We're used to the idea that rabbits are usually small in size, a little fearful, and very cautious. But the Flemish Giant rabbit is not like that. These rabbits can be wonderful companions and they can easily surpass some dogs in size. Indeed, these giants are definitely larger than Yorkies, Maltese, Chihuahuas, and other small breeds. But for all that, they are docile, calm, and patient, and they are often kept as pets.
The Flemish Giant is also known as the Belgian Giant since it originated in Flanders, Belgium, in the 16th century. How these rabbits first appeared is still a mystery. It is believed that their ancestors were Patagonian rabbits, which were brought to Europe from South America. The Patagonian rabbit was a large breed which is now extinct. The Flemish Giant outgrew its supposed ancestor. Patagonian rabbits weighed about 9lb kg and were always considered quite large specimens. The Flemish Giant is usually 2.5 times bigger, but there are some exceptional giants. For example, the largest rabbit weighs 3st 6.5lb and reaches 4ft 3in.
Of course, this breed was originally used for their meat and fur, and it became known only at the beginning of the 20th century, once agricultural exhibitions came into fashion. Over the century, the Flemish Giant was bred in different countries, and the attitude towards this animal has changed. Now they are often kept as pets.
So why are Flemish Giants the perfect rabbits to keep at home? They are calm, very patient, and with the right training can easily get along even with the little ones. Well, imagine what it's like to have such a soft, fluffy giant at home, quietly chewing carrots in the corner of your house or garden? True, because of their size, Flemish Giants need a lot more space than ordinary rabbits as well as food.
Because of their size, these rabbits are very popular with breeders. Thanks to their fertility, many new breeds have emerged.
But perhaps the most interesting descendant of these giants is the Belgian hare. Breeders worked very hard on this breed as they wanted a domestic rabbit to look like a hare. They actually succeeded. This big-eared cutie can easily be taken for a hare.
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