Flemish Giant Rabbits are a popular breed among giant rabbits. They were bred to be much bigger than normal pet rabbits to be used as a source of meat and fur but these days they are more popular as pets.
It is said that they were first bred during the 16th in Europe century. Soon after they spread throughout the Europe reaching places like England, France and Italy but they became popular in the 19th century when they were imported to America from the UK.
Flemish Giant Rabbits are as big as medium sized dogs. But even if their size can be intimidating at first, they are known for their gentle nature. In fact, they are the gentle giants of the rabbits world.
Learn more about these incredible rabbits, the cost of owning one, how they are as a pet, how to care for one and everything else you need to know about Flemish giant rabbits below
Flemish Giant Rabbits As House Pets
Flemish Giant Rabbits are much bigger than your average bunny, they may look quite different at first glance but they behavior is the same as any other house rabbit.
Although they may require a bit more space than your average sized rabbit, any house which is suitable for a dog to live in can be perfect for Flemish giant rabbits.
They are furry, cuddly and can be a good lap pet. They can be litter trained and even walked on a leash.
Characteristics Of Flemish Giant Rabbits
Compared to other rabbits, Flemish Giant Rabbits have the following distinct characteristics
- Thick and dense fur on their body
- Long ears
- A heavy bone structure to support their weight
- Large eyes
- Males have a larger head while females have a pronounced dewlap
- Glossy Fur
Flemish Giant Rabbit Colors
Flemish giant rabbits come in seven different colors. They have one of the largest variety of body colors among giant rabbits. Here are some pictures of some Flemish giant rabbits.
Black Flemish Giant Rabbit
Blue Flemish Giant Rabbit
Fawn Flemish Giant Rabbit
Light Grey Flemish Giant Rabbit
Steel Grey Flemish Giant Rabbit
White Flemish Giant Rabbit
Sandy Flemish Giant Rabbit
How Long Do Flemish Giant Rabbits Live?
Giant rabbits tend to have shorter lifespans when compared to normal sized breeds. Flemish giant rabbits have an average lifespan of 4-6 years when housed indoors.
All rabbits live longer and happier lives when they are kept in pairs, they get good quality food and lots of interaction with their humans.
Although the average lifespan of these rabbits is around 4-6 years but these days there are more and more Flemish giant rabbit living till 8 or 10 years old.
Are Flemish Giant Rabbits A Good Pet For Kids?
All rabbits can be good pets for children if they treat them with kindness. Pets are not toys, as long as children understand this, they should have no problem being friends with a Flemish giant rabbit.
Even though Flemish giant rabbits are incredibaly docile, they can bite if not handles properly. Rabbit bites, although not dangerous, can hurt small children and can be a traumatic incident for them.
Plus, having a rabbit comes along with a bunch of responsibilities like feeding, playing and cleaning after the rabbit.
That is why I do not recommend pet rabbits for children under the age of 3.
How Big Can Flemish Giant Rabbits Get?
Quite big! According to the Guinness World Records, Darius the Flemish Giant Rabbit from the UK is the longest rabbit till date. Darius comes down at a whopping 4 ft and 3 inches (129 cm).
According to The Sun, Darius’s son Lewis and daughter Daisy May are already on the way to beat their dad’s record. At just 1 and 2 years old they are already above 4 ft.
That being said, the average Flemish Giant Rabbit is around 2.5-3.0 feet long (76cm – 91cm).
Weight Of Flemish Giant Rabbits
Flemish giant rabbits can be quite heavy when compared to other rabbits and even some dogs. The average weight of an adult of Flemish giant is around 7kgs or 15 lbs.
That being said, some show rabbits from this breed can weigh as much as 10kgs or 22 pounds. That is almost as much as a Basset Hound.
Here is the average weight of some other rabbit breeds compared to Flemish giant rabbits.
- Belgian Hare (2.7 – 4.5 kg or 6-10 lbs)
- New Zealand White (4 – 5 kg or 9-12 lbs)
- French Lop (4.5 – 6.8 kg or 10 – 15 lbs)
- English Lop (5.5 – 6.8 kg or 12 – 15 lbs)
- Continental Giant (7 – 8 or 15 – 17 lbs)
How To Pick Up A Flemish Giant Rabbit?
Rabbits can get anxious when picked up. They are prey animals, being picked up to them feels like getting caught by a predator. This is why most rabbits dislike being picked up or held up high for long.
That being the case, we need to pick up our rabbits from time to time so learning the right way to pick up a Flemish Giant Rabbit is important.
While picking up a bunny make sure that they feel comfortable being picked up by you and are not trying to run away. A squirming rabbit can easily hurt itself if you try to pick it up.
All rabbits have fragile spines that can easily snap if the rabbit falls from your hands or a high place while being carried so always be extra cautious.
Owning A Flemish Giant Rabbit
Owning a Flemish giant rabbit can be a wonderful experience. They are intelligent and active pets that can be tons of fun to play with and hang around.
Flemish giants rabbits are one of the oldest rabbit breeds in the US. That means they are available in most states. In fact, these days they are quite popular.
They are often regarded as one of the top 10 rabbit breeds in the USA.
Price Of A Flemish Giant Rabbit
In the United States, a Flemish giant rabbit is sold for around $40-60 in pet stores. if you are getting your rabbit from a breeder then they may charge you a bit less.
Although the upfront cost of getting a rabbit may be low, that does not mean that they are a cheap pet. There are several other costs, from housing, bedding, litter, food and vet bills.
Here are a few common expenses related to rabbits
- Buying or Adoption costs ($50-80)
- Spay or Neutering ($250-400)
- Rabbit Housing ($30-50)
- Rabbit Food ($30-50 Per Month)
- Vet Bills ($100-200 Yearly)
Read more about getting a new rabbit and the cost associated with it in Top 10 Things To Keep In Mind Before Getting A Pet Rabbit
Buying VS Adopting A Flemish Giant Rabbit
Even though you can buy a Flemish Giant from a pet shop or breeder, it is always best to adopt one from a rabbit shelter near you.
Rabbit shelters can have a lot of different rabbits for you to choose from. While we always suggest choosing rabbits by their personality, you can find Flemish giants rabbits in most shelters around the US or the Uk.
Most rabbits in shelters will also be spayed/neutered which saves you a bunch of money upfront.
But, breeders or pet stores may have specific colors, breed or pairs which is somethings shelters typically will not offer.
Monthly Cost Of Owning A Flemish Giant Rabbit
Most people consider rabbits to be cheap, and they are compared to some other pets, they are still a significant financial responsibility.
Other than the upfront costs of adopting/buying or vet bills, all rabbits have some monthly costs like food and litter. Here are the average monthly expenses for a Flemish Giant Rabbit.
- Pellets – $10
- Vegetables & Fruits – $10 to 30
- Hay – $10
- Litter – $5
- Bedding – $5
- Toys – $10
Which adds up to around $50 a month. This is a baseline cost you can expect if you have a Flemish giant rabbit in your home.
Vet Cost For Owning A Flemish Giant Rabbit
Just like any other pet, rabbits also need regular vet checkups. While vet visit can be covered under insurance, the expenses can be significant.
On average a vet visit for a rabbit can cost around $50 – 200 depending on where you live. It is recommended to have your bunny checked up by a specialized rabbit vet at least twice a year.
Sore hocks, Arthritis, Spondylosis, and obesity are common problems with giant rabbits. Regular vet checkups can help detect problems early and deal with them in a timely manner.
Housing For Flemish Giant Rabbits
Flemish giants rabbits are big and housing them is a challenge indoors or outdoors. Their massive size means that average rabbit pens or hutches simply will not work.
Most people who keep their giant rabbits indoors have a separate or half a room in the house just for the bunny. Housing your rabbits indoors means that they can be kept safe and warm. Just remember to bunny proof your house before you bring in the rabbit.
Flemish giants can also be housed outdoors but a conventional rabbit hutch will be too small for them, instead an outdoor shed or a similar enclosure would be perfect.
Not only do we need to think about the space required for the rabbit to live in, we must also keep in mind their play area, litter box etc.
How Much Space Does A Flemish Giant Rabbits Need?
We normally recommend that rabbits should be provided enough space in their enclosures to at least be able to take 3 consecutive jumps. It means that the space should be more than 3 rabbit lengths long.
In case of Flemish giants, they also like to stand up on their hind legs. This means that the cage ceiling has to be 1 rabbit length high.
Keeping all of that in mind, the minimum space to house a Flemish giant rabbit should be around 10 x 4 x 4 feet (3 x 1.2 x 1.2 m).
Remember the more space you can provide for a bunny, the healthier and happier they will be!
Cages For Flemish Giant Rabbits
When it comes to giant rabbit like the Flemish Giant Rabbit, getting a cage that will fit your bunny may be difficult.
These rabbits can get really big, really fast! Keeping these bunnies in a cage may be possible when they are babies but as they grow up, most cages will not have sufficient space.
Here are a few options that you have when it comes to enclosures for Flemish Giant Rabbits
- Mid-West Homes for Pets Folding Metal Pet Playpen
- Amazon Basics Fordable Metal Pet Exercise and Playpen
- New World Pet Products Fordable Metal Exercise Pen & Pet Playpen
Remember, enclosures for giant rabbits will generally be much larger and often more expensive than the ones for normal sized rabbits.
Litter Boxes For Flemish Giant Rabbits
Another crucial part of a rabbit’s enclosure is the litter box. Most rabbits can be easily litter trained. Flemish giant rabbits are no exception.
Finding a litter box big enough for an adult Flemish Giant Rabbit may be a bit harder than normal sized ones but there are a couple of option available on Amazon.com
Here are a few of them
- Humorous.P Rabbit Litter Box
- Pet Small Corner Litter Bedding Box
- Petmate Litter Pan
- Vanness CP2 Large Cat Pan
Other then these you can also use large trays, just remember thata rabbit litter box should have enough space for a bunny to turn around and graze on some hay while doing their business.
Bedding For Flemish Giant Rabbits
Due to their weight, giant rabbits are often prone to sore hocks. They are painful wounds that occur on a rabbits feet due to standing on wire mesh floors. The problem can escalate very quickly into infection from them standing on poop or urine.
Try to provide a soft and gentle surface in your rabbit’s enclosure and litter box and make sure it stays dry through the day.
Flemish Giant Rabbit Diet
Flemish giants have very similar dietary requirements to that of normal rabbits. That means they can eat everything normal rabbits eat, they just need much more of it since they are bigger.
An average Flemish Giant Rabbit can consume twice the amount of food that a smaller breed consumers in a day.
Giant rabbit owners should always keep a steady supply of fresh pellets and hay as well as a good mix of seasonal fruits and vegetables for their rabbits.
What Do Flemish Giant Rabbits Eat?
Flemish giant rabbits are Obligate Herbivores, that means they can only eat plant based foods like Hay, Vegetables, Fruits and specially formulated Rabbits pellets made from hay and other plant based materials.
Here is what a Flemish Giant eats in a daily basis
- Timothy Hay Rabbit Pellets – 100 grams or 1/2 cups daily.
- Vegetables – 3 to 5 handful of leafy & non-leafy vegetable mix
- Fruits – A small thumb sized piece of fruit daily.
- Hay – An unlimited supply of fresh Timothy Hay.
- Water – An unlimited supply of fresh water, changed everyday.
Learn in detail about what rabbits eat on our article The Balanced Rabbit Diet Guide – Feeding Rabbits Simplified.
Contact your rabbit friendly vet to get a more in depth diet chart for your bunny if you see that your rabbit is losing or gaining weight.
Our goal with any rabbit diet is to provide all the essential nutrient that our bunny needs to grow up and maintain a healthy weight.
It is especially important for Flemish giants as their bodies keep growing even when their 1.5 years old. Other smaller breeds are fully grown by that age.
Do Flemish Giant Rabbits Need Special Food?
No, Flemish giant rabbits do not need any special food or dietary supplement. They can have exactly the same diet as any other rabbit breed. They just need more of what you would give to a smaller breed of rabbit.
That being said, rabbits can develop nutrient deficiency if they are picky eaters, consult with your vet for any symptoms of nutrient deficiency or read more here.
How Much Food Does A Flemish Giant Rabbit Need?
As rabbits grow up from babies to adults, their nutritional requirements change as well. Here is a quick guide to tell you how many calories a Flemish giant rabbit needs to maintain a steady body weight.
- 2 lbs (90 calories)
- 3 lbs (120 calories)
- 4 lbs (150 calories)
- 5 lbs (170 calories)
- 6 lbs (200 calories)
- 7 lbs (230 calories)
- 8 lbs (250 calories)
- 9 lbs (275 calories)
- 10 lbs (300 calories)
- 10+ lbs (300 calories if their weight remains stable)
A rabbit’s calorie need will greatly depend on their growth stage and how active they are. If the rabbit is sedentary (as is the case with older rabbits) they will need lesser calories and vise-versa.
Flemish Giant Rabbit Care
Caring for Flemish giant rabbits is no different from caring for other rabbits. They are docile, calm and playful. Often called the gentle giants of the rabbit world, these rabbits can be cared for just as easily as any other.
They only things different are their size and weight. So as long as you accustom yourself to handling the rabbit and understand rabbit behavior, most people should have no problem living with a Flemish giant.
How To Bond With A Flemish Giant Rabbit?
Flemish giants are playful and fun to be around. Bonding with your pet is really important not just for you but for the rabbit as well. Rabbits are prey animals, it takes a bit of time for them to feel comfortable being around humans.
The easiest way to build a rapport is to just being around them, spending quality time with your pet will make them open up to you and feel safe just being themselves around you.
Another sure shot way to bond with your Flemish giant rabbit is to hand feed them, your bunny will love you for this. Hand feeding is showing them that you care for them. I recommend hand feeding your bunny at least once a day during the first few weeks of bring home a new rabbit.
Can Flemish Giant Rabbits Be Litter Trained?
Yes, Flemish Giant Rabbits can easily be litter trained. Litter training rabbit does not take much time and is a big advantage of rabbits over other pets.
Being in the litter box and chewing on some hay is a ritual for all pet rabbits.
Start with litter training at an early age and the bunny should almost never poop or pee elsewhere. Having the bunny spayed or neutered helps as well.
Do Flemish Giant Rabbits Smell Bad?
No, rabbits do not have any odour to them. Rabbits are nature’s neat freaks, they like to keep themselves super clean. If you have a bunny at home then you will see them spend a large time everyday just grooming.
That is why you do not need to bathe rabbits either. They take care of most of their cleaning needs themselves.
Is It Hard To Clean After A Flemish Giant Rabbit?
Well rabbits are messier than some other pets. The main clean up required for rabbits is their cage and litter box which need regular cleaning as well as occasional deep cleaning.
Cleaning up hair and fur can also be a hassle as it can easily spread around your house. Rabbits shed tons of fur every where which can get stuck of your cloths or sofa.
You can learn a bit more about the topic on our article How To Deep Clean A Rabbit Cage?
Conclusion - Is A Flemish Giant Rabbit Right For You?
Flemish Giants rabbits can be incredible pet but they come with their own set of quirks. All pets can be a significant responsibility and giant rabbits are no different.
If you are wondering if Flemish giant rabbits are the perfect pet for you then make sure that,
- You can provide enough space to house them
- You can get a regular supply of pellets, hay and fresh vegetables & fruits
- You can spend some time interacting with your bunny everyday
- You can clean up after your rabbit regularly
- Everyone in your home is onboard with accommodating a giant rabbit
- Children in your home treat your pets with care