The Flemish Giant is thought to have first originated from the Flemish region of Ghent, Belgium. Early records from 1860 show that travellers would speak of seeing giant rabbits around these areas and this provoked several ideas.
In this era rabbit meat and fur was in large demand, importing and breeding these giant rabbits would ease demand. Additionally, breeding and showing of rabbits was also becoming popular so showing a new breed would create publicity for the breeder.
The typical size of an English rabbit at this time was 3.18 to 3.64 kilos (7 to 8lbs) and the Flemish Giant Rabbits were recorded at around 6.35 Kilos (14lbs).
Today the Flemish Giant is one of the most popular breeds being shown at rabbit shows. The males are known as ‘bucks’, and the females are known as ‘does’, they are fairly inexpensive, tame if handled from an early age and make for popular domestic pets.
The Flemish Giant grows much larger today than their early ancestors. The minimum weight for a fully developed adult is around 6.4 Kilos (14lbs), with the typical maximum weight around 10 kilos (22lbs).
There are 6 colors, Black, Blue, Fawn, Light Grey, Sandy and White.
Flemish Giants can be fed the same diet as other rabbits, with the amounts to be increased to match their larger size. The National Federation of Flemish Giant rabbit breeders recommend 2 cups of leafy vegetables per 3 kg (6lbs) of body weight and no more than 1 cup of fruit and carrots per day.
Health and Care
If you are thinking about owning this breed of rabbit be aware that a large area of space is required. A typical rabbit hutch will not be suitable for an adult Giant. Owners usually free up a large area in the garden for a pen, and have space in an outhouse or conservatory in the colder months.
Like all domestic rabbits, handling them from a young age will help their temperament and make them more accustomed to human interaction. Their personalities are often described as intelligent, calm and passive.
You can allow them to interact with other domestic pets including other breeds of rabbit, incidents of aggression are rare.
They can live up to and slightly longer than 5 years old. Because of their large size it’s easy to overfeed them and this will cause all the usual associated health problems of any pet. With proper care and a strict diet however, health problems are rare and owners can enjoy many years of fun and affection from Flemish Giant rabbits as pets.