Everything to know about Flemish Giant Rabbit
Rabbit is considered the best option for a house pet because of their attractive appearance and good behavior. If you are thinking of bringing the rabbit to your home, first you need to do a little research about it because every rabbit breeds have varied characteristics. Flemish Giant rabbit is one of the most popular breeds. Due to the large size, it is different from other rabbit breeds.
After a lot of studies, we found that this special breed needs more care than others. We recommend that you should know everything to take care of Flemish Giant Rabbit. That is why we have included all the essential things related to the care of Flemish Giant Rabbit in this article.
For example, what do they eat and how much do they eat, what can you add more to their food apart from hay, what size of cage would be appropriate for this breed, can you keep it in the cage with the smaller rabbits, what kind of behavior do they have and what are their special needs.
Flemish Giant rabbit breed history
Flemish giant rabbit is considered the oldest breed, so researchers do not have a single opinion about its origin yet. According to some researchers, they are considered to be descendants of the Patagonian or stone rabbits that were originally intended for fur and meat.
On the other side, Other researchers believe that Flemish Giant rabbits were descendants of the Argentinian Pentagonian rabbits. So researchers are searching their history for getting complete information about their origin yet.
We have received only this information about the Flemish Giant rabbit that in the 1890s this breed came from Belgium and England to America.
The National Federation of Flemish Giant Rabbit Breeders was established in 1915 while the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) was established in 1924 then the NFFGRB was made part of the ARBA. The Flemish Giant Rabbit breed is accepted by the ARBA in 1929.
Purpose of keeping Flemish Giant rabbit at home
The Flemish Giant is considered a multi-purpose rabbit that is originally used for fur and meat. However, due to large bone density, this breed is not more preferred by people for meat.
Nowadays they are kept as pets and showmanship animals because their calm nature makes them a great pet for children as well as adults. So it is best to learn everything for their proper maintenance because their life will be permanently affected without proper care and if they are happy and healthy they will definitely benefit you.
The Flemish Giant rabbit is easily identified by its name because it’s really a large breed of rabbit which looks like a medium-sized dog. As a result, they are overweight than others. The Flemish Giant rabbit generally weigh between 9 to 14 lbs. Due to the large size, you will have to spend more money and time to provide the proper care.
Their body is found in the shape of semi-arch which means that the body’s top line curve upwards at the midsection rather than behind the ears. This breed has long and erect ears which are 8 inches long. The hind legs of the Flemish Giant rabbit are very strong.
If they feel threatened or scared then they can injure you by hind legs to protect themselves. If well cared, the Flemish Giant rabbit lifespan can be up to 8 years.
Coat of Flemish Giant Rabbit Breed
The glossy, short and dense coat of this breed makes it more attractive. Due to the short coat of the rabbit, you do not have to do more grooming. However, more care is required during the spring month because during this month they shed more hairs than usual. That is why it is called shedding season. Their short fur does not so visible so they should be mostly indoors. If you find stray hairs at home, simply brush them twice a week with the help of the slicker brush.
The Flemish Giant rabbits are found in various colors such as sandy, fawn, light gray, steel grey, white, black and blue. However, only four varieties of Flemish Giant rabbits have been accepted by the ARBA while any combination of colors has not been accepted which is also known as “broken patterns”.
Care of the Flemish Giant rabbit
There is no doubt that Flemish Giant is a large rabbit. So you need to take special care of their food, shelter, grooming, and health. Safety is also essential that is necessary to apply to all aspects to keep the rabbit safe. The Flemish Giant rabbit is different from other rabbit breeds due to size so these require more care. It means that they expect more space, more food, and more grooming to stay happy and healthy.
Flemish Giant rabbit’s diet
The diet of this breed is similar to other rabbit breeds. They simply require more quantity of food because of the large size. Clean and fresh hay is the main basis of their diet so the quantity of hay should be 70% in their diet. They require 30% mixer of pellets, fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens.
You can also provide fresh fruits and vegetables such as carrots, watercress, red or green lettuce, celery, mango, and pear but only in limited quantities. Leafy greens can also be a good food item for them and provide it as long as they do not have high water content.
Provide pallets to Flemish Giant rabbits daily. Adult rabbits eat 1/4 cup of high fiber pellets daily for every 5 pounds. While you feed the rabbit, keep in mind one thing that there is a different need of the diet for a pregnant, adult or sick rabbit. So before feeding the rabbit, once you must consult your veterinarian.
Flemish Giant Shelter
You can place this special breed in any indoor or outdoor cage but the cage should be larger according to their size so that he or she may roam freely in the cage, lie down, and reach the things (hay, water, a litter box) available in the cage effortlessly. It depends on your choice to choose the indoor cage for them or the outdoor cage.
When choosing a cage for the Flemish Giant rabbit, keep in mind that stairs or ramps should not be available in the cage because they may be injured due to the large size. Also, large dog crates can also be the right choice for your rabbit in which they can hop around freely.
In either case, the bottom of the cage should be solid and need to be laid with bedding. Clean the bedding every day and replace it completely every week.
If you want to keep the Flemish Giant rabbit happy, you should provide plenty of outdoor playtime to them. Wherever you keep the rabbit cage, check the temperature of that place first because temperatures over 70 degrees Fahrenheit can be harmful to them.
This breed is not so active as other rabbits’ breeds, still, they can take full advantage of the outdoor playtime. On the other hand, there is a need to be supervised during the indoor playtime unless you provide a bunny-proof room.
As you know, the rabbits are naturally very clean so they do not need a bath. If they become dirtier then you can clean them with a damp cloth. The coat of the Flemish Giant rabbit is glossy and short that does not require much maintenance.
It’s enough to brush just once in a week except for the shedding season. You will have to brush more during the shedding season. Also, do not let the rabbit’s nails grow because the long nails can injure you during maintenance. So trim their nails carefully or you can also get help from the veterinarian.
The Flemish Giant rabbit is considered to be a social animal. If you keep them in pairs in the cage, yet they prefer to interact with you. So they like to spend time with you. Some rabbits do not like to live with other rabbits.
Therefore, you need to be careful when adding a new rabbit. If you want to keep a pair of male and female rabbits, spaying/neutering is really very important to prevent unwanted pregnancies and minimize the risk of reproductive cancer.
One of the main features of this breed is that this rabbit is not more susceptible to health problems, yet, before buying it you should aware of their health.
The Flemish Giant rabbit may have to face problems like hairballs, uterine tumors, calicivirus, myxomatosis, and overgrown teeth. You can troubleshoot the problem of overgrown teeth by feeding them a large amount of hay. Also, if you get a sign of any type of health problem, then you can get help from a veterinarian.
Temperament of the Flemish Giant rabbit
Only this is the rabbit who has been given two nicknames – the “Universal Rabbit” and the “Gentle Giant”. The “Universal Rabbit” is therefore called because of this single works for four purposes (meat, show, coat, and pet) and due to its well-mannered and docile behavior it is called “Gentle Giant”.
These rabbits may be the best option for the first-time owner, even if they are large because almost all owners like having a rabbit with low maintenance and sweet personality. Because of its friendly temperament, it is best suited for singles, couples, families with children, and first-time owners.
As you know these rabbits are large, do not let them in the hands of the children. However, when rabbits are on the ground, children can play with them.
This rabbit breed looks like a medium-sized dog so some owners say that dog harnesses fit the Flemish Giant rabbit well. Some owners like to take the rabbit out in the back or front yard on the harness and talk to them for a long time. If you keep this breed out of the cage for a long time, its personality will flourish.
Sometimes the yard is not fenced, in this situation, it is a choice that you can roam the rabbit into the courtyard by tying a lease. You should start the harness slowly so that they do not feel difficult and it is also necessary to reward them when they make progress.
Like other rabbit breeds, they also like to play with toys and when they play with toys, their personality also flourishes. You can provide them a ball, toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, cardboard boxes, and rabbit-safe wooden blocks to play.
The toys prevent rabbits from attacking the furniture and keep them busy. However, the Flemish Giant rabbit is well-mannered, so you do not face much trouble.
The main specialty of this breed is that it can live well with other animals in the house because it is so calm that other animals do not feel its presence. In many cases, it has been found that the Flemish Giant rabbit plays with the dogs. Usually, the Labradors and Golden Retrievers named dogs have been found to play with them.
This rabbit breed is considered quite intelligent than other rabbit breeds because they follow the basic commands. They are very easy to potty-train so you do not need to place extra litter boxes in the house. As a result, due to obeying the basic commands they soon establish a good relationship with the owner.
Before publishing this article, we studied very well about the Flemish Giant rabbit so that the first-time owner can be perfectly familiar with its appearance and personality traits. If you still have any questions in your mind that we should have added something else, you can drop us a comment for getting more information about the Flemish Giant rabbit.