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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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Post Flemish Giants

Hello! I've started doing a little bit of research on Flemish Giants, but there's just not as much information out there on them as I'd like to know. If anyone can help me out with my questions I would greatly appreciate it. 1) Everything I've found telling me about cage size sounds way to small to me. Is it possible to keep these rabbits as a household pet, such as a cat, and not keep it in a cage, but while I'm away put it in a bunny-proofed room such as a laundry room or a bathroom with all of their supplies in it so they'll have more room during the day. I just have issues with locking a bunny up that big in a cage. Please tell me if I'm being over the top on this one, I've never owned a rabbit before. 2) As far as spaying goes, what age should this be done? 3) Do rabbits have to take heartworm medication like dogs do? I would probably take it outside with me sometimes to play in the yard. (I garden organically so no pesticides or fertilize.) I think that's all for now. Thanks in advance to all who help.

Last edited by Dragonrain; 12-18-2010 at 11:06 AM. Reason: Email address removed
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 12:12 AM
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Hellos Welcome to Paw-Talk!

Rabbits can be litter box trained and it would be awesome to keep your rabbit outside of it's cage while your home to watch it. You just have to make sure to rabbit proof the rooms it will be in, because rabbits are great at getting into trouble and finding things to destroy when you turn your back.

Spaying can be done as soon as they are sexually mature, which is usually around 4/5 months. Most vets that I've had experience with spay between 4 and 6 months of age, so you would have to talk to your vet and see what he/she recommends. Of course older rabbits can be spayed as well, but the older they are, usually the riskier the surgery is so it's better to get it done when they're young, under a year of age if possable.

As far as I know, heartworms arn't really a big problem in rabbits. I've actually never heard of a rabbit getting heartworm personally. Not saying that it hasen't happened, but I've never heard of it. And there isn't currently any heartworm medications made especially for rabbits (that I know of). However, I know lots of people, myself included, who take their rabbits outside sometimes with no problems.

I hope that helped


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 03:33 AM
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Michelle basically covered everything but I wanted to say that I have had several completely free-range rabbits like you described. They were rarely confined to a cage even when I wasn't home (but if I left I would always round them into my room first...mostly to avoid conflicts with the dogs).

I really enjoyed having free-range rabbits. In my experience it makes them ten times friendlier and they don't get into as much trouble as you'd think (after the initial exploration, anyways).

My current two are not bonded so they have to take turns being out .

I used to have a pair (a Californian and a Giant Chinchilla, both very large breeds) that were free-range and it was so great to come home and have two bunnies greet you. Although they had access to the whole house they tended to stay in my room or the hallway. Unless, of course, someone was in the kitchen. Then they'd be there in a second, begging for food .




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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all so much for the information! I feel so much better about keeping the bunny out of a cage now that I know it's ok. I would have to put her into a closed room when I'm gone because I do have a dog, and while i trust her, I just like to know that everyone is safe. But my dog is harmless, I let the hamster run around with my dog out and she just sniffs at it.

One more question, I would have this bunny with me all the time while I'm home, but I don't know if I should still have two or not. I'd prefer to only get one rabbit, but if it would be happier with a buddy then of course I would do that. Let me know what you think. Thanks to all for being so helpful to the newby!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of your help. I truly appreciate it. I feel so much better about not having to keep the bunny in a cage.

One more question. This rabbit would be out with me all the time that I am home, but I am wondering does it need a rabbit friend? I'd prefer to only get 1 rabbit, but if it needs a friend I will get 2. Let me know what you think.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-28-2008, 04:51 PM
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I have read that most bunnies like a friend - but Penelope makes me think that may not be the case for all bunnies! She does not seem to like the other buns at all. And she was furious when I put the guinea pigs I am baby sitting in her room. And it's not like they have the run of her whole room!
Should you decide to adopt from a rescue they would have a good knowledge of the bunny's personality. Just one piece of advice - if you don't get a bonded pair from the beginning then let your bunny decide who he/she wants as a friend. It will be easier to bond that way. I made that mistake!

mommy to
Tyler - kitty
Oscar - water turtle
Bean - kitty
Frankie - dachshund
Belle - dachshund
Oliver - bunny
Ophelia - bunny
Penelope - bunny
Teddy - bunny -ok I have given up on 4 of a kind and am willing to settle for 2 pairs.
8 fishes - RIP Little Guy and Greta
and Tabatha - October 11, 2006 - rest in peace our sweet angel bunny
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-28-2008, 04:57 PM
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Bunnies are like people, some really enjoy being around other bunnies, while others would rather be alone. Having a single bunny, if that's what you prefer, is usually fine as long as it gets plenty of human interactions and doesn't get too bored. You could always start with one bunny and decide later on weather or not you think he/she would like a friend.


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-07-2009, 12:53 PM
 
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Flemish: cages and rabbit proofing

A cage for a Flemish Giant should be 48" x 48" x at least 27". It can be a bit smaller if he spends a lot of time roaming the house. I use a dog crate. Mine spends a lot of time outside the cage, under my supervision. A minimum of 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening or more. He sleeps in his "room" (the crate.) He is not left alone outside the crate just yet because he is still learning the litter box. He also has a harness and leash for going outside about 3x per week, which he loves. Organic grass only! Don't let him graze in fertilizers or pesticides. Plant a small organic patch of bunny safe plants for him to graze in if you can, but no tomatoes. The leaves will make him sick although he can eat the tomato itself.

Don't worry about him getting lonely. They will make friends with just about any other pet you have. My cats took to him right away (with careful introduction and a little patience)

Rabbit proof everything waist high, maybe even higher for the Flemish. This means heavy plastic wrapped on wooden table legs, heavy plastic tubing on all electric cords, basically heavy plastic on anything unsafe to chew. Rugs and carpets will be chewed and ingested. Enough of this and it will be an expensive vet trip for intestinal blockage. This is another reason your bunny should not be left out unattended.

All in all, Flemish are high maintenance, so be prepared to spend a lot of time and money caring for him/her. Anyone considering a bunny should know this because the shelters are absolutely overflowing and I think this is why.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-07-2009, 04:54 PM
 
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I have a 22 lb flemish giant and he's awesome. I have a dog crate for him instead of a cage, but he's a free range house bunny. He's completely litter trained. I lock him in his cage at night only because he hops around and makes so much noise it wakes us up

I've only ever owned a flemish giant so I don't really know how he compares to other rabbits, but he doesn't seem to me to be much more high maintainance than any other rabbit. I do have to clean his litter box every day because he eats more/poops more than a smaller rabbit. Plus of course the food bills will be slightly higher - I get about 2 weeks out of a large bag of hay, a large bag of food lasts me 3 weeks, and I buy him fresh produce a couple times a week if I don't already have anything in the house that he can eat.

Good luck with your decision!

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