Flemish Giant Rabbit- The Guide You Needed!
Do you want a flemish giant rabbit as your pet? This article mentioned all the care tips and important features of flemish giant rabbit for you to understand.
Flemish giant rabbit is much bigger as compared to an average rabbit that you might have owned or seen somewhere as a pet. They might appear a bit strange to you in the beginning but as soon as you bring them you will fall in love with them as they are amazing pets.
The needs of Flemish giant rabbit are pretty the same as normal rabbit, they just require more food, attention, water, and space than the regular ones due to their huge size of course. They might also require more vet care than their usual ones.
Although these rabbits are extremely friendly and loving, they might get aggressive when you do not handle them properly. Also, if you are not able to take good care of your pet it may lead to them being obese, sore hocks, and rabbit sniffles.
If you have decided to bring a flemish giant rabbit as a new family member, here is everything you must know about them.
How To Take Care Of Flemish Giant Rabbit
If you plan to adopt a giant rabbit, make sure you are aware of all the things given here.
- The standard rabbit hutches are not really big to handle the living requirements of a giant rabbit.
- Giant rabbits do not have any unique habits when it comes to their diets but they do require more quantity of food than standard rabbits.
- Although these rabbits are not long-haired, they do need grooming every other week.
- Most giant rabbits do not like being handled, you need to learn various things on how to handle them.
- Some diseases and illnesses are more frequent or prevalent in giant rabbits. You need to learn measures on how to prevent the occurrence of such diseases in rabbits.
As long as you practice the right things and have the right resources for caring for your flemish giant rabbit, they are good pets to take care of.
What Are Flemish Giant Rabbits?
Flemish giant rabbit is bigger than even your regular-sized dog. When you meet them first, they might look somewhat scary but they are really cute and adorable in general. In fact, they are often named “gentle giants” by their owners.
These were discovered first in Belgium back in the 16th century. The locals at that place started breeding these rabbits and exported some of them to England in the 19th century.
Soon after the 19th century, they made their way to America. Many of you might not know this but flemish giant rabbits are ancestors of most of the rabbits we keep as pets in our home today. They evolved to become smaller in size that suited their living.
They were bred originally for meat and fur requirements. But these days they are mostly adored as pets. These rabbits are extremely docile, friendly, and intelligent as long as you are keeping them in the right conditions that they require.
Characteristics Of Giant Rabbits
Besides being so large in size, they have the below-given characteristics:
- Heavy bone structure with a broad body
- Flemish giants present in the U.S regions have a semi-arched back whole those living in Britain have a flat back.
- They have thick and glossy fur with a dense undercoat.
- Male rabbits have a large head whereas female rabbits have a dewlap.
- They have long ears.
- Bold and endearing eyes.
- They are present in 7 different colors- black, blue, sandy, white, steel gray, fawn, and light grey.
- Their lifespan is nearly 4 years to 6 years. Some giant rabbits can make it beyond 7 to 8 years when they are taken very well care of.
Flemish Giant Dog’s Personality
These rabbits have a special personality. They are highly intelligent, sociable, ad docile in nature. In fact, they often do activities and seek out their owner’s attention and interaction. It is not unusual for these rabbits to greet their owners in the ways given below:
- Stand on their hind legs as if they want to tell you to look at them.
- Nudge you with their cute nose as if they want you to give attention.
- They might also bring their toys in the same way usually dogs bring to play.
- Hop over and sits beside you as if they want you to pat their head.
Flemish giants are extremely loyal towards the owner and tend to pick their favorite human. If you are the one whom they consider their favorite, you are the fortunate one as these puffy giants are genuinely a blessing or joy to be surrounded by.
For their social skills to develop, you must handle them in the same way you would handle a kitten. Although they are super-friendly, they have the ability to cause injuries once they feel threatened. Giant rabbits are not in the mood to be handled and often bite or thrash their feet if you do not handle them appropriately.
These rabbits might also bite if you stroke them for a longer time or they feel unable to escape from the circumstances they are in. You should know that they are really vocal when they feel stressed or unhappy.
This need not concern if you try to reduce the stress in the household as they are a part of it too and they do feel the energy. Also, don’t try to handle them for no reason or unnecessarily. If you have young children, make sure you teach them too how to interact with them so that they do not get injured or feel unsafe near these rabbits.
How Big Flemish Giant Rabbit Gets?
Now, this is a question that might concern you if you haven’t handle giant rabbits or any giant dog till now. According to the book for Guinness World Records, the longest known flemish giant rabbit was 1.3 meters or 4 foot 3 inches long. However, you must know that this is not usually seen, the average size you can consider is 2.5 to 3.0 feet long. This size rabbit is still longer than most dog breeds.
If you are concerned about their weight, as per PDSA the average weight of a flemish giant rabbit is 7kg. This weight is three times more when you compare it with chihuahuas. Male rabbits may weigh more than female rabbits.
The Flemish giant rabbits kept for shows may wright 10 kgs, now this weight is the same as 2 gallons of paint.
The wight of flemish giant rabbits found in different places usually differ. For instance, the weight of the Belgian hare breed of the giant rabbits weighs 6 to 10 kgs whereas the continental giant weighs 15 to 17 kgs altogether. This might be double the size of those.
If you want to know the size more appropriately let’s put this into perspective. The average weight of a domestic rabbit if you have owned one is 1 kg only, now this is 6 times the weight of a domestic rabbit.
Also, these rabbits have similar needs as the domestic ones but there are few differences one should note. As you want to imagine, these rabbits eat a lot more than small rabbits and they require a lot more attention as well as grooming. However, the main point of difference between the two rabbits is the size or space they require for living in your house. The small rabbits acquire less space whereas these require more space.
They require plenty of space to move around, the average hutch you might own for your regular rabbits wouldn’t be sufficient to live for them. Flemish giants need a bonding partner too. So ideally, you will require space for 2 rabbits to remain in the larger hutch.
As per Rabbit welfare, the rabbits should be able to make 3 jumps consecutively within the enclosure you proved. If you want us to give a rough estimate, it is nearly 4 times the size of your flemish giant rabbit. For example, if your flemish giant rabbit is 2.5 feet long, you will need an enclosure measuring nearly 4 feet.
Taking these facts into account, the minimum enclosure you may require would be of size 10*4*4. It is always best to give them as much space as you can as they love hopping around.
Enclosures Of Flemish Giant Rabbit
You might have noticed and tied that the average hutch of a rabbit could never be 10 feet long in size. So, while housing a flemish giant, you need to think with more creativity. You can always use any of these ways to accommodate them more carefully and with more space:
- A converted shed would be great. Most sheds of medium sizes are large enough to keep 2 giant rabbits. You just need to make sure that the giants are secure in the shed. ideally, it is good to attach a run inside the shed so that they can explore your yard or garden too.
- Another option to chose is an aviary. You can also use bird enclosures that are pretty large in size. If you want to build such enclosures in your yard, garden, or anywhere outside, make sure you are building suitable fencing for keeping any predators away.
- Use big dog cages. Large dog cages can be quite suitable when it comes to keeping your flemish giant rabbit. It is necessary to cover the wire flooring this enclosure has using solid mats or soft beddings because your giant rabbit can easily acquire sore hocks.
- Give them an indoor room if you have one. The best solution for a good enclosure s always a room. But make sure there is no wrong in the room as they might get shocked or injured. Block the room’s access to the rest of your house so that they can roan freely.
Rooms, aviary, and sheds are more suitable enclosures for rabbits as compared to dog cages. This is mainly because they give them enough space to be sociable and also make them enjoy their alone time. After all, everyone needs their lone time, right?
Indoors Vs Outdoors
Flemish giant rabbits can live indoors as well as outdoors. If you keep your rabbit indoors, make sure that the temp does not go beyond 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, make sure you are not keeping them in conditions that are too humid. Some people also use their laundry rooms to prepare an enclosure for their rabbit, but it is not at all a good practice as it is one of the most humid parts of our houses.
If you are keeping them outdoors, makes rue you chose the location and enclosures wisely such that no predators can enter the garden or harm your rabbits. Also, avoid placing the giants in public places. Sometimes neighbors peering into the garden makes them nervous. Thye might even feel threatened and hurt.
Bedding For Flemish Giant Rabbit
Due to their very large size, they are more pr0ne to having sore hocks. This means that using wire floors in their enclosures is not suitable for them. If you repurpose a dog cage to keep them. make sure you are using a resting pad or another layer of bedding beneath them for safety.
If you are wondering which bedding to bring for your flemish giant rabbit, Hay is the option. It is one of the most used and preferred bedding types you can also place it in the corner of your room. If you are concerned about your flooring or caret, do not worry as a rubber mat is enough to protect it from damage.
Litter Tray Bedding
So many flemish giant rabbit owners are concerned about what type of litter tray bedding to be used. Thankfully, because of the amiable personality of these giants, they are really easy to litter train. But for the training to be successful you must select the correct corner for it.
Make sure you avoid any crustal litter because these are really sharp on the rabbit’s feet. The best types to be used are given below for your reference:
- Paper-based pallets are great as they absorb the odor quite nicely.
- Hardware stove pallets are also amazing as they are great in absorbing and are affordable.
As in the case f other rabbits, flemish giant rabbits require cleaning too once they poop or pee. This is seriously among the biggest tasks you could think of while housing a flemish giant rabbit.
Their poops are quite larger, you might be a little worried in the beginning but know that it is normal. Make sure you are cleaning the litter pan frequently and disinfecting their enclosure daily. As these rabbits get older, their risk of acquiring arthritis-like diseases also increases, This means that they will become less mobile and may develop fur that is stained with urine. You should take steps to prevent anything as such happening. Urine-stained fur can be prevented and treated easily.
Grooming Flemish Giant Rabbit
Flemish Giant Rabbits do not require much grooming or a huge amount to spend on them but they do require ahelp0ig hand from time to time. Per week you should at least set 20 to 30 minutes aside for their grooming.
Their fur is really dense, if their fur is ingested too much, a condition called GI stasis can be caused. This is serious and should be prevented actively for good health. They do enjoy gently being brushed so grooming can be the bonding experience between you are your giant rabbit.
On that note, let’s see what are the different tools and things you may require for their grooming:
- You definitely need a soft brush, to begin with. Being brushed using a gentle and soft brush is really relaxing and enjoyable for the rabbits. In most cases, it is very strong to dislodge loose fur and check the condition of your giant’s fur.
- Rubber brushes are also required for their grooming. Rubber brushes are mainly ideal for dislodging hair during the season of their malting. In this phase, rabbits tend to shed their coats.
- Another brush called the sticker brush is needed too. This brush is often amazing for detangling and accessing the undercoat but make sure you use it gently.
- A flea comb can help remove fleas. flea eggs and bits of specks of dirt are very stubborn and they retire a comb-like this to be removed from the fur of your flemish giant rabbit. again, use it gently.
Feeding Of Flemish Giant Rabbit
When it comes to the diet of your flemish giant rabbit, they do not want to be fed with extra vitamins nutrients, and all such things. They are happy with the same food you provide to regular rabbits. They just need it in more amount.
All rabbits need unlimited water supply ad grass hay. Keep in mind that giant rabbits will eat much more hay as compared to small rabbits, so you will require a budget for their diet.
When we make a comparison between average-sized or regular rabbits with these rabbits, they just require 1-2 handful greens every day whereas flemish giant rabbit eats 3 to 5 handfuls. They might require more when hungry.
According to RSPCA, an average-sized rabbit requires 1-2 egg cups of high fiver loaded pellets every day but giant rabbits will eat 5 to 7 egg cups per day. This variation might have given you an idea of their diet specifically. This should be carefully monitored and reduced if your flemish giant rabbit gains too much weight.
Unlike other types or breeds of rabbits, they do not reach maturity until they turn 1.5 years old. Some vets might suggest you feed them 5 to 7 cups of eggs or day until they become fully mature.
On the other hand, some vets mention that this is not necessary as it might make your rabbit obese and lead to health-related issues later on. You can always consult your vet on the nutrition advice for your rabbit when they are small or young.
Entertainment Of Flemish Giant Rabbits
As you already know flemish giant rabbits are very intelligent, so if you have planned on keeping one as a pet, you must have many sources for their entertainment. One of the most effective and probably the kindest way to do this is to provide them good enclosure. Large enclosures often give them a lot of space to express their natural behaviors. Other than this, you may also follow all these things:
1. Tunnels And Boxes
Most rabbits are fond of tunnels and our Flemish Giant rabbit is not an exception. It might be hard to look for a suitable tunnel but you will possibly get one after trying a bit. For example. you can get a children’s play tunnel or the tunnels available for dogs but make are you bring a tunnel of appropriate size. Your rabbit might also love card box boxes and end up playing with them the whole day.
2. Going Outdoors
Who doesn’t lobe spending time outdoors? Try to let them run outdoors in your yard or garden may be, Your cute flemish giant will really thank you for these efforts. If you live in a place where mosquitoes are very prevalent, you might have to cover the run using any simple mosquito net.
3. Interesting Foods
Do not give them herbs and greens daily as having the same sort of food would make anybody go nuts. Although you need to make sure that you are not giving them anything too toxic. You can always go for Brussel sprouts and apple pieces make sure to remove the pips, this will make a good treat for them. Some rabbits love searching for food so try to make it interesting for them by hiding the food. This will help them alleviate their boredom and enjoy their day.
4. Bring A Binding Partner
All rabbits including our Flemish giant rabbit love to be with a rabbit friend of theirs. they will surely become stressed ad lonely when they do not get a rabbit friend. Stress in flemish giant rabbit is linked to many serious health issues so you miss avoid it at all costs. You can bring them different-sized rabbits as long as the difference in their size is not very huge. You can bind this rabbit with a Belgian hare as there are fewer size differences between the two and the after one is also called a dwarf rabbit.
5. Human Interaction
When you handle your flemish giant rabbit as kittens, they will really enjoy the human interactions throughout their life. Makes sure you have good communication ad integration with them a couple of times a day. It is best to talk to them by going down to their levels rather than picking your giant to talk to them. This will encourage the bonding between the owner and the rabbit.
How To Handle Flemish Giant Rabbit
Most flemish giants hate being handled by their owners so do not attempt to handle them of course until it becomes ancestry fr you. These rabbits have really strong hind legs which might cause injuries to you if you try to handle them unnecessarily. Their kick can cause serious wounds so make sure you avoid it. Also, if they feel threatened they will bite you as well without any hesitation even if they love you.
There are few cases in which handling your flemish giant rabbit becomes a necessity. If you are not sure when to handle them, take a look at these:
- Never allow a small child to handle them or lift them at any cost this might make them angry
- Do not go near them and attempt to lift them for no reason rather wait for your rabbit to get bored and come closer to you for being patented.
- They have really delicate backbones so you have to support them lifelong.
- Only attempt to live them from the ground level.
- Use proper techniques to lift them. Start by placing your hands under their midsection and as you lift them keep one hand under the midsection itself. Support their bottom while lifting them as it is really necessary.
Lifting them can be a hectic process, if you still do not feel confident about how to lift them, just avoid it. Make sure you interact with your vet before approaching for lifting them.
Now, you also need to monitor them for any sort of diseases they might have. let’s look at them.
Research has suggested that flemish giant rabbit is usually susceptible to the given health problems:
- Pododermatitis or Sore Hocks: As these rabbits are very heavy, their weight will press against the feet thus causing sore hocks condition. This is mainly an issue if the floor they live in inside the enclosure is made of wire mesh. This is the reason you should use a thick mat to cover the floor if build from the wire.
- Spondylosis and Arthritis: As the rabbit gets older, you must monitor their mobility. If they are not able to clean themselves nicely, they might need pain relief medications.
- Rabbit Snuffles: Multocoda is a bacteria mainly responsible for rabbit snuffles. As per Sage Pub, this bacteria can cause severe reactions in your flemish giant rabbit as compared to the new Zealand giants. This clearly suggests that flemish giant rabbit is more susceptible to rabbit snuffles.
- Cardiomyopathy: This is a heart problem in rabbits. It is important to monitor your rabbit’s breathing especially when they are getting older. This is to check that they do not get diagnosed with such diseases.
- Obesity: Flemish giant rabbit is more likely to get obese or overweight as compared to rabbits of regular size. This is because most owners do not know and realize how much space their flemish giant rabbit requires. They often set them up in small spaces due to which they do not get enough space to exercise and be themselves.
These were some common diseases a flemish giant rabbit might acquire if you are unable to look after them constantly.
Now that you know everything about flemish giant rabbits, you might be thinking how much they cost and where can you get them, let’s answer these questions as well.
Cost Of Flemish Giant Rabbit
This rabbit starts at 30 dollars to 60 dollars but if you are looking for a breed slightly larger than regular ones or show quality flemish giants, you might have to spend 250 to 300 dollars. It is really important to factor in the ongoing costs of flemish giants. The average cost of bringing a bunny is 600 dollars to 1000 dollars so having a giant will need closer to 1200 dollars.
Also, if you are looking for a good place to find flemish giant rabbits, then NFFGRB (the national federation of giant rabbit breeders) is an amazing place to get them. You can also visit their website and find approved breeders.
Also, if you live in distant regions, you can easily google them and get the best location of the flemish giant rabbits to bring home. Some breeders also give an illness warranty for some period after you house a flemish giant rabbit.
Also, if you are thinking this rabbit is right for you or not then you have to ask yourself certain questions like do you have enough space to shelter them? or enough time to spend on their interaction and grooming every day or week? Are you prepared to spend dollars on the vet’s bill and their diets? etc.
These rabbits are social, docile, and intelligent so having them as your pet can be a really loving experience.
This was all you needed to know about the Flemish giant rabbit.
Here are the 25 best breeds of low-maintenance dogs if you plan to bring them home.