Mini Lops are energetic and even-tempered domestic rabbits that love to have fun. With their adorable appearance and playful personality, they certainly are a popular choice as a family pet.
Originally named Klein Widder, which means little hanging ear, the Mini Lop is one of the smallest rabbit breeds on the planet. But despite their relatively small stature, they are robust and heavily-muscled. Get to know the Mini Lop up close and personal and find out why they are excellent cuddly companions.
Where do Mini Lop rabbits come from?
The Mini Lops were developed in Germany during the 1950s. They were descendants of the German Lop and the Chinchilla rabbit. Other breeds used to create the Mini Lops were Dwarf Lop, English Lop, French Lop, New Zealand, and Polish. In 1973, the Klein Widder was officially recognised by the German Standard.
It is important to note that the Mini lop is in fact not the same breed with the Miniature lop which is recognised by the British Rabbit Council, though in the UK, the Miniature lop is often called Mini Lop, it is a different rabbit breed with the Mini Lop recognised by the American Rabbit Breeders Association.
Mini Lop Rabbit Characteristics
A small rabbit breed with a compact body, the Mini Lop weighs 1.4 to 2.7 kg. They have a plump and strong physique. Their short necks make their broad head sit close to their body giving them a rounded look. The ears dangle vertically to the sides of their face. Their well-furred coat is of normal length with a soft layer beneath the longer guard hairs.
The Mini Lop bunny’s coat is a rollback type. This means the fur returns to its original position when brushed. Their coat comes in a variety of colours including pointed white, wideband, self, ticked, shaded, agouti, and broken.
How big do Mini Lop rabbits get?
Mini Lops are not considered as true dwarfs but they are still one of the smallest rabbit breeds. Fully matured adult Mini Lop weigh between 1.4 to 2.7 kg. They are often mistaken for Holland Lops, which is the smallest rabbit breed. In comparison, Holland Lops weigh anywhere from 0.9 kg to 1.8 kg.
Are Mini Lop rabbits nocturnal?
Rabbits are often mistaken as nocturnal animals but they are crepuscular. This means that your Mini Lop rabbit is extremely active from dusk until dawn. This trait is rooted in their nature due to being prey animals. In the wild, the safest time of the day for bunnies to go out of their burrows is that few hours before sunrise and sunset.
How to care for a Mini Lop rabbit?
The Mini Lop bunny is a low-maintenance pet. He only requires weekly brushing to keep his fur mat-free and smooth. It also helps in preventing fur block which is a prevalent health problem in rabbits. It occurs when they ingest too much fur whilst self-grooming.
Bathing is not necessary for the rabbits in general since they groom themselves frequently. Washing your rabbit is also discouraged because it causes him extreme stress. Use a clean, wet cloth to remove dirt from his coat.
Clip your bunny’s nails at least once a month. If this is a challenging task for you, you may ask the vet to do it during check-ups.
Lop-eared rabbits are prone to ear infections and ear mite infestations. Make it a habit to check and clean his ears regularly. Use an ear solution to loosen debris inside the ear and gently wipe them off with wet wipes or moist cloth from the inside going outside of the ear.
Are Mini Lop rabbits good house pets?
The Mini Lop is not only prized for his exquisite and dainty appearance but also his lovable personality. He is known to be full of life and fun-loving. It is a good choice of rabbit breed for new rabbit owners.
In general, males are more easy-going compared to females. Mini Lop does are known to be either shy or excessively energetic around people.
Early socialisation in rabbits is extremely important. Rabbits often get scared of various things due to them being a prey species. By slowly exposing your bunny to different sights, sounds, and smells, he will be more relaxed in his home environment.
Do Mini Lop rabbits need companions?
Mini Lop bunnies are social animals. Having human companions around is great but without a fellow rabbit as a companion, they may end up getting lonely, bored, and depressed. So opt for raising two or more Mini Lop rabbits. All of them should be spayed or neutered. This is to prevent them from mating and reproducing.
Do Mini Lop rabbits get along with dogs?
Mini Lops and dogs can be best of friends provided that both of them have proper socialisation. This is to ensure that they are comfortable being together.
Mini Lops may quickly get spooked of their canine companions. Thus, they need to learn that dogs are not predators but friends. Some dogs have high-prey drive so they must learn that the bunny is a companion.
Rabbits and dogs that grew up together easily form a strong bond of friendship. It’s because they see each other of the same species. Thus, they don’t know the difference from one to the other.
For those that were not introduced during their younger years, it may take some time for them to adjust to each other. Patience and consistency in socialisation make the process more effective and successful.
Do Mini Lop rabbits like to be held?
Mini Lop rabbits enjoy being held if it is done properly. Rushing things may spook them off. Start by placing one hand below the rabbit’s front legs whilst your other hand should go underneath. Then, gently but firmly lift him and hold him close to your chest.
Once you are done holding him, place him back down by crouching down and putting him gently on the floor. Do not let him leap out of your arms. Rabbits have brittle bones that easily sustain fractures if they jump from an elevated position. Supervision is needed when Mini Lops are around children to avoid mishandling which can lead to injuries to both parties.
What to feed Mini Lop rabbits?
Just like other rabbit breeds, the Mini Lop bunny diet requirements consist of premium-quality hay, freshwater, pellets, vegetables, and fruits. Always make sure that freshwater is available for your Mini Lop. Avoid letting his water bowl dry out especially during hot seasons.
High-quality hay such as timothy, oats or grass hay makes up 70 per cent of the Mini Lop bunny’s diet. This should be given in unlimited amounts. It helps wear down his teeth and prevent malocclusion or teeth deformation.
The remaining 30 per cent is a balanced mix of pellets, vegetables, and fruits. Be careful when choosing vegetables for your Mini Lop rabbit. Some may contain too much calcium that it can harm their bodies. Fruits are to be served in small quantities as they are high in sugar.
Remember that hay is a staple food for the Mini Lop so vegetables and fruits should not be used as substitutes. Below is a list of vegetables and fruits that is good for your rabbit:
- Spring Greens
- Green beans
- Artichoke leaves
Food for Mini Lop Rabbits
Baby Mini Lops solely need their mother’s milk during the first three weeks. After that, they can eat small amounts of pellets and alfalfa. As they turn 7 weeks old, allow them to feed on unlimited amounts of alfalfa hay and pellets. Baby Mini Lops should be weaned as they reach 4 to 6 weeks of age.
During the weaning stages, continue giving them unrestricted quantities of alfalfa hay and pellets for up to three months. A gradual introduction of vegetables in small amounts should also begin around this time. Do this one at a time to avoid upsetting his stomach. Any vegetable that causes digestive problems must be removed from their diet.
Once the Mini Lop kits reach 7 months to 1 year, premium quality hay should gradually replace the alfalfa. Pellet servings should only be about 1/2 cup of pellets per 2 kg of body weight daily. Increase the amounts of vegetables to around 2 cups every day. Limit the fruit intake to 1-2 ounces per 2 kg of body weight per day.
Adult Mini Lop rabbits still need unrestricted access to high-quality hay. Meanwhile, the amounts of pellets must not go over 1/4 cup of pellets per 2 kg of body weight per day. Then, increase vegetable portions to at least 2 cups per 2 kg of body weight a day. Fruit servings should not exceed 2 oz. per 2 kg of body weight.
How long do Mini Lops live?
The Mini Lop lifespan is approximately 5 to 10 years. However, some can even live up to 18 years. The longevity of your Mini Lop highly depends on how you take care of him. Providing him with proper housing, a comfortable living environment, and a healthy and balanced diet are great ways to keep him in great shape.
Like most rabbits, the Mini Lop has a delicate body that may easily develop illnesses. Small changes in his food or surroundings can trigger various health issues. Prevalent health problems common in Mini Lops are:
- Fur block
Concealing sickness is a natural trait in rabbits, therefore, you need to be vigilant about any changes to your Mini Lop bunny’s eating, sleeping, drinking, and eliminating habits. Knowing early signs of diseases makes a very big difference in saving your rabbit’s life. Diarrhoea, lethargy, excessive drooling, unkempt fur, and breathing difficulties are tell-tale signs of health issues. Bring your Mini Lop rabbit to the vet if he exhibits any of these signs.
Cage for Mini Lop rabbit
Despite the Mini Lop’s small size, he needs ample amounts of space to roam around and exercise. Provide him with a 4 ft. wide x 2 ft. deep x 2 ft. high hutch, which is the minimum recommended size for Mini Lops.
Rabbit cages with wire bottoms should be lined with wooden planks. This will prevent your bunny from developing sore hocks or getting his legs accidentally caught between the wires.
Place a sufficient quantity of beddings and hay to make it comfortable for your Mini Lop to hop and explore his cage. Avoid using pine or cedar wood shavings as their fumes can harm your rabbit’s internal organs.
Spot-cleaning should be done every day whilst a complete clean-up should be done weekly. Use hot soapy water to wash the hutch. Let it dry completely before placing fresh new beddings.
Can Mini Lop rabbits live outside?
It is not advisable to place a Mini Lop outside although he can adapt to the outdoor environment. He is a small rabbit so he is easy prey for predators such as foxes, stray dogs or cats. Make sure that the enclosures in your backyard are strong and high enough to keep them out.
Mini Lop rabbits are sensitive to temperature changes. Thus, the hutch should be placed in a shady and well-ventilated location. It is also important that the Mini Lop’s cage is weatherproof to protect him from drafts or heat.
In the winter, add extra amounts of blankets and beddings to keep him warm. Consider placing frozen water bottles inside the hutch during summer to him cool down.
Cost of Ownership
How much does a Mini Lop cost?
If you are looking for a healthy and well-bred Mini Lop, you may need to pay anywhere from £35 to £60. Food costs are around £500 to £700 a year. You may need to pay about £510 for your rabbit’s necessities such as a carrier, grooming supplies, and litter tray.
Estimated expenses for rabbit housing and proofing is £350. Initial vaccination and check-up fees may cost you £50. Health checks and preventative care cost around £50 each year. Getting pet insurance will add at least £10 to your monthly bill.
- The breeds’ initial name Klein Widder was changed into Mini Lop to gain more attention during rabbit shows.
- Mini Lop can only have 2 to 3 kits per litter. Other breeds can have as many as 8 or 7 offspring.
Do you want a Mini Lop rabbit as your family pet? Visit our For Sale and Rehoming page to find your ideal Mini Lop.
Want to learn more about other popular pet rabbit breeds, read The 6 Most Loved Rabbit Breeds.