|Common Name:||Checkered Giant rabbit|
|Scientific Name:||Oryctolagus cuniculus|
|Life Span:||5 to 6 years|
|Weight (Adult)||11 to 13 pounds|
|Habitat:||Human homes, yards, gardens, and farms|
|Country of Origin:||France or Germany|
The Checkered Giant rabbit is a domesticated rabbit breed that may have originated from France or Germany. It is one of the largest breeds of rabbit that is recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association or ARBA. However, the British Rabbit Council or BRC does not recognize the Checkered Giant but only accepts the Giant Papillon.
The Checkered giant is one of the many rabbit breeds that have particular markings on their coats. The markings used to define the breed standard of this breed are different from the standards that are used to define the Giant Papillon. According to ARBA, for an adult Checkered Giant buck to be ready for the show, he must be at least 11 pounds, and an adult doe should weigh at least 12 pounds. There are no maximum weight criteria for Checkered giant rabbits.
This breed has a slender, muscular body with a long body size similar to a hare with a mandolin or semi-arched shape. The Checkered Giant rabbit has strong and powerful legs, broad ears that are always upright, and a wide head.
Coat and Colors
The Checkered Giant rabbit has a soft coat with short to medium fur length. This coat is very easy to maintain. Most rabbits will meticulously clean themselves but will shed at varying times of the year. When it comes to color, the ARBA has distinct rules for the Checkered giant rabbit.
The ARBA accepts only white rabbits with black or blue marks that look like a butterfly on the rabbit’s nose. The rabbit must have two black or blue spots found on either side of its body. There must be black or blue stripes from the base of their ears to the tail along the spine. There are two varieties of Checkered giants. One is the Black, which is a white rabbit with black markings and the Blue or the white rabbit with gray markings. Gender and variety are judged in a separate manner.
History of the Breed
The history of how the Checkered giant rabbit came to be is still being disputed, but experts say that this breed may be from France or Germany. Large checkered rabbits were first seen in 1800 and were said to be from the combination of a Flemish giant, French lop, and spotted rabbits. The breed was then called Land Kanichen.
The resulting breed was around 10 to 12 pounds and did not have the coat markings that the Checkered giant rabbits have. The Land Kanichen were bred with Flemish giants in Germany to improve their size, and this resulted in the Lorraine rabbit, or the Great German Spotted rabbit breed.
And in 1904, a rabbit breeder named Otto Reinhardt from Reinfalz, Germany bred the Great German Spotted rabbit with a black Flemish giant and thus, the Checkered Giant rabbit was created. After six years, this new breed was introduced in America, and soon after, the American Rabbit Breeders Association has accepted it as a unique breed.
The Checkered giant rabbits don’t have a maximum weight in ARBA standards because these rabbits are mostly used for show, and this means, the bigger, the better. But over the years, the Checkered giant has shown that it is not just a rabbit with a pretty coat but can also become a loving and caring pet.
Nowadays, more families all over the world choose the Checkered giant for their calm, gentle, and sweet demeanor. This rabbit can also be active, given the right stimulation.
Checkered giant rabbits reproduce just like other rabbit breeds. Since this breed is a domesticated breed, it is forced to breed in captivity to create show or pet baby Checkered Giant Rabbits.
Rabbits can breed all year round and can even start as early as 5 to 8 weeks old. First, the male is separated from other males and placed inside his own enclosure, and then after a few days, the female is introduced to him. Experts agree that this arrangement can enhance the success of breeding and bearing offspring.
The female will first remain still as the male smells her from head to tail, but sometimes, she might resist and will escape and run around the cage to avoid the male. The male will try to catch her and then persuade her to mate. If she still does not want to mate after an hour or so, remove her. Re-introduce the female after another hour.
The female will soon submit, and she will let the male know by lying down on her side and by allowing him to sniff and mount her. Mating happens is quickly, and then you’ll know that it is successful when the male leaves the female alone. Some breeders also notice the male thumping his hind leg as a sign of satisfaction.
The female is removed from the cage and place her inside a separate enclosure where she can rest. The gestation period is usually 38 days long.
Days or hours before she gives birth, the female will look for a suitable area to build a nest. She will also refuse to eat and drink and may look very restless. This is the best time to offer a birthing box, which is simply a box like a cardboard box filled with soft hay. The female may also use other materials to line her nest and even her own fur.
The female will give birth to three to five babies. A female can become pregnant three to four times a year. She will nurse her babies and clean them, but she will soon leave the nest. The babies are very vulnerable as they are born blind, deaf, and naked. The mother will use hay or any material to hide her nest before she leaves. She will only come back every night to nurse them for only a few minutes. The baby rabbits will open their eyes in 5 to 7 days and then wean from their mother in 10 to 12 days.
Personality and Behavior
The Checkered giant may not be as affectionate compared to other breeds, but they love to check out their enclosures as they are curious, friendly, and calm. This breed also enjoys human interaction, especially when they are being cared for extremely during a show.
Once this breed learns who its owners are, it will follow them around, and this makes them sweet and calm companions. It will do well with singles and seniors, but their huge size makes them impossible to be held by little kids.
The Checkered giant will love to chew, and this may be due to its ever-growing teeth. Therefore, you should provide chew toys like blocks of wood or ropes. Never leave your pet rabbit in your home unattended to avoid accidents as they can run around or eat electrical cables.
The Checkered Giant rabbit is comparable to the Flemish Giant Rabbit because of their sizes. The Flemish Giant is a huge rabbit that can weigh from 9 to 14 pounds. It lives only 5 to 8 years because of their massive weight. It has a semi-arch/mandolin body and is friendly, sweet, and docile. This breed is ideal for families with children as they can be submissive and calm, for singles, and also for first-time owners.
Care of Checkered Giant Rabbits
Consider yourself lucky if you’re caring for a Checkered Giant Rabbit. This is a giant rabbit breed that is laid-back calm and is known to be one of the easiest to take care of. Caring for a Checkered Giant is like caring for other rabbit breeds. You must provide the right diet, housing or enclosure, correct medical treatment, and should be with at least two or three rabbit companions.
An important part of a rabbit’s daily diet is hay. This is the bulk of a rabbit’s diet aside from rabbit pellets, which are commercially-prepared food that has vitamins and minerals for your rabbit’s good health. Add vegetables and fruits to their meals for a healthy, well-rounded rabbit diet.
Place unlimited fresh water and hay because this is an important part of a rabbit’s diet because it’s rough and can help keep their digestive tracts regular. An inverted water bottle with a spout at the end is also a good spill-proof way for your pet to drink.
Your pet should eat the right food. Avoid food with pesticides, toxins, and herbicides, and feed your pets organic fruits and vegetables. You must give younger rabbits alfalfa hay because it’s rich in calcium for growing bones and give adult Checkered Giant Rabbits legume hay because it’s perfect for adult’s digestive tracts.
Captive-bred Checkered Giant Rabbits are calm and friendly, but you must invest time and effort to train them daily. One way to do it is to interact with your pet rabbit daily. Also, rabbits are social animals and will need constant companions aside from playing with their pet owners. Rabbits that have constant companions and regular interactions with their owners live healthier, happier, and well-rounded pets.
Checkered Giant Rabbits have very meticulous grooming habits and will groom themselves to the point that it can take hours to do so. Rabbits will also groom each other and owners to say that this a way to bond with their cage-mates. You may also notice mother rabbits grooming her kits in her nest, but this won’t last because she will leave the nest as soon as she gives birth. She will return to the nest in the evening to nurse her babies only for a short time.
Checkered Giant Rabbits are active in the daytime and will sleep in the evenings. This is why you must feed your pet in the morning. This rabbit can sleep 8 hours a day and may sleep together to keep warm.
Supplies and Cages
Checkered Giant Rabbits make laid-back pets, but younger rabbits can be energetic, and thus, this needs a big enclosure they can play, sleep, interact, and just laze around. This should be made of wire and a strong frame since this is a large rabbit.
The bottom of the cage must be removable because this is where the rabbit’s droppings will fall. This should be easy to remove, so it’s easier to dispose of the poop as well. For the enclosure floor, use soft bedding and line this with good quality cage bedding.
Your pet rabbit needs hay 24/7, and one way to offer hay is to play a rabbit hay feeder on the side of the enclosure. For the bedding, use hay, wood pellets, or horse bedding.
To clean the cage, use only a safe cleaner or cleaning product such as white vinegar, baking soda, or lemon juice. Don’t use household cleaners because these may have dangerous chemicals that can negatively affect your pet’s health.
Use a separate or extra cage to take care of baby Checkered Giant Rabbits. Newborn rabbits are usually naked, deaf, and blind. These must be kept in a warm enclosure to keep their bodies at the best temperatures. A smaller secure cage with a cage lamp or lighting will keep the kittens dry, warm, and safe from predators.
And like other breeds, Checkered Giant Rabbits love chewing on anything it is nearby. If you keep your rabbits indoors, these will chew on anything made of wood and other light materials. It can even chew on electrical wires, and this can electrocute or kill your pet! Therefore, it’s best to rabbit-proof your home before releasing your pet or pets. Use a wire fence to keep the rabbit from accessing dangerous areas in your home or yard.
A Checkered Giant Rabbit is healthy and is not affected by any specific disease. This breed is also not immune to common rabbit diseases. This is why you must always monitor your rabbit’s health and development. Any changes could mean that your pet is ill or needs medical attention. So, as early as your pet opens its eyes and gets out of its nest, take it to the vet for standard vaccinations and tests.
Small and younger rabbits have sensitive digestive systems and may be susceptible to enteritis, bloat, and stasis. These may affect rabbits, which are less than two months of age.
You must also take note of ear or fur parasites like mites, fleas, and ticks. Rabbits that are plagued with these pests usually have poor hygiene or may be housed in dirty surroundings or enclosures. Also, be wary of the following signs of illness: poor appetite, nasal and eye discharges, constipation, loose stools, and vomiting. Also, unsteady gait, restlessness, teeth grating, and sleeping for longer hours should never be overlooked since these could be due to a serious condition.
Another very important part of caring for rabbits is deworming. Your Checkered Giant Rabbit must be treated for worms at least twice a year and must be done during springtime and fall. Use only a pea-sized amount of deworming paste will do. Place the paste inside the rabbit’s mouth, and this will lick and swallow the medication completely. You must also follow the dose recommended by your vet.
A rabbit’s teeth will grow even when it’s old, and sometimes, these can grow so long that it can pierce the mouth and gums. When these happen, your rabbit will feel extreme pain and discomfort. Therefore, you must make sure that the rabbit’s teeth don’t overgrow to avoid causing stress. Help your pet by offering hay because this can grind the rabbit’s teeth as it chews. You may also leave pieces of wood, or other toys and accessories inside your pet’s cage to file a rabbit’s teeth. Monitor your rabbit’s dental health to avoid expensive dental bills.
Spaying or Neutering
Rabbits are very promiscuous, and if you overlook your pet’s reproduction, these can easily overpopulate your home. Remember, every female rabbit can give birth to 3 to 5 rabbits per litter, and it can produce 6 litters per year!
The only way to control your rabbits from reproducing is by spaying or neutering your pets. Spaying and neutering should be done at a young age. Some vets prefer to wait until the rabbits are six months old before this is done.
Checkered Giant bucks are also neutered at a young age because experts say that neutering can reduce aggression. Some vets will neuter bucks at three months, which might be too early, but for questions about spaying and neutering, consult your vet at once.
Checkered Giant Rabbits have soft and velvety smooth furs. But no matter what coat your rabbit has, it will need constant grooming. Use a durable brush to keep the fur clean, shiny, and free from pests. Groom your pet at least once or twice a week.
Molting is when mammals lose their furs so that a new cover can replace the old one. Grooming must be done more frequently during this season so that the rabbit won’t ingest its fur and suffer from the wool block. And if your rabbit is very dirty, never bath it because this can stress it. Use a damp towel instead. Just wipe the rabbit down with the damp towel and use a dry one afterward. Don’t forget to clean and inspect its ears, fingernails, toenails, and teeth.
Availability – Where to Get One
A Checkered Giant Rabbit may be available from a breeder or retailer. The price of this rabbit breed will also vary whether you are getting a rabbit for a pet or show. You can expect the price to vary according to gender, size, coat quality, color, and physical appearance.
If you are looking for a reliable breeder, choose one that breeds healthy Checkered Giant Rabbits that are free from any genetic disorders. Buy your Checkered Giant Rabbits or any breed of rabbit from reliable breeders. You can also follow this breed in trade fairs and farm events. You will also find ARBA shows that highlight this breed.
How to Care for a Checkered Giant Rabbit
This is a summary of how to care for a pet Checkered Giant Rabbit breed. Caring for a Checkered Giant Rabbit is just like caring for other breeds. Remember the four components of rabbit care: the right diet, housing, companionship, and vet care.
When providing the correct diet, the main food is hay. This is important in their diet to grind their rapidly growing teeth, keep their guts healthy, and maintain regular bowel movements. Other rabbit foods are rabbit pellets with added nutrients, vegetables, and fruits for a healthy diet. Give your rabbits food in their natural habitats like grasses, twigs, birch, and seeds, to name a few. Also, keep water and hay inside the rabbit’s cage. Place water in a large, heavy, and shallow dish so that your rabbit can drink without spilling.
Captive-bred rabbits can only become calm, friendly, and docile when you take time to train it. You must train and interact daily. Captive rabbits are social animals and will need a companion or some companions.
What do Checkered Giant Rabbits eat?
Checkered Giant Rabbits are herbivorous, and it will eat a variety of plants. Herbivores will eat all parts of the plant like the roots, bark, seeds, weeds, flowers, and leaves. But in captivity, rabbits can eat commercially-prepared rabbit food, vegetables, nuts, and fruits.
Can Checkered Giant Rabbits swim?
Checkered Giant Rabbits are not known to swim, but if there is a threat, then it may try to, but it can’t swim like other as good as other water animals. Also, rabbits do not want to get wet and will not like a bath since this is stressful.
How do you tame a rabbit?
You cannot tame a wild rabbit because you might end up getting hurt. You may train a captive-bred rabbit instead because these rabbits have a calm behavior and are considered friendlier compared to wild rabbits.
Will Checkered Giant Rabbits eat produce?
Yes, Checkered Giant Rabbits will eat fruits and vegetables and will also eat commercially-prepared pellets or rabbit food which have nutrients for your pet’s health.
Will Checkered Giant Rabbits eat their poop?
Yes, like all rabbit breeds, the Checkered Giant Rabbit will eat its poop because these still have nutrients. But after eating this once, they won’t do it the next time. No one knows why rabbits eat their poop, and you can prevent this by removing the droppings as soon as you see these.
Can you keep a Checkered Giant Rabbit as a pet?
You can keep the Checkered Giant Rabbit as a pet due to its docile and sweet temperament. This is a good pet for families and children, but space is very important since Checkered Giant Rabbits are huge.
Should you get a wild rabbit from the forest?
We don’t recommend that you get a wild animal such as a rabbit from the forest. You can’t tame this, and you make it your pet because it will still be wild. Therefore, if you see an injured rabbit, call animal services for assistance.
Are Checkered Giant Rabbits endangered?
No, Checkered Giant Rabbits are not endangered. Checkered Giant Rabbits are domesticated and hence are available from breeders as well as in pet shops and human homes as pets.
Are Checkered Giant Rabbits carnivorous?
No, these rabbits are not carnivorous and are herbivores, and this means that these will never eat meat. This rabbit will consume plants or plant parts like roots, bark, leaves, flowers, twigs, stems, seeds, and many more.
How do you clean the cage of a Checkered Giant Rabbit?
First, remove the rabbit inside the cage and place it in a clean cage. Remove the pan under the cage and dispose of the droppings carefully. With a hose, and a brush and cleaning product, clean the walls, bottom, accessories, and the outer sections of the cage. Change the bedding and make sure that everything is dry before placing the rabbit back.
Where do Checkered Giant Rabbits live?
Checkered Giant Rabbits are not found in the wild because these are domesticated animals. Checkered Giant Rabbits are in human-inhabited areas and commercial areas such as kennels, pet stores, and human homes as pets. Checkered Giant Rabbit may be housed in large indoor or outdoor cages, especially in groups for companionship.
Can you keep two or more Giant Rabbits inside one cage?
You can keep two or more rabbits in one cage as long as you use a large cage to keep the giant pets in. The cage must be large, comfortable, and safe, so your rabbit or rabbits can remain safe and comfortable inside their cages.
How do you care for baby Checkered Giant Rabbits?
If you want to take care of baby Checkered Giant Rabbits, place the kittens in a comfortable and warm cage. Feed baby rabbits soft pureed food, and keep these safe. Protect from predators like a house cat or pet dog. For wild-caught rabbits, don’t take them from the wild and call animal services to have these rescued at once.
Are Checkered Giant Rabbits territorial?
Pet owners say that Checkered Giant Rabbits are like other rabbits in such a way that these may develop a territorial behavior when these are kept in a small enclosure. Males can become very dangerous to other males, especially in the breeding season. The aggressive males can injure other males in the cage for hierarchy.
Do you need a heater inside a Checkered Giant Rabbit’s cage?
You may use a cage lamp for heat. But in cold climates, use a small portable heater and place this near the cage to create a warm and comfortable area for your pet, and this is also a good setup for incubating baby rabbits.
Can you leave a Checkered Giant Rabbits indoors?
You may allow your pet rabbit indoors but only under your constant supervision. You can use a portable fence to keep it off areas that you don’t want it to go. Rabbit-proof your home before allows your pets out of their cage to prevent accidents.
Will a mother, Checkered Giant Rabbit, eat her young?
There are rabbit species that eat their young and may not be true for all mother rabbits. And if you spot a female Checkered Giant Rabbit eating her young, remove it from the litter and don’t allow it to breed anymore.
Where do you place a Checkered Giant Rabbit’s cage?
You can place a cage indoors or outdoors, and this may depend on your preference. You may place the cage indoors to protect it from the sun, and cold but there will be a limited space to play and may not be enough for a large, adult Checkered Giant Rabbit. When you place the cage outdoors, the rabbits need to deal with the elements, but these will have a large area to move and play in.
How large should a Checkered Giant Rabbit’s cage be?
One Checkered Giant Rabbit must be placed in a large enclosure because of its size. For two large rabbits, double this area. You must not overlook the cage size and make sure that your rabbits have space to play, eat, and sleep and consider the number of rabbits inside the enclosure as well.
Are Checkered Giant Rabbits bites dangerous to humans?
Yes, Checkered Giant Rabbit bites are dangerous because despite being domesticated animals, the species may have rabies. More so, the rabbit teeth may be too large and too sharp. This can easily tear off skin and flesh.
Does it hurt when a Checkered Giant Rabbit scratches you?
Yes, this can hurt because Checkered Giant Rabbits may have sharp claws, especially claws on its hind feet. This rabbit can also kick hard with its hind feet. However, Checkered Giant Rabbits will only do this when it feels threatened, and if you handle it well, then it won’t hurt you at all.
Can Checkered Giant Rabbits escape their cage?
Yes, Checkered Giant Rabbits can escape their cages by kicking their cages. These can jump over and escape if the cage is too low, but will also use force like gnawing on the cage walls or posts.
Can you stop a Checkered Giant Rabbit from eating his poop?
You can stop a Checkered Giant Rabbit from eating his poop by removing these after these defecate, but of course, you can’t just sit around to watch your pets poop! And no matter what, these animals will still eat their poop because they know that it still has nutrients.
Can Checkered Giant Rabbits hear well?
The Checkered Giant Rabbit has good hearing that it can hear its predators from far away, and this gives them a lot of time to escape from it.
Can rabbits see well?
Yes, rabbits have good vision and are also able to see well at night. This is why some species prefer to forage for food at night. Rabbits like the Checkered Giant Rabbit also have a good sense of smell and hearing, which allows them to look for predators in their area.
Can you train your rabbit to wear a collar and leash?
Some pet owners can train their pet rabbits to wear a collar and walk with a leash, but some say that this may depend on what breed of rabbit they are training.
Will Checkered Giant Rabbits distinguish their owners?
Some rabbit owners revealed that their pets could recognize them and can tell if they are being handled by their owners or by a stranger or by other people.
What happens when a rabbit’s teeth grow longer?
When the teeth of the rabbit grow longer, these can pierce their mouth and gums, and this can cause a lot of pain and affect their appetite. This is why you must take your rabbit to the dentist regularly for checkups. You can also help by feeding it hay since this can grind their teeth as they chew.
How many rabbits can you keep at home?
You can keep three or more rabbits as a pet as long as you have a large cage to keep the rabbits comfortable and happy. Having only one rabbit will make it lonely, and this can affect its health and development.
Will rabbits eat insects?
Rabbits won’t eat insects. This will eat only plant and plant parts, pellets, fruits, and vegetables. And when you feed your rabbit fruits and vegetables, you must make sure that these are organic to avoid pesticides, toxins, and chemicals.
How often do you visit the vet?
Rabbits should visit the vet at least twice a year. Young rabbits must receive vaccination against diseases as early as they can and should have an initial visit to a vet when they are just a few weeks old.
Can rabbit diseases be transferred to humans?
Some rabbit diseases will affect only rabbits, while some may be transferred to humans. So, if your rabbit is sick, take it to the vet ASAP. You must understand the signs of illnesses such as poor appetite, loose stools, constipation, sneezing, problems with breathing, and changes in behavior.
Can rabbits survive the cold?
Yes, rabbits can stay in the cold and survive by foraging food that’s found under the snow. Rabbits can dig the food out using their legs and eat roots, shrubs, berries, and other natural food.
Can Checkered Giant Rabbits stay outdoors?
A Checkered Giant Rabbit may be allowed to stay outdoors but rabbit-proof your yard or outdoor area first. Portable fencing is a safe way to limit the area where the rabbit can move about. Bury the fence poles to prevent the rabbit from digging and escaping.
Where do rabbits sleep in the wild?
In the wild, rabbits can sleep in warrens or holes or burrows. Rabbits can dig deep holes into remaining inside all day. Rabbits can sleep in their dens and nests, as well. In captivity, the rabbits are forced to remain in an enclosure that can accommodate many rabbits. This living space is safe and secure from predators.
Can you place the cage of Checkered Giant Rabbits near other breeds?
Yes, you don’t have anything to worry about if the cage of a Checkered Giant Rabbit is near other breeds because this breed is very friendly and calm.
What do you do with abandoned wild baby rabbits?
If wild rabbit babies are abandoned in their nests, call animal service ASAP You should never get baby rabbits from the wild to take care of your home as pets.
Can pet rabbits be patient with children?
Some rabbits don’t want to be held by young children and tend to bite and become skittish. However, some rabbits are calm, docile, and friendly and will be okay when held and petted even by young children.
Will your rabbit survive the cold?
Some rabbits can survive the cold and will find it fun to be in the snow. Some rabbits can change their coat color to adapt to the winter climate while some do not survive the cold like rabbits breeds found in the desert.
Are rabbits cannibals?
Eating their babies can be observed in some female rabbits, and experts say that this is because the female is hungry or thirsty after she has given birth. Some say that rabbits do this to remove any traces of tissue, blood, and smell in the nest when a baby is stillborn. Removing any smell and traces of blood will protect the remaining babies.
How young do you spay or neuter your pet rabbit?
It depends on the vet as to when to spay or neuter a rabbit. Some bucks are neutered at 3 months, but some vets will do this at 5 to 6 months.