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Flemish Giant Information

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A History Of The Flemish Giant Breed

No one knows the exact origins of the Flemish Giant Breed.  Some people believe that the during the 16th and 17th century, Dutch Traders may have brought back giant Patagonia Rabbits from the Argentine Republic to Europe.  The large rabbits of Flanders were well known at the time and may have been cross bred with the Patagonian.  The name Flemish comes from Flanders.  But because the Flemish exhibits the same body type and and appearance as the Patagonian, it seems obvious that our favorite Giant is decended from the wild Argentine rabbit. 
There is no real record of the Flemish Giant Rabbit until 1860.  Travelers from Flanders spoke of the giant rabbits raised in that country.  English rabbit breeders, raising the typical 7-8 lb. rabbit, were having trouble meeting the demand for rabbit meat in their country.  So some of these "Giants" were imported to England and it was only a matter of time before they began showing up at local rabbit shows.  The original Flemish Giant was typically  impressive in size, about 14 lbs., and of a dirty iron grey color with sandy or white bars on the legs and long ears with bent tips.  Now, through the efforts of Flemish Giant Breeders Associations around the world, The Flemish have evolved into 7 varieties (colors) and sizes of 14-20 lbs. 
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Flemish Giant Care
 
Cage Size:
72" by 42" by 24" is a good size for a flemish.  It can be smaller if your flemish will be able to get out of the cage to run. It is good for flemish to have a solid floor as they get sore hocks easy but I find that solid floor promote germ growth. A wire floor with boards to stand on and plenty of straw work great.  Putting a wood board through the middle of the cage, so that the rabbit has to jump over it, really helps develop the shoulders.
 
Feeding:
Free feed rabbits up to 4-5 months old.  Free feed pregnant and nursing does. 1- 1 1/2 cups a day for all other flemish.  Buy feed that contains 16-18% protein and contains less than 5% fat.  Treats are okay and expected :) but do not feed iceberg lettuce as it is bad for rabbits.
 
Grooming: Easy
Flemish have normal fur so they need minimal grooming.  Every two weeks they should be brushed over with a slicker brush and have their nails clipped with a dog nail clipper. When they are molting their fur should be brushed often to prevent fur blockadge.
 
Breeding: Difficult
Because of their size they have problems conceiving.  But other than that they are wonderful moms who have LARGE litters of usually healthy kits.
 
Pet Quality: Excellent!
Flemish are easy to house train, there personality is docile, sweet and playful. They have a low grooming mantaince, and can stand up to young kids and other animals

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