Quick facts about American Fuzzy Lop
- Country of Origin: United States of America.
- Purpose – fur, show animal and as a pet, since it is sweet and energetic
- Weight– Its average weight is 3-4 lbs or 1.4 and 1.8kg
- Similar breeds – Holland lop except for its longer fur and wooly coat. Also, its head, body, and overall size are slightly larger. The other bread is Angora.
- Who is it suited for – First-timer rabbit owners or beginners, families, and singles since it is playful and curious.
- Size: The American Fuzzy Lops are dwarf rabbits (small sized) with a dwarf gene
- Average lifespan – 5 years to 8 years while in captivity, they can live for 10 to 12 years depending on given care
History and origin
The origin of American Fuzzy Lop is closely linked to Holland Lop which came only in solid colors. Breeders wanted to add some broken pattern to its gene pool, so they breaded them with the English Spots.
Although they were able to achieve it, unfortunately, the resultant breed did not have rollback fur that the Holland Lop had, but instead, it had the flyback hair the English Spot had.
To correct the fur appearance, breeders decided to breed the Holland Lop with French Angoras which is characterized by a coat that rolls back gently. By so doing, they were able to introduce the wool gene to the Holland Lop gene pool which was then bred to end up with a dwarf loped eared rabbit with a wooly coat.
Who pioneered the breeding
Pioneer breeders of the American Fuzzy Lop were Gary Fellers and Patty Greene-Karl of the East Coast and Kim Landry as well as Margaret Miller of the West Coast. Patty Greene-Karl noted that the fuzzy gene was recessive and mating two Holland Lops only resulted to just 25% of the offspring having that kind of wool.
Patty Greene-Karl later created the AFL, and four years later, she presented it to American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) convention that was held in Huston, Texas in 1985, only for the bunny was accepted by ARBA in 1988. However, it is not recognized by the British Rabbit Council (BRC)
Appearance, body type, and colors
They have a compact and muscular body (short and thick) i.e., as Petguide.com notes:
they “have a broad chest, short shoulders and broad, deep, well-rounded hindquarters with plenty of muscles.”
Also, their body width should be equal to its height at their shoulders, hips, loins and they should have short, thick legs.
They have ears lopping on the side of their face and should not erect. Instead, they should be extending about half an inch to an inch below their jaws.
The “ridge of cartilage at the top of the head (called a crown) causes the ears to fall against the side of the head” states rabbitbreeders.us
They also have a flat and shorter muzzle like that one of cats.
Its coat is wooly making it suitable for showing. Since it is real wool, it can be spun to yarn to be used on various kinds of clothes despite being about two inches in length. The wool is coarse, close to the Angora wool making it not prone to matting or tangling
The American Fuzzy Lop comes in several colors. Some of the ARBA accepted colors include agouti (white and any other color with common colors including lynx, opal, squirrel, chestnuts, and chinchilla). There is also the Pointed White Group that comes in purely a white coat.
Besides the above, other colors are grouped into shaded, self, broken and solid making a total of 19 different colors.
All the America Fuzzy Lop have tinted ears, marks on their nose that are distinct.
Care and grooming
Just like all other types of bunnies, they are clean self-grooming animals which don’t require to be groomed on a daily basis, unless they are molting which if it happens, just run your fingers through its fur to remove any stuck debris or tangles or use pet brush. Their dropping and bedding may also get stuck on their fur.
Also check their ears, eyes, nose and genital to see if there is anything wrong.
Note that they may require more grooming than those with short fur especially the baby or junior AFL (2-6 months old). During summer, you can shave the fur off from your baby AFL to reduce grooming.
When not molting, brush their fur twice a week or as it may be required. However, avoid washing or bathing them as this stresses them. If they get stained, try cleaning the affected spot using a wet piece of cloth.
Provide them with a litter box and a dark sleeping area. They are intelligent and can be trained to use their litter boxes. Their hutches should be free of any dung.
As it is with the case of any other bunny, they need to eat about 70 to 80% grass and hay with the remainder being pellets and limited treats of fresh vegetables and fruits. Also, ensure you give them unlimited amounts of fresh, clean water.
For the outdoor enclosure, let it be weatherproofed and keep your rabbits from predators. Raised hutches under shade will be ideal.
Always, allow your bunnies to have some time outside their cage whether they stay indoors or outdoors since they are active as playful. They need to play around (jump, run) as they sunbathe. Ensure your grass is free of insecticides and pesticides since may eat it as they bounce around.
During winter, let them come indoors and play with toys or interact with pet owners unless your outdoor cages are temperature controlled. The weather may be too cold.
Finally, check their nails to ensure they are not long and clip them if they are long.
They are not vulnerable to any specific disease apart from the normal ones that affect all bunnies. Ensure they are vaccinated. Also, check for wool block since as they self-groom, they cannot regurgitate any fur ingested into their digestive system. This ingested hairs can cause blockages.
Wool blocks will make them feel full, yet they are hungry, and they may die if not treated. Papaya enzyme tablets may be useful in breaking the furball and ensure there no blockages. Otherwise, seek for the help of your veterinarian.
Deworm your bunnies twice a year since they may ingest warms that may be in their food.
Regularly, be checking their teeth to see if they are overgrown, i.e., if you notice their teeth are becoming longer, increase the hay and grass in their diet to help reduce or wear them down.
To further help wear their ever growing teeth, give then gnaw toys and safe, soft pieces of wood to chew.
Females should be spayed when they are about four months old, but some vet might prefer to do it when they reach six months. On the other hand, bucks (males) are neutered when they are as young as three and a half months.
Personality and temperament
They are energetic, active, social, playful with lots of character. They enjoy the company of other rabbits as well as the companion of their owner, making them an excellent choice for a pet.
Families with younger children who are having them as their first pet or want to build a relationship will provide them good company.
Also, they like playing with toys such as pine cones, plastic balls, soft pieces of wood, old gloves or stuffed socks. Ensure all these toys are safe for your rabbits.
These rabbits need to be loved, shown affectionate (they can be cuddled or petted) and be given a secure yard where they can play and run to release their energy.
Since they love each other’s company, buy two as this can increase their lifespan, but this may mean more enclosures and expenses.
In some occasions, the males are mellow and calmer while “females can sometimes be a bit more shy and skittish. Females can especially be nervous with loud noises and fast movements,” notes animal-world.com.
Where can I get the American Fuzzy Lops for sale?
If you are looking for AFL for sale, you can get them from many rabbit breeders in almost every state in America. Check online for any breeders.
We have great information on what to look for on American Fuzzy Lops on sale which is going to be very helpful in ensuring you pick an ideal one.
The AFL is a low maintenance pet which requires little grooming, and food once you get them their enclosures.
When buying an American Fuzzy Lop rabbit, always check on its eyes, ears, genitals or nose to see if it is free from any disease.
References and further readings