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Flemish Giant Rabbits

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  • Flemish Giant Rabbits

    everything i've read leads me to believe that a neutered male of this breed of rabbit is an excellent pet. i had a rabbit as a kid and really enjoyed it - even if he was a bit of a territorial temperamental dwarf punk.

    so other than the oversized hutch and appetite, is there anything i need to know about these big boys before adding to one to our menagerie? any tips on picking out a nice kit?

    (i'm in the northern va area if anyone has a breeder they would recommend...)
    * trying hard to be the person that my horses think i am

  • #2
    I don't know much about them, but my grandfather's family raised Flemish Giant rabbits when he was a kid. He's in his 80's now, but he still waxes poetic about what wonderful animals they were.
    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
    -Edward Hoagland

    Comment


    • #3
      LOL, well, I heard that they are pretty neat. of course they eat a lot. I think that makes them a novelty breed pretty much because the appetite/yield is disproportionate.

      On the list of pets to get (we lost too many smallish ones to a ferret kind in Germany....sad to come across the remains...)
      Originally posted by BigMama1
      Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
      GNU Terry Prachett

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Wayside - that's so sweet. i'm hoping for a guy with a nice personality that my kids can enjoy.

        he will have hit the rabbit lottery, you should see the hutch that jacksdad has in the works
        * trying hard to be the person that my horses think i am

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        • #5
          Honestly, they are as sweet as they come. One of my good friends raised and showed the sandy and fawn varieties growing up. He used to bring a few to Ag day at the mall and charge 5.00 to get your picture taken with them. Let's just say he did well with that idea. Not many city people are used to seeing dog-sized rabbits! ;-p

          here's a link to some good breeders on the east coast:

          http://www.nffgrb.com/Breedersdirectory-EasternUSA.htm
          The ninja monkeys are plotting my demise as we speak....

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          • #6
            here's a picture from the breed site for size reference. :-)

            http://www.nffgrb.com/images/Ft%20Wo...Show%20002.jpg
            The ninja monkeys are plotting my demise as we speak....

            Comment


            • #7
              Our newest family member is a flemish. He is a male and about 10 weeks old. It is amazing how fast they grow! He is very sweet and is handled a lot during the day by my kids. I was able to potty-train him in a day. He started out in a smallish dog crate with a foil lasagna pan filled with woody pet. i just kept scooping his little poop pellets in to the tray and he figured it out really quick. They are so smart. He graduated to a very large metal dog crate within the week. I bed him on top of timothy hay. He eats what he likes and snuggles up in the rest. He gets about a cup of Manna Pro grow a day plus lots of hand picked greens. The plan is to build him a huge two level hutch. I dont know if I want him outside in the summer heat....I've been advised against it. We let him run around several times a day, supervised, outside in a fenced area (gotta watch out for the hawks and owls though!) as well as in our living room. The bunny loves our corgi and will curl up with him on the floor = precious

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              • #8
                Check out www.rabbit.org.

                Rabbits really do best in pairs and with a lot of space. So I'd recommend getting a bonded pair, litter training them (as easy as with cats), and keeping them in the house. They're so much friendlier and seemingly happy that way.

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                • #9
                  I second the house rabbit idea.
                  I have a bunny who we made a pen for, lives in our house. Let him out when we are home and he loves it. He is litterbox trained and is less messy than our cats. He gets along great with the cats.

                  One thing to note is that bunnies are not good pets for children. They are fragile, they don't like being handled and they in general are pretty sensitive and easily scared. Their digestive systems are very similar to that of a horse, and their biggest cause of death is GI Stasis.

                  My favorite place for information is the forums on BinkyBunny.com

                  ETA:
                  Here is a good posting on rabbits and children from Rabbit.org. They really describe what life for a bunny and kids is like.
                  http://www.rabbit.org/faq/sections/children.html
                  Last edited by bananna; Apr. 19, 2011, 03:02 PM. Reason: Added some more info

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    fantastic site, thanks for the link.

                    growing up with a half feral cat,an arthritic dog and 3 equines - all with fabulously diverse personalities, has (i think) been really good for my children. i think they have the right personalities to handle the the addition of a rabbit.

                    we just returned from great granddaddy's house (94th birthday!) and his homecare aid was blown away and couldn't stop talking about how great my children were with her dog (insert proud mom moment here).

                    i'm also under NO illusion as to who will be caring for any of the creatures that land at the farm. they are all my babies
                    * trying hard to be the person that my horses think i am

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bananna View Post
                      One thing to note is that bunnies are not good pets for children. They are fragile, they don't like being handled and they in general are pretty sensitive and easily scared. Their digestive systems are very similar to that of a horse, and their biggest cause of death is GI Stasis.
                      I used to raise rabbits and they are anything BUT fragile and make great pets for (well-behaved) children!

                      As for their digestive system, it is VERY important their staple diet is good hay, then pellets added as a supplement. Prevents hairballs and keeps their gut moving and functioning as it should.
                      ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
                      ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by naturalequus View Post
                        I used to raise rabbits and they are anything BUT fragile and make great pets for (well-behaved) children!

                        As for their digestive system, it is VERY important their staple diet is good hay, then pellets added as a supplement. Prevents hairballs and keeps their gut moving and functioning as it should.
                        I had house rabbits and I also would not call them fragile! I always told people "don't tippy toe around!". If you go about your normal business the rabbits will quickly get used to noise, peoples feet and the daily flow of the house. House rabbits intragate pretty well most homes so long as they are allowed to roam and actually be apart of a household and not locked in a cage all the time. Best house pets I ever had!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RougeEmpire View Post
                          I had house rabbits and I also would not call them fragile! I always told people "don't tippy toe around!". If you go about your normal business the rabbits will quickly get used to noise, peoples feet and the daily flow of the house. House rabbits integrate pretty well most homes so long as they are allowed to roam and actually be apart of a household and not locked in a cage all the time. Best house pets I ever had!

                          I agree completely with your post except for the part that they ARE fragile! It is very easy for a rabbit to hurt its spine, and they are incredibly sensitive food/digestive wise...

                          A bunny is VERY different than a cat/dog, that if you were holding a cat and it wriggled out of your arms, they will 99.9% land on their feet and go on their ways, bunnies don't catch themselves. Spinal injuries are very common when people don't realize that. That is a big reason they are not suggested for children, and also because bunnies aren't cuddly animals that books and movies suggest... it goes against their instincts. When I said fragile, I really meant physically fragile.

                          I agree completely though about keeping the bunny as a house pet, and them adapting to your house... my bunny pretty much rules the house and he tells us what is going on!


                          Also to the OP, I have been desperately pleading to my husband to let me get a Flemish Giant buddy for my current bunny...he seems to think that we have enough animals already!

                          One other thing, since I am doing this whole bunny ownership PSA thing... get your bunny fixed! They are happier, much nicer to be around and are healthier when fixed! People who just have one bunny don't realize what great benefits and how bunnies personalities change for the better once they are fixed!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            huh?

                            Former president of her 4-H club for rabbits, bred them and showed ALL over the country. Member of the ARBA, etc. I had Tan's if anyone knows what they are.
                            Flemish Giants are meat rabbits, always have been. Not a novelty breed.
                            Gastirc upset? REALLY? Heat is usually what does the poor things in. Remember they are wearing a fur coat much heavier then a dog/cat or horses. If they are outside, they can handle the cold but NOT the wind. In winter make sure there is plenty of hay and wrap the hutches in plastic to keep the wind down. Frozen soda bottles in the summer. As for kids, yes they can hurt their spines when kids drop them, but well manner kids wont be a problem. No cabbages, but lettuce, carrots, parsely, corn husk are all permissable. The only ones that ever had "hair ball "issues in my days of rabbit showing were angora's. Also remember they are lagamorphs and do need to chew on things.
                            If you want any info, please feel free to PM me.

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                            • #15
                              Oh and PS: Bonded pairs? Males fight. Males and females make more. Never tried 2 females together though...

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I've had pairs, twice, female littermates, and singles 3X. Bonded pairs, IME, tend to want to be with each other, not their peeps. Singles are more gregarious with the other critters in the house. They'll make their "herd" whatever animals are available.

                                My biggest nemesis has always been colds, they come on VERY VERY quickly, and tend to be fatal if not caught and treated early enough.

                                Give the bun canned pumpkin once or twice a week to keep things moving.

                                LBR
                                I reject your reality, and substitute my own- Adam Savage

                                R.I.P Ron Smith, you'll be greatly missed

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Two males from the same litter are often fine, as are two females. I've kept both pairs of males and pairs and groups of females, sans problème... it depends on individual personalities but generally if they are from the same litter or are put together really young, you'll be okay. If you S/N, you can also keep female/male pairs.
                                  ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
                                  ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Clear Sailing I showed tans and creme d'argents back in the day. I thought the cremes were cool 'cause they were so beautiful, but it was the tans I LOVED.

                                    Super fun personalities, and just nice rabbits to be around. Some of those cremes were just plain unpleasant! (Says the girl who still has a scar on her arm from a cranky creme bite at a new years eve show in ohio through 4 layers of clothing... grrr... )

                                    I had mostly lilacs (yay!) and they were *such* cuddlebugs. I would go back to showing them in a HEARTBEAT if we had anything in my area... darn desert.
                                    The ninja monkeys are plotting my demise as we speak....

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Propspony: I LOVED the blues.. although my first homebred to get four "legs" (wasnt that what it was called?) was a black! I always wanted Belgian Hares, and the Creme d'argent! I too have a scar on my arm from a very opinionated French Lop named Marshmellow!!!
                                      I was always told that rabbits do NOT do well under anesthsia.. and thats from Quiz Bowl in the late 80's. Won that for my state as well. Also the "cold" people chat about are extremely dangerous for them as once they cannot smell they cannot eat. Im sure vets have come a long way with lagamorphs since I had them but you were usually better off doing something yourself then bringing them to a vet.

                                      I still sometimes wonder if the rabbit shows and the ARBA is still around...

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Yep they're still around. Seem to still be going strong in the midwest. They recently approved a new breed called the Thrianta. Very pretty bright red rabbits. Just nothing in my area. It's funny, I always liked blues but I never had one. Blacks, lilacs and one chocolate buck. Did you notice any differences in the varieties? It seemed to me that my blacks were more "up" but my lilacs were more snuggly...

                                        I seem to remember a conversation between the judge and one of my jr lilac does that went like this:

                                        JUDGE: "You can run the table at any time now rabbit"
                                        TWINK: "no thank you, I would prefer to be picked up please."
                                        JUDGE: *shoves Twink to give her some motivation and demonstrate what he
                                        wants* "Any day now...MOVE"
                                        TWINK: "NO RUN... SNUGGLE!!!"

                                        heh... I can't remember what happened except that she did get 2 legs on her, so she must have figured it out eventually. lol...
                                        The ninja monkeys are plotting my demise as we speak....

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