it for them.
How much exercise do Holland Lops need?
Like other breeds, Holland Lops also need sufficient daily exercise and space to hop around. Of course they prefer to do this in an open-air meadow in a spacious exercise enclosure, but a rabbit-proof room will also give them plenty of joy. Give your rabbits at least half an hour of your time each day so that they get enough exercise and interaction.
What belongs in a rabbit hutch?
Along with the previously described basics, like as spacious as possible a cage and wooden huts with two entrances, the hutch should be equipped as follows. You can line the cage with commercially available straw for small animals as a base material. A nipple drinker, food bowls and a hay rack are further essentials. When setting up the cage, bear in mind your Holland Lop’s mental and physical wellbeing. Along with sufficient exercise opportunities, your active furry friend always wants a bit of activity. Be it digging, gnawing or hiding, always offer your Holland Lop variety with wood to gnaw, digging boxes with varying content or dens to hide and feel at ease. It’s all down to your creativity.
Overview of basic equipment for Holland Lops
How can you take care of your Holland Lop in the right way?
Let’s start with taking care of cleaning the hutch: the animals generally choose a corner of the hutch to use as a toilet, which should be cleaned every two to three days. For this purpose, you can also place a toilet bowl at this place in the hutch, which will make cleaning much easier for you. The food bowls and drinking trough should also be cleaned regularly. A deep clean should take place once a month, when you should completely change the litter.
Holland Lops themselves are relatively low-maintenance and with a few basic care instructions, you can make sure that they stay healthy and in good spirits for as long as possible. You’re best off checking your rabbit’s sensitive lop ears every day, because dirt can soon accumulate there. The claws must also be trimmed about every six months using special claw clippers. Weekly grooming is also advisable, ideally with a special soft brush.
If you keep your rabbits outside, we advise you to also check them regularly for mites, ticks and fleas.
What do Holland Lops eat?
As the foundation of a balanced diet, you should always provide your rabbit with high-quality hay along with sufficient water. With the help of a hay rack, you can ensure that the hay always stays clean. Give fresh green fodder like lettuce, grass, herbs and vegetables on a daily basis. A piece of fruit is a particularly tasty treat for rabbits. In winter, you can give your Holland Lops in outdoor enclosures extra provisions with dry food. Calorie-rich grain feed helps them to build up some fat reserves for the cold season.
Holland Lops generally tend to have sensitive stomachs. You should avoid changing their food if possible or only do so very slowly.
Where can you buy Holland Lops?
Have you chosen a Holland Lop? Then you’ll surely now be asking yourself where it’s best to make the purchase. Animal shelters, breeders, specialist stores or on a private basis? There are several options available. Regardless of which you choose, the wellbeing of the animals should always be the priority. Pay very close attention to the breeder being responsible, species-appropriate housing and the health of the animals. Baby rabbits should only be separated from their mothers from the age of eight to ten weeks at the earliest. When Holland Lops move into your home, give them a bit of time to settle in and wait for them to come to you. Then there’ll be nothing in the way of your happiness.