When we talk about the rabbit, the first image that comes to our mind is of a small, cute bunny eating carrot. But not all rabbits are small. Today, the rabbit we are going to talk about is a very large domestic rabbit breed namely the Flemish giant rabbit. Different from normal or we can ideal small rabbit breeds, this rabbit breed is considered the largest domestic rabbit breed. The Flemish giant rabbit can reach up to the length of 2.5 feet and weigh around 15 pounds and this is why often mistakenly perceived as a dog at first glance.
Here in this guide, we are going to discuss the physical appearance of the Flemish giant rabbits, their history, the temperament of the Flemish giant rabbits, the feeding habit of the Flemish giant bunny, their caring guide, grooming guide, housing, handling, and many more.
History of the Flemish Giant Rabbit Breed
The origin of the Flemish giant rabbit breed is considered to be from the 16th century. The breed is one of the oldest domestic rabbit breeds. The breed is known to originate in Flanders near the city of Ghent. This breed is considered to be descended from several fur and meat-producing breeds. The Flemish giant rabbit is considered to have resulted from the mating of stone rabbit (Steenkonijn) and European Patagonian breed which has now extinct from the world.
The Flemish giant rabbits is considered to be the ancestor of several domestic rabbit breed all around the world including the Belgian Hare. The breed, in the beginning, was originally grown for meat purposes but later it evolved as a great fur-producing breed and also an excellent domestic rabbit breed.
This breed started getting attention in around 1910 where it was first presented in the small livestock shows. Now the Flemish giant rabbit has gained much attention and is popularly presented in several shows because of its giant size and variety of colors.
The Physical Appearance of the Flemish Giant Rabbits
The breed despite its large look is still cute and adorable. The Flemish giant rabbit is a massive rabbit breed that can achieve a weight of around 15 pounds and can grow up to the length of 2.5 feet. The males in this breed are larger in comparison to females and they have broader heads.
In a female Flemish giant rabbit, there is present a dewlap which is a large fold of skin present below the chin. The utility of dewlap in female Flemish giant rabbits is to keep the young one warm,
As per the breed standard, an ideal Flemish giant rabbit has a nice and large-shaped head, powerful and long body, erect ears, rounded rump, and evenly colored coat. The breed has thick and glossy fur and this fur coat comes in a variety of colors in this Flemish giant rabbit breed. The National Federation of Flemish giant rabbits breeders in the USA have recognized seven different fur coat colors in this rabbit and these include blue, black, light gray, fawn, white, steel gray, and sandy colors.
How Big is the Flemish Giant Rabbits?
When we talk about the giant size of the Flemish giant rabbit breed, many of us have excitement to know how big this breed can be. Well, the Flemish giant rabbit has won the award of being the largest domestic rabbit breed and thus you can imagine how big it can be.
In general, the size of the Flemish giant rabbit is around 2.5 feet but the length of the longest rabbit in this breed is measured around 1.3 meters which are 4 feet and 3 inches. Similarly, the average weight of this rabbit breed is 15 pounds but they can go up to 10 kg which is 22 pounds.
The Temperament of the Flemish Giant Rabbit Breed
Because of their big size, the breed is often mis-considered to be aggressive and difficult to handle. But in contrast, this large rabbit breed is very calm and easy to handle. Though there is a need for frequent human interaction, one can train this rabbit breed to be tolerant and docile.
In case of mishandling, this Flemish giant rabbits breed can become fearful and in some chances aggressive as well. This is why only the potential owner who is having good experience in handling rabbits should go for taming this giant rabbit breed. Also, children should be allowed to play with this breed under supervision only.
Caring Guide for Flemish Giant Rabbit Breed
Though they are a large rabbit breed but require proper care. Here is the caring guide for the Flemish Giant rabbit breed:
Housing Requirement for the Flemish Giant Rabbit Breed
Since they are giant in size and thus require a large spacing in order to move freely in the caze. There is a requirement of a large caze in order to allow the bunny for fully physical movement.
As per the recommendation of the Housing rabbit society, the Flemish giant rabbit breed should be housed in a very large pan or a room in the house. In comparison to the rabbit cage, the large dog caze are more appropriate for this breed.
The space requirement of the Flemish giant rabbit breed is around 5 square feet of floor space. But the space requirement may increase with the increase in the size of the rabbit.
Caze with improper wiring is not recommended as it might harm the foot of this large bunny. The owner should cover the base with a soft resting board and proper bedding in order to avoid sore hocks to this large rabbit breed.
This breed is more sensitive to hot and warm weather thus needs to be housed in a colder part of the house. Arranging coolers and Air condition are great to keep the breed happy and easy.
What to Feed the Flemish Giant Rabbit?
Since the Flemish giant rabbit breed is big in size, they require a larger quantity of feeding requirement in comparison to small rabbit breeds. The feeding stuff can be the same as for the small rabbit breed but in larger quantity in order to match their large size.
The best diet for the Flemish giant rabbits breed should include a larger quantity and proportion of hay along with other nutrients and some occasional treats. The rabbit in their growing period should be provided with a high protein diet which should compose at least 16% of the diet in order to ensure proper gaining of bone mass. Also, the protein diet should be continued in later stages of growth as well for enabling the rabbit to gain proper muscle mass as well.
The Flemish giant rabbit breed can be provided with cabbage, vegetables, carrot, broccoli, also. Apples and other treats can also be given to this giant rabbit breed in smaller or a bit more amounts without any harm to the health of the animal.
The breed continues growing up to the age of 1.5 years and during these times, they require a lot of food. When the female delivered the litter, all the kid bunnies along with the mother should be provided with a large quantity of feed along with plenty of water.
This giant rabbit breed is also prone to obesity in the case of overfeeding. Obesity is risky in this breed as it might lead to the development of several health issues in the breed. So, the treats to the breed should be given in moderate or fewer amounts. When you notice obesity in the breed, avoid giving a calorie-rich treat to the breed. Instead start offering crunchy vegetables like cabbage, carrots in small amounts as treats.
Grooming Requirement for the Flemish Giant Rabbit Breeds
Like other rabbits, because of their short hairs, they require mild attention towards the grooming need. In the shedding season during the spring and autumn, they might show little shedding.
The Lifespan of the Flemish Giant Rabbit
The lifespan of the Flemish giant rabbit is between 8 to 10 years. With proper care, it is possible to increase the average age of the animal. But in any disease condition and mishandling, the age might decrease as well.
Price for a Flemish Giant Rabbit
The cost for this giant rabbit is usually around $20 to $50. But the price may increase depending on the variety of the breed. The show-quality Flemish giant rabbits breed can cost up to $300.
Precautions while Handling the Flemish Giant Rabbits Breed
Despite their large size, giant rabbits are often delicate and complex. The breed is more prone to digestive upsets and thus needs to focus more on the feeding requirement of the breed. The new food should be introduced gradually and this will help the bunny to adjust the digestion of the new food.
They are also prone to obesity and thus should be given the calorie-rich treat in a limited amount only. Though they love sugar-rich sweet treats and fruits just like we do, but should be given in a moderate amount in order to control obesity issues.
Handling of the Flemish Giant Rabbit Breeds
They are a delicate and soft breed and in case of mishandling, the bones of this breed can break very easily. The spines and the hind limb bones are particularly more susceptible to fracture in this breed. They are very timid type as well and can hurt themselves in order to escape when they perceive danger. Thus a potential owner having the experience of handling a large rabbit breed should tame this breed.
The Bottom Line
Though having a big bunny is big fun but is a great responsibility as well. The owner needs to meet the caring, feeding, housing, and especially the handling requirement of this giant but delicate rabbit breed.
I hope this guide is helpful for those who are planning to add a Flemish giant rabbit to their family. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to ask us via the comment section below.