History of Flemish Giant Rabbit
The Flemish Giant rabbit is undisputedly the heaviest and largest among all known breeds of rabbits in the world. The origins of the Flemish Giant breed are somewhat uncertain, but the breed was refined in Europe. In addition, the name Flemish is from Flanders. Hence, the large rabbits of Flanders may have been bred with giant Patagonia Rabbits from the Argentine Republic.
This breed was often used for food, but eventually became popular as a pet as well. They were brought to the United States in the early 1900s.
General Characteristics of Flemish Giant Rabbit Breed
- Appearance: The Flemish Giant has large, long, upright ears and semi-arch body shape and excellent muscular development. That is, 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. The female Flemish Giants (does) have a thick fold of skin under their chins called a dewlap. The fur of Flemish Giant rabbits is glossy and dense and naturally rolls back into place when the fur is stroked against the way that it naturally lies. Besides, the grey color, the Flemish Giant breed has other colours like white, black, blue and fawn steel grey.
- Growth and Weight: This breed of rabbits grows slowly as it takes up to a year for Flemish Giant rabbits to reach full maturity. The minimum weight for the buck shouldn’t be less than 5.5 kg or 12 lb. while the does shouldn’t weigh less than 6 kg or 14 lb. There have been some that have weighed 12.5 kg or 28 lb. In short, the female Flemish Giant rabbits are often heavier than the males.
- Behaviour and lifestyle: The Flemish Giant rabbit is very laid back, docile and quiet, making them tolerant of handling. The tricky part comes in handling such a large rabbit. They can easily be injured by careless handling. Besides, they are usually fearful when they are not handled correctly or responsibly. 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 nest boxes and more food than other breeds. They need basic grooming like other normal furred rabbits, including brushing while they shed and nail clipping.
- Reproduction: 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!
- Purpose: They fit into pet, show and meat rabbit classes.
For rabbit enthusiasts who would like to raise this Flemish Giant rabbit, it is recommended that you learn all the tips and tricks that can help you raise rabbits successfully.
Profile Summary of Harlequin Rabbit Breed
|Breed Name||Flemish Giant Rabbit|
|Country of Origin||Suspected to be from Argentina|
|Purpose||Show, Meat and Pet|
|Body Size||Medium to large|
|Body Weight||Minimum of 5.5 kg or 12 lb.|
|Litter size||5 - 12 kits|
|Breed Rarity||Common breed|
|Tolerance||Can tolerance any kind of climate|
|Color Varieties||Grey, white, black, blue and fawn steel grey|