Are you looking for a big, smart, affectionate rabbit? Take a closer look at Beveren rabbits.
Beverens are in the “giant rabbit” category. They grow as large as most cats. But they make sweet, lovable pets, and they are also easy to housetrain and even teach tricks.
One thing you’ll appreciate about the Beveren Rabbit is their friendly and non-aggressive behavior.
They typically do well with people, making them a great choice for families, seniors, and first-time pet owners. In addition, they’re known to be good mothers to their kits, ensuring a strong start for the next generation of these lovely rabbits.
Before we tell you more that you need to know about Beveren rabbits, let’s take a look at the essential facts.
Essential Facts About Beveren Rabbits
- Scientific name: Oryctolagus cuniculus domesticus
- Care level, compared to other rabbits: Needs larger cages and more play space, but generally easy to care for
- Temperament: Active, trainable, intelligent
- Color: Black, blue, chocolate, lilac, white.
- Lifespan: 5 to 10 years
- Maximum size: Bucks may get up to 11 pounds (5 kilos), does up to 12 pounds (5.5 kilos)
- Dietary requirements: At least 70 percent hay, to control growth of teeth
- Compatible breeds: St. Nicholas, Flemish Giant, French Lop, Hungarian Giant
- Cage size: 5 square feet (about a meter by 50 cm) floor space, at least 14 inches (35 cm) vertical clearance
- Thrives indoors, or outdoors in temperate climates
Beverens are a rare breed. They should be used for breeding stock, not for fur or meat.
History of Beveren Rabbit
Beveren rabbits first appeared in the Belgian town of Beveren, near Antwerp, in the late 1890s (and they are named after the town).
It was among several blue breeds developed in that area, including the St. Nicholas Blue and the Flemish Giant.
They were bred from crosses of Brabanconne, St. Nicolas Blue, and the Blue Vienna rabbits.
Beverens became very popular in Belgium due to their giant size, gentle demeanor, and (usually) blue fur.
Beverens were taken to the UK in 1906, and to the United States in 1915. They are hard to find, but they are still favorites of the few rabbit keepers who own them.
Appearance of the Beveren Rabbit
Beverens are iconic rabbits. They have long ears that point straight up.
They are big enough to be a challenge for small children to pick them up.
This is a good thing, because they are happier getting petting, treats, and attention while they are lying flat on the floor.
Beveren rabbits are large-sized bunnies, with males weighing around 8-11 lb (3.6-5 kg), and females being slightly heavier at around 9-12 lb (4-5.4 kg).
Their body has a semi-arch or mandolin-shaped structure featuring a medium-length torso, a broad back, and strong shoulders.
Thanks to their well-sprung rib cage and large hind legs, Beveren rabbits are agile and energetic.
One of the most attractive features of Beveren rabbits is their short, glossy fur.
It rolls back when you stroke it. The Beveren’s coat has a thick feel, but the rabbit does not shed a lot, except for about a week in the spring and a week the following autumn.
Their fur is not only pleasing to the touch but also serves as a protective layer for these rabbits, keeping them warm during colder months.
Giving your rabbit a good brushing about once a week keeps shedding to a minimum.
The American Rabbit Breeders Association only recognizes blue, black, and white Beveren rabbits.
These are a light, solid, lavender blue, a pure white (not ivory or off-white) with blue eyes, and a glossy jet black.
The British Rabbit Council also recognizes a Beveren rabbit with a pure-brown or chocolate-brown coat.
All Beveren rabbits are expected to have a coat of just one color, no spots, no markings, no difference between the back and the rabbit’s underside.
Temperament of the Beveren Rabbit
The most outstanding characteristic of the temperament of Beveren rabbits is their friendliness.
They are great companion pets for seniors who don’t want to have to walk a dog every day and for families with children who want pets they can cuddle with.
When you first get your Beveren rabbit, you should give it some time to get used to its new surroundings.
Let your pet get to know your children and your other pets by scent before they are introduced face to face.
Let your rabbit sniff a blanket your child has slept in on or your dog or cat uses a day or two before you put your rabbit in the same room with your children or your other pets.
As your Beveren matures, consider taking it outside for time in the sun. To keep your pet safe, keep it on a rabbit leash, available in many pet shops.
This keeps your rabbit from wandering into traffic or escaping under a fence. It gives you a way to keep your Beveren out of a confrontation with an unfriendly dog.
Some fun activities you can try with your rabbit include:
- Tossing a ball for them to chase
- Providing a cardboard box for them to explore
- Setting up a maze using tunnels and tubes
Keep in mind that Beveren Rabbits, like any other pet, have individual personalities.
The more you interact with your rabbit, the more you’ll get to know its unique quirks and preferences.
Requirements for Care of Beveren Rabbits
The most common mistake owners of Beveren rabbits make in their care is offering them limited amounts of hay and unlimited amounts of pellets.
What they actually need is unlimited amounts of hay and no more than 10 percent of their diet in the form of pellets.
Hay is essential for the life of rabbits. Chewing hay keeps their teeth at a manageable length.
Rabbits’ teeth grow throughout their lives. Teeth become dangerously long if the rabbit does not eat a lot of fiber.
Feeding your Beveren rabbit a balanced diet is essential for their health. Offer a variety of fresh vegetables and a limited amount of fruits to supplement their daily hay intake.
Remember to provide clean water daily.
Hay is also bedding for rabbits. It catches “soft poops,” the first pass of food through the rabbit’s digestive tract.
Rabbits eat their own feces to digest it a second time, releasing proteins and fatty acids in a specialized organ at the rear of their digestive tract called the cecum.
Most rabbits are happy and active at temperatures of 58° to 72° F (18° to 21° C).
Beverens do well in hutches outdoors in mild winters, but you should not leave them out without a heat source when temperatures fall below freezing.
Rabbits need sunlight for their bodies to make vitamin D for healthy bones and teeth.
Some outdoor playtime (as little as 20 minutes a day, five days a week) will take care of their sunshine needs.
If your rabbits have to stay indoors for days, weeks, or months, make sure their pellets are supplemented with vitamin D.
Never give your rabbit more than 1,000 IU of vitamin D in a single month. Excessive vitamin D is toxic.
Other Health Concerns
Beverens, like most rabbits, love sweet treats. It’s OK to give them carrots or berries in small amounts (one carrot of two or three berries a day), but avoid giving young rabbits anything sweet until they are about four months old.
They don’t have the enzymes to digest simple sugars for several months.
It’s possible for Beveren rabbits to develop a condition called gastrointestinal stasis when they don’t get enough hay to eat.
They groom themselves, and hair accumulates inside their stomachs. Rabbits can’t cough up hairballs like cats.
Or they don’t get enough fiber. In their second digestive cycle, rabbits release the fatty acids that power the muscles lining their bowels.
When they don’t get those specific fatty acids, their bowels shut down. Water flows around the mass of undigested food in the colon, causing diarrhea. The rabbit will be in obvious pain.
Gastrointestinal stasis is something your veterinarian has to treat. It can become fatal in 48 hours.
Breeding and Reproduction
The age at which a Beveren Rabbit reaches sexual maturity depends on its size.
Medium to large breeds are sexually mature at 4 to 4.5 months, whereas small breeds mature at 3.5 to 4 months.
When it’s time for your Beveren Rabbit to mate, remember that female rabbits release eggs due to sexual intercourse rather than a hormone cycle.
Once your female Beveren Rabbit becomes pregnant, expect her gestation period to last around 28-31 days.
Pay attention to her behavior and nesting instincts during this time to ensure her comfort and safety.
Beveren Rabbits are known for producing a considerable number of offspring per litter, usually between four to six kittens.
As a caring owner, you should prepare a suitable nesting area for your rabbit and be ready to handle the new litter once they arrive.
To provide optimal care and ensure the health of your Beveren Rabbit during breeding and reproduction, keep these key points in mind:
- Mating readiness varies with size
- Female rabbits release eggs through intercourse
- Expect a 28-31 day gestation period
- Average litter sizes range between four to six kittens
Popular Bunny Names for Beveren Rabbit
Here’s a table with popular Beveren Rabbit names, reflecting their breed characteristics.
Beveren Rabbits are known for their large size and silky, dense fur that comes in blue, black, or white. Many of these names are inspired by their unique colors and gentle nature.
|Boy Bunny Names for Beveren Rabbit||Girl Bunny Names for Beveren Rabbit|
These names highlight the distinct colors and elegant appearance of Beveren Rabbits, making them fitting choices for your rabbit.
Also read: Popular Pet Rabbit (Bunny) Names (Girl/Boy)
Frequently Asked Questions About Beveren Rabbits
Are Beveren rabbits rare?
It is not easy to find Beveren rabbits. They are not regarded as an endangered breed, but they are rare, especially in the United States.
How much does a Beveren rabbit cost?
A Beveren bunny will cost between $50 and $100 in the US.
Where can I buy a Beveren rabbit?
Look for breeders who belong to the American Rabbit Breeders Association.
Do Beveren rabbits get along with other pets?
Adult Beveren rabbits are large enough not to be intimidated by cats.
You should not try to keep rabbits with hunting dogs or sighthounds, and certainly not with large snakes.
How often do I need to groom my Beveren rabbit?
Once a week is enough. There will be two weeks a year, once in the spring, and once in the fall, when daily grooming prevents shedding.
Are there any downsides to owning a Beveren rabbit?
It’s not a major negative, but you will need to potty train your Beveren rabbit when it is a bunny.
Pick up its droppings every morning and put them in a hay-lined litter box. Your rabbit will find them so it can eat them again.
Eventually, your bunny will get the idea that it is supposed to poop in the box.
Another thing to keep in mind with Beverens is that they do better in a hutch than in a cage or a crate.
An outdoor hutch provides your rabbit with a protected area for sleeping and also some fenced-in space for play during the day.
Protect your rabbit from overhead predators, such as owls and hawks, with chicken wire over their daytime playspace.
Don’t let your rabbit out of its hutch except to go inside or to play under your close supervision.
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