Flemish Giant Rabbit
The Flemish Giant rabbit is the largest breed of rabbit recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association. They can easily grow to 10 pounds or more at maturity. They come in several solid colors and make excellent pets due to their mellow personality.
The roots of this breed reach all the way back to the 16th century in Belgium. Descended from an old breed known as the Steenkonijn, or Stone Rabbit and the extinct European Patagonian rabbit, the Flemish Giant has become popular for showing, too.
The breed was developed in the late 1800s in Europe and were imported to America in the 1890s. It didn't gain much notoriety until 1910, when specimens were shown at small livestock shows around the United States. By 1916, the National Federation of Flemish Giant Rabbit Breeders was formed. The breed is still not as popular as some of the smaller breeds, but they makes an impression wherever they go.
The Flemish Giant has long, upright ears and a semi-arch body shape. This means the natural arch of the spine starts behind the shoulders instead of behind the head like the commercial body type. It has a broad, massive head. Does will have a thick fold of skin under their chins called a dewlap.
The fur naturally rolls back into place when you run your hand against the way it naturally lies. They grow slowly, taking up to a year or more to reach full maturity. There have been some that have weighed 28 pounds.
The Flemish Giant rabbit is very laid back and docile, making them tolerant of handling. The tricky part comes in handling such a large rabbit. They can easily be injured by careless handling.
They need a lot of space. Cages should be extra large and have extra supports in the flooring to support their weight. They need larger nestboxes and more food than other breeds. They need basic grooming like other normal furred rabbits, including brushing while they shed and nail clipping.
For breeding, does can have their first litter between 9 months and one year of age. The first litter should be born before the rabbit is a year old to ensure the pelvis has an adequate opening for the kits. Gestation is like other rabbit breeds; between 30 and 32 days. You can expect anywhere from 5 to 12 kits in a litter. That is a lot of weight in a cage as they grow and a lot of food!
For rabbit enthusiasts who would like to raise this Flemish Giant rabbit, it is recommended that you join the national breed club mentioned above. The club will help you learn all the tips and tricks that can help you raise this breed successfully.
Get to know other breeders if you can. They can teach you a lot about the breed, from how much to feed them to supporting them properly when you pick them up. If you can find a mentor in the breed, it will help you go far with raising and showing this amazing breed.
Top of Page---> Flemish Giant Rabbit
Return to---> Rabbit Breeds
Home Page---> Rabbit Cages and Hutches
Comments? Ideas? Opinions?