There are several types of large rabbits that are popular to own as pets, some of which are larger than your average pet dog. Giant rabbits can be found to have long, luscious fur, big floppy ears, or even interesting color patterns. Giant rabbit breeds aren’t talked about often enough, so learning more about these adorable giants may even persuade you to adopt one to have as a part of your family.
The Checkered Giant Rabbit
One of the large breeds of pet rabbits is the Checkered Giant Rabbit. Their fur markings are actually very unique, making their origins into quite the puzzle. Some wonder whether the Checkered Giant was a crossbreed between a Lop and maybe another rabbit breed with a similar fur pattern.
When you encounter a Checkered Giant, you will notice that they have a black circle of fur around each eye as well as a butterfly-shaped black spot over their nose. Often one or both ears are also black. One of their most distinct markings is the black stripe that runs down their back.
The French Lop
The history and origin story of this giant rabbit breed is very straight forward. In the 1800s in France, a rabbit breeder crossed an English Lop with a Butterfly Rabbit, resulting in this adorable giant rabbit breed. Their particularly short ears flop down on the sides of their heads naturally and adorably. They also can be found in a variety of colors with fur that is soft and thick.
The Giant Chinchilla Rabbit
Back in 1921, a man named Edward H. Stahl helped to create this interesting giant breed of rabbits in the United States. The Giant Chinchilla Rabbit was born of an interesting cross between a giant Flemish Rabbit and a standard Chinchilla.
The first of this breed was named the Million Dollar Princess and weighed somewhere between 13-16 pounds. The Giant Chinchilla is a gentle giant and is sensitive to extreme heat. This is common with most any breed of rabbit.
The Giant Angora
Originally from Turkey, where they were called Anakara, the Angora rabbit is known well for its long white fur and pink eyes. In the 1700’s they were a favorite pet among French Royalty. Their fur was collected to create Angora wool that was then used to make clothing and many other lavish items.
The Biggest Rabbit Breed: The Flemish Giant
Flemish Giants are undeniably the largest breed of rabbit known to man. It is believed that these giants originated from stone rabbits that were native to the Flemish region, but scientists aren’t quite sure.
The Flemish Giant rabbit breaks all records for rabbit size and weight, weighing in at over 20 pounds and over 4 feet in length. This is comparable to the average size of a medium-sized dog such as a Collie. Can you imagine a rabbit the size of your dog hopping around the house? Some people do keep these rabbits indoors as house pets, alongside their other pets.
Caring for a Flemish Giant Rabbit
Due to their massive size, these rabbits need a lot of specialized care in order to thrive and be happy in captivity. They need to be given enough space to bounce around and move as they please. If they are not housed properly, they can develop sores on their feet as well as have a negative shift in their temperament.
Flemish Giants can be docile and happy with an owner, but they must be raised to become familiar with handling and frequent interaction with their human. If they are not interacted with frequently enough or properly, they could become withdrawn or even aggressive.
Socialization at a young age is also very important for these rabbits. It is what helps them to develop their calm and happy demeanor. By the age of one year, they will have reached their full size, and can live 8-10 long and happy years of life with you.
The diet of the Flemish Giant Rabbit is a little different than that of your average pet rabbit. Typically, you are taught to only feed your rabbit leafy greens, hay, and pellets while avoiding carbohydrates and proteins. These massive rabbits do, in fact, need some protein in their diets. This is because of their increased overall mass.
Do Flemish Giant Rabbits Make Good Pets?
Giant rabbits such as the Flemish Giant can make an excellent family pet, although, it’s important that you’ve done your research on their specific care needs before signing any adoption paperwork.
For instance, if you are unable to socialize your Flemish Giant Rabbit when they are still young, you may risk missing the opportunity to mold their temperament into one that is calm and gentle, which could spell trouble for you and your family trying to raise them.
If their temperament is properly attended to when they are young, the Flemish Giant makes a great pet for homes with children. However, these rabbits do grow to be very large, which means young children may not be able to lift them properly. The Flemish Giant needs to be picked up with care to prevent any spinal damage related to their large size.
Some giant rabbits may appear to be something out of the dreams of five-year-old girls. Originating all over the world, these giant bunnies can make great house pets for families willing to adopt a rabbit that may very well be the same size as their dog.