Flanders or the Belgian giant is one of the oldest rabbit breeds. It is most preferred by breeders because of the large size of individuals and their fertility. Animals of this breed are bred for meat and skins.
Rabbit breed flanders
There is still no reliable data on the occurrence of this breed. Scientists have issued several of the most likely assumptions:
- Flanders is a hybrid obtained by crossing Argentine, Patagonian breeds and large Flemish rabbits.
- A descendant of the Patagonian breed brought from Argentina in the 16-17th century by Dutch travelers. This version is rather doubtful due to the fact that the Patagonian adult rabbit weighed no more than 1 kg.
- A descendant of large Flemish rabbits currently extinct.
The ancestors of the breed were brought to North America from Europe in the 19th century. They have gained recognition and widespread participation in exhibitions. In 1916, the National Federation of Belgian Giant Breeders even opened. In modern society, the love of Americans is still given to rabbits of the Flanders breed.
These rabbits were named after Flanders. an area that was part of the Belgian state in the 16th century. Presumably from here rabbits got to the North American continent.
External breed data
Rabbits are distinguished by large elongated torso, long ears, wide cheeks. They look clumsy, good-natured. Their wide powerful legs are a very formidable weapon. Some completely unreasonably consider flanders ugly. At the same time, many give birth to them as a pet for decorative purposes.
Signs of breed flanders
There are a large number of varieties and branches of the breed at the moment, however, there are specific signs that are characteristic of all representatives.
- An impressive body size, the length of which is 65-70 cm, chest circumference 35-38 cm, the back is concave or straight.
- The color of the coat. Official standards. white, sand, sandy red (faun), opal, silver, gray-orange (agouti), blue, black, dark gray (kangaroo), gray color.
- The ears are vertical, widened on the sides, with a wide black stripe on top. The size of the ears is 19-25 cm.
- The head is very large, the cheeks are voluminous, chubby.
- Body weight 6-12 kg, an average of 7-8.
- The coat is thick, hair height 3-4cm.
- In one litter, the maximum number of animals is 15. Average. 7-8.
- The average weight of a rabbit is: 1 month. 700g, 2 months. 1500g, 3 months. 2.5kg, 4 months. 3.5kg, 5 months. 4.5kg, 6 months. 5.5kg, 8 months. 7kg.
- The adult rabbit is calm, non-conflict.
- It gets along well with other animals.
- It has high intellectual abilities.
- Does not show aggression towards people.
- It is characterized by a balanced behavior.
- It shows friendliness, especially when communicating with children.
Advantages and disadvantages characteristic of flanders
Rabbit breed flanders in a cage
Each breed has positive and negative qualities that are specific to them. Flanders are no exception.
- Great fecundity, high milk yield of females.
- Good viability of rabbits.
- Balanced character, not prone to mood swings.
- Unpretentiousness in food.
- Undemanding in some particularly difficult care.
- Resistance to diseases and climatic changes.
- Cultivation for the purpose of obtaining skins and meat.
- Maintenance in the apartment as a pet.
- Poor quality skins. High density of the hairline is accompanied by a very small amount of fluff. In addition, hair growth is uneven, variable.
- Voracity. An adult needs an increased amount of food, they want to eat constantly.
- Congenital malformations. Very often, such a pathology as underdevelopment or curvature of the extremities is manifested.
- Small meat yield. The large size of the breed does not mean a large amount of meat, these rabbits do not belong to meat breeds.
Breeding Belgian Giants
To create favorable breeding conditions, cells of sufficiently large sizes are needed: for a male. 1107050cm, for a female with rabbits. 17011050cm.
Full puberty of rabbits is completed by 8 months. From this age, mating is performed, after which the female is placed in a suitable cage. Breeding is not necessary to coincide with any season. when brooding, females give birth at any time of the year. Autumn is considered the most unfavorable period due to intense molting and a shorter light period of the day.
Sexual hunting in females occurs every 5-7 days in the summer, 7-9 days in the winter, the duration of the period is 4-5 days. Signs of onset are agitated behavior, decreased appetite, swelling, and a bright pink coloration of the external genitalia.
A couple of weeks before pairing, it is necessary to introduce an increased amount of vitamins and mineral feeds into the diet, give the male boiled potatoes and steamed grains. The female for mating is planted to the male, having previously removed the feeders and drinking bowls from the cage. After 5-6 days, the female is again planted in the male for the control mating. Already a pregnant female will not let the male go, will run away from him, making mournful sounds.
A fertilized female should not be disturbed, make sure that she always has fresh water and good food. If the female does not have water, she will eat the entire litter.
Maintenance and care
Rabbit breed flanders
Typically, rabbits are in cages in which drinkers and feeders are installed for food. Cells must be periodically cleaned, litter should be changed.
Timely implementation of preventive vaccinations is required. Vaccinations are carried out for myxomatosis, pasteurelliosis and viral hemorrhagic disease. The first vaccine is administered at the age of 1.5 months. Subsequent do throughout the life of the rabbits.
Vaccination is carried out in the spring with separate vaccines, starting with myxomatosis. It must be carried out before the appearance of mosquitoes, which are the main carriers of the disease. After 14 days, they are vaccinated against a viral hemorrhagic disease. Vaccination is carried out only for healthy flanders.
In the summer, it is unacceptable for the rabbits to stay in direct sunlight for a long time. this leads to sunstroke. Therefore, when street content shade cells, laying on the roof of grass, straw, branches. On frosty days in winter, a large amount of straw must be laid in the cells. In addition, in winter, rabbits need to be protected from drafts, which can cause frostbite on the ears.
When animals are indoors, they are provided with access to light and regular ventilation.
Flanders are completely unpretentious in food, omnivorous and capricious, but to obtain high-quality skins and meat, it is necessary to observe some conditions.
For the best assimilation of food, it is advisable to give food in a certain order, taking into account the digestion features of the flanders.
Digestion of vegetables and root vegetables in the stomach takes 2-3 hours, green food (fresh grass). 3-4 hours, silage. 4-5 hours, coarse food 9-12 hours. Feed animals should be given food in the described sequence.
Feeding schedule: in the morning they give out half the daily dose of concentrated food, at lunch. fresh grass or dry hay, in the evening. silage and the second half of concentrated feed.
Rabbit breed flanders
Eating is always at the same time.
- Potato tops.
- Poisonous herbs. digitalis, hellebore, nightshade, celandine, bleach, raven eye, belladonna, hemlock, lily of the valley, St. John’s wort, horsetail, cornflower, aronik.
- Branches of stone trees.
- Elderberry branches.
Maintenance in the apartment
With their character and habits, flanders are very similar to dogs, so they often live in an apartment as a pet.
For him, an aviary is required, protected from drafts, direct rays of the sun. The floor is covered with a rug made of natural material, since synthetic linoleum, laminate, plastic cause subdermatitis. At least once every 7 days the enclosure is cleaned from dirt.
The tray is cleaned as needed. Filler in it can be wood pressed granules.