|Tender Loving Holland Lop Care|
|The Holland Lop is a truly wonderful creature. With their charming dispositions, curious nature, and round faces, Holland Lops are sure to capture your heart. Their unique personalities make them the perfect show animals as well as companions.
Outlined below are some basic steps that I practice within my rabbitry to provide my Hollands with the best care possible and to produce the healthiest stock in tip top condition.
|Cage: A cage at least 18" X 24" X 14" that is all wire with a plastic tray for the droppings, which I prefer to call bunny raisins, makes an excellent home for a Holland Lop. My rabbitry consists of thiry stacked holes with plastic trays. I prefer plastic trays because they don't rust and corrode like the metal trays of days gone by. If using stackable trays, the trays should be cleaned every three days to weekly to ensure optimum health for your bunny. Without this rigorous cleaning schedule, ammonia odors can develop in your rabbitry which can activate pastuerella (highly contagious pneumonia) in your rabbits and droppings can accumulate which can cause the onset of coccidiosis (highly lethal enteritic condition causing deadly diarrhea).
I hose down, disinfect, and blow torch (with the rabbit removed!) my cages at least four times a year to thoroughly sanitize my cages and burn off excess fur that has accumulated on the cages.
Water: I use Lixit brand water bottles to provide my Hollands with the clean fresh water that they need. Always make sure that your rabbit has a fresh and ample supply of water available to him at all times. If you use crocks or bowls to supply water, monitor regularly as the water can become easily contaminated.
Feed: Use ceramic crocks of at least 4" X 4" for the pelleted rabbit feed. I do not advise the use of outside J clip type feeders for our Hollands. The reasons are two fold. Number one, it is easier for Hollands with big heads to eat out of a round ceramic crock. Number two, it is important at feeding time to actually open up the Hollands cage, to give a pat on the head, a scratch behind the ears, and to make an observation of the Holland's overall condition to assess its health and well-being. When feeding with J clip type outside feeders, one can often inadvertently skip this very useful and important time to make sure your Holland is happy and healthy.
|A Holland Lop requires a high fiber and medium protein diet in order to stay in tip top condition. Feed Hollands 3 to 4 ounces per day, no more no less. I feed Purina brand Show Formula feed. Small amounts of timothy hay are provided daily. (Oxbow Hay Company has terrific hay products, check them out!)
I feed occasional treats of a piece of fruit or vegetable in the evening. Favorites include: apples, carrots, and bananas. Do not feed lettuce as the extra water contained in this treat may upset the equilibrium of the water already in your Holland's system and will surely cause a nasty case of loose stools, possibly even diarrhea.
I also provide a papaya tablet made for humans to prevent my Hollands from developing a fur blockage. Jameson Bros. Papaya Enzyme is my favorite brand although there are many to choose from. This digestive aid can be found in drug stores and health/nutrition stores. Make sure to get cherry flavor as the bunnies eat them like candy. These tablets contain the enzyme Bromelian found in pineapple, papaya, and kiwi fruit. This enzyme breaks down any fur accumulated in the digestive system.
Be careful to feed the proper amounts and never overfeed or underfeed. Thin animals in poor flesh condition are faulted at a show. Likewise, remember, that even if your Holland is still within weight limits, it is also a fault to present a rabbit that is flabby and overly fat. Additionally, does who are overweight are almost impossible to breed.
|Treating your Hollands with lots of love, lots of care, and lots of respect will leave you with happy and healthy stock in prime condition for the show table, for breeding, and for simply just loving. Purchasing top quality sound stock is only half of the story. The rest will depend on the love and care you give them. If the above tips are followed, one will be successful in raising happy Holland Lops!|