Belgian Hare Rabbits

Learn more about the Belgian Hare Rabbit Breed. Discover cool facts, pictures, resources and find information about caring for Belgian Hare Rabbits.

This rabbit breed information page is part of our rabbit breeds article series.


Belgian Hare Rabbit Resource Links: Free Rabbit Breeders Newsletter | Belgian Hare Rabbit Breed Info | Belgian Hare Rabbit Information and History | Belgian Hare Rabbit Care | Belgian Hare Rabbit Resources


Belgian Hare Rabbit Breed Info

Belgian Hare Rabbit BreedRecognized colors:  one standard color

Size: Appears large due to long limbs, but weighs only 6-9 pounds.

National Specialty Club: belgianhareclub.com

Belgian Hare Rabbit Breed Photo Credit: parakeetwiki.com
 

 

 


Belgian Hare Rabbit Information and History

The Belgian Hare is best known for its distinctive body type and temperament, as well as its important history.  Although hares are not among the most common breeds today, if not for them we might not even have a rabbit fancy in the United States.

Prior to 1890, rabbits were not widely raised in America, and those that were usually went to feed the family.  In England, however, the rabbit show circuit had been blossoming for a while.  In 1888, the first Belgian Hares were imported.  That was when the “rabbit show bug” bit America, and the fancy took off like a shot.  Men from all over the country flocked to get their hands on some of the hares.  Companies formed for their production and dispersion.  One British shipping firm transported  6,000 hares to the United States between 1898 to 1901.  Clubs sprung up in most large cities.  Millionaires such as J. P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller became interested in promoting the hares.  Prices on show stock were exorbitant – one buck went for $5,000 in 1900! That same year, breeders in Los Angeles county alone were believed to own 60,000 Belgian Hares.  Eventually interest died down, the market became saturated, and the Belgian fell under the shadow of more popular rabbit breeds – but not before the people who raised it had developed systems of rabbit housing, standards, and tattooing, and had founded the club that would become the American Rabbit Breeders Association. 

Before coming to America, the breed did originate in Belgium but was developed into its current type in England.  Although the Belgian is not a true hare, it was bred to look like one.  Fanciers selected to produce the very long, thin body type, red-chestnut coat, and alert posture that we see in this breed  today.  When in proper position, the hare carries its body entirely off the table, standing with its limbs extended.   Unlike other full-arch breeds (such as the English Spot or Tan), the Belgian hare is not trained to run on the show table, though some judges evaluate it by letting it move naturally.   More often, the breed is posed by one of several methods.

Beautiful as they are, Belgian Hares are not the best choice for a beginning rabbit breeder.  The breed is known for delicate constitutions, flighty personalities, and limited fertility.  Teaching young hares to pose takes time and patience. However, experienced rabbit raisers can find great rewards in carrying on the legacy of such an important breed to the rabbit fancy.  One breeder named Shannon Kelly realized these rewards when her Hare won Best in Show at the Louisville ARBA Convention in 2008.


Belgian Hare Rabbit Care

Here is a list of resources to help you care for your belgian hare rabbits…


Belgian Hare Rabbit Resources

Here is a listing of belgian hare rabbit resources to help you out with your rabbit project…


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