Learn more about the Flemish Giant Rabbit Breed. Discover cool facts, pictures, resources and find information about caring for Flemish Giant Rabbits.
This rabbit breed information page is part of our rabbit breeds article series.
Table of Contents:
- Breed Info
- Breed Varieties and Colors
- Weight and Size
- Caring for Pets
- Cages and Supplies
- How to Breed for Show
- Breed Resources
- Locating a Breeder
Flemish Giant Rabbit Breed Info
Recognized colors: Black, Blue, Fawn, Light Gray, Sandy, Steel Gray, White
Size: Minimum of 13-14 pounds
National Specialty Club:
Flemish Giant Rabbit Breed Photo Credit:
Flemish Giant Rabbit Information and History
Are you planning to buy a rabbit but want something different from the conventional? Rabbits are great pets, they are fun, affectionate, soft and easy to care for. However, they are not all the same. The Flemish giant rabbit is special and one of the largest breeds.
In addition, there is a difference in weight between males and females, males tend to be larger. The Flemish giant rabbit has a distinctive head and V-shaped long ears. In general, it is a rabbit with peculiar characteristics: it has an arched shape and a rounded tail. Its fur is smooth and of medium length.
Do not mistake the large size of this rabbit with a tough and brave character. It is a docile animal. Also, unlike other rabbit breeds, which are active, this giant rabbit is calm. It does not like to run or jump instead it prefers the quiet life and spends most of the time lying down resting. This is probably because moving around is taxing for a rabbit of its size.
Like all rabbits, this breed needs a sizable cage that is comfortable and adapted to its size so that it moves freely and does not become stressed. The animal’s diet must be healthy and balanced. It should cover the rabbit’s nutritional needs and promote good health, preventing obesity and many other diseases.
This breed has a long history, which can be traced back several hundred years. Its first records go back to the 16th century and to the city of Ghent in Belgium. However, some authors say that the first giant rabbits did not appear until the 19th century.
They were created through the hybridization of other ancient breeds, which are now extinct. Originally, rabbits were bred to provide meat and skin.
In the nineteenth century, this rabbit variety became a rage and was exported to the United Kingdom and America. However, its popularity waned in the 1900s. Although many people are still fascinated by the breed not everyone remembers that it exists. The largest living rabbits belong to this breed, which in turn is part of the same species as the rest of common rabbits, Oryctolagus cuniculus. The record is held by Darius, a rabbit that weighed 50 pounds and measured four inches in 2010.
Interesting Facts about the Breed
The Flemish is one of the breeds of domestic rabbits that is most impressive thanks to the enormous size. Its peculiar jowl and large, elongated ears are peculiar. These characteristics are synonymous with the physiology of the breed. The males are somewhat larger than the females, which is unusual in other rabbit varieties. Despite its imposing size, this breed is quite calm and docile.
They do not usually run or jump from one side to another but prefer lying in any corner of their cage. They are calm animals despite their size. Even so, it is necessary to remove them from the enclosure at least a few minutes a day for some exercise. This helps keep the muscles toned.
These pets are common in countries located in northern Europe. Their great adaptability and resistance have made them popular in many rural areas. The required level of care is similar to other breeds, although breeders should provide a little more food. However, over-feeding this Flemish rabbits can lead to overweight issues. At least one veterinary check-up per year is required to prevent the onset of diseases.
Breed Varieties and Colors
The most common colors associated with the breed include blue, fawn, sandy, white, black and gray. These colors are officially recognized by the American Rabbit Breed Association (ARBA). This limited variety of colors is mainly due to the fact that the breed is not highly commercialized. Breeders have not shown much interest in selecting a wide range of coat shades.
Weight and Size
Generally, breeds of standard size do not exceed eight pounds in weight yet the Flemish breed weighs between 15 and 22 pounds. That is a lot of weight for a rabbit, which is the equivalent to that of a smaller breed dog.
The average lifespan for Flemish giant rabbits is seven years. The animals are popular pets on farms around the world for its enormous size and good temperament. You can never force a Flemish to play if it does not want to get up and stretch the legs. This big lazy rabbit needs a lot of room to move but you will usually find it lying down to rest.
Litter size for a Giant
If you do plan to breed your rabbit, you should know some things about the litter size for the Flemish. The average size for a Flemish is about 6-10 kits however that number can be much larger. Some Giants have been known to have litters as large as 15-19 kits.
Make sure you have a plan of how you will care for this number of rabbits or that you have a plan in place to adopt them out. Once these animals reach adolescence and eventually adulthood, they will need far more space. Having one rabbit requires a substantial amount of exercise and living area. Having 4-5 would require substantially more.
Caring for pet Flemish Giant Rabbits
The feeding requirements of the giant Flemish rabbit is similar to other breeds but the amount of food required is higher. They are sedentary pets that do not move much, so you have to avoid excessive consumption of high-calorie foods. It is essential to opt for a diet with a wide variety of nutrients. In addition, they should eat hay regularly to improve their digestive system.
The temperament of this rabbit is calm and extremely docile, so it can relate to both people and other animals. However, you must be careful when pairing because some pets can be unruly than others. In some cases, the giant rabbit can be elusive and you have to approach it slowly and carefully to avoid making it feel threatened. You will often find it lying down and as a rule, these rabbits move slowly.
Flemish Giant Cages / Supplies
The important aspect of Flemish giant rabbit cages is space. You have to choose the largest cages in pet stores. If you find them too small, look for special field hutches or aviaries with suitable dimensions. Check if the cages designed for other pets can be used since they typically have a much larger size. It should be noted that hygiene is also essential. Make an effort to clean the cage every week to prevent build up of moisture and excrement.
To provide proper care, it is essential to offer a large cage. Conventional rabbit cages are not appropriate and it is necessary to resort to giant rabbit hutches or large aviaries. The cage should be more horizontal than vertical with few slopes.
Metal cages are suitable only for indoor breeding; in the open air, they are cold and the little ones will not resist. Wood: rabbits are rodents and attack uprights and walls; it will be necessary to give them branches to gnaw.
Cage equipment should include a grass and forage rack – a feed and pellet feeder and an easy-to-clean drinking trough. It is necessary to provide a flat box where the rabbit can make its nest and the young ones will be sheltered from the cold.
How to Breed Flemish Giant Rabbits for Show
If you plan on breeding your rabbit for show, there are some specific tasks you need to perform.
First you have to decide which colors of rabbits you want to breed for show purposes. You cannot cross breed colors or you’ll end up with results you don’t want.
After you’ve decided on the color variety, you need to get a male and female that can be bred to produce the colors you want. This is an important step because you’ll need to get a written piece of paper called a pedigree which lists information about that particular rabbit. It typically includes the rabbits name, the breeder it came from, and other basic information like color, weight, DOB, etc. This information is important as it tracks the lineage of the rabbit which will be needed in any show you enter your rabbit in. Avoid buying from breeders who cannot product this information.
The best thing you can do if you’re interested in breeding and showing your Flemish (or for care resources) is to check out these clubs, associations, and websites for more detailed information.
-The American Rabbit Breeders Association or ARBA
– The ARBA Facebook page
– The British Rabbit Council
– National federation of Flemish Giant Rabbit Breeders
Buying a Flemish Giant
When you’re ready to by a Flemish Giant, check out RabbitBreeders.us for information, pricing, and breeders that specialize in selling these breeds.
Flemish Giant Price
You can get a Flemish Giant without pedigree for around 40- 50 dollars. With pedigree you’re looking at around 50 -300 dollars with the higher end containing show-quality rabbits. The lower end rabbits are known as pet-quality or ‘parts rabbit’. They are considered ok for breeding but there are no guarantees of quality.
Locating a Flemish Giant Rabbit Breeder
You can locate a breeder online at RabbitBreeders.us. There are tons of listings for Flemish Giants for sale from reputable breeders that can answer your questions, provide pedigree documents, and sell you a very fine Flemish Giant Rabbit.
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