French Lop or Californian?

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Kazahleenah, Sep 27, 2005.

  1. Kazahleenah

    Kazahleenah Disgruntled citizen

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    I have the rabbit cages set up fianally, and want to get meat rabbits again. My son and I have conflicting ideas on the breed to get. He says Californians, I want/like French Lops. Both are meat rabbits, but the French Lop could also be sold as a pet to local buyers. (I guess the Californian can as well) But I raised the FL's when I was younger, and enjoyed them. We will be sharing the workload here, so I figured I'll ask you all rabbit folks ...

    Does anyone have experience with both of these breeds as meat animals?
    Which would you choose?

    Thank you
    Kaza
     
  2. CountryGoalie

    CountryGoalie Well-Known Member

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    Personally (and I might be a bit biased here), I would go with French Lop.

    We are in the process of downsizing to just a couple of Satin does and adding a handful more of French Lops. First of all, I love the personalities.

    While you may not find it as easy to sell to the pet market as you'd like (most pet stores are looking for small-breed rabbits), they are good meat rabbits and their biggest selling point to me, in Satin versus French Lop, was their pelts. I am looking to get into tanning pelts and making blankets of some sort, and the thick plushness of the French Lop coat convinced me rather easily. ;)

    Plus, I can cross them with my Harlequins for some all-meat litters... :dance:
     

  3. markm240

    markm240 Well-Known Member

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    I would have to say the best all around meat rabbit would be a NZW Doe bred to a Cailifornia buck giving what is called a smut! The meat growth is awesome and the pelts being white can be dyed any color
     
  4. Kazahleenah

    Kazahleenah Disgruntled citizen

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    That's a definate plus Mark.... but how about "marketability" for the bunnies?

    Kaza
     
  5. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

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    People don't seem to go for red eyes much.... maybe you could introduce a BEW Bevern? I don't know how it would work, I'm not really into genetics...
     
  6. markm240

    markm240 Well-Known Member

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    Here in Maryland I don't have any problem getting them sold as long as they're young! They're very cute small with black ears and a black dot for a nose! As far as where you live I can't say for sure. Sorry
     
  7. Kazahleenah

    Kazahleenah Disgruntled citizen

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    hmmm....
    So far I'm leaning toward the French Lops... now, to just find a trio in this state. Maybe I'll start with Californians while I look for a FL trio...

    Kaza
     
  8. CountryGoalie

    CountryGoalie Well-Known Member

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    You could try logging into Yahoogroups and signing up for the 'Meatrabbits' list and inquiring about the availability of either breed in your state. I just got started with the FL, my buck is not quite of breeding age yet, so I won't have babies available until sometime in the early months of Winter - then again, I'm in NY, so that would likely put me out of your range anyway, ne?

    I'm not sure if there are any groups dealing with French Lops on Yahoogroups, but if you poke around, there likely is. After all, there's one for Harlequins, and that's saying something! :happy:

    If you're not looking to show, but want some interestingly-marked to make them perhaps more marketable to the pet market, you could try getting a hold of some tri-color lops. It is basically a rabbit with the Japanese Harlequin markings and the broken gene (which causes an otherwise solid-colored rabbit to be white with that color pattern markings)... breeding a broken to a broken like that, you'll get the Japanese markings in solid (like a Harlequin rabbit), broken (like the parents), and charlie, which is when a rabbit gets two broken genes - they are mostly white, with a little bit of markings - but the eyes are dark, since it's not caused by the himalayan gene.

    [​IMG]
    Tri-color French Lop

    [​IMG]
    Well-marked Black Japanese Harlequin

    The ARBA Convention is in Indianapolis, Indiana this year... if that's not incredibly far for you, you could try to connect with getting a trio of French Lops from a breeder that's attending the show. Or, even if it is pretty far for you - contacting your local rabbit breeder's association and finding out what breeders are going to the Convention and if any of them would be willing to transport the rabbits back from Indy for you, could also work.

    Good luck with your search! :D
     
  9. Kazahleenah

    Kazahleenah Disgruntled citizen

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    CountryGoalie,
    Thanks! I used to raise FL's back when I was in 4-H. I know there are breeders in Michigan, just don't know them all by name anymore. :) I'll look them up. When I had mine, I had brokens, Tri's and Chinchilla grey colors. What is a decent trio going for these days?

    Kaza
     
  10. CountryGoalie

    CountryGoalie Well-Known Member

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    Eh..... I'm not sure what a decent trio goes for, really. I purchased my four FL at three different points in time, and here's what I payed:

    $17.00 for a chestnut agouti senior doe - I got her this cheap because it was a silent auction to benefit the rabbit association and the actual FL breeder that was there today was amazed when I told them the price, and told me that she was actually a pretty good doe (I think they were kicking themselves that they hadn't checked out the auction)

    $30.00 (I think) for a chestnut agouti junior buck.

    $35.00 each for a gold-tipped steel junior doe and a broken gold-tipped steel junior doe.

    That seems to be the pricing out our way, so depending on if the breeder offers a price break on the purchase of a trio (personally, I do, but it varies from rabbitry to rabbitry), what varieties your're looking at, and from person to person. :shrug: