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Giant Flemish

It is thought that the Flemish Giant Rabbit is a cross between large rabbits from Flanders and giant Patagonian rabbits. Dutch traders travelled to Argentina in the 16th and 17th century bringing back the giant wild rabbits. The first record of Flemish Giant Rabbits is in 1860.

A giant white rabbit enjoying the shade in the petting pens

A giant white rabbit enjoying the shade in the petting pens

Travellers returning to England from Flanders told stories of the giant rabbits they had seen. Rabbit was a very popular source of meat and the English rabbit breeders decided to import the Flemish Giant to help satisfy the market. A typical English rabbit weighed 7 – 8 lbs, whilst the Flemish Giant weighed in at 14lbs!

These giant rabbits are very strong physically and also have very strong characters. They have a reputation for not being easy to breed, the mothering instinct is not renowned and the mortality rate amongst the babies can be high. They also have enormous appetites! There are 7 distinct colours in the modern Flemish Giant; black, blue, fawn, light grey, steel grey, white and sandy/natural. The female may have a dewlap (a fold of loose skin hanging from the throat) the fur of which she uses for lining her nest and keeping her young warm.