The Flemish Giant rabbit is undisputedly the heaviest and largest among all known breeds of rabbits in the world. The origins of the Flemish Giant breed are somewhat uncertain, but the breed was refined in Europe. In addition, the name Flemish is from Flanders. Hence, the large rabbits of Flanders may have been bred with giant Patagonia Rabbits from the Argentine Republic. This breed was often used for food, but eventually became popular as a pet as well. They were brought to the United States in the early 1900s.

The Flemish giant rabbit, also known as Oryctolagus cuniculus domesticus, is one of the largest breeds of rabbits. This docile species was domesticated in the early 16th century and has been bred ever since. It was first bred in Ghent, a city in Belgium, and although the records are a little hazy, the first written account put it on the map in 1860. Flemish giants were historically bred for their meat and fur.

When you think pet rabbit, you probably imagine the fluffy little bunny you got to take care of for a weekend during kindergarten—not one that’s the size of a small, carrot-eating toddler. But if you’re in the market for a pet that hops like a bunny but steals food off the kitchen table like a puppy, then the Flemish Giant rabbit is the one for you. Here are seven lengthy facts about these special creatures.

Physical Description Of A Flemish Giant Rabbits

There may be no more awe-inspiring rabbit in the world than the Flemish Giant. If one came hopping along, you might at first glance mistake it for a dog. These rabbits weigh 15 pounds on average and can reach a length of 2.5 feet. Males have broader heads than females. Females have a dewlap – a large fold of skin under the chin that they use to warm their young. A well-regarded Flemish Giant, according to breed standards, has a large and nicely shaped head, erect ears, a long and powerful body, an evenly colored coat, and a nicely rounded rump. Flemish Giants have thick, glossy fur that comes in a variety of colors. Seven colors are officially recognized in the United States by the National Federation of Flemish Giant Rabbit Breeders. These are black, blue, fawn, light gray, steel gray, sandy, and white.

What Do Flemish Giant Rabbits Look Like?

As the name suggests, they look like giant bunnies. These rabbits are semi-arch type rabbits, and their back arch stands behind their shoulders and goes all the way to their tails. They have hairy and erect ears, which are around 2 in (5 cm) in length. They have a powerful body and some muscular and broad hindquarters. They have dense and glossy fur, and there exist seven different coat types of this species. These are black, blue, fawn, sandy, light gray, steel gray, and white. The average weight of these Flemish giant rabbits is around 15 lb (6.8 kg), and they grow to be about 29 in (73.66 cm) in length. Their fur rolls back to its original position when it is stroked from its hindquarters to its head.

Can You Hold A Flemish Giant Rabbit? 

It is possible for most people to hold a Flemish Giant Rabbit, but there is a correct way to do so to ensure they remain comfortable and supported at all times. In reality, not everyone may be able to hold these rabbits. They do weigh up to 22 lbs (10 kg), after all.

It takes quite a bit of strength. Plus the fact they are long and generally quite awkward to hold. Nevertheless, in order to hold a Flemish giant, you will need to support their upper body with one of your arms around their chest and front legs. With your other arm, you would need to support their lower body, being sure to support their rear legs. Without being too forceful, you would also want to hold the rabbit to your chest securely.

What Type Of Animal Is A Flemish Giant Rabbit?

The name sheds a lot of light on its physical appearance. It was bred specifically to reach humongous sizes. These densely furred rabbits are found in seven colors officially, as per the American Rabbit Breed Association (ARBA). These coat colors are black, blue, fawn, light gray, sandy, steel gray, and white.

How Fast Can A Flemish Giant Rabbit Run?

The powerful and broad hind quarter gives them quite a speed boost. The average speed of a Flemish giant rabbit is measured at around 45 mph (72.4 kph). This speed is measured if they run in a straight line which is seldom the case. They take a zigzag motion to avoid predators and usually attain speeds of up to 30-35 mph (48.3-56.3 kph).

How Much Do They Weigh?

These Flemish Giants were exported to America from Belgium and England to help them attain enormous sizes. One can say that this effort was realized as a Flemish giant rabbit today weighs around 15 lb (6.8 kg). The biggest Flemish giant rabbit was recorded to be around 48.5 lb (22 kg).

What Class Of Animal Does A Flemish Giant Rabbit Belong To?

They belong to the Animalia kingdom, and class Mammalia.

How Many Flemish Giant Rabbits Are There In The World?

As per the IUCN Red List, the Giant Flemish Rabbits are considered Near Threatened. Even though they are a domesticated species, their numbers have been declining since the mid 20th century. Their falling number is attributed to pests, disease, ecosystem change, hunting for meat, and habitat loss.

How Much Space Do Flemish Giant Rabbits Need?

Flemish Giants need considerable space outside of their cage or hutch to roam about and stretch their legs. An enclosed area is not enough. Providing a large exercise space is required when keeping a rabbit, and the Giant Flemish is no different. So, you will need to invest in an extra-large run. Whether you keep this indoors or even provide a spare room for your Giant Flemish indoors is advised.

Where Does A Flemish Giant Rabbit Live?

With their rather extensive domestication, the Flemish giant rabbit is found in almost all continents in the world except Asia and Antarctica. It was first found in Flanders, a northern town in Belgium. They were bred as early as the 16th century for their meat and fur. The most authentic record of their breeding was found in 1860. After their breeding standards were defined in 1893, the Flemish giants were Exported from England and Belgium to the United States. After this, they were extensively bred, domesticated, and moved to various countries across the world.

What Is A Flemish Giant Rabbit’s Habitat?

The Flemish giant rabbits are found in and are comfortable living in temperate regions. Usually, they enjoy dune lands, limestone hills with outcropping rocks, dry stony riverbeds, and sunny coastal slopes. These Flemish giants do not enjoy cold, wet climates and avoid alpine lands, unbroken scrub, and heavily built-up areas. Their habitat also needs to receive less than 39.4 in (1 m) rainfall annually with sunny weather, soft soil that allows easy burrowing. They also need a cover available close to where they feed.

Who Do Flemish Giant Rabbits Live With?

They are known to be gentle and calm. It is this quality of theirs that has made them a well-loved and adored pet. Its gentleness is also extended towards other pets present in their homes. These Flemish giants are also known to be well-behaved with small children.

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