There is something special about the giant rabbit breeds. They seem to be like big cuddly teddy bears in rabbit clothing. While the rabbit may not appreciate it, there is something about them that makes us want to grab hold of them and snuggle. All of these breeds make excellent show prospects or pets, though one may require a more experienced rabbit owner.
Giant rabbits include Flemish Giants, French Lops, Checkered Giants, and Giant Chinchillas. These rabbits all weigh over 13 pounds at maturity, with the exception of the Checkered, which top out at 12 pounds. Some of these breeds easily make it to 20 pounds or more.
Checkered Giants are known for their distinctive markings. Bred primarily for show, this breed comes in both black and blue varieties. Their bodies are mostly white with patches of color over the hips, a stripe down the middle of their spine, dark ears, dark nose, thick rings around the eyes and small cheek patches.
They have an active personality and should be kept by experienced rabbit owners due to their behavior. They are one of the few breeds shown actively running back and forth on the judging table.
The Giant Chinchilla tops out between 13 and 16 pounds. They were bred for their beautiful pelt and meat producing qualities. This is a rare breed that needs attention to bring it back to popularity. They are the only breed judged on its commercial value rather than body type. Chinchillas are a beautiful silvery gray color with black tips on some of the hairs. This creates a salt and pepper look, like the chinchilla fur coats they are named after.
The French Lop is the largest lop eared rabbit. They mature at 11 pounds and larger. Eleven pounds is considered small. French Lops have pleasant personalities and love to play. At maturity, the French Lop looks massive. Many develop loose folds of skin that resemble bloomers or dust ruffles, making them appear even larger. They make excellent house rabbits due to their docile nature. French Lops come in many different colors, including spotted patterns known as brokens.
The Flemish Giant is the largest rabbit breed. It was bred originally in the 16th century in Belgium. This breed regularly tops 20 pounds in weight at maturity. Some Flemish have weighed in at 28 pounds.
They come in black, blue, fawn, sandy, white, steel gray and light gray. Flemish are placid rabbits with a laid back personality. Due to their weight, they do need to be handled properly so they don't get injured. They also require cages with extra structure to the floors to give them adequate support.
All giant breeds of rabbits should not be bred until they are older. Some of these breeds reach maturity around 9 months of age, while Flemish can take up to an entire year to mature. Anyone who wants to breed these breeds should be prepared to offer plenty of space. These large rabbits need a large area to stretch out.
They also eat more than smaller breeds and require stronger cages to support their greater weights. Nestboxes will have to be larger as well. Most giant rabbits have large litters ranging from 6 to 12 kits. Brood cages must be large enough to accommodate a growing litter of these animals.
Giant rabbits eat the same things as smaller rabbits, just more of it. Commercial pellet feeds, hay and fresh grasses and herbs are excellent foods for these breeds. Larger breeds are not as agile as the smaller breeds, so don't worry about giving them steps to sit on in their cages. They are more prone to injury than smaller breeds when trying to maneuver through obstacles.
All the giant breeds can happily live indoors or out. Like other breeds, they require shelter from sun and rain when outdoors. When indoors, they need supervision when out and about. They do work out quite well indoors because they are so calm and quiet. Some owners talk about their giant rabbits that curl around their feet during their exercise time.
Top of Page---> Giant Rabbit
Back to Rabbit Breeds
Return to Home Page---> Rabbit Cages and Hutches
Comments? Ideas? Opinions?