How much should I feed a Flemish giant

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Bunnylover2002

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I'm going to get 2 Flemish Giants and I am really worried that I'm not going to feed them enough I'm getting them at 8 weeks and I know that they need alfalfa hay and pellets but don't know how much.

I'm also not sure how to transition them to Timothy hay and pellets as well and how much they need and when to give it to them. if any one knows any tips that would be so so helpful, please help :)
 

Whiterabbitrage

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I have a Flemish Giant too. When I got her the breeder told me to give her unlimited pellets and hair until she was 15 months. Use the same pellets that your bunny is used to right now. When changing pellet brands, do it gradually by mixing some of the new kind into the kind she's used to. Do that for several days before swiping brands completely. That's what my breeder told me and it's worked out. Does this help?
 

Bunnylover2002

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Yes that helped thank you also what kind of brands and snacks are ok. And what measurements for food is right for Flemish Giants.
 

flemishwhite

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I have two Flemmish babies that will next week be 5 months old. They are both girls. They replace our 11 1/2 year old Bunny that died. All three rabbits were/are house rabbits; i.e. no cage or pen and have free run of the house. We feed the babies like Bunny...the babies get all they want to eat..oh by the way...they are not now small babies!

To start, we feed them dark green leafy vegetables. They love carrot tops which we get from farmer's market for free! We buy green leafy veggies from the farmer's market and grocery stores. What we buy can be somewhat expensive. My wife reported that in one week we bought $20 worth of Romain Lettuce alone. As I write this, we have one refrigerator full of plastic bags filled with various dark green leaf veggies. So much for veggies. The next they like to eat is oat hay. Oat hay lines their litter boxes, and they just love to jump in their litter box and chomp oat hay at one end, while the other end poops out digested greens and oat hay! (If your rabbit is a house rabbit, this is really great!!) Oat hay is really good for them since it's abrasive and it helps wear down their teeth. Bunny teeth are continually growing and they absolutely need things to chew that wear down their teeth. We also have pellets for them to eat at any time. Warning: some pellets have a very high calorie content...they have molasses, sugar, etc..Since our bunnies have all they want to eat, I don't get these high calorie pellets for them...get just plain low calorie pellets that are just basically vitamin supplemented dry oat/alfalfa/timothy hay.

Next to discuss treats! My experience with three bunnies, is that they are for the most of the time pretty much happy being reclusive. My bunnies have ran up to me because they are happy to see me. But usually running up to me or my wife, is because they want something sweet to eat! Our now Flemmish babies just love banana slices, apple slices, and guava slices. When in season, I'm sure they'll like bing cherries.

And the last culinary delight for our two very large and very active 4 3/4 month old Flemmish baby rabbits.......
Cardboard boxes. We have many cardboard boxes underneath the dining room table. The babies like to play with the boxes, they push them around, jump in them, crawl in them, and chew on them and shred them. From what I know, bunnies can process paper through their digestive system with no problem. I don't know if they can actually digest paper. Bunny's digestive system can easily transform cellulose to glucose, so maybe they can actually eat paper.

Anyhow, Flemmish baby rabbits have BIG appetites. I think a pedigreed Flemmish has to grow to at least 15 pounds. I think prize winners are at 20 pounds.
 

Blue eyes

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If you get your bunnies at 8 weeks of age, do not feed them any greens yet unless they were already being fed them with the momma from the breeder.

When you first get your 8 week olds, they should be on unlimited alfalfa hay and unlimited healthy, plain pellets. Oxbow has pellets made specifically for juvenile rabbits. It is also fine to mix the alfalfa hay with other grass hay (like timothy, oat, Bermuda, etc) - especially if they are getting alfalfa-based pellets.

The advantage to mixing a grass hay with the alfalfa hay is that it can make the later transition to grass hay easier since bunny will already be accustomed to it. So when it is time to switch bunnies to their adult diet, things should be easier. Any type of hay wears down a bunny's teeth.

Normally it is recommended to introduce greens to a bunny at 12 weeks of age. That could easily be extended a bit longer for Flemmish (like 16 + weeks). But whenever you do begin to offer greens, it needs to be done very slowly and just one type of green at a time. Too much too soon can cause diarrhea, or other tummy problems.

Once bunny is old enough to have become accustomed to a variety of greens (and still eating hay and pellets), then and only then should treats be added in to the diet (if at all -- they aren't necessary). Treats, like fruit, should be severely limited since the abundance of sugar can cause a bacterial imbalance. For example of serving, an average size rabbit should have a max of one slice of apple OR a 1" slice of banana OR 1" slice of carrot per day. A giant can probably handle double that but shouldn't have more.

Have you already considered what sex you are getting? Are you aware that even a same sex pair will likely need to be separated when hormones activate to prevent fighting? Do you have plans to have them fixed so they can be bonded?
 

LuckyAmi

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This thread is super helpful! I have a rescue bun that I found in my garden one day. Baby, but unsure of just how old, or the breed. I've had him since July. He is my first rabbit that I've owned, or have ever really been around / seen/ petted that wasn't just the typical wild cottontail running through my yard every day in spring... so I didn't (still don't) really know what Lucky is. I've researched on my own, as well as asked around here, and we all have arrived at the conclusion that he might be a flemish giant, probably a mix (?). Lucky is somewhere around 7 months old (maybe), and seems kind of on the small size for a pure flemish, yet he seems like a big boy bun. Maybe about the size of a female cat? He is almost the same size as my dog (italian greyhound). I don't have any past experience with bunnies, so I have nothing in mind to be able to use as a reference or gauge as to his weight/ height, etc. I try looking up photos or videos of flemish giants online, but it's so hard for me to get a good feel of their size compared to Lucky. Vet had no idea what kind he was either (and he was a bunny vet, too.)

Anyways, I'm (sorta) confident that he is flemish giant mix....

so... my question is... IF he is a flemish giant mix... should I be feeding him like you guys are feeding your flemish giants or should he be getting fed like an average rabbit? If he is kinda small for a flemish giant, but big for an average bunny size... How should I be feeding him? Right now I give him unlimited timothy hay, occasionally gets alfalfa (he used to get more when he was younger, but I've started to gradually dial it back since it's almost time for him to be off of it). He gets a shot glass full of pellets in the morning, and a bowl of veggies every night. Sometimes I will put a few small pieces of fruit mixed in.

Should he be getting more food then that?

IMG_1432.jpg

IMG_1153.jpg
 

Blue eyes

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^^Can you weigh him? What weight did the vet say he was? (how long ago was that?)
 

LuckyAmi

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I don't have a scale at home, and even though I had asked the vet to weigh him last time he was in (Dec), nobody did... or if they did they didn't mark it down on his file. (I thought that was kind of odd but I guess everyone does it differently). I'm pretty sure he is lighter then my dog, and she is somewhere around 12 pounds. I have an 8 pound hand weight at home, and he feels closer to that. It is hard to get a good feel because he doesn't like to be picked up.

I need to just break down and get either a pet scale or a baby scale and just get an official weight for him.
 

Bunnylover2002

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I have two Flemmish babies that will next week be 5 months old. They are both girls. They replace our 11 1/2 year old Bunny that died. All three rabbits were/are house rabbits; i.e. no cage or pen and have free run of the house. We feed the babies like Bunny...the babies get all they want to eat..oh by the way...they are not now small babies!

To start, we feed them dark green leafy vegetables. They love carrot tops which we get from farmer's market for free! We buy green leafy veggies from the farmer's market and grocery stores. What we buy can be somewhat expensive. My wife reported that in one week we bought $20 worth of Romain Lettuce alone. As I write this, we have one refrigerator full of plastic bags filled with various dark green leaf veggies. So much for veggies. The next they like to eat is oat hay. Oat hay lines their litter boxes, and they just love to jump in their litter box and chomp oat hay at one end, while the other end poops out digested greens and oat hay! (If your rabbit is a house rabbit, this is really great!!) Oat hay is really good for them since it's abrasive and it helps wear down their teeth. Bunny teeth are continually growing and they absolutely need things to chew that wear down their teeth. We also have pellets for them to eat at any time. Warning: some pellets have a very high calorie content...they have molasses, sugar, etc..Since our bunnies have all they want to eat, I don't get these high calorie pellets for them...get just plain low calorie pellets that are just basically vitamin supplemented dry oat/alfalfa/timothy hay.

Next to discuss treats! My experience with three bunnies, is that they are for the most of the time pretty much happy being reclusive. My bunnies have ran up to me because they are happy to see me. But usually running up to me or my wife, is because they want something sweet to eat! Our now Flemmish babies just love banana slices, apple slices, and guava slices. When in season, I'm sure they'll like bing cherries.

And the last culinary delight for our two very large and very active 4 3/4 month old Flemmish baby rabbits.......
Cardboard boxes. We have many cardboard boxes underneath the dining room table. The babies like to play with the boxes, they push them around, jump in them, crawl in them, and chew on them and shred them. From what I know, bunnies can process paper through their digestive system with no problem. I don't know if they can actually digest paper. Bunny's digestive system can easily transform cellulose to glucose, so maybe they can actually eat paper.

Anyhow, Flemmish baby rabbits have BIG appetites. I think a pedigreed Flemmish has to grow to at least 15 pounds. I think prize winners are at 20 pounds.

Thank you so so much for your info I'm very sorry for your loss with your last bunny. The information you have provided will help me so much through my gurney with my rabbits. Thank you :)
 

Bunnylover2002

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If you get your bunnies at 8 weeks of age, do not feed them any greens yet unless they were already being fed them with the momma from the breeder.

When you first get your 8 week olds, they should be on unlimited alfalfa hay and unlimited healthy, plain pellets. Oxbow has pellets made specifically for juvenile rabbits. It is also fine to mix the alfalfa hay with other grass hay (like timothy, oat, Bermuda, etc) - especially if they are getting alfalfa-based pellets.

The advantage to mixing a grass hay with the alfalfa hay is that it can make the later transition to grass hay easier since bunny will already be accustomed to it. So when it is time to switch bunnies to their adult diet, things should be easier. Any type of hay wears down a bunny's teeth.

Normally it is recommended to introduce greens to a bunny at 12 weeks of age. That could easily be extended a bit longer for Flemmish (like 16 + weeks). But whenever you do begin to offer greens, it needs to be done very slowly and just one type of green at a time. Too much too soon can cause diarrhea, or other tummy problems.

Once bunny is old enough to have become accustomed to a variety of greens (and still eating hay and pellets), then and only then should treats be added in to the diet (if at all -- they aren't necessary). Treats, like fruit, should be severely limited since the abundance of sugar can cause a bacterial imbalance. For example of serving, an average size rabbit should have a max of one slice of apple OR a 1" slice of banana OR 1" slice of carrot per day. A giant can probably handle double that but shouldn't have more.

Have you already considered what sex you are getting? Are you aware that even a same sex pair will likely need to be separated when hormones activate to prevent fighting? Do you have plans to have them fixed so they can be bonded?
Yes I have considered getting them fixed I'm going to try and get 2
Doe Flemish Giants. I also want them to be really healthy, I've heard that not getting them fixed can shorten their life span.
 

LuckyAmi

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Thanks for posting the photo. You've a nice looking bunny. Your bunny is so lucky to have a caring person taking care of him!!
Thank you! Yes, I love him very much. :3 I've had lots of different animals as pets before, but this is the first time I've ever had a bunny. Buns are very different from the pets I'm used to, so sometimes I have to puzzle out what he is trying to say to me... but I've had so much fun with him. It's only been 7 months since I found him, but I can't imagine my life without him now.

Haha I just wish I could figure out what type of breed he is so I can take better care of him. Once I get figure that out, I'll feel better about how much to feed him. I just want to make sure I don't over feed him if he isn't a flemish giant. He is a nice and healthy size right now (I can feel his hip bones, spine and shoulder blades in a healthy way) and I want to keep him fit. :)
 

Azerane

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It's not so much breed that matters for feeding but weight, so if you get that pinned down you'll be able to adjust accordingly. He seems a very healthy weight to me :)
 

LuckyAmi

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Ah, ok! Good to know! I'm going to track down a scale and figure that out.
 

flemishwhite

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Ah, ok! Good to know! I'm going to track down a scale and figure that out.
Yes, you don't want them to get obese. It's difficult with a rabbit if the individual rabbit only wants to be affectionate with you when the rabbit wants a sweet treat.
When Bunny was neutered at 5 years of age, she was obese. I had to go to a lot of work to find a vet to neuter her. Dr. Kaufman of Harbor Animal Hospital in Torrance...he liposuctioned her before neutering! Liposuctioned off one pound off of a 9 pound bunny! Charged $400.

Bunny just loved to go outside. (we always accompanied her). She could be a picky eater inside, but outside she'd eat just about anything...grass, old dried leaves, dandelion leaves. Surprisingly, she just really loved roses! She really loved rose pedals. When she was sick and didn't want to eat, we'd give her rose pedals and she would eat them.
 

LuckyAmi

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Aw poor Bunny! I'm glad you were able to find someone who could get the job done.

Well luckly, Lucky is affectionate even if I'm not giving him treats, and he only gets treats every now and then.

Here is a question though, if I can't ever figure out what what breed or mix he is, how will I know if he is at the correct weight or over weight?

Is that when I do the weight test of checking to see if I can feel his hip bones, spine and shoulders (in a healthy way of course)? I saw a thread, here I think, that had pictures of bunnies at different weights and talked about how it should feel in those locations on the body.
 

flemishwhite

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A

Is that when I do the weight test of checking to see if I can feel his hip bones, spine and shoulders (in a healthy way of course)? I saw a thread, here I think, that had pictures of bunnies at different weights and talked about how it should feel in those locations on the body.
I think that the important inspection is to determine the fat on their stomach. For sure for girl bunnies, there's the fat in their dewlap...the fat layer that girl bunnies have under their chin. I think that fat layer on the stomach is more of a concern.
I have experience with only three rabbits so I'm not an expert.
 

flemishwhite

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