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Rabbits/holland lop breeding


I have a 4 month old holland lop doe that I want to breed. Can I breed her now? Or when is the soonest I can?


Hi Kylie

Do think long and hard before you breed. Four months is too young, minimum is 6 months. But Holland Lops are rife with genetic health problems due to people breeding any old bun, if you don't know the genetic family tree of both this doe and the buck going back at least 2-3 generations, don't breed. Health problems can be hidden, and may only show when the rabbit is a year or two old.

Lops are also the most common breed to end up in rescue. And there are Holland Lops in rescues in MN and surrounding states, according to Petfinder. There are many more rabbits out there than there are responsible forever homes for them. In the UK (where I am) over 60,000 pass through rescue every year. Think carefully before adding to this number! And friends/family who SAY they'll take a kit, don't necessarily realise what they're taking on and may no longer want the rabbit in a year's time.

So, if you don't know the family history of this bun going back several generations, don't breed. If she doesn't have perfect conformation, don't breed. If the bun is at the extreme end of the Holland Lop breed standard, don't breed. Those super flat faces equal dental, eye and ear problems.

There are far more rabbits out there than there are proper homes. Hobby breeders and pet shops are the two primary causes of this.



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I can answer questions around the welfare of pet rabbits, basic health queries including gut stasis, diet worries, bonding questions and the proper welfare standards around housing rabbits (i.e. no wire floors, no small cages and they should be kept in properly bonded de-sexed pairs in very large enclosures). I cannot answer showing questions nor complex breeding issues as I do not agree with either, seeing the other end of the story in the world of rabbit rescue.


I have two 7 year old rescue rabbits and volunteer for a well established rabbit rescue here in the UK, both physically doing cleaning out etc and I am also their events and awareness co-oordinator, helping educate the general public on proper rabbit keeping, this means I have to ensure all information I give is correct and matches current welfare standards.

I belong to the RWAF (Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund) and volunteer for a major rabbit rescue.

I have no formal education on this subject, however read everything I can to keep up to date with current welfare standards and health problems. Both my rabbits have sensitive guts and constantly keep me on my toes.

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