Flemish Giant Rabbits
Adult Size: Giant (13-22+ pounds/ 6-10+ kilograms)
The Flemish Giant has a minimum weight of 12 pounds (5 kg), and can live for up to five years or more, with many living into their late teens. Sometimes Flemish Giants are used as a meat breed because of their large size. They may also be used for crossbreeding to increase the size of your herd. But they are really not suitable for meat breeding based on the most common favorable traits of meat rabbits.
They have a very low meat-to-bone ratio, meaning that they have rather large bones and not as much meat on their body. A lot of the food they consume goes into producing those large bones instead of meat for your table.
Also, at about the time they would be considered prime fryer age and size, they really start to accelerate the growth of their frame instead of meat. A Flemish Giant may need up to a pound more food per day just to maintain growth, and that is outside of breeding or lactating periods.
If you decide to use Flemish Giants as a crossbreeder, you will likely want to stay away from the blacks as they tend to be a bit smaller. Greys or reds have more favorable size.
The Flemish Giant is one of the largest breeds recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association and the minimum show weight for a Senior (older than 8 months) doe is 14 lbs, and the minimum weight of a Senior buck is 13 pounds. It is not unusual to see a 22 pound Flemish Giant, and specimens weighing 28 pounds have been reported.
The Flemish Giant has a classic “mandolin” shape, with broad hindquarters and a long, powerful body. Bucks have a wider, more massive head than does. Seven colors are recognized
by ARBA: black, blue, fawn, light gray, sandy, steel gray and white. Sandy is the most common. The fur of the Flemish Giant is glossy and dense, and when stroked from the hindquarters to the head, the fur will roll back to its original position.
The ideal age for the female Flemish Giant rabbit to start breeding is when they are about 9 months to one year. It can produce large litters, usually between 5 to 12 in a litter. As with other “giant” breeds, the Flemish Giant grows slowly. A senior doe can take 1 year to reach full maturity. A senior buck can take 1.5 years to reach full maturity.
Flemish Giants are known to be quite placid and laid-back, and as a result, they are known to be docile and tolerant of considerable handling, making them great pets. But when handled incorrectly or irresponsibly then tend to become fearful so it’s usually best for experienced or mature owners to handle them.