Welcome to The Backyard Bunny Rabbitry, home to the beautiful Flemish Giant
Rabbits. Bred for show and pet, these wonderful "Gentle Giants" make fabulous pets for the whole family.
When fully mature, these rabbits can average 16 - 18 lbs., and have been known to reach over 20 lbs. Flemish
Giants come in 7 ARBA recognized colors, Blue, Black, Fawn, Light Gray, Sandy, Steel Gray, and White.
We breed and show the Sandy, Black and White varieties. We will be getting Fawn and Blue in the future.
Our rabbits are bred for personality, color, size and body type. We are an A.R.B.A. registered rabbitry, located in
Lebanon Oregon, and will start showing in the Northwest US.
We have 5 baby
Doe that are over 8 weeks old, their mother is Blackygirl and Their Father is Greatsirewhite, color white, his G. sire is
Monster farms snowman, his G. dam is monster farms flake, color white.
We feed our flemish giants King-Brand 16% rabbit feed along with alfalfa, timothy
hay and carrots. I grew up from the age of 4 years old raising California's and white new zealand's until i was 18 years old,
so if you have questions about rabbits feel free to ask me question.
The Flemish Giant is a semi-arch type rabbit with its back arch
starting back of the shoulders and carrying
through to the base
of the tail giving a "mandolin" shape. It is one of the largest
by the American Rabbit Breeders Association.
The minimum show weight for a Senior (older than 8 months) doe
14 lbs, and the minimum weight of a Senior buck is 13 pounds.
It is not unusual to see a 22 pound Flemish Giant, and
weighing 28 pounds have been reported. A comment heard from many
individuals seeing a Flemish giant
rabbit for the first time is,
"Wow, its bigger than my dog!"
The body of a Flemish Giant Rabbit
should be long and powerful
with good muscular development. The hindquarters should be broad
and massive. Bucks
have a broad, massive head in comparison to
does. Does may have a large, full, evenly carried dewlap (the fold
skin under their chins).
The fur of the Flemish Giant is glossy, dense and full of life and
When stroked from the hindquarters to the head, the fur
will roll back to its original position. Seven colors are recognized
by ARBA: black, blue, fawn, light gray, sandy, steel gray and white.
At many rabbit shows most of the recognized
colors can be observed,
but the sandy color (the natural color) seems to be the most popular.
It is thought that the Flemish Giant rabbit is the modern descendant
of the Patagonian rabbit of Argentina. The Patagonian
brought to Europe by 16th and 17th century Dutch traders and was
raised for meat. The first written
records of the Flemish Giant Rabbit
dates from about 1860. At that time, English travelers returning from
brought back stories of the enormous rabbits that were being
The Flemish Giant was imported from
England to America in the early
1880s. It received no special attention until about 1910 where it
started appearing at small livestock shows throughout the country.
Today, it is one of the more popular breeds at rabbit shows because
of its enormous size and its many and beautiful
RAISING FLEMISH GIANTS
Flemish Giants are the true giants of all rabbits. They can grow to
immense size, reaching four or more pounds in 7 weeks, and maturing
up to 18 pounds in 9 months. Although they
are large, they are docile
and not wild or hard to handle. That is why they are called "The Gentle Giant."
Flemish are also called "The Universal Breed," because they are fast
developing rabbits suitable for
either meat or fur production. They
thrive on a large percentage of roughage and green feed reducing total
costs. Best of all, they make wonderful pets. They are large and
strong enough to hold their own with small children,
but are docile and
gentle. However, when abused, they can scratch or bite painfully! Like
many rabbit breeds,
they can be trained to use a litter box, making them
ideal, lovable pets. Mature bucks seldom spray. Flemish also have
good tolerance for the cold outdoors if you don't want them indoors.
The only thing they do not endure well
is extreme heat. It is essential
that they be kept in the shade during the summer. If the temperature
90, evaporative coolers can be used in barns to keep them cool;
fine water sprays can be used outdoors. They especially appreciate a
plastic pop bottle, filled with water and frozen in the freezer,
to snuggle against when the temperature approaches 100 F.
A word of advice to those contemplating letting their pet rabbit roam
their house freely. Rabbits seem to have
a fascination with lamp cords.
They will frequently chew on a cord, damaging it and injuring themselves.
are advised to keep excess lamp cord out of the reach of their rabbits!
Flemish Giant rabbits are usually
very vigorous, healthy and easy to raise.
They are very big and require very big cages. The smallest cage that should
be considered for single animals should have a floor 30 inches by 48 inches.
Brood cages for a doe and her litter
should have a floor 30 inches by 72 inches.
Cage height should be no less than 24 inches or else they may not carry
ears erect. Because of the considerable weight of these rabbits, wire floors
should not be used, because
sore, bleeding, hocks will probably result.
use solid floors bedded with straw, shredded computer paper, or
wood chips. Others use wood slat floors. The slats comprising
the floor of such
cages are usually 3/4" x 1 1/2" spaced at approximately 5/8". The rabbits will
chew on these slats, but they will last long enough that this is generally not
a problem. Recently some breeders have
been experimenting with plastic "hog slat" floors. These seem to be both very durable and sanitary.
Flemish seem to require roughage as well as pellets as feed. We feed high quality alfalfa, free choice, and one large tuna
fish can of 18% protein pellets. About a week before a show, we will feed about a tablespoon full of black sunflower seeds
daily to shine up their coats. Be careful, too much sunflower seed can make a rabbit fat!
Doe should be bred at 8 months or 14 pounds, whichever comes first. Does usually reach maximum growth weight at 10 to 14 months.
Do not breed a doe earlier than 8 months or 14 pounds because it can have difficulties kindling. If does are not bred as soon
as they reach maturity, they can accumulate too much fat around the ovaries and have difficulty conceiving. Once fat develops
around the ovaries, we know no way to remove the fat.
doe is always brought to the bucks cage and never vice-versa. Watch them
carefully and remove the doe after she is bred
once or twice; that should take
less than 5 minutes. Separate them immediately if the doe starts nipping at the
buck he may be injured. A second breeding 6 to 8 hours after the first can
increase the number of kits born.
Some does are frantic for a nest box after 3 weeks of pregnancy; some are
interested only during the last 20
minutes before kindling. Gestation period
is around 31 days. We usually give the nest boxes at least 3 days earlier
unless they become frantic. Our nest boxes are 14in. x 14in. x 24in. and are
made of plywood or wafer board. They
have partially covered and have a board
across the front to "detach" kits holding on to mama as she leaps
out of the
box. We have found that these nest boxes may be slightly too large, as they
seem to encourage the does
to lounge in them. The next batch will be 2 in.
Smaller in all dimensions.
Before placing a nest box in a cage,
the bottom is covered with 2 layers of
cardboard or 3/4 of white wood chip for moisture absorption and insulation,
and it is filled with clean bright straw. The doe will create a pocket in the
straw and line it with fur "at
the appointed hour." In cold weather, we have
not found it necessary to use "bunny warmers"; however,
we sometimes will use
an infra-red light bulb at a distance of 24 inches to provide some warmth if
drops near 0 F. In hot weather, we remove some of the fur from
the nest box to prevent the kits from getting too hot.
The chips and straw are
removed and replaced with clean material each week for 6 weeks. At 6 weeks we
nest box, because allowing it to remain longer seems to promote wet
eyes among the kits. Sometimes, if the weather is
bitter cold, we will clean
out the nest box and turn it on its side to give the bunnies protection from
A Flemish doe can have anywhere from 6 to 18 kits. However, the litter should
be thinned down to 8 or less.
If more are saved, they will tend to be smaller
and will be less developed when they reach maturity.
We wean the
bunnies at 8 weeks, and separate the young rabbits when we observe the bucks trying to mount the does. At that time, we save
the best and cull the rest.
The does are bred back at 6 to 8 weeks after kindling, depending on the condition
of the doe. Breeding back too soon repeatedly will cause the doe to fail to produce large litters or fail to conceive at all.
HANDLING FLEMISH GIANTS
Even if the Flemish Giant
is large and strong, it has a very "laid back"
disposition. They are docile and tolerant of considerable handling.
trick at 4-H and Youth rabbit shows is to "hypnotize" a Flemish Giant by placing
it on its
back and stroking it gently. However if abused or scared, they can inflict
painful and possibly serious injury with
their razor sharp teeth and powerful
hind legs. It"s best to always support all 4 feet, so they do not become scared
of being off the ground, and start flailing with their hind claws, which are attached to Kangaroo strength hind legs!
Since they can
take care of themselves well, some people will let
their pet rabbit roam their well fenced back yards freely. Remember,
if you are
contemplating leaving your rabbit roam your back yard, rabbits are burrowing
animals and can burrow
under fences if no special precautions are taken.
Another consequence of its large size and strength of the Flemish
that it consumes more feed than other breeds.
One might think that a huge, docile and attractive rabbit has much potential
as a pet, and many people do,
indeed, seek them out as pets and love them.
The Flemish Giant is very laid back and docile especially neutered males
registered pedigree flemish giant rabbits, show rabbits and meat rabbits,pet rabbits, also non-pedigree rabbits, lion head