Questions for flemish giant owners

Discussion in 'General Rabbit Discussion' started by TinysMom, Oct 31, 2009.

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  1. Oct 31, 2009 #1

    TinysMom

    TinysMom

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    I've been talking to someone about flemish giants about how sweet and affectionate they can be - and Alicia (JadeIcing) reminded me that not all flemish giants are what I've experienced. I remember when I first got Tiny that he was not affectionate and I was so disappointed.

    So I thought I'd start a thread here asking flemish giant owners to post about their experiences. Here are some questions - but feel free to write whatever you want...these are just to help get some specific information.

    How old was your flemish when you got it?
    Was it affectionate at the time?
    Where did you get your flemish? (Breeder, shelter, pet store, other)
    Is your flemish male or female?
    How long did it take your flemish to fit in and become comfortable with you/your family?

    Anything else you wish folks would know?




    I'll share my stories later!


     
  2. Oct 31, 2009 #2

    Double N

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    Yes...also, is the Flemish that you are speaking of spayed/neutered. And if so, did it make a difference in personality?

    :)
     
  3. Nov 1, 2009 #3

    Orchid

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    I would love to hear some stories :)
     
  4. Nov 1, 2009 #4

    TinysMom

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    Well - here goes with my stories - I hope they'll help someone.

    Tiny - neutered buck I got around 8-12 weeks of age if I remember right

    I bought Tiny from a breeder for $20 and he was probably the best "purchase" I ever made as far as rabbits go.

    He was very skittish around us for a while and it was obvious that his breeder did not handle him much - in fact, his breeder seemed kind of rough with him when he pulled him out of his cage and gave him to us. Looking back now - I realize how frightened Tiny must've felt - I wish I'd been more understanding.

    For months I almost regretted getting him - because he wasn't as affectionate as other flemish giants I'd read about on the forum. But - he eventually became very affectionate with me and would sit at my feet and give me kisses and crawl on my lap when I sat on the floor. After he died - I realized that for much of his time - he was never more than 3-5 feet away from me when we were in public areas of the house and I think he was more attached to me than I knew he was.

    Zeus - neutered adult buck I adopted from a shelter - flemish giant mix

    As many folks know - I couldn't go without having a flemish giant after Tiny died suddenly. About 3 weeks after his passing - we got Zeus from a shelter in Louisiana (Magic Happens Rabbit Rescue).

    Zeus took a lot of time to adjust to us - in fact - its been over a year and I feel like its only now that we're really bonding (since probably June or July). For one thing - he'd been returned from another home back to the shelter - so I think he had some trust issues - and I think we had to get to a place in our lives where he would get more attention from us.

    He now lives in our bedroom and is Art's favorite of our flemish giants. He sleeps in our bed at night (some of the time) and he is pretty good about using his litter box, etc. in there. He does throw temper tantrums sometimes and he does like to destroy papers and books.

    Zeus is not affectionate in the same way that Tiny was. He loves pets and comes to us for them and practically demands them from me at bedtime - but he doesn't give kisses. He will lick the blankets and pillows while he's getting pets, etc. but he doesn't like to groom us.

    However - he will chew on my hair to trim it when he wants me to get up in the morning.

    Many times at night he waits for me to come to bed and then he hops up on the bed to snuggle in....or he's already on the bed waiting for me to come to bed.

    Since these two flemmies are my pets (versus my breeding flemmies) - I'll end this post and start another one for them in a bit.


     
  5. Nov 1, 2009 #5

    Orchid

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    TinysMom wrote:

    Oh ma gosh! That must be strange!Go to sleep one way and wake up with a haircut in the morning!
     
  6. Nov 1, 2009 #6

    TinysMom

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    Orchid wrote:
    Its especially funny to me when he tried to do it to Art...who frequently shaves his head in the summer.

    What really shocks me is that I thought for sure Art would say his favorite flemish is Nyx...she's out so much and getting into so much mischief and he's frequently telling me to get a picture of her. (She really makes him laugh).

    So when he said Zeus was his favorite - the same Zeus who irritates him in bed ..it was funny.

    Last night I was on the phone with Ali (JadeIcing) and Art came out and said, "Your rabbit is at it again..he's destroying paper and anything he can get into just to keep me awake. Come feed him...".

    All of my flemish are like little kids - I'm about to head to bed now - but in the morning - I'll share about my other five and the differences between them.
     
  7. Nov 1, 2009 #7

    JeffS

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    I got Riley from a shelter when he was 3, and they'd just neutered him. He was incredibly cuddly, jumping up on the couch to watch tv with me, for instance. He was like this from day 1. He's still cuddly, but he isn't as active seeking out cuddles. He'll jump up on the couch but he doesn't stay. I sometimes wonder what he'd be like now if he hadn't been neutered.

    He isn't much of a kisser, however. Pancake gives me bunny kisses all the time.
     
  8. Nov 1, 2009 #8

    petkeeper

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    Hi

    My Tiny is only 3 months old and I got her when she was 5 weeks. She is very affectionate. Loves nose scratches and to be held and loved. I am having an awesome experience so far. She hopes up on the couch and will follow me around. I am getting her spayed when she is around 9-10 months old. I am assuming that won't change her personality.

    I got Tiny from a breeder for $10.00, she said this bunny had gotten lots and lots of attention because it was grey and she usually only had white so her kids took a special interest in this one so that may have helped!

    Sorry you have had bad expereinces.

    Shannon
     
  9. Nov 1, 2009 #9

    TinysMom

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    Now that I'm on the computer today and Mercury is out playing - I think its time to share about my flemish giants that I have for our breeding program. They each have their own unique personalities and are so much fun....most of the time.

    Mercury - intact buck
    Mercury and Hermes are the two youngest of the four I got from Jack Langley. Its fairly obvious too from looking at him and watching his expressions - and also from his actions.

    Mercury is curious about everything and loves to have his playtime. He's been known to jump over the sleeping dogs (instead of going around them) and in the rabbitry (but only in the rabbitry) - he loves to spray as he binkies on the floor. When he's playing in the rest of the house where there are no rabbits - he doesn't spray (but he does binky).

    Unlike the does - he pretty much stays on the floor and when he's done playing he'll either go lay beside his cage or go lay down in the bathroom or something and get a nap.

    Mercury has started learning to come to me for pets if I'm sitting on the floor. He doesn't seek them out (much) - but once he starts getting pets - he LOVES them and almost did some tooth purrs yesterday (and then stopped himself).

    Hermes - intact buck
    Right now - Hermes hates me - but for good reason. In one of his playtimes he got into a "discussion" with the cat - and now has an abscess on his back that has to be drained on a daily basis - so he tends to hide from me.

    With that said - he loves to run and play and does a lot of binkies when let out of his cage.

    Hermes will let me pet him when I'm done draining his abscess and I'm hoping that once it is gone (he's getting Pen G shots also) - he will become more affectionate.

    I love the fact that when I have to drain his abscess - he is so sweet and just stays there and lets me drain it and doesn't fight me. He knows that if he fusses cause it hurts a bit - I'll stop and give him a break and then keep going in a bit - but that it isn't my goal to hurt him.

    Well - that's the boys - I'll do the girls in another post in just a couple of minutes...


     
  10. Nov 1, 2009 #10

    TinysMom

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    Now on to my girls...who bring me so much joy (even more joy almost than my boys do).

    Athena - intact doe
    It is really hard to write much about Athena - because I haven't really spent as much time with her as my other two girls. I'd say she's standoffish - but she's becoming more loving.

    She's not as large a flemish giant as my others (although she has nice balance and once she makes senior weight she'll probably look better). I wonder if that has something to do with her personality - but honestly - I think it is just her personality.

    Over the last couple of weeks she's started to become as confident as the other two girls and when she comes out for playtime - she will go all over and I've caught her in the chair for my desk and she gets up in the recliner and she goes all over. Sometimes she'll be snuggled with the other two girls (the three of them like to get together in Nyx's cage when they're done playing) - and sometimes she is the outcast. Lately she's been wanting to breed and irritated the other girls because she wants to mount them...they just chase her away.

    I have hope for Athena though....she is coming out of her shell and she does love pets once she sees I'm giving them. She'll stay there and nudge me for more once or twice to see if I'll pet her some more - then she'll go off to do something else.

    Athena is Robin's favorite of the flemish giants - partly because they seem to have much of the same personality.

    Sophia - intact doe
    Ok - time for confession here - Sophia is probably my favorite OR tied for my favorite with Nyx (that isn't counting Zeus when I say that).

    She is so sweet and she loves to come to me for pets - she would sit there next to me for half an hour or so if I would continue to pet her all the time. I don't get kisses (yet) - but I suspect I will in the future.

    She is the oldest of the buns I have for breeding and you can see something in her eyes - like she has an old soul or something.

    I've already told her that when she's done breeding - she will be neutered and be a house bun here and live her life out here (same with Nyx).

    I usually have to open her cage and lift her out to come play (she's on a top level) and she'll be a dead weight because she's sleeping or doesn't want to come out (then when she comes out - she binkies). Athena and Nyx however will stand up in their cages waiting to be let out and now that Athena is moved to a top cage - I lift her out too - but she's waiting to be put out.

    Sophia loves to get up on my computer chair and under my desk. She's not quite as playful as the others -- but when she gets in the playful mood - watch out.

    These first four buns I've talked about - all came from a breeder who has his rabbits in a barn and they are handled some - but not from a pet perspective. Nyx will come up next...and all I can say is "what a difference"..
     
  11. Nov 1, 2009 #11

    TinysMom

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    Nyx - intact female


    Nyx is getting her own post because she is so different from the flemish I got from a "traditional" breeder. Her personality is way way different than the others and I believe it is because of her home environment growing up.

    As many of you know - we got Nyx from Wabbitdad12 & Wabbitmom12. She grew up in a home in a room with other bunnies and she got regular playtimes and was held and petted as a youngster. Basically - she lived the life of a pet - and when she came here - that is what she expected.

    She hates to be caged although she will tolerate it because she has a huge cage and knows she will get out time.

    When she's let out she not only starts binkying and running and playing - but she is the most bold and adventuresome of all the rabbits. She's already found her way into the garage on her own (shame on us for leaving the door open) and she loves to climb on things and in things. If someone is in the recliner and gets up - chances are good she'll be in the recliner when you come back. She loves to try and get up on the computer desk too.

    She really likes to be around Sophia and you'll frequently see them together. She's so-so about Athena - although at times - all three girls will be found napping in Nyx' cage (that's how large it is).

    As far as the humans go - she loves pets but she will not run to us for them - but once they're offered - she's ready to get all the pets she can have. Yesterday while I was petting her - she started giving me kisses and I almost cried because I love getting bunny kisses so much.

    Nyx is a perfect example of how I hope to raise the flemish giants I breed. She was confident of who she was from day one and she knew she could trust people. Even then she loved pets if they were offered and would frequently pancake for long periods of time to get them.

    [line]
    Before I decided to breed flemish giants - I had sworn I'd always have a male flemish giant and I was going to try and stay away from females. I knew that in other breeds the females were more skittish and that bothered me.

    However - several people told me that flemish giant females were different than most females - that they were friendly and loving.

    Now that I've had female flemish giants - I have to say that I almost prefer them over the males....there is a different personality to them. I think if they've been brought up with people and not had traumatic experiences - they can be more loving than the males. I never would've believed it before I got mine - but I believe it now.

    [line]
    I've been asked privately about caging flemish giants - after I get their cages cleaned today (per schedule) - I'll take a few pics. Mine live in dog kennels and it works really well for them....

    If y'all want to share pictures of what your flemish are caged in also - that would be great!


     
  12. Nov 1, 2009 #12

    Orchid

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    How big is a baby Flemish by 8 weeks old?
    16 weeks, 12 months?
    When do they stop growing?

    Do all ears stand up straight or flop?

    :)
     
  13. Nov 1, 2009 #13

    TinysMom

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    I'm in the process of cleaning cages and taking pictures....

    I use dog kennels for the cages - I use the large size, X-Large size and giant size (for 150 pound dogs).

    This is a picture of Sophia in her xlarge cage - she is almost 12 pounds if I remember right (she may be over that size by now).

    [​IMG]


    This is Nyx's giant cage before its cleaned (usually I clean it more often but I think this has gone about 5 days or a week maybe). That is an empty feed bag in her cage which she's pooped on...a 50 pound bag (along with her litter box).

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Nov 1, 2009 #14

    Orchid

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    You know I once took in a rescue...sad bad shape pit...came with a cage like that...I no longer the dog, but have kept the cage for some strange reason...lol..
    Though I am not sure the size, but I do think spot was like 150...

    How would you make the plastic bottom flooring slide proof?

    Do you find this cage to be the best bet for a flemish, or is it best bet for a flemish breeder?
     
  15. Nov 1, 2009 #15

    TinysMom

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    BlueGiants (Cathy) posted this in the rabbitry in a thread about flemish growth.

    The growth chart that I go by (as an average for the Flemish Giant) is
    AGE BUCK DOE
    2 MONTHS 5-6 LBS 5-6 LBS
    3 MONTHS 7-8 LBS 7-8 LBS
    4 MONTHS 9 LBS 9 LBS
    5 MONTHS 10 LBS 10 LBS
    6 MONTHS 11 LBS & UP 11-12 LBS & UP
    7 MONTHS 12 LBS & UP 11-12 LBS & UP
    8 MONTHS 13 LBS & UP 14-15 LBS & UP
    SENIORS 14 LBS & UP 15 LBS & UP

    Keep in mind that these are just averages. And Senior weight is 13 lbs for bucks and 14 lbs for does.
     
  16. Nov 1, 2009 #16

    JadeIcing

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    [​IMG]

    Montanas hall.
     
  17. Nov 1, 2009 #17

    TinysMom

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    Orchid wrote:
    They seem to adjust to the plastic flooring - but I can always toss more hay in there.

    When Tiny was caged (which wasn't for long) - he had a cage the size of Sophia's and it seemed to be just fine for him. He was free-roaming as long as I was home and got locked up at night and when we left the house. Eventually - when we say he wouldn't be destructive - he became pretty much free-roaming.

    I'm still working on my plans for the rabbitry barn. I think what I want to do is to make wooden bases (with wheels) to place the cages on and that way in case there is a fire - I can roll them out of the barn.

    I'm probably going to use the giant cages for the girls - I may use them for the boys too - and then use the XLarge for litters that are weaning and the large cages for individuals that need their own cage - something like that. I do know that the mamas with litters will have NIC panels around their cage for playtime several hours per day (they will be on the bottom level and the bucks on top).

    The thing is - the giant cages are $100 each or maybe a bit more - I have to check. So I need to buy them one at a time and move rabbits in them as I can (like one every month or every two weeks).

    I hope that helps!

    I LOVE Montana's spot....I wish I could do that for several of mine.

     
  18. Nov 1, 2009 #18

    wallice

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    I adopted a neutered male flemmie from a sheter about 4 weeks ago. I had previously had a mini-lop named Cosmo, and though she had a huge personality on her, she had always been very affectionate with me, giving me bunny kisses all the time and always being close at all times.
    My new bun Wallice is 7(ish) months right now, and the shelter staff don't know what his life was like before they got him, so I don't know if he had a rough start to life or not. Hes *mostly* wonderful, except for a few bad habits. Hes excellent with his litter habits, and is not very destructive outside of the cage, with the exception of one poor defenseless laptop cable. He comes for pets, and will sometimes cuddle into me for a while, but mostly he will just leave and either binky around like crazy for do an epic bunny flop for a long time and have a snooze. I find he sleeps and flops a lot more and for longer than my mini-lop did.
    His bad habts however kidna suck, and I'm trying very hard to correct them. If something happens that he doesn't like, he uses his mouth a little too quickly, and will bite. He doesn't like to be picked up, and will nip to be put down, and once he was falling off the couch, so I helped him back up and got a bite that is still a big bruise on my arm. He also nips to be pet if I don't do it soon enough, but hes getting better with it and will now mostly headbutt me instead of nipping right away.
    I feel that all of his bad behaviours can be corrected with time, and he is still pretty new to me and his surroundings. I think he had a rough start in life (and was found wandering around on a farm, and was very underweight) so this probably accounts for his lack of social grace, but hes comming around.
    All in all though, hes great, and is getting pretty affectionate with my roommates and I, will play with his rattle with me, and come to me for some bunny lovin.
    I hope this helps, and I can keep writing to you to let you know how my experiance is changing the longer he is here. I love him to death though, and love people's reactions to my giant bunny, especially when I tell them hes got more growing to do!
     
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  19. Nov 1, 2009 #19

    wallice

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    Sorry, me again...

    With the cage, my parents had an X-large dog cage for our german shepherd, so its a good size for my boy, and he loves it. Even when he has free roaming privileges, he spends a lot fo time flopped on the bottom of it. I layed down rugs for him to lie on, but they always ended up dog to one side of the crate, and he would lie on the bare metal bottom, so I took them out, and he seems to like that more, so don't worry about the bare plastic bottom of the cage too much.


     
  20. Nov 1, 2009 #20

    TinysMom

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    Here are some more cage pictures (Nyx is refusing to let me clean her cage right now - so I'm going shopping and then I'll come back and do her cage)...

    [align=center][​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [/align][align=center]As you can see from Sophia's hop into her litter box - she has room to move around...
    [​IMG]
    [/align]
     

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