History of the breed –
The Flemish Giant is a very old and popular breed due to its large size originally bred in the 16th century around the city of Ghent, Belgium. Their weight can be from 13 pounds to as large as 28 pounds. They usualy live between 5 and 10 years.
Today they are one of the most popular breeds.There are seven standard colors: black, blue, fawn, light gray, sandy, steel gray and white. They are very docile and laid back which makes them a very friendly pet and companion. They are easily litter trained which will allow them to have free run of the home if desired. They due not require much attention to grooming due to their short hair.
They should have hay on a regular basis, preferably timothy hay. It is also recommended that they have 2-6 cups of chopped dark green leafy vegetables per day depending on size. Cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage should be avoided.
All in all, these friendly animals make great pets as well as a great show animal.
Things you should know before purchasing a rabbit –
So you are looking to get a rabbit or maybe you have just purchased one and you are thinking “OK, now what?” Many people think that rabbits are very low maintenance but this is not quite the case. The benefits definetly outweigh the responsibility though. You must provide your rabbit with several things. They are as follows.
1. You must decide if you are going to give your new pet the run of the house. If so you must litter train it. You may also cage it. Your cage must be in a quiet place free from noise such as the T.V. or children. Small rabbits require a cage about 2×3 foot.
2. One thing to keep in mind is that a rabbits teeth do not stop growing so you must provide them with toys to chew on. These can be branches from apple trees, cardboard boxes and phone books. This will also combat boredom in your rabbit.
3. Rabbits have a very sensitive digestive system so you must provide them with proper nutrition. Your rabbits diet mainly consists of timothy hay and must have a constant supply of it. You can also give them pellets, spinach, and celery to supplement. Treats such as apples and bananas can be given rarely.
4. Rabbits are social animals. They need your attention and should be handled regularly. If you don’t have a lot of time to give to your rabbit, you should consider getting more than one as a companion. They should be paired together when you get them.
5. It is important to remember that your rabbit is like any other pet and needs exercise. It should not be in it’s cage all the time. You should let it have one rabbit proofed room to let it run daily. Don’t make your rabbit a prisoner. One idea is to use a hex playpen.
If you are planning on getting a rabbit, you should get them from a breeder or the animal shelter. Do no get them from a pet store.
Supplies you will need –
1. A cage or hex type pen at least 3’x4′ for 1 rabbit
2. Watter Bottle and daily fresh watter
3. Feeder or food dish
4. Unlimited high-fiber hay or Timothy Hay
5. Rabbit pellets
6. Fruit and vegetables occasionally
7. Letterbox and litter designed safe for rabbits like Yesterday’s News or similar brands.
Putting hay on top of the litter as an additional enticement to use the box.
8. Lots of rabbit safe toys
9. Blankets, grass mat or resting spot
10. Nail clippers to Trim nails every four to six weeks.
12. White vinegar can be used to Wipe cage down and neutralize accidents
How to litter train your rabbit-
Do you feel bad that your rabbit has to spend it’s life in a cage. Did you know you can litter train your rabbit and give him free rain of the house or a rabbit-proofed room! A rabbit’s natural tendancy is to deposit their droppings in one spot. Follow these steps to litter train your bunny:
1. Purchase litter. DO NOT purchase litter with clay, scents, or clumping brands. They are considered toxic. I would recommend compressed sawdust pellets. These are cheap and highly absorbent.
2. Choose your box. Most cat litter boxes will work fine but you may want to use a cake pan for smaller rabbits. If your rabbit decides to get in the box and deposit outside the box, you may need something with higher sides.
3. At first keep your rabbit in its cage. Find out where your rabbit is depositing in its cage. Place the litter box in that spot. If your rabbit chooses to use another spot, then move the box to that spot.
4. When your rabbit is used to going in the litter box it is time to let him out. Confine your rabbit to one room without carpet obviously. Possibly the kitchen or bathroom. Pick a spot for the box that is easily accessible on at least one side.
5. You might place a treat or toy by the box to entice him. If your bunny has an accident, do not punish. If you catch your rabbit in the act or about to deposit, gently put them near or in their box. At first, when they go in their box, give them a treat.
6. Once your rabbit has mastered using the box, you may give your rabbit free reign of the house or expand his bounderies.
Sometimes your rabbit may get lazy and decide to be careless. This is when you should backtrack and restrict their freedom until they are back on track. This may seem like a difficult process but it is well worth having your bunny be a part of the family.
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