The first leaning towards rabbits being kept as pets came in the early 19th century. The English Lop was the first true Fancy breed of domestic rabbit with its huge ear span. Needless to say, these extremely long ears can be very delicate, and the English Lop will need a very large hutch to avoid treading on its own ear. It is a very friendly rabbit, but perhaps best left to the experienced keeper.
Does are very prolific, as they have been found to rear as many as 8 to 10 young. The breed thrives and appears to be more lively in 70 to 80°F weather. They do not have good foot pad fur; therefore, solid wood flooring with deep straw bedding for ear and foot protection is recommended.
Bucks have a longer ear measurement due to a wider head, whereas does are finer and have a narrow skull. Ear blemishes can be kept to a minimum by keeping the toenails clipped and taking measures to prevent frostbite by using high water crocks, straw, and wooden flooring or sitting boards.
Known Health Risks
Due to the enormous ear size, English Lops are vulnerable to all kinds of maladies and prone to ear infections. Body heat loss is also a problem because of the ear size and the fine, silky coat, lacking a dense undercoat. The ears usually stop growing at about 4 months of age.
The width of the ears of the English Lop is very important as it is an indication of the length and width of the body. There is no crown or rise between the ears as in the French, Mini and Holland Lops.
Both the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) and the British Rabbit Council (BRC) have published official standards describing ideal English Lop Rabbit; rabbits in show competition are judged according to the degree to which they fulfill the model defined by the standard.
There two varieties of the English Lop; solid or self colors and broken colors (colors broken by white). The colors within each variety are not judged separately: all colors are grouped together, and the various broken colors are considered a separate group.
Good color, including conformity of the eye color, is allowed 5 points out of a possible 100-point total for the English Lop.
The general type is allowed 72 points. With head allowed 10 points and ears allowed 30 points, they outweigh the 25 points allowed for the body. Together, feet and legs are given 5 points. The tail is given the minimum amount of 2 points. The fur is allowed 5 points, markings 8 points and condition 10 points.