The most common comment after seeing a flemish Giant rabbit
for the first time is "my god
, it's bigger than my dog!". The minimum
weight of a Flemish Giant for show is about 14 lbs
, and it is not uncommon to see 22 lb rabbits. Specimen
s as large as 28 lbs have been reported. Flemish Giants generally come in (solid) black
', light gray
, steel gray
Many modern rabbit breeds recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association were developed in the last 20 years (see Lop-eared Rabbit, mini Rex rabbit), however the Flemish Giant is believed to be descended from the Patagonian Rabbit of Argentina. These rabbits were brought to Europe in the 16th and 17th century and raised for meat. Reports of English travelers through Flanders from the 1860's tell of the enormous rabbits being raised there. Flemish Giants were brought from England to America in the 1880's, and seem to have started appearing in livestock shows in America in about 1910, where they recieved lots of attention due to their considerable size.
Due to their size and the rapid rate at which they reach maturity, they are commonly raised for meat and fur (baby Flemish Giants are marketable as 'fryers' as soon as they are weaned). Flemish Giants also have a very relaxed temperment and make excellent pets. They are often called 'gentle giants' because of their docile nature. This makes them good rabbits to have in a household where there are children, although some Flemish Giants are so laid-back that they don't really appear to 'do anything', so anyone looking for an 'animated' pet would be advised to try another breed.