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Hello from Maryland!

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Thistle » Fri May 01, 2020 8:54 pm


Hi there from Maryland!

I am very much new to rabbits, but I have always thought about having one and now owning my own home, I figured why not?! I recently discovered Flemish Giants and you can now say that I am completely and thoroughly obsessed. I have been researching non-stop to prepare for one and have completely emptied a guest room just for it while I try and figure out a cage set up for it. I definitely want to take an extra month or two to make sure I learn as much as I can before I get the rabbit, even though the biggest problem I am having is trying to find a Flemish Giant! I know patience is a virtue, but it's so hard sometimes, especially when waiting to hear back :bunnyhop:

I look forward to learning and interacting with everyone here, it seems like a great group :)

Thank you!
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Re: Hello from Maryland!

Post Number:#2  Unread postby KimitsuKouseki » Sat May 02, 2020 5:56 am


I started with flemish, it wasnt for me but I understand the appeal. One thing you need to know for them if you decide to buy/build a cage is that they generally really don't do well on wire floorings. Their weight make the wire cut through their feet and that's rly bad. So you need either flat floors and train em to use a litter box ideally or planks that have small half inch gaps between em to drain the pee and poo. I both cases you will need to scrape off any gunk that accumulates and wipe it dry daylie to avoid unsanitary conditions from develloping. It's a big breed that creates a lot of waste so it gets bad quickly if not maintained

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Re: Hello from Maryland!

Post Number:#3  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sat May 02, 2020 6:35 am


I love Flemish,
love their temperament.
and have not found them any more troublesome than any other large breed.
In my experience, the lines I had,- did not have "soft feet", more GI issues,
or make a bigger mess than anyone else..
They do however, need a lot more cage room, than is "normal" for most other rabbits".
If you plan on keeping your rabbit in a cage most of the time, be sure it is a big cage.
If you have wire floors in your cage [recommended, because of sanitation] ,be sure to check the feet regularly,
if any bald or sore looking places are noticed, put a thin paver, or piece of wood in the cage, for them to rest on..
[like mentioned above, none of my Flemish had "soft feet", so it was not an issue for me]
best of luck,
I hope you enjoy the journey ..
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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Re: Hello from Maryland!

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Thistle » Sat May 02, 2020 5:03 pm


KimitsuKouseki wrote:I started with flemish, it wasnt for me but I understand the appeal. One thing you need to know for them if you decide to buy/build a cage is that they generally really don't do well on wire floorings. Their weight make the wire cut through their feet and that's rly bad. So you need either flat floors and train em to use a litter box ideally or planks that have small half inch gaps between em to drain the pee and poo. I both cases you will need to scrape off any gunk that accumulates and wipe it dry daylie to avoid unsanitary conditions from develloping. It's a big breed that creates a lot of waste so it gets bad quickly if not maintained


michaels4gardens wrote:I love Flemish,
love their temperament.
and have not found them any more troublesome than any other large breed.
In my experience, the lines I had,- did not have "soft feet", more GI issues,
or make a bigger mess than anyone else..
They do however, need a lot more cage room, than is "normal" for most other rabbits".
If you plan on keeping your rabbit in a cage most of the time, be sure it is a big cage.
If you have wire floors in your cage [recommended, because of sanitation] ,be sure to check the feet regularly,
if any bald or sore looking places are noticed, put a thin paver, or piece of wood in the cage, for them to rest on..
[like mentioned above, none of my Flemish had "soft feet", so it was not an issue for me]
best of luck,
I hope you enjoy the journey ..


Thank you both for the welcome! Thank you for the tips regarding the cage and that is definitely good to know. I was thinking of using those tall puppy gates that you can arrange to cordon off an area of the guest room and slowly expand it until it becomes more comfortable with being in a new home and litterbox trained (hopefully without too much issue). The room has been rabbitproofed, but I have hardwood floors throughout the house and I was thinking of covering the cordoned off area with short pile rugs to protect the rabbit's feet and to make it more comfortable. I was reading that sometimes they might not like how slippery hardwood floors are and I will definitely look out for the soft feet.

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Re: Hello from Maryland!

Post Number:#5  Unread postby KimitsuKouseki » Sat May 02, 2020 7:05 pm


michaels4gardens wrote:In my experience, the lines I had,- did not have "soft feet", more GI issues,
or make a bigger mess than anyone else..

Either you were lucky or I was unlucky because mine had a lot of issues even when I tried my best to keep their setup clean and comfy for em. After I switched to lionheads I'd also often had to go help my friend who still had the breed. She had about 30 adults but I HATED her setup and she didnt clean nearly as often as she should've, I wanted to throw up every time I entered her place and the smell would stick to me so I'd head straight for the shower once I was home. I'm so glad she doesnt have rabbits anymore :?
Here's a couple pics of me holding 2 of her adults, shows you how big they were and you can see her setup a bit on the background. The metal plates she used to catch the stuff would often leak on the rabbits bellow too btw :( Also trying to pick up those monsters from the top shelf was really difficult and somewhat dangerous :(
ImageImage

Thistle wrote: I have hardwood floors throughout the house and I was thinking of covering the cordoned off area with short pile rugs to protect the rabbit's feet and to make it more comfortable. I was reading that sometimes they might not like how slippery hardwood floors are and I will definitely look out for the soft feet.

Any bunny can have issues on slippery floors especially in some weaker young specimens with poor genes it can contribute to causing splay leg issues. First obvious step is to make sure you get a bunny with good genes, with as little inbreeding as possible in their line.
In my room there is 2 types of floor, textured stone immitation linoleum and pergo flooring. The bunnies slip a lot on the pergo but not on the linoleum so they'll often prefer to stay on the linoleum for this reason.
Also you have to consider many bunnies will claw at the floors, so between their normal running/walking and their digging you can expect damage on your wood floors. Also wood floor can absorb urine while the bunny isnt clean causing further damage and difficult cleaning. If you intend of keeping him in the room directly I'd strongly consider covering the floor with linoleum, if you get a thick one it'll be softer on their paws too. Many free roam bunny owners also cover the floor further with puzzle floor mats for extra comfort.

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Re: Hello from Maryland!

Post Number:#6  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sat May 02, 2020 7:46 pm


Thistle wrote:The room has been rabbitproofed, but I have hardwood floors throughout the house and I was thinking of covering the cordoned off area with short pile rugs to protect the rabbit's feet and to make it more comfortable. I was reading that sometimes they might not like how slippery hardwood floors are


As rabbits get older, the slippery floor thing, gets to be more of an issue.
Rugs that are easily washable, [and cheap] work well, and if they get chewed on, no big deal...
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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Re: Hello from Maryland!

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Thistle » Sat May 02, 2020 8:18 pm


KimitsuKouseki wrote:
michaels4gardens wrote:In my experience, the lines I had,- did not have "soft feet", more GI issues,
or make a bigger mess than anyone else..

Either you were lucky or I was unlucky because mine had a lot of issues even when I tried my best to keep their setup clean and comfy for em. After I switched to lionheads I'd also often had to go help my friend who still had the breed. She had about 30 adults but I HATED her setup and she didnt clean nearly as often as she should've, I wanted to throw up every time I entered her place and the smell would stick to me so I'd head straight for the shower once I was home. I'm so glad she doesnt have rabbits anymore :?
Here's a couple pics of me holding 2 of her adults, shows you how big they were and you can see her setup a bit on the background. The metal plates she used to catch the stuff would often leak on the rabbits bellow too btw :( Also trying to pick up those monsters from the top shelf was really difficult and somewhat dangerous :(
ImageImage

Thistle wrote: I have hardwood floors throughout the house and I was thinking of covering the cordoned off area with short pile rugs to protect the rabbit's feet and to make it more comfortable. I was reading that sometimes they might not like how slippery hardwood floors are and I will definitely look out for the soft feet.

Any bunny can have issues on slippery floors especially in some weaker young specimens with poor genes it can contribute to causing splay leg issues. First obvious step is to make sure you get a bunny with good genes, with as little inbreeding as possible in their line.
In my room there is 2 types of floor, textured stone immitation linoleum and pergo flooring. The bunnies slip a lot on the pergo but not on the linoleum so they'll often prefer to stay on the linoleum for this reason.
Also you have to consider many bunnies will claw at the floors, so between their normal running/walking and their digging you can expect damage on your wood floors. Also wood floor can absorb urine while the bunny isnt clean causing further damage and difficult cleaning. If you intend of keeping him in the room directly I'd strongly consider covering the floor with linoleum, if you get a thick one it'll be softer on their paws too. Many free roam bunny owners also cover the floor further with puzzle floor mats for extra comfort.


This is wonderfully helpful information, I appreciate this! I absolutely adore how big they are and that is what won me over and I cannot get over how personable they all seem to be (and the bigger the better! :D) Currently, it's just me, my boyfriend, and our very friendly cat so it will definitely have plenty of space in the house. I am however, having a problem trying to find one locally in MD. I would love to be able to see them in person so I can be sure before I make a purchase, but COVID-19 isn't helping in that regard. My worry is finding a well-bred one. Even though it will be a pet, I still want it to be healthy, especially with some of the prices I have seen. I know I have to be patient though, since I know people are busy and I likely won't hear back as quickly.

I saw the puzzle floor mats and thought that might be a good idea too. Seems like there are a lot of good options!

michaels4gardens wrote:
Thistle wrote:The room has been rabbitproofed, but I have hardwood floors throughout the house and I was thinking of covering the cordoned off area with short pile rugs to protect the rabbit's feet and to make it more comfortable. I was reading that sometimes they might not like how slippery hardwood floors are


As rabbits get older, the slippery floor thing, gets to be more of an issue.
Rugs that are easily washable, [and cheap] work well, and if they get chewed on, no big deal...

Cheap rugs are definitely a plus :D Sounds like I might have to go and take a look online for the rugs too. I like options

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Re: Hello from Maryland!

Post Number:#8  Unread postby kotapony » Sun May 03, 2020 6:59 am


Welcome Thistle!

I have no Flemish experience to offer. But have you included craigslist and facebook groups in your search? Personally I detest facebook, but it almost seems a necessary evil as everyone else is on it.

I’m on the opposite size end - we have Polish rabbits, so we went small and just adore them. I got lucky and found a nearby breeder on Craigslist. But it took some watching, as no other polish nearby have been posted since. She, as a breeder, doesn’t seem to have a big presence - no FB or web page. But the buns came pedigreed and have been wonderful - healthy and great mothers.

Are there any 4H groups near you? Perhaps they may know of a kid breeding Flemish. Or perhaps an ARBA show you could find the coordinator of, who may know of someone? I know all shows are cancelled right now, but maybe you could find a past record of one.

Just out of curiosity, are you on the western or eastern side of MD? I’m next door in WV. :)

Just some thoughts. Best of luck in your search and keep us posted!
~Katie

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Re: Hello from Maryland!

Post Number:#9  Unread postby Thistle » Sun May 03, 2020 8:54 am


kotapony wrote:Welcome Thistle!

I have no Flemish experience to offer. But have you included craigslist and facebook groups in your search? Personally I detest facebook, but it almost seems a necessary evil as everyone else is on it.

I’m on the opposite size end - we have Polish rabbits, so we went small and just adore them. I got lucky and found a nearby breeder on Craigslist. But it took some watching, as no other polish nearby have been posted since. She, as a breeder, doesn’t seem to have a big presence - no FB or web page. But the buns came pedigreed and have been wonderful - healthy and great mothers.

Are there any 4H groups near you? Perhaps they may know of a kid breeding Flemish. Or perhaps an ARBA show you could find the coordinator of, who may know of someone? I know all shows are cancelled right now, but maybe you could find a past record of one.

Just out of curiosity, are you on the western or eastern side of MD? I’m next door in WV. :)

Just some thoughts. Best of luck in your search and keep us posted!


Hi Katie!

I just joined a couple of facebook groups and you seem absolutely right! I feel the same about facebook and try to keep as minimal info possible on there, but it is so frustrating. It sounds like you got some wonderful Polish rabbits and I am glad they are healthy and wonderful! I seem to be running into the issue where we talk about the rabbits and get to a price and deposit, but when I ask if there is a pedigree, photos of parents, or if they can share anything about the personalities and overall health, That's when I get silence haha. I am hoping I am not being rude or scaring them off somehow, I just think if I am paying a certain price regardless of whether it is a pet or not, I want to know about its health and pedigree if there is one. I really want a purebred one since the ones I have been finding in rescues seem to be mixes and don't get that big. I want a big bun! :mrgreen:


I will definitely try out a 4-H group. I love the organization and think it is fantastic.

I'm more in Central Maryland around the metro area, but WV is definitely close! I have been thinking I might have to start looking in WV or PA if necessary. There seem to be few breeders here, but it may be like you said where some of the breeders don't have a good online presence.

Thank you so much and I'll definitely keep this thread updated.

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Re: Hello from Maryland!

Post Number:#10  Unread postby ladysown » Sun May 03, 2020 3:02 pm


I was going to say... get out to the animal auctions and talk to people, but I'm guessing with COVID those might not be options right now.
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Re: Hello from Maryland!

Post Number:#11  Unread postby Thistle » Fri May 08, 2020 8:47 pm


ladysown wrote:I was going to say... get out to the animal auctions and talk to people, but I'm guessing with COVID those might not be options right now.

Oops! I didn't mean to disappear. I would love to go to auctions or a show but definitely not an option for me right now due to COVID, we are on lockdown :( I did however get in touch with a breeder and it looks I have found a Sandy! Hopefully I will be able to update again soon with lots of pictures. I am so very excited, I think it was harder than I expected to find a rabbit!

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Re: Hello from Maryland!

Post Number:#12  Unread postby Ice » Sun Jun 07, 2020 7:55 pm


Did you get him/her yet?

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