IMPORTANT NOTICE. WHEN YOU HAVE READ THIS PAGE AND IF YOU KNOW OF SUCH SHONKY BREEDERS (OR HAVE BEEN RIPPED OFF BY THEM) PLEASE SEND ME YOUR PICTURES OF THEIR SHONKY STOCK (FRONT, ABOVE AND SIDE VIEWS PLEASE) AND THEY WILL BE NAMED AND SHAMED.
Here as promised is an article with pictures showing all you new rabbit breeders and pet owners alike the qualities that make good Mini Lop starter stock for new breeders of Mini Lops, or a quality pet rabbit.
I think it is disgusting that breeders that should (and most often do) know better are churning out Lop rabbits (most of the time Dwarf Lop X Mini Lop) for the sake of a few extra dollars. It doesn’t matter what size the Lop is, whether it be Mini or Dwarf, as their bodies should be in proportion. For my examples, the Blue bunny is my little house mate Smoky who I consider a good quality Mini Lop pet bunny and the other rabbit who I will name Shoddy (the reason for this will become apparent) who was bred by a breeder in the Hunter Valley and sold to a pet home. It has all the bad qualities that I am about to demonstrate to you and that you should be aware of and shouldn’t buy. By doing this you put the shoddy breeder out of business where they belong and where all backyard breeders belong as I consider this type of shonky breeder a glorified backyarder.
So, where to start......
I think with the head and shoulders.
Looking at the picture of Smoky on the right you can clearly see what makes a good quality Mini Lop head by its nicely rounded shape and the nice width crown (space between the ears) which allows the ears to drop straight down.
If you look at Shoddy’s head you can see how pointed the head is and the crown width is very poor which pulls the ears out from the sides of the head.
Now for a side view of them
As you can see, Smoky’s face from the side view is fairly straight up and down whereas Shoddy’s face is long and narrows almost to a point. Bad breeding and typical of a backyard breeder who isn’t concerned with breeding quality stock for breeding or sale.
Next, a comparison from a front view
I think this picture speaks for itself. Incidentally, Smoky is 3 years old and well and truly finished growing and Shoddy is just 10 weeks old and has a lot of growing to do.
Okay, to give you a proper perspective look at the picture below taken of the both of them from above.
Note the smaller more compact body of Smoky with a lovely dense coat in comparison to Shoddy who has very narrow shoulders finished with a long narrow head. Shoddy is also longer in the body than Smoky, and don’t forget he is just 10 weeks old.
With all those head faults that Shoddy has there is a much more common but worse fault being bred into these lops by the backyarders and that is splayed feet. See the picture below.
When you flip your bunny over to do a health check the first thing you should see is nice straight chubby little feet that are well furred. I held both these bunnies in exactly the same way and both were relaxed and calm. With Smoky you can see how the feet should be (straight up and down in line with the body) but poor little Shoddy has badly splayed feet. You can also see how much bigger Shoddy’s feet are and how the fur is pushed over to the sides due to the resting position of the feet. Also you can see in this picture how Shoddy’s body narrows at the shoulders instead of a square shaped body like Smoky. (Smoky does have slightly narrow shoulders which make him pet quality in my book.) it just accentuates just how narrow Shoddy’s top half is.
Here is a picture of Smoky above which shows the slight narrowing at the shoulders.
A good quality show buck would have shoulders the same width as the rump. The second reason he is only pet stock in my opinion is that his ears are slightly rolled from the front, even though they are a lovely spoon shape. If he was to go on the show bench today he would probably win not only his class, but other classes as well, that is how badly the standard has dropped in the last few years.
I’ll finish this page by showing you some more ‘Shoddy’ bunnies. First though a picture of Smoky for comparison.
Now for the shoddy rabbits
NOW YOU HAVE BEEN SHOWN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A GOOD PET QUALITY MINI LOP AND HAVE SEEN SOME VERY SHODDY BRED MINI LOPS YOU WILL KNOW WHICH ONES TO AVOID. SO WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO? EASY, TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT THIS, MAKE COPIES AND PASS IT AROUND SO THAT THE BACKYARD AND SHONKY BREEDERS WILL EVENTUALLY BE STAMPED OUT AND THE BREED STANDARD CAN BE IMPROVED BY ALL BREEDERS INSTEAD OF A VERY SMALL PERCENTAGE OF BREEDERS WHO ARE CARRYING A VERY HEAVY LOAD.
A HUGE THANKYOU TO ALL THE BREEDERS OUT THERE DOING THE RIGHT THING AND TRYING TO IMPROVE THE RABBIT FANCY INSTEAD OF THOSE SHONKY BREEDERS WITH THEIR INDISCRIMINATE BREEDING PRACTICES LEADING TO SHODDILY BRED RABBITS.