Flemish Giant

There is something special about the Flemish, besides its sheer impressive size. They have been used as utility animals the world over, even though they are not the most efficient converters of food to meat.

Flemish Giants are placid, and gentle. Mothers will wean 6 or so kits when purebred, and more when crossed with smaller meat rabbits. A purebred Flemish Doe, when crossed with a Californian, will wean about 8 kits per kindling.

Does can become obese if overfed, but this is less likely to happen if she has a larger enclosure to give her space to move around, and if she is fed a natural diet instead of pellets (rabbits fed a wide variety of natural foods do not overeat). It is normal for a doe to have a dewlap - like a double-chin in Flemish does. It is NOT normal for this to be so saggy and floppy that it dominates her appearance. An excessive dewlap is a sign of obesity, and an indication that she needs less pellets, and more fresh foods.

When fed a natural diet, from gathered forage foods, or from fresh grown fodder foods, Flemish Giants can be very effective meat producers, though they are more suitable for production of roasters (3-5 months) or stew rabbits (over 6 months of age) than the production of fryers (8-10 weeks), because they tend to form bone, and then muscle.

  • Type - meat, fur
  • Size - Large
  • Production Capability - acceptable meat producers, produce a large carcass
  • Special Features - one of the largest of rabbit breeds
  • Best for Farms - great for breeders who want a rabbit that sells well as breeding stock
  • Egg, Milk, Meat Features - typical
  • Other Products - popular in the pet market
  • Historic or Contemporary Significance - largest registered breed in the US
  • Housing and Space Requirement - can be raised on wire, but needs a resting board - either plywood, or a white plastic cutting board works well. Cages or hutches also need to be very sturdy, with enough height for the rabbit to stand and hold their ears up (24" minimum is best).
  • Regional Adaptations - adaptable - we raised them in the cold of Wyoming and the heat of San Antonio, and they transitioned well between the two.
  • Feed Requirement - large bodies require larger amounts of feed. High calcium greens are helpful for the larger bone mass of the Flemish.
  • Other Considerations - Flemish on a natural diet may continue to grow for their entire lifetime, though their growth does slow down progressively after the first year. Roomy, sturdy housing is essential.



There are a gazillion rabbit breeds. We don't have all the good meat rabbits listed here (if we missed a particularly good one, let us know, it does not have to be endangered).

Rabbits produce a lot of young, so they are subject to fairly lax endangerment standards. They are not considered endangered until there are very VERY few left - the numbers are much lower than for many other species.

This means that some breeds NOT considered endangered may still be very difficult to obtain. It also means that by the time they ARE endangered, they may be IMPOSSIBLE to obtain. But many are still available unregistered, even when considered endangered. It is confusing.

If it is practically impossible to obtain the animals, we have not listed them. If they have genetic problems, are difficult to breed to a fussy standard that is irrelevant to utility, we have also not included them as a rule.

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