Last Updated on November 23, 2023 by Admin
When it comes to giant rabbits, among the breed that stands out is the continental giant. Their remarkable size, distinct appearance, and admirable temperament have earned a special place among most animal enthusiasts who prefer large-sized bunnies. This article looks at continental giant rabbit history, appearance, temperament, lifespan/health issues, diet, general care, and housing. In addition, it also looks at the breed’s training, whether they make good pets, their cost, and the giant rabbit’s official breed standards.
Continental giant rabbits trace their lineage in Belgium dating back to the 16th century. The breed is a descendant of the Flemish giant, nonetheless, they also share a bloodline with the Belgium hare( a domesticated rabbit resembling the wild European rabbit.).Later in the mid-19th century, the breed was introduced to the UK and then they were imported to the US towards the end of the century. Initially, this giant breed was mainly used for their meat and fur and then they were introduced in livestock shows and currently, they’ve become popular household pets.
Size and physique
In terms of size, continental giant rabbits weigh between 13 to 25 pounds and they can grow up to 3.5 feet long. They have blocky heads, well-muscled hindquarters, and back legs with long ears having rounded tips. Males are generally larger than their female counterparts.
Continental giants have dense, soft, and thick fur that comes in different colors such as black, white, opal, yellow, agouti, light steel, dark steel, light grey, and dark grey.
This particular giant rabbit breed generally has a calm and docile temperament. Continental giants are also affectionate and friendly making them good pets for not only singles but also large families with kids and other pets. Additionally, they’re intelligent breeds that are easier to teach basic commands and good litter box habits.
The average lifespan of these gentle giants is 4 to 5 years, however, some can live up to 7 years in captivity as pets if properly taken care of. In terms of health, some of the common problems that can affect giant rabbits including Conti’s are arthritis, sore hocks, flystrike, and obesity.
Feed your continental giant rabbits, a balanced diet that consists of 85% hay as their primary diet, 10% greens, and the remaining 5% should be fruits and pellets as treats. Lastly, also ensure that your giant bunny has a constant supply of fresh drinking water 24/7.
Continental rabbits just like any other rabbit breed need proper care which involves occasionally grooming their coat. This can be done once per week to remove any loose fur and also prevent matting. When it comes to cleaning a rabbit, use a damp towel to wipe dirt off their fur. In addition, to prevent your continental giant from developing sore hocks from overgrown nails, always ensure that you trim them after a couple of months.
Regular exercise is something you need to consider when it comes to maintaining your rabbit’s overall well-being and preventing obesity. Whether you’re keeping your continental giant rabbit indoors or outdoors, make sure that they have a secure play area that’s at least 10 x 4 x 4 feet.
An ideal hutch or cage for a continental giant should be at least 6ft long, 2ft wide, and 3 ft. high. For an outdoor enclosure, make sure that it’s predator-proof and made from durable material that’s able to withstand extreme weather.
Does a continental giant make a good pet?
Continental giant rabbits are good pets considering that they’re even-tempered and docile animals. Not to mention they’re also easy to teach basic commands and good litter box habits. This giant breed can also be a good pet for families with kids, however, considering how large their size is, supervision is necessary. This will enable both your child and bunny to play or interact safely.
Does the continental giant bunny get along with other pets?
Besides their friendly nature, the continental giant bunny’s sheer size also helps to discourage cats or some dogs with a high prey drive from viewing your giant rabbit as prey. Other rabbits can also live harmoniously with continentals. The trick is to introduce other pets or your rabbit gradually while all animals are still young.
The cost of owning and maintaining a continental giant rabbit
First and foremost, the cost of purchasing this particular rabbit breed is between $300 to $500, if it’s from a reputable breeder. Additionally, the price from certified sellers may also vary depending on the age, health, and pedigree of the individual rabbit. On the other hand, continental giant prices in pet stores on average range between $30 to $80.When it comes to their housing their hutch or cage price on average usually costs between $70 to $200. Food per month is usually between $50 to $80, bedding, grooming supplies, and litter box costs roughly $200.
ARBA Continental giant breed standards
Currently, the American Rabbit Breeders Association has no officially recognized Conti giant breed standards. Nonetheless, breeders in the USA, use the British Rabbit Council Standards as a guideline.
BRC Continental Giant breed standards
According to the British Rabbit Council continental giant breed colored standards, the recognized shades are black, yellow, chinchilla, red and chestnut, opal and agouti, dark and light steel. According to the BRC breeds coat standard, it should be around 1 ½ inches long, shiny, thick, and rollback with guard hairs. Additionally, the Conti’s undercoat should not only be shiny but of good density as well.
The standard breed should have an arch body that’s around 65 cm, with broad, round, and powerful hindquarters and straight firm front feet. Their average weight should be between 12 lb. and 15 lb.
Their head and ears should be broad and their cheeks should be well developed. Their ears should be well-rounded, erect, thick, and large (at least 7 inches long).
When it comes to the white variety, there are two standard categories as per the BRC. We have the white continental giant rabbit with blue eye color and the other variety with pink eye color, both with entirely white nails.
Regardless of whether it’s the colored or white BRC standard version of the continental giant rabbit, the breed needs to be healthy and clean. In other words, their coat should be free from soiling especially on their genitals area, their ears, and feet.