Checkered Giant rabbit is considered as one of the largest breeds, originated in France or Germany. It can be a show rabbit or a wonderful domestic rabbit with a distinctive marking on the coat.
Checkered Giant rabbit breed was accepted by the American Rabbit Breeder Association in 1919. They celebrated 100 years of being beautiful and fancy in 2019. By ARBA standards they got their name of “the rabbit beautiful”. They can weigh up to 12 lb or more. The maximum weight of this breed is not specified by ARBA.
History of Checkered Giant Rabbit
The Checkered Giant Rabbits were first seen in 1800 in France or Germany. They were developed by breeding together French Lops, Spotted rabbits, and Flemish Giant rabbits. The resulting breed known as “Land Kaninchen” was developed weighing about 10 to 12 pounds and without today’s known marking.
The breeders of Germany continue to breed Land Kaninchens with the Flemish Giant rabbits to increase their size developing another breed known as “Lorraine rabbits” or also called “Great German Spotted rabbits”.
Mr. Otto Reinhardt of Reinfalz, Germany developed today’s known Checkered Giant by breeding together Great German Spotted rabbits and Black Flemish Giant in 1904. This newly developed breed reached America after six years and was recognized as a breed by the American Breeders Association soon after.
The Physical Characteristics of Checkered Giant Rabbits
Weight and Height
As the name suggests, Checkered Giant is a large breed of rabbits. Their minimum weight lies between 11 to 13 lbs. The maximum weight of Checkered Giant is not specified by the American Rabbit Breeder Association.
They can live up to 5 to 6 years. Their life can be extended to 10 years with great care.
Their average litter size is between 4 to 6 bunnies annually.
As compared to other domestic rabbit breeds, Checkered Giant is heavier and larger. It is having a slender and a muscular body with a semi arched mandoline shape. Their long sturdy body has powerful and strong legs. The head of The checkered Giant is wide with broad and upright ears.
The coat of Checkered Giant is short lengthed but very soft and thick. They have particular markings on the white surface that can be black or blue. According to the ARBA standard of perfection, the black or the blue marking should cover the rings around the eyes and ears should be covered with it.
The particular marking makes a butterfly shape on the nose and the cheeks also glow with it. There is a blue or black spot on either side of their body and a long stripe over the spine that starts from the base of their ears and runs down to the tail.
The only accepted color of the Checkered Giant is white with either blue or black markings.
Personality and Temperament of Checkered Giant Rabbits
The Checkered Giant rabbit is an excellent companion and an indoor pet. Although they are not much affectionate that does not mean they are not gentle. They are sweet and gentle and do not require much human attention for cuddling like other breeds of rabbits do. They are very social and they can live well in pairs.
They are very active and energetic. They are very calm, good-natured, and playful pets. They sleep less than other breeds due to high energy levels. They can be aggressive sometimes if not properly exercised.
Their sense of sight, smell and hearing is very good. The big eyes places at the sides of their head can make an angle of 360 degrees. They also have small blind spots to smell in front of their nose.
Mostly Checkered Giants are highly considered as “ the show animals”, but they can make good companions. Despite its large size, Checkered Giant is not used for obtaining meat commercially. It is a domestic breed best suited to singles, families with children and seniors.
Health Issues of Checkered Giant Rabbits
Checkered Giant is generally a healthy breed but it can be vulnerable to some diseases that are common in all breeds.
Overgrown teeth is a common health problem that is equally hazardous and painful for rabbits. The symptoms include drooling, loss of appetite, fatigue, and less activity by the rabbit. High hay diet is important daily to help the bunnies wear down their teeth. If the problem persists, bring it to the vet. The vet will identify the infection caused by overgrown teeth penetration. The treatment includes antibiotics and cutting or shaving down of teeth.
Sore hocks or bumblefoot is another trouble caused by harsh and rough floors. Other factors involved excessive weight. The rabbit’s leg or foot that lies on the surface of the tough floor is affected by the infection. If it is left untreated the rabbit can die out of fatal infection.
Another common rabbit ailment is the presence of ear mites. There should be a weekly check upon them to avoid ear mites. Moreover, give your bunny a pea-sized de-worming paste in every spring and in fall to avoid this problem.
To keep the bunny healthy Spaying and neutering are very important. Spaying and neutering are also very important to avoid the behavioral problem in bunnies. It can help to calm the aggression shown by rabbits. Does can be spayed once they are 4-6 months old while bucks can be neutered as young as 3 ½ months old.
Nutrition of Checkered Giant Rabbits
The diet of Checkered Giant is not different from other pet rabbit breeds. Their diet should consist of 70% of hay. Checkered Giant rabbits should be given timothy Hay instead of Alfalfa hay because Alfalfa has rich calcium in it. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be given sparingly to avoid diarrhea and upset digestion.
Certain foods should be avoided for example mustard greens and onions. Leeks and chives should also be avoided. If there is any uncertainty simply do not give it to your rabbit or it will cause fatal consequences. Parsnips, fennel, brussels sprouts, and watercress should be added to your bunnies diet to keep him healthy.
Care of Checkered Giant Rabbits
These large-sized rabbits need a larger enclosure to roam and stretch freely. Checkered Giant rabbits love to live in their particular houses. They are considered as “running breed” so they need a larger enclosure of about 3ft x 3 x 4 ft height.
The bottom of the wired cage should be made up of solid substance and having a naturally made, soft bedding. Soft bedding made of hay or any other grass will prevent the bunny from sore hocks.
If rabbits are allowed to roam freely in the house, their safety should be prioritized. wires and other objects that your Checkered Giant can chew should be put far from it.
Checkered Giant is a large and lovely breed perfect to pet as your companion. They can be easily domesticated. Proper care and a balanced diet with a lot of water make your bunny healthy.