Flemish Giant Rabbits: Care and Breeding

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Flemish Giant Rabbits

What are Flemish Giant Rabbits?

Flemish Giant Rabbits are one of the largest and oldest recognized rabbit breeds. It is also known as the king of rabbits due to his big size, personality, and longevity.

Their meat and fur are also commercially produced. Now, they are used as a pet, meat, show animal, and breed, thus the other name, Universal Rabbit.

BREED: Flemish Giants

OTHER NAMES: King of Rabbits, Universal Rabbits, Gentle Giants

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Oryctolagus cuniculus

ORIGIN: Flanders, Belgium

SIZE: Large

COLOR: Blue, Black, Light Gray, Sandy, Fawn, Steel Gray, and White

Breed Origin of Flemish Giant Rabbits

There are different opinions with regard to the actual origin of this giant rabbit breed. Some believed that the Flemish Giant Rabbits originate from Patagonia.

However, it is acknowledged that these large yet docile rabbits were adopted and disseminated from Flanders in the 16th century.

The first authentic record of the occurrence of these rabbits was recorded in 1860. News spread throughout England that time about an enormous size rabbit raised in Flanders and France.

At that time, they were one of the most common utility breeds in Europe for meat and fur.

In the nineteenth century, they were raised to a strict pedigree. After some time, they were already cross-bred; thus, the wide array of colors.

Flemish Giant Characteristics

Physical Description of a Flemish Giant Bunny

Aside from being distinguished as the largest breeds of rabbits which could go as long as 30 inches and could weight around 10 to 20 pounds, Flemish Giants also have the semi-arch body type, one of the few breeds acknowledged by American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA).

They have a long, well-proportioned, muscular, and powerful semi-arch body. Their ears are erect with a hefty base that could elongate up to 6 inches, according to breed standards.

Their furs are thick and glossy and rollback after being stroked from tail to head.

Giant Flemish Rabbit Colors

The National Federation of Flemish Giant Rabbit Breeders in the United States only recognized these seven colors of Flemish Giant Rabbits.

  • Blue – dark blue coat with bluish-gray eyes.
  • Black – solid black coat with brown eyes.
  • Light gray – Light gray coat with black ticking tips and eyes that are colored brown.
  • Sandy – a coat that is Reddish sandy with dark ticking and eyes that are brown in color.
  • Fawn – a coat that is somewhat light gold with a white undercarriage and brown- colored eyes.
  • Steel Gray – a coat that is charcoal gray with the ticking of light gray and brown eyes.
  • White – solid white coat with pink-colored eyes.

Size of Flemish Bunnies

Flemish Giant Rabbits are known to be large-sized. They can reach up to 30 inches long.

In fact, a Flemish Giant has been recognized by the Guinness World Records as the longest rabbit with a length of 51 inches.

Weight of Flemish Giant Rabbits

If you prefer a giant rabbit, then Flemish rabbits are an excellent choice. They are big-sized rabbits that weigh around 15 pounds on average.

According to ARBA or the American Rabbit Breeders Association, Flemish Giants don’t have maximum weight. The heaviest recorded weight of a Flemish Giant Rabbit was 22 pounds.

Flemish Giant Temperament

Flemish Giants are also known as Gentle Giants mainly because of their docile nature. These pet rabbits make excellent companions and adorable family pets.

When kept inside the house, they usually hop around and sit comfortably on anybody’s laps. These rabbits can also be litter trained by using a litter box.

They could also easily get edgy when they are handled improperly, though and will bite and may even cause serious scratches whenever they feel the urge to fight.

Therefore, children must be supervised all the time whenever you plan to raise a gentle giant in your home.

Flemish Giant Personality

Despite their enormous size, Flemish Giants are known to be laid-back and docile in nature. They adore their owners and are very friendly with kids.

They also love attention and even sit on the laps of their owners. Flemish Giant Rabbits are still rabbits who easily become wary in new environments.

At first, they will try to get used to the new set-up and assess if something or someone is a threat to their existence. Try to earn their trust by slowly moving around your pet rabbit and respecting your pet’s space and desires.

They are pliant and can be easily trained inside the house. Just try to get to know your pet rabbit to make their personality shine through.

Male and female difference

With just one glance, you can already differentiate a male Flemish Giant Rabbit from a female Flemish Giant Rabbit, without the need to examine their genitals.

Male Flemish Giant Rabbits or bucks have broader heads than the female Flemish Giant Rabbits. They can also weigh up to 22 pounds, two pounds more than their female counterparts.

Female Flemish Giants, on the other hand, have large, fur-coated skin or dewlaps just below their chins. These dewlaps are used by the female Flemish Giants to warm their baby bunnies.

Female Flemish Giants could weigh up to 20 pounds.

Flemish Giant Care and Health Concerns

Flemish Giant Rabbits have thick and glossy fur, making them prone to fur mites and ear mites. Therefore, you have to regularly check behind their ears or their furry body.

In case you noticed the presence of ear mites and fur mites on your furry friend, then immediately go to a vet to have it checked and treated.

During summer, Flemish Giants cannot handle the heat well because of their thick furs. You may need to keep your rabbit pet in an air-conditioned room or a well-ventilated area with fans.

You must also offer frozen water bottles for your rabbit friend. If kept inside a cage, you must provide a much bigger area for your Flemish Giant Rabbits than the smaller breeds due to their massive size.

Their size will increase rapidly in the first sixth months of life and when they become older, they are more prone to obesity and all the risk factors that come with it.

Thus, avoid giving them too many treats and provide a bigger size pen with large doors for them to hop around and exercise.

Rabbits that have larger built are also predisposed to sore hocks, a disorder usually caused by standing in unsanitary conditions or wire floors. Hence, floors must be cleaned and well-maintained regularly to prevent rabbits from contracting this disease.

Flemish can also develop health concern common with other rabbit breeds which includes malocclusion, respiratory disease, GI stasis, and uterine cancer. Rabbits are also prone to develop back injury if they are mishandled or accidentally dropped because of their size.

They are also predisposed to heatstroke because of their large and furry body. Make sure they stay in an area where it is not too humid and under 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is a must to know these signs of heatstroke such as lethargy, rapid breathing, excessive salivation, ears are going red, and convulsion.

It is best to know your pet rabbits well to recognize when they aren’t feeling better; for early diagnosis and treatment will make a big difference in the recovery of your pet rabbits.

Also, you must talk first with Flemish Giant rabbit breeders in your area, before you decide to bring one to your home, as they need a lot of work. These breeders may give you helpful insights regarding pet care.

Flemish Giant Grooming

 

Flemish Giant Rabbits have short, thick, and glossy hair. Thus, it only needs minor grooming once a week to maintain the good shape of the coat.

Use a slicker brush to comb your gentle giant’s hair. If your Flemish Giant is molting, then you need to brush two times a week.

Rabbits usually shed their coat two times in a year: in spring and fall. The exact time will vary depending on the animal.

Also, their nails should be trimmed intermittently. Usually, rabbit nails wear off naturally from hopping or exercise.

 

Because of their enormous size, Flemish Giants consume a lot of food. Their diet must include large amounts of hay and water and high-quality rabbit pellets.

Flemish Giant Feeding

Some Flemish Giant breeders suggest free-feeding your gentle giants with high-quality, commercialized rabbit pellets, as they don’t have the tendency to overeat.

Others also recommend feeding them freely until they reach their first year, then give them a quarter cup of pellets for every five pounds of weight.

You could also give them:

  • carrots
  • parsley
  • cabbage
  • romaine lettuce
  • potatoes
  • corn
  • yams
  • beets
  • papaya
  • pineapple
  • strawberries
  • cantaloupe

But, be sure to introduce them one at a time until their digestive system could accommodate them well.

Vegetables should be given at a proportion of two to four cups daily for every five pounds of weight. Fruits could only be given in small amounts one or two times a week, according to rabbit breeders.

Put a big water bottle in their cage so that they can easily drink or replenish as needed.

Flemish Giant Rabbit Lifespan

Flemish Giants are a healthy breed. With occasional veterinary visits and proper care, they are expected to live around eight to ten years.

Giant Flemish Cost

Flemish Giants usually cost around $20 to $50. However, show-quality Flemish Giants may cost more with up to $300 or more.

Giant Flemish Cost

You can also tap a reliable Flemish Giant website for breeders to help distinguish the costs of housing, food, and accessories for breeding a Flemish Giant.

You roughly spend $665 per year for one Flemish Giant Rabbit and $2700 for a show-quality rabbit.

Related Questions

How big does a Flemish giant rabbit get?

Flemish Giant Rabbits are the largest Breed of Rabbit. The female Flemish Giant rabbit can weigh up 20 pounds while male Flemish Giant rabbits can get up to 22 pounds.

They can reach up to 30 inches long. In fact, a Flemish Giant has been recognized by the Guinness World Records as the longest rabbit with a length of 51 inches.

How much is a flemish giant rabbit?

The price of the rabbits depends on the quality and age of Flemish Giant. A Flemish Giant used as a pet without pedigree will cost about $20 to $50.

The breeding-quality Flemish Giant can cost up to $50 to $100. On the other hand, show-quality rabbits could price up to $75 to $300 or more.

How long does a flemish giant rabbit live?

Flemish Giants could live up to 5 years or up to teenage years with occasional veterinarian visits, diet, and quality care. A female Flemish Giant or doe can reach maturity within one year while a male Flemish Giant or buck takes one and a half years.

Where can you buy a flemish giant rabbit?

Flemish Giant rabbits are a common breed; hence, you can easily buy them on pet stores. You can also look at Flemish Giant breeders or owners online if they are selling.

How many years does it take for a flemish giant rabbit to get to full size?

Typically, Flemish Giants could already weigh 14 pounds on their nine months or one year. They usually reach their maximum weight when they are 1.5 years old.

Breeders or owners should delay breeding until their rabbit is almost one-year-old.

Do Giant Flemish Rabbits make good pets?

Flemish Giants, despite their massive size, are naturally docile and make good buddies and adorable family pets. When kept inside the house, they usually hop around and sit comfortably on the laps of their owners.

They are also pliable and can easily be trained. You can litter train them with a litter box.

Are Flemish Giants friendly?

Flemish giants are called gentle giants because of their docile nature. They are one of the calmest and most friendly breeds of rabbits.

They are very friendly with their owners and with other pets, making them ideal as a home pet.

What size cage does a Flemish giant need?

Breeders agreed that the minimum cage size of Flemish Giants on a 3ft x 4ft and may extend a few inches on each side. This is only applicable for single rabbits.

However, for nursing, size should be twice the average.

How high can a flemish giant jump?

Flemish Giants can jump high up to three feet. They can even jump higher than 3 feet.

Therefore, in building a pen for these gentle giants, you have to keep it as tall as four feet or even more in order to keep them inside.

Do Flemish Giants dig?

All rabbits are fond of digging, so as the Flemish Giants. Being large, Flemish Giants can cause greater damage when digging.

How fast do Flemish giants grow?

Flemish Giants reach their maximum weight when they are 1.5 years old.

Can Flemish giants live indoors?

Allow your Flemish Giant to live indoors.

Flemish Giants can live indoors as they are docile in nature and can easily be trained. Gradually train your Flemish Giants inside your house and allow him/her to adapt to the new environment.

You must also provide plenty of space for your Flemish to move around and exercise. You can also consider putting up a collapsible pen, aside from his cage, for your pet to roam around.

What is the difference between Flemish Giant and Continental Giant?

Flemish Giants have different characteristics; It has a narrower head as compared to Continental Giant’s blockier and large head. Flemish also has a pointed muzzle and shorter and narrower erect ears.

On the other hand, the Continental Giants’ ears have rounded tips, wider in the center, and extends up to 25% of total body length. Their legs are heavy, thick, powerful and quite shorter as compared to Flemish Giants.

As to colors, Arba recognized seven distinct colors for Flemish including:

  • Blue
  • Black
  • Light Gray
  • Sandy
  • Fawn
  • Steel Gray
  • White

While Continental Giant colors are:

  • Red Agouti
  • Chestnut Agouti
  • Chinchilla
  • Black
  • Yellow
  • Opal
  • White with Blue or Red eyes as recognized by BRC.

Related Article: Lionhead Rabbits, perfect for anyone who wants a domestic pet?

Can Flemish Giant Rabbits be house trained?

The Flemish Giant is a very friendly breed of rabbit. He wants to be a part of the family, so it is better to keep him inside the house.

Flemish Giants are smart and pliable, thus, they can be easily trained to litter-train. Just place a litter box inside the pen, and he will be accustomed to it.

Also, train your Flemish on how to interact with people, especially with kids. This will ensure that your rabbit will not be easily wary of others’ presence.

Final Thoughts

Owning or breeding a Flemish Giant may seem easy and fun because of their docile attitude, however, it entails a lot of hard work and patience.

Therefore, it is a must to talk with trusted Flemish Giant breeders to give you an idea of the cost, care, and maintenance of this furry bunny.

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