animal of the week giant flemish rabbit

Stop, Hop, and Flop! It’s the Flemish Giant Rabbit

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Hop on over here Defenders, the Flemish Giant Rabbit is our animal of the week! This adorable mammal is a true gentle giant. Like all domestic rabbits, it was initially bred for food and fur over 500 years ago. They have an arched spine that starts curving at the base of their neck. Until recently, scientists used to classify rabbits as rodents like rats or chinchillas, but further study has shown they are a different order of animals. Like rodents, rabbit teeth will grow continuously if they don’t have something hard to chew on, like a block of wood. But rabbits are not rodents, they are lagomorphs – an order of animals that includes rabbits, hares, and pikas. The primary difference between lagomorphs and rodents is an extra set of incisor teeth and some differences in their spines. All rabbits are herbivores, but did you know they also eat their own poop?

How Big Do Flemish Giants Get?

Although there is no limit to how big these rabbits can breed, most are 15-30 lbs when fully grown. Also, these rabbits can be up to 3 feet in length! That’s equivalent in size to many medium-sized dogs! Unlike smaller breeds, the Flemish giants take up to a year and a half to reach their full size. They are known for their beautifully glossy and dense fur.

Do Flemish Giants Make Good Pets?

Some people think that smaller rabbits are easier to handle and keep as pets, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Like all domestic rabbits, Flemish giants can easily learn to live alongside humans. They require regular handling to become comfortable with humans. And just like pet dogs and cats, rabbits need regular vet care as well. When kept properly, Flemish giants can live for over 10 years, but live 5-8 years on average. Domestic rabbits are big eaters, and the Flemish giant requires a lot of plant-based food. So prepare to buy lots of rabbit pellets, hay, lettuce, and carrots for them to snack on. Like all pets, make sure you do your homework before buying, and never release unwanted pets into the wild. There are over 305 different species of domestic rabbits.

That’s Quite a Fluffy Neck!

Rabbits, particularly the females, have a large flap of skin under their chins known as a dewlap. The female rabbits will pluck fur from this fatty flap and use it to line their nest. This comes in handy because it isn’t taking any of the necessary fur from the mother, and gives the baby bunnies, known as kittens, a soft nest to grow up in. This is common amongst many domestic rabbits, but is particularly noticeable on the giants!

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Myrmecophagy

 

I was under the impression that petting zoos were all barn yard animals. Are there reptile petting zoos?