Jeff Rowells World of Rabbits


The Flemish Giant is a semi-arch type rabbit with its back arch starting back of the shoulders and carrying through to the base of the tail giving a "mandolin" shape. 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. A comment heard from many individuals seeing a Flemish giant rabbit for the first time is, "Wow, its bigger than my dog!"

The body of a Flemish Giant Rabbit should be long and powerful with good muscular development. The hindquarters should be broad and massive. Bucks have a broad, massive head in comparison to does. Does may have a large, full, evenly carried dewlap (the fold of skin under their chins).

It is thought that the Flemish Giant rabbit is the modern descendant of the Patagonian rabbit of Argentina. The Patagonian rabbit was brought to Europe by 16th and 17th century Dutch traders and was raised for meat.

The first written records of the Flemish Giant Rabbit dates from about 1860. At that time, English travelers returning from Flanders brought back stories of the enormous rabbits that were being raised there. The Flemish Giant was imported from England to America in the early 1880s.

It received no special attention until about 1910 where it started appearing at small livestock shows throughout the country. Today, it is one of the more popular breeds at rabbit shows because of its enormous size and its many and beautiful colours.

Jeff Rowell 2000