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I know I didn’t do an introductory post last week, I was considering whether or not I would do a blogging through the alphabet this year, or just let it go like I did last year. Then I got to think about how I want to start blogging about bunnies again … though technically I should do this on my rabbitry blog, but I figure I can do cross-over posts! 🙂 Makes it a win-win eh?
Theories on History
The American Fuzzy Lop, like it’s name suggests was created in the United States. There is some fuzziness about what all is in it’s background other than the certainty that Holland Lop is part of it.
One theory is that it is a genetic mutation found within the holland lop.
The other theory is that Holland lops, which only came in solid colours, were bred to English Spots. This resulted in the wrong coat for the holland lop breed, thereby necessitating the breeding in of the Angora coat in order to regain the proper coat quality for the Holland Lop. This tends to be the most accepted theory.
Oh, another theory I have heard is that somewhere along the line Jersey Woolies were part of the mix. I can see this, as some of my hollands that come out fuzzy, if you look at their head in profile they look just like a Jersey Woolie. This theory is more scuttle-butt that I have’heard among breeders, I’ve been unable to find a source on-line about that.
The Basic Standard
Fuzzies are very similar to Holland lops. They weigh about the same, have the same blocky head, and have similar lop-ears. I’ve read a few sources that say they are exactly the same as Holland Lops but that’s not accurate. American Fuzzy Lops, when you show they, sit flat on the table, whereas Holland Lops sit upright. Just like with a Holland Lop it can take time for the head and ear carriage to develop well. They mature to around 3.5-4 lbs.
Type of Rabbit
The American Fuzzy Lop is a fancy breed of rabbit, rather than a commercial breed. It is bred primarily for the pet and show market, but it can also be a working animal.
As a show animal they are shown in solid (one colour) or broken patterns (white with colour). In North America, showing is done under the auspices of the American Rabbit Breeders Association. In Ontario, the provincial club can be found here.
As a working animal, it’s fur (plucked usually) can be spun for a fine wool. Even though it’s only 2 inches long it can be spun and used as needed. Sometimes it is mixed with other wools.
If I had to compare personalities between my fuzzy lops and my holland lops, the fuzzies are much more laid back than my hollands. They more apt to just sit there and chill out. The more fuzzy they are, the more chilled out they are. I don’t know why.
I do know that I don’t like getting them in my litters.
Care of a Fuzzy Lop
Well, as young animals wooled breeds take more care. Babies need to learn to keep themselves clean, just like a toddler needs a bum wipe. For me this means trimming their hair about their vent region every three days or so and checking them daily to make sure accidents haven’t happened. One day missed can end up with a young rabbit with it’s vent region swollen and infected sometimes causing problems with how the skin heals up. With rabbits, particularly young rabbits, skin rips happen easily.
Also, when I first started in rabbits I did a lot of rescue. I had more than one wooled breed come in with matted hair so tight that the skin was ripped underneath. That is SO not cool.
So any fuzzies I sell come with a caresheet and a long conversation about how to care for them and my permanent return policy. I don’t want my fuzzies ending up with torn skin.
This care sheet speaks to how fuzzy lops need to have their vent area checked for any fecal remains caught in the hair.
They need to be groomed regularly, daily during their moult. For some rabbits that will be twice a year for about a week, for other rabbits they moult steadily all the time. It’s so variable so people have to be aware of the time commitment.
Baby coats need more work than adult coats and care needs to be taken that they don’t get matted. Matting happens fast so their coats will need daily care. Once they hit adulthood, this daily care usually becomes weekly brush-outs.
Other than this, caring for rabbits is pretty easy! 🙂 Feed them a balanced diet (this is one way to do that), keep them clean and give them plenty of water and you’ll have a healthy happy bunny.
Letter A Link Up
Each week we will be linking up with the hosts of Blogging Through the Alphabet. Please visit some of these other blogs to get things like book lists, vegan recipes, and wonderful places to visit, just to name the topics I can think of off the top of my head.