Can I breed a lop eared rabbit to a straight eared bunny?

by Rebecca

I want to know if you could breed a lop eared rabbit to a straight eared rabbit. Would that cause birth defects? Would some of the babies have lop ears and others straight? Or would they all have lop/straight? Thanks, Rebecca

***** Karen Sez *****

A rabbit is a rabbit is a rabbit. Of course you could breed lop ears to straight ears, but why would you want to do such a thing???

You've got a lovely Dutch rabbit, and a spectacular English Lop. Why scramble the genetics??? Go get yourself another Dutch and another English Lop, and breed true. You will be SO much happier with the results.

Now I'm gonna have nightmares for days envisioning oversized Dutch-speckled rabbits with helicopter-ears, or undersized nondescript, non-recognizable animals with weird ears, lol. And the persons who purchase the offspring will come to me asking, "What breed is my rabbit?" And there will be no way to know, so I'll be stuck with saying, "Heinz 57."

Breeders of old have worked for DECADES to breed rabbits of particular sizes and colors, and for particular purposes. Learn what those purposes were, and then acquire purebred rabbits whose purposes match your own needs. What a waste to just scramble the genetics simply because you have the rabbits and wanna see what will happen.

What good is that? Whereas if you breed true, the offspring retain the qualities for which they were bred. You can pass the offspring to pet rabbit owners, or other breeders or 4-H kids who can learn the value of excellent breeding and showing of their animals, and who can also earn a bit of allowance money by selling very nice, even showable, rabbits to their 4-H buddies or friends.

Yikes, I think I was on a soapbox. Thanks for asking - you are certainly not the first to ask.

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May 31, 2018
Our outside, free range bunnies
by: Kris Milochik

We took in 3 bunnies from a neighbor. The older one ended up being the friendliest and is in the house with our cats...which are afraid of her! The other two, a boy and girl, have had several litters outside, the most recent one was a litter of four, 2 black and 2 light brown. All but one of these have 'developed' hanging a lop. They were upright like the parents at first, but we've noticed that first one ear, then the other is no longer upright and hangs. We think they're about 8 weeks old. How is this possible?

***** Karen Sez *****
Genetics! Or heat. Sometimes hot weather causes ears to temporarily sag. I think this is due to the heat affecting the rabbit's desire to expend the energy to keep the ears erect. More often, only the tips of the ears droop due to heat.

But, the timing is right for genetics to be the culprit. Both parents may carry recessive genes for lop ears.

This is why it is smart to think twice about breeding lops to straight-eared rabbits. It is completely your choice, of course, and there are no laws against it, but down the road a bit, THIS IS going to happen. Just so you know...!

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