Tuesday, July 24, 2018



www.shamrockrabbits.weebly.com . Please check us out there for information on our herd and bunnies and mature rabbits for sale !

Please check out this blog for information and hints about owning a pet rabbit.

Thursday, February 25, 2016


1) Which sex of rabbits make a better pet?
Some claim bucks (males) make better pets. I have had affectionate bucks and does.
In general, I would say that Holland Lop males tend to be more affectionate. However, males can be aggressive and spray, so keep that in mind. Female rabbits, it has been said, are more prone to digging. The personalities of rabbits vary widely and a lot depends on how much attention the rabbits gets by its owner.

2) Do rabbits bond with you?
I've found that the more a rabbit is held or treated with kindness, the more it bonds with a person. I have certain rabbits that seem genuinely thrilled to see me and find they are quite affectionate. Being licked by a rabbit is a high compliment!

3) How long do they live?
Generally, it is accepted that rabbits live about 5-7 years but Holland Lops can live longer than that. Cricket, my oldest doe, just died earlier in 2018 at ten years of age.

4) How big of a cage does a rabbit need?
Generally, the rule of thumb is at least 1 square foot per pound of rabbit. However, I try to let my rabbits hop around in an outdoor rabbit run or inside. Also, stimulating them with regular food, treats, petting, things to chew on, a hide-away box, etc. seem to make them happier and makes it easier to bond with a pet rabbit. I prefer a wire bottomed cage to facilitate cleaning but a piece of carpet or a plastic foot rest can also be used for the rabbit's comfort.

5) Can a rabbit be litter box trained?
I am told by many customers and contacts that they have litter-box trained a pet rabbit. Personally, I have successfully litter box trained one of my bucks over a winter. 

6) Do rabbits get along with other pets?
I have found that cats and rabbits range from getting along well to tolerating each other. Dogs require more caution, especially for dogs bred to hunt rabbits, but I have been told by prior customers that sometimes they can get along with each other.

7) What else do I need to get?
Please check out the checklist on that topic on this site.

8) Can rabbits be kept in a cage together?
I have kept does from the same litter together up to about 4 months old and they have done fine. It may be possible that they could bond even into adulthood but it's not guaranteed. Even females can show dominance or mount each other. Two intact bucks (males) are not recommended since they fight, as early as three to six months of age. Mature, unaltered males and females will mate of course. It is worth noting that unaltered male and female rabbits can mate as early as 12 weeks of age but it's not healthy for the doe. An intact doe and a neutered male may be Ok together or two altered rabbits can bond, as well. It is best to introduce strange rabbits on a neutral location like a completely new cage, a room or rabbit run. Finally, overall it is best to keep a rabbit in its own separate cage but cages can be kept close together.

9) Do you deliver or ship a rabbit?
Sorry, I don't deliver in the general Billings, MT area or ship to other cities. I may be willing to transport a rabbit to a show and meet the customer there.

10) What does it cost to care for a rabbit monthly?
I would estimate, after the rabbit, cage, and cage supplies have been purchased, the typical monthly cost to care for a rabbit would be only about $2-$4/month, depending on feed purchased, treats, etc.. This cost would be on the high end if the rabbit is fed a lot of treats or fruit like bananas or apples. In addition to that, rabbits need to be fed and watered daily and checked periodically for diseases/ hygiene.

11) What rabbit breed makes the best pet?
There are pros and cons. Being a Holland Lop breeder, I am prejudiced. The reason Holland Lops are among the most popular rabbit breeds in the USA id due to their small size (3-4 pounds is the breed standard weight), which means children can handle them easily. Other reasons are that they eat less than large breeds, they have an interesting/ curious personality (a good balance between calm and excitable), the wide variety of colors that they can be found from black to tri-colored and from Tort to orange, and finally they don't require much, if any, grooming.

12) When do the ears of a Holland Lop lop down?
This can happen as early as three weeks. Often Holland Lop kits (bunnies) will have "airplane" ears that stick straight out. This is almost always a transitional phase. Sometimes the lopping process may take until the rabbit is six months or even older. I have one adult doe with ears that are still lopping down. Wide-crowned rabbits will lop sooner. I had a rabbit judge tell me that he has duct-taped a nickel to a lop rabbit to speed up the process.

Saturday, March 21, 2015



American Rabbit Breeder's Association (ARBA) 
Bloomington, IL 61702
Phone:  309-664-7500
Email:  info@arba.net

Holland Lop Rabbit Specialty Club (HLRSC)
Chesapeake, VA 23322
Phone:  757-421-9607
Email:  webmaster@hlrsc.com or HLRSCSec@aol.com


Excellent information on feeding, watering & supplementing your Holland Lop's diet from Utah's Honeyville Rabbitry:

"Judging Holland Lops" by Chris Zemny, ARBA judge linked from luvlops.com.

Basic Rabbit Genetics by Oak Ridge Rabbitry linked from luvlops.com.

Another interesting rabbit genetics article from Nature Trail Rabbitry

Color chart & pics from Amy's Rabbit Ranch

Color chart from Marell's & Raeben's Rabbits:

Another excellent color chart from Sleepy Hollow Rabbitry


*Some web sites used or linked under the Fair Use Rules of the U.S. Copyright Law.


Holland Lop Standard of Perfection

Groups: Agouti–Broken–Pointed White–Self–Shaded–Tan Pattern–Ticked–Wide Band
To be entered and shown in two classifications–Broken Pattern & Solid Pattern
The 2011-2015 ARBA SOP Holland Lop photo.
General Type …………………………….. 84
BODY, BONE……………….42
Bone, Feet, Legs….10
Fur ……………………………………………..7
Color & Markings……………………………4
Condition …………………………………… 5
Total Points ……………………. 100

Senior Bucks and Does–6 months of age & over, weight not over 4 pounds.
Junior Bucks and Does–Under 6 months of age.  Minimum weight 2 pounds.
NOTE:  No animal may be shown in a higher age classification than its true age.  All colors are to be shown as Solid or Broken Pattern.  Recognized colors within a group are not to be judged separately.

NOTE:  Holland Lops should be posed with the front feet resting lightly on the table. When ideally posed and viewed from the front, the head should be carried high on the shoulders, and close to the shoulders, exposing a deep, well filled chest and short, thick front legs.  Holland Lops should not be pushed down with the forelegs flat on the table.  Holland Lops are generally of an excitable nature and will often exhibit poor ear carriage when being handled on the show table.  In order to properly evaluate an animal’s ear carriage, the animal should be allowed to relax.

BODY–Points 32:  The general aspect of the body is short, massive, and thick set.  The shoulders and chest should be broad and well filled.  The shoulders should be deep, with the depth exhibited at the shoulders of an ideally posed animal being carried back to hindquarters of equal or slightly greater depth.  The width of the shoulders should be nearly equal to, but not exceed the width of the hindquarters.  The hindquarters should be broad, deep, well rounded, and well filled to the lower portions.  The animals is to be heavily muscled, short-coupled, compact, and well balanced is length, width, and depth.  A small, simple dewlap is permitted in does.

Faults–Lacking depth throughout the body; long, low or narrow shoulders; chopped, pinched, or undercut hindquarters flatness over the hips; large dewlap in does.  Fault severely for long or narrow body.

HEAD–Points 24:  When viewed from the front, the head is to have good width, which begins at the base of the ears and carries down between the eyes to an extremely short and well filled muzzle.  When viewed from the side, the head is round from the base of the ears, to a slight flattening between the eyes and the muzzle and then to continue rounding from the lower portion to the muzzle to the neck.  The eye is to be bold and deep set.  The head is to be massive in appearance and set high and close to the shoulders.  The size of the head is to be in proportion to the size of the body.
Faults–Pinched muzzle; narrowness between the eyes; head too small to balance with the body.  Fault severely for narrow or long head.

EARS–Points 10:  The ears should lop vertically on both sides of the head from a strongly defined and properly positioned crown.  The ears should hang close to the cheeks, with the openings turned towards the head.  When viewed from the front, the outline of the ears and crown should resemble a horseshoe shape.  The ears should be thick, well furred, wide and well rounded at the tips.  The ears should hang just behind the eyes and extend no more than 1 inch below the jaw line.  Ear length and width should balance with the size of the head and body.
Faults–Pointed, narrow, thin or folded ear; poor ear carriage or placement; ear length which does not balance with the size of the animal.

CROWN- Points 8: The crown should be a strongly defined ridge consisting of both cartilage and prominent, dense fur which appears to sit on top of the head and add to its massive appearance.  the crown should wrap from just behind the top of the eye, up over the top of the head, and down just behind the top of the other eye. Proper side to side width of the crown allows the ears to lop vertically. Proper front to back width of the crown positions the ear just behind the eye and causes the ear to open fully and lay against the contour of the head and cheek. the overall impression of the crown is derived mainly by sight and should balance with the size of the head.
Faults-  Lack of strongly defined crown; narrow side to side or front to back crown width; crown not positioned just behind the eye.

BONE, FEET & LEGS–Points 10:  The legs are to be short, thick, straight an heavily boned fro the size of the animal.  White toenails are preferred on Broken Pattern animals.  Broken Patterned animals are not to be disqualified for colored or mismatched toenails.
Faults–Colored or mismatched toenails on Broken patterned animals.  Fault severely for long legs, narrow legs, or fine bone.
Disqualifications from Competition–General toenail disqualifications apply on Solid Pattern animals.  General toenail disqualifications, except toenail color, apply on Broken Pattern animals.

FUR–Points 7:  (Rollback) The fur is to be glossy, dense, fine in texture, and uniform in length.  The fur is to be approximately 1 inch in length and is to gradually roll back into normal position when it is stroked from the hindquarters to the shoulders.

COLOR & MARKINGS–Points 4:  All colors should conform to one of the recognized Holland Lop Color Guide descriptions.  The Solid pattern classification includes all recognized colors within the recognized groups.  The Broken pattern classification includes all recognized colors within the recognized groups in combination with white.
Broken pattern animals–Unbalanced nose markings; white on one or both ears, incomplete eye circles, uneven pattern distribution.
Solid pattern animals–Faults are as specified under each color description.
Disqualifications from Competition–Broken pattern animals–The complete absence of nose markings, absence of color on one or both ears, absence of color around one or both eyes.  Eye color other than specified in the color description.

CONDITION–Points 5: Per ARBA definition.

Source: Standard of Perfection published by the American Rabbit Breeder's Association. Used under the Fair Use rules of the U.S. Copyright Laws.

Friday, March 20, 2015


This checklist is designed to be very thorough for a rabbit breeder. Some items may be unnecessary for a pet rabbit.

● Rabbit feed / pellets. A mature rabbit’s ration is typically 4-6 ounces. Nursing
or young rabbits or rabbits in cold weather often need more than that.
● Hay (Alfalfa/grass hay until 6 months and then timothy hay after that is
● Cage (a wire cage is easier to clean). 1 square foot of cage space is
recommended for each pound of rabbit. A 24”x 24” cage for a Holland Lop
is typically adequate. A larger cage would be nicer for the rabbit.
● Foot rest for rabbit (could be a piece of carpet or other item to give a rest from
wire floor).
● Bedding (for cage tray; if used avoid scented wood like cedar). Aspen shavings work well.
● Other Feed could include dried bread, apples, bananas, broccoli, carrots,
cauliflower, fresh grass shavings from an untreated lawn. It is recommended to
introduce fruits and vegetables slowly to young rabbits (less than 6 months old)
like only 1 new item every week or two to avoid intestinal problems.
● Rabbit run – If rabbit would be confined to a cage a lot and not able to
hop around indoors.
● Salt lick.
● Wheat germ oil – A supplement to add to pellets periodically.
● Cider vinegar – Add a small amount to water to help avoid intestinal diseases and for other possible health and breeding benefits.
● Terramycin (an antibiotic) – Recommended if your rabbit will be outdoors,
around other rabbits, and to prevent disease.
● Feeder or crock – Automatic feeders can be filled outside of the cage
● Water bottle to ensure regular access to water. Rabbits can drink a lot of water
in hot weather. Heated water bottles, crocks or empty tuna cans are cold
weather options.
● Hide away box – To put in the cage for the rabbit to hide in or hop on top of.
● Lighting – If rabbit is outdoors in a shed it is recommended that they get at
least 12-16 hours of light a day to provide a more natural environment.
● Frozen milk jugs or water bottles are recommended in a rabbit’s cage in hot
weather. Straw in a cage in very cold weather helps keeps the rabbit warm.
●Ventilation is desired but the rabbit should be protected from cold drafts if kept
●Disinfect a rabbit’s cage regularly with Lysol, Simple Green or a more natural
cleaner like vinegar or lemon juice.
●Wood, sticks, etc. to chew on since a rabbit’s teeth grow continually.
●Book on rabbits for reference purposes.
●Litter box if rabbit will be litter box trained indoors.
●Brush for grooming and nail clippers to cut nails.