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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-27-2004, 01:28 AM Thread Starter
 
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Help Needed

Well, Im a little lost. Im probably going to be getting a Flemish Rabbit, but I need some basic information.. for example, what do they eat? Where sould they be kept? Health problems? Im not exactly sure a Flemish is my type though...Thank you anyone who took the time to respond and help a confused mind =)
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-27-2004, 02:57 AM
 
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Hi! I've found that there are some really good websites out there that will answer all your questions! Try looking at www.islandgems.net -- there is a HUGE information section, probably more info than you need right now, but it's all there .

Flemish Giants are just that, giants! They are huge, and can weigh as much as a large cat/small dog. Like most rabbit breeds, they can have wonderful personalities.

As far as what they eat, they eat what most rabbits eat. Most people feed their rabbits a 16% protein pellet, along with unlimited hay, and a supply of fresh veggies every day (make sure you double check the list of safe and unsafe veggies!). It's totally up to you how much veggies you feed, but keep in mind that a sudden change in diet can upset a rabbit's digestive system (and they are very sensitive), and cause messy/runny poo (which is actually quite dangerous for rabbits if they suffer prolonged diarhea). Rabbits can survive on just hay and pellets alone, but a lot of people feel that fresh veggies are a necessity.

Flemish Giants can be kept inside or outside, though if you plan on keeping your rabbit in a cage outside, you will need to take steps to protect him/her. For instance, you will need to provide a completely dry, wind-sheltered area if you expect him/her to withstand the weather. Also, a cage that is off the ground will help to protect against predators (like cats, dogs, coyotes/other larger animals).
The size of cage you use is dependent upon how much time your bunny will have to stay in the cage. There at the very least, has to be enough room that your bunny can stretch out and not hit the food area or the bathroom area (as rabbits tend to use the same corner for all their business). As far as wire bottomed versus plastic bottomed, it depends on how much work you can handle in cleaning up after him/her. Wire bottom cages often allow for quicker easier cleanup as you just have to empty the tray underneath the cage. Plastic bottomed cages (or solid bottomed cages) are sometimes more tricky due to staining and the like. IF you decided to use a wire cage, please leave something in the cage for your rabbit to lay down on so that he/she does not always have to rest all that weight on the wire.

Health problems --- that may depend on who you get your rabbit from. I've known some breeds to have nothing but problems, but sometimes it has to do with the breeder. If you get your rabbit from a petstore, there's always the risk of not knowing the background of the animal, whether all relatives of the animal are healthy, etc. I don't recall any prominent health problems with rabbits, other than the problems that occur when they haven't been looked after very well.

Miyabita is a rabbit breeder and can probably give you some more information when she pops by.

If you're not sure if the Flemish Giant is right for you, try visiting the national flemish giant rabbit club site http://www.nffgrb.com/

http://www.nffgrb.com/Articles/Artic...stFlemish.html talks about buying your first flemish giant rabbit.


Good luck, and feel free to ask lots more questions
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-27-2004, 12:33 PM
 
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Smile Searcing for Rabbits via internet.

You could always lookup 'flemish giants' or 'rabbit breeds' if you think flemish giants aren't your thing. You might also find good breeders on the net, but alot of breeders websites don't show up on search results, because they use free websites, so be shure to look on free website providers sites, like Freewebs.com, geocities.com and expage.com. Most of these sites have a directory where you can look for sites made through that provider. Happy Rabbit Searching!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-27-2004, 08:05 PM
 
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My website, http://www.tsukiyo.org also has a TON of rabbit info, plus it has a breeder directory that lists websites of the different breeds. Another great thing to do is join the American Rabbit Breeders Association. They will send you a book that has a list of all the members in your area, so you can get ahold of one (even if they don't raise flemish), and they can take you to a show and get you introduced to flemish giant breeders. Then you can see some of the breed first hand, and see if they are right for you. http://www.tsukiyo.org/Showing/arba.html has a list of the benefits you get for joining (even if you are only having a companion rabbit and not breeding) and it links to a form you can print out and send in to join. I highly recommend joining. They provide a ton of great info about rabbits.

They eat just like any other breed, they just need more of it because they are larger. Plenty of hay and pellets until they are about 8 months old (flemish giants take longer to be fully mature). Start introducing veggies around 4 months and slowly increase the number and amount of veggies they have, while keeping as much hay and pellets as they want to eat. Once they reach 8 months old, you can cut back a bit on the pellets. If they are getting all the hay they want and a decent amount of veggies 1 1/2 cups of pellets is usually fine. Otherwise 2+ cups of pellets.

They cannot be kept on an all wire floor because they can easily get sore feet due to their weight. The cage must have at least partially solid flooring so they can rest. The ideal set-up is half wire and half solid flooring. That way they can choose (in a recent study, it was found that rabbits actually generally prefer wire flooring as long as their feet are not sore).

They are generally very sweet and gentle rabbits, as long as they are handled often (any breed has to be handled often to be sweet), and they are nicknamed "the gentle giants".

Other than the sore feet (called sore hocks) there are not breed-specific health problems. Just the ones that affect all breeds like contagious diseases (snuffles, ear mites, etc.), bad teeth, etc. Also, since their fur is a little longer than a normal rabbit's (it is called "rollback" fur like a netherland dwarf, mini lop, or holland lop has, and it is a bit longer and softer), when they are moulting, they need brushed to prevent them from licking too much fur off and getting hairballs.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-28-2004, 02:44 AM Thread Starter
 
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=3

Thank you guys very much =) I honestly didnt expect to see such fast and useful responses! Well you guys were very helpful, thank you again -hug-
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-28-2004, 01:24 PM
 
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www.rabbit.org also has great info about house rabbits! Good luck and keep us updated!
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ear mites, flemish giant, flemish giants, holland lop, house rabbit, house rabbits, mini lop, netherland dwarf, wire cage


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