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Belgian Hare questions

Discussion of specific breeds, breed standards and selection criteria for purebreds.
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Belgian Hare questions

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Ozarkansas » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:05 pm


So, I have been thinking hard about Belgian Hares, especially the black tan ones. And I had a few questions about them.
1. Is it true they can't take cold weather?
2. Do they have to have wood floors? Or is there a way to keep them that would not include urine soked wood? Like wire completely covered with resting mats? Because if the high parisite levels where I live I no longer keep any rabbits on the ground.
And 2 random questions that don't have anything to do with wether I will get them or not.
1. What will they call "standard" when the tans are recognized?
2. Are they a running breed? I thought all full arch breeds were, but after reserching them a little I can't find anything on them "running."
P.S it will be at least a year until I can afford these guys, but they seem like a breed I couldn't be too prepared for. :bunnyhop:
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Re: Belgian Hare questions

Post Number:#2  Unread postby SableSteel » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:18 pm


I would not risk them in cold weather. Almost no insulation on them . They are active rabbits with some mass to them (other fine boned breeds that do good on wire are about half the weight) and fine, narrow feet- it's just asking for sore hocks, especially on does, when on wire floors. The standard color is commonly called 'rufus' especially in the UK where black tan is more common but I'm not entirely sure that they'll use that. They're a posed breed; Britannia petite are too.
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Re: Belgian Hare questions

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Ozarkansas » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:21 pm


Ok, that leads to another question, how cold is too cold? Here in Arkansas it normally won't get below 25°f at night, but we had a few nights last winter when it got down to 10°f and 8°f. Nothing like winters up north, but enough to make me bring all the litters inside. I definitely wouldn't put them directly on wire. But I wondered if resting mats covering the entire floor, and possibly a small section of wood would be enough? How much space do they need? I have been told they need a lot, but never given a specific size.
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Re: Belgian Hare questions

Post Number:#4  Unread postby MeadowView » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:49 pm


Ozarkansas wrote:Ok, that leads to another question, how cold is too cold? Here in Arkansas it normally won't get below 25°f at night, but we had a few nights last winter when it got down to 10°f and 8°f. Nothing like winters up north, but enough to make me bring all the litters inside. I definitely wouldn't put them directly on wire. But I wondered if resting mats covering the entire floor, and possibly a small section of wood would be enough? How much space do they need? I have been told they need a lot, but never given a specific size.


Ozark, are your rabbits in a barn or are they in outdoor hutches? I have a friend who lives in town who has belgians. It occasionally gets down to the negatives here and they've never lost any rabbits to the cold. If they're in an enclosed space, I have serious doubts that you'd have any problems.

As for the resting mats... I don't know. :lol: My instinct would be to say they'd do fine on resting mats, but their hind feet are usually poorly furred, so who knows??

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Re: Belgian Hare questions

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Ozarkansas » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:01 pm


They are outdoors, so it is the same temperature in their cages as the outside. I do give them boxes stuffed with hay to burrow in or even enough hay in their cage to burrow.
I was thinking that resting mats might even be better on there feet than pee soked wood. Because It seems like the damp wood would irritate their feet, while almost everything would fall thourgh the resting mats. And they are super easy to toss in to a bucket of bleach water when they get dirty. Just a thought, if it really worked you would think more hare raisers would be doing it already.
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Re: Belgian Hare questions

Post Number:#6  Unread postby SableSteel » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:04 pm


When I first got belgians I decided to try just a lot of resting mats on wire. Most got sore hocks, so that didn't work for me. I gave a few solid resting areas in their cage (about 1/3 the cage). It worked better, but they still lost most the fur on the feet. If I got back into them, I would get 100% covered cage bottoms.
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Re: Belgian Hare questions

Post Number:#7  Unread postby MeadowView » Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:21 pm


Maybe not the best idea, then. I have a 'maybe someday' folder in the back of my brain, and Belgians (and Checkereds) are tucked away because I don't have the patience to deal with solid floors right now either.

Though, if you can come up with a solution for the cold that you feel will work, might be better to consider plastic bottom cages? I've considered dog crates before for Checkered Giants just because the pan is usually still removable and can be sprayed down instead of getting nasty/soaked/ruined.

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Re: Belgian Hare questions

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Harelady » Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:10 am


I raise Tan Belgian hares. They have taken fine to Nebraska weather though are in a shed. They are a posing breed and you have to work with them so they are used to posing and being handled. They really do need solid bottom cages. Not just because of sore hocks but you also risk damage to the front feet and ankles. I litter box train mine to help with them not peeing on the wood. Now some will tell you wire is okay but I here to tell you that the old time breeders I am friends with really stressed the importance of solid floor.

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Re: Belgian Hare questions

Post Number:#9  Unread postby Ozarkansas » Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:49 pm


I like the litter box training idea!
Also Nebraska might be the closest I can find tans to me ;) I guess the next step would be to find the money and supplies for wooden hutchs. How big is ideal for them? I have most of my rabbits in 2×4' cages do they need more space than that?
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