Other name(s): German Giant Rabbit
The Continental Giant Rabbit is, as the name suggests, a very large rabbit. Developed from the Flemish Giant, the Continental Giant has surpassed its forbearer’s size to become one of the very biggest rabbit species: the world’s longest rabbit is Darius, a Continental Giant from the UK who is 4ft 3in long and 49 pounds, and the heaviest rabbit is Ralph, a Continental Giant (also from the UK) weighing almost 55 pounds!
Rabbits have unique and dynamic personalities and can form close, loving bonds with their owners. Many can be trained to use a litterbox, will come when you call their name, and may even enjoy learning a couple of tricks. Coupled with the fact that they’re quiet, require relatively little space, and are very low odor, it’s not hard to see why rabbits have become the third most popular pet in the United States and Great Britain.
There are a few important things to consider before choosing a rabbit as a pet. Rabbits will require your time and attention. They’re very social, curious, and playful animals and will live a sad life if kept confined to a cage with little interaction. They will need space and opportunity to exercise and explore, and you’ll need to make sure the space has been rabbit-proofed against nibbling and gnawing. A rabbit is a long-term commitment with many living more than 10 years – sadly, with their popularity on the rise, the number of rabbits abandoned to shelters and rescues has also risen.
Rabbits are a poor choice as a pet for young children.Many rabbits do not enjoy being held or cuddled and may bite or kick to get away, and rabbits can easily be seriously injured in such a struggle.
Appearance / health:
The Continental Giant is a very large rabbit, weighing well upwards of 15 pounds! They have a long body with a slightly arched back, well-rounded hindquarters, large thick ears (close to a fourth of the body length), and big bright eyes. The fur is dense and shiny with long guard hairs and a thick and soft undercoat. The recognized colors of the Continental Giant are white (with pink or blue eyes), agouti, black, dark steel, light steel, and opal.
Like other small mammals, Continental Giant Rabbit can be susceptible to colds and viral infections. Exposure to draft, sudden changes in temperature and stress can lower the rabbit’s resistance to sickness. Rabbits are also vulnerable to conjunctivitis (a bacterial infection of the eyelids caused by smoke, dust, and fumes) and ear mites. Intestinal ailments like coccidiosis (parasites propagated by unsanitary conditions), bloat, and hairball obstructions are also common in rabbits.
Behavior / temperament:
This gentle giant is friendly and affectionate. They’ve been described as dog-like both for their temperament and intelligence – they’re generally easy to train, love to play, and can even be taught some tricks.
Rabbits are social animals, and are happiest when kept in pairs or trios. Rabbits may bond very closely to one another, forming a near-inseparable “bonded pair”. Non-bonded rabbits should have their own cage and should be carefully supervised until they get to know one another. A rabbit kept singly will need lots of time and attention from their human caretaker, though human companionship can never fully substitute for the interaction they have with each other. Ideally a single rabbit will be allowed plenty of free access to its owner, whether that’s cuddling on the couch or following them around the kitchen.
Rabbits are generally playful and curious and you may find that a free-roaming bunny will greet your guests at the door. They tend to get along well with other household pets, though some cats and dogs have a high prey instinct and may act aggressively towards the rabbit. Some rabbits are quite intelligent and enjoy learning tricks, and many rabbits can be trained to use a litter box. Rabbits also love to chew and dig, and it’s especially important for their dental health that they have something appropriate to gnaw on. It’s also important that anything they shouldn’t gnaw on be kept from their reach!
Rabbits may spray to mark their territory, though this behavior can be significantly reduced or eliminated by spaying or neutering. Spaying or neutering can also result in a calmer temperament and fewer behavioral issues.
They are most active at sunset and at daybreak. In general, rabbits are physically fragile and easily stressed, and not recommended as pets for young children.
Continental Giant Rabbits are best kept indoors to protect them from extreme temperatures, predators, and other outdoor dangers. They should be allowed to roam and exercise, preferably where they can get sunlight and fresh air. Extension hutches, exercise pens or lawn enclosures are recommended for safe outdoor exposure.
If kept in a cage, the enclosure should be at least five times the size of the rabbit with plenty of room to stretch and stand upright. Wire mesh flooring should be avoided because it can cause pain and injury to a rabbit’s feet. A hide-away box or sleeping quarters should be provided as a quiet place for a rabbit to retreat to feel safe and for sleep. Baby toys and interesting items should also be available for entertainment. Another option is housing your rabbit in a play-pen or puppy-pen.
Many rabbits can be trained to use a litter box. The best litters are non-toxic (rabbits may try to nibble on their litter) and dust free. Recycled paper litters or pellets, citrus-based litters, compressed wood pellets, aspen shavings, newspaper (ensure the ink is non-toxic), and hay are all appropriate. Avoid clumping litters as they can clump inside the digestive tract if eaten, and never use wood shavings from pine or cedar.
Rabbits may also be allowed to roam inside the house as long as the areas where they are free to explore are “rabbit-proofed” for safety. Rabbits allowed to roam at all times should still have a hutch to which they can return for sleeping and a feeling of safety.
Continental Giant Rabbits are herbivorous and their diet will mainly consist of hay, pellets, and vegetables. Hay is very important for both digestive health and dental health. Grass hays such as timothy, orchard, and oat hay can be fed in unlimited quantities, but alfalfa is high in calories and should only be provided occasionally. Fresh pellets should also be made available daily – choose a pellet high in fiber and avoid mixes that include other foods like corn, seeds, or dried fruit.
Fresh foods are also an important part of your rabbit’s diet. Dark, leafy greens like kale, romaine lettuce, spring greens, and some spinach should make up approximately 75% of the fresh food given to your rabbit daily, with vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, bell pepper, and summer squash making up the other 25%. Fruits and starchy vegetables should be limited in the diet, but make great treats! Make sure that all fresh foods are washed thoroughly, and uneaten fresh foods should be removed at the end of the day.
Fresh water should always be available, either from a sipper bottle or in a stable water bowl.
fantastic house rabbits, friendly bouncy creatures, great friends, stunning rabbit, great personality
kick, sheer size, droppings, atleast 6ftx2ft, cleaning
healthy rabbit, good brushing, perfect meal, fairly lowmaintenance
"I really enjoyed owning my Continental. I had a male who my nephew very creatively named Hopper. A rabbit of this size really is almost like a small dog. He was playful and exhibited a lot of personality. <br><br>We owned one other rabbit, a lop named Timothy, and the two were great friends. We always got a kick out of it when the two bunnies were running around the backyard, which was fenced in, and if a large truck or anything that make the ground vibrate went by, they'd stop and thump the lawn with one foot - their way of communicating "Danger!" to each other. (Of course, they weren't really in danger, but they had no way of knowing this.) <br><br>Hopper was exceptionally friendly towards people, on the condition that you let him come to you. He would get a bit squirrelly if children tried to suddenly grab him, or if they tried to touch his feet too much while holding him. He was quite active and never seemed happier than when he was able to run around outside.<br><br>An owner of a Continental must stay on top of clean-up as a rabbit of this size produces a lot of droppings! They also enjoy a good brushing as their coat is quite thick. Beyond that, I found Hopper to be fairly low-maintenance as rabbits go. Really a great pet!."
From elizabeth228 Jun 1 2014 6:31PM
"I've had my fair share of different rabbit breeds over the years, however by far my favourite and most enjoyable rabbits to own were my continental giants. They can't really be handled like most rabbits, unless they are young, however what lack in being easily handled they make up for it by being extremely active. <br><br>We kept our continentals in a wooden shed which they had all to themselves. As they are giant rabbits, a hutch doesn't really suffice so you have to be able to have something more suitable to their size along with plenty of space to roam. As well as being kept in a shed, which they loved, they also had free roam of our garden during the day. You have to be careful however that you put them inside before it gets dark as any rabbit left outside in the open is easy prey for a fox, especially during the winter. They also love to dig, so we had to "rabbit proof" our garden so they didn't escape. However despite the effort of getting them a shed and rabbit proofing the garden as well as being spot on with regards to locking them up at night, the effort is more than worth it by what they bring you in both love and entertainment. <br><br>My two continentals were filled with personality and would often wonder inside the house, unannounced. I would be at the computer and would all of a sudden feel something nudging my feet. You can guess what it was!<br><br>They require lots of attention, care and effort to ensure they have the best possible live. They are harder to keep then your standard rabbit so don't get them just for their size but because you can accommodate one properly. They make great pets in the correct environment!."
From StephenJackson Jul 10 2015 10:55AM