There are several rabbits used for pets, and all are different in breed, size, and personality. For instance, you could choose to have a lionhead rabbit, a dutch rabbit, a holland lop rabbit, or a dwarf rabbit as your pet; however, you should choose a flemish giant rabbit if you’re looking for a unique pet rabbit.
Flemish giant rabbits are as their name suggests. They are larger in size than regular rabbits and may look a little strange when you see them for the first time. However, they make great pets and are easy to fall in love with. Flemish giant rabbits have similar basic needs as regular rabbits.
The only difference is that they require more food, attention, and bigger living spaces than regular rabbits. For instance, you may have to buy bigger hutches and more hay than you usually do if you have smaller rabbits. Additionally, they may also require more veterinary care.
Although the rabbits are friendly and easy-going, they could turn aggressive when mishandled. Additionally, the rabbits are prone to obesity, snuffles, and sore hocks when not cared for properly. This article provides information on caring for your Flemish giant rabbits and various fun facts about the breed.
Flemish Giant Rabbit History
The Flemish giant rabbit is an older breed that dates back to the 16th century in Northern Belgium, known then as Flanders. The Belgians combined various fur and meat rabbits to create a flemish giant rabbit with both qualities. The rabbits are bigger with more meat and fur. Their first record as a breed was in 1860, and their breeding standards were recorded in 1883.
People exported rabbits in the 1890s to the United States, where more people were interested in rabbit husbandry. The rabbits’ popularity soared in 1910 when they started appearing in livestock shows and fairs. Today, most people keep rabbits as a pet; however, some still grow them as a source of meat.
How Big are Flemish Giant Rabbits?
Flemish giant rabbits are big, and some breed members can grow as big as a medium-sized dog like the Shetland Sheepdog. Average Flemish giant rabbits weigh up to 15 pounds or 6.8 kilograms; however, the breed can get larger and weigh more, with some reaching up to 22 pounds or 10 kilograms.
Flemish giants’ bodies are long and muscular. They have wide hindquarters, and people consider them a “semi-arch” breed. This means that their spine is noticeable; however, they don’t have an extreme arch. The rabbits have a thick, glossy, “rollback” type, dense coat, and the American Rabbit Breeders Association recognizes the breed’s seven coat colors:
- Steel gray
- Light gray
Flemish giant does, and bucks have a couple of different characteristics. For instance, the Flemish giant doe has a full dewlap, while bucks have a larger and broader head. The giants take up to one and a half years to fully mature.
Are Flemish Giant Rabbits Friendly?
Most people describe the Fleming giant rabbit as a gentle giant. The rabbit tends to be sweet-natured, calm, and docile as a breed; however, their personalities may vary. Additionally, the rabbit’s background could influence its behavior and how they interact with you and your family. Generally, they make excellent family pets.
The rabbits are intelligent, and you could train them to use a litter box like most rabbits. They can also learn tricks, and their size makes it easier for them to live with other animals. Their temperament makes giant flemish rabbits friendly with other rabbits and pets.
Regardless, they are still rabbits and could be prey to other animals. They may sometimes become frightened or nervous despite their size and could scratch, kick, and bite. You must take special care of them since they are muscular and large enough to do some damage if they feel threatened.
What Should You Feed a Flemish Giant Rabbit?
Similar to other rabbits, Flemish giant rabbits should eat a diet of fresh grass and hay. Most experts recommend that owners follow these dietary parameters when feeding their friendly giants.
- The rabbit should eat enough grass equal to their weight daily.
- Additionally, you should feed them the best hay making it a minimum of 70% of the rabbit’s daily diet.
- You should also give them 18% protein pellets; they shouldn’t make up more than a third of their daily diet.
- You should keep the rabbit’s treats at 10% or lower.
Additionally, you should ensure that the rabbit has plenty of fresh water for proper hydration and to keep them away from excessive heat. The rabbits have a huge appetite, and you can supplement their diet with various fruits and vegetables, including:
- Mustard greens
- Radish tops
- Dandelion greens
- Carrot tops
Caring for Flemish Giant Rabbits
Caring for your Flemish giant rabbits properly can help your rabbit live a full 10-year life. You should groom the rabbit weekly and look for wounds, scratches, or cuts. You should also check the rabbit’s ears and eyes for discharge. Also, look out for signs of flystrike.
Check your rabbit’s backside since feces and urine could attract flies and irritate their skin. Take care of your rabbit, especially if they are injured or old, since they may have trouble grooming themselves. You should never bathe them. Instead, brush their fur weekly and trim their nails monthly.
How to Handle your Flemish Giant Rabbit
You should handle your Flemish giant rabbit with care since they are delicate. Their bones can break easily, and they may injure themselves trying to escape. They like interacting with people and cuddling and gentle strokes. Avoid picking them up unless you have to.
Several factors affect a rabbit’s lifespan; however, most neutered and spayed domestic rabbits live for 6 to 13 years.
Rabbits often thump their feet when they feel nervous about a threat or unfamiliar sound. They’ll keep thumping their feet until they feel the threat has passed.
Own a Flemish Giant Rabbit
Flemish giant rabbits are the most amazing animals you’d want as pets. The rabbits are gentle, adorable, and friendly. However, you should take time to understand how to care for and handle them. Otherwise, you are good to go. What made you choose a Flemming giant rabbit as your pet?
I have always loved rabbits. A rabbit was my very first pet. Since owning my first rabbit I have gone on to own many more. I look forward to being able to get my kids their very own pet rabbits.