Are you thinking about owning a rabbit as a pet? The Beveren rabbit is a great option. It’s cute, hearty, and won’t be boring, sitting in a cage all day. They are active rabbits and they’ve got some exploring to do. Even though they need a larger cage to live in, they are fairly easy to look after and could make a great companion for you.
Quick Facts about Beveren Rabbits
|Temperament:||Energetic, docile, intelligent|
|Color Form:||Black, blue, chocolate, lilac, and white|
|Size:||Large, 8-12 pounds|
|Minimum Cage Size:||4-5 square feet floor and 14 inches high|
|Compatibility:||Best for families with older kids, singles or seniors|
Beveren Rabbit Overview
Out of only about 50 domestic rabbit breeds in the world today, the Beveren is one of the largest rabbit breeds. It also has been around for a long time. Most people believe that the Beveren rabbit originally hailed from Beveren, Belgium, which makes sense due to its name. In 1919, the American Rabbit Breeders Association accepted the Beveren rabbit breed into America.
Originally, this rabbit breed was bred for fur and meat. Over time, people noticed that it had a nice disposition and could make a good pet. They also make great show rabbits. The show points they get are awarded mostly based on their head size, fur, body shape and color.
Beveren rabbits are curious, high energy and docile. Their fur is soft and glossy. Male Beveren’s can weigh up to 10 pounds, while the female rabbits can be up to two pounds heavier, so, they are quite big!
How Much Do Beveren Rabbits Cost?
As a somewhat rare breed of rabbit, you might need to spend a little more than what you would think for this furry friend.
To buy your very own Beveren rabbit, you will need to spend around $75.00. Also, consider the cost of caring for your rabbit every year. For yearly care of your Beveren rabbit, you will need to budget about $500.00 per year.
Typical Behavior & Temperament
Beveren rabbits are friendly, energetic, curious and intelligent. Let them loose in your house and they will usually wander around and explore the area (which means you will need to keep an eye on them and rabbit-proof your home).
These rabbits are also known for being quite sweet and non-aggressive. They typically do well with people. However, they will get easily frightened if picked up too often or handled roughly.
Appearance & Varieties
Beveren rabbits are large in size. The females can weigh up to 12 pounds, while males can weigh up to 10 pounds. That’s right, the females are typically larger than the males! They come in a variety of colors, but the American Rabbit Breeder Association only recognizes the black, blue, and blue-eyed white varieties. Typically, they only come in solid colors. The blue variety is the “original” Beveren color.
The body is a mandolin shape, with a broad back and a full face. Their ears are about 5 inches long, point towards their back and form a V-shape. They’ve got adorable noses and eyes that match the color of their coat (unless they are white).
The Beveren rabbit’s fur is short and glossy, but thick. Just like cats and dogs, these rabbits shed more fur during the fall and spring time.
How to Take Care of Beveren Rabbits
Rabbits are difficult to litter-train, but with a lot of patience and praise, they can roam around your house and use the litter box for their bathroom duties, not necessarily needing a cage. If any rabbit should be litter trained, it would be a great option for the Beveren, since it is so high-energy.
Beveren rabbits would love some entertainment in the form of toys. You can either buy your rabbit specialty toys or make them something at home. What they like will depend on their personality.
Since this breed of rabbit is large, their cage needs to be large too. This will ensure your Beveren rabbit lives a long, happy life. The cage floor needs to measure at least 4-5 square feet (closer to 4 feet for an 8-10 pounder and 5 feet for a 11-12 pound rabbit), and be at least 14 inches high, according to Michigan State University.
At a minimum, your Beveren rabbit needs something soft like hay on the floor of their cage because the wire bottom of a cage can be hard on their feet. Their bedding needs to be spot cleaned every day and changed out once a week.
These rabbits are a hardy breed that can live indoors or outdoors. They can even handle winter conditions, should you choose to keep them outside.
Beveren rabbits can withstand low temperatures, so you may choose to keep them outside. If it’s outside, get your rabbit a large cage with a wooden box inside it that’s lifted off the ground. You can find one like it here.
Do Beveren Rabbits Get Along with Other Pets?
The best companion for Beveren rabbits is other rabbits. But what if you’re wanting to introduce a new rabbit to the rest of your pet family?
You know your pets best. Are they already aggressive or territorial? Think twice about introducing a rabbit to the mix, unless you work with your pets to get them used to your new Beveren rabbit.
Because rabbits are herbivores, they will not try to attack other small animals out of instinct to hunt, but they can get territorial. This is something to watch out for if you are introducing your rabbit to another small rodent-like pet, like a guinea pig.
Depending on temperament, cats can make good companions for adult Beveren rabbits, since they can be about the same size. However, adult cats might want to chase and pounce on baby rabbits out of instinct.
Dogs might be trickier to work out as companions for rabbits as many dog breeds instinctively hunt small prey. Does your dog already chase squirrels in the yard? They probably will treat a rabbit the same.
If the pets grow up together, they will be used to each other. To introduce an adult cat or dog to a rabbit, first have them around each other in cages, then alternate one in a cage while the other one is free to investigate. After these phases go well, you can let them interact (supervised) until they prove to you they can behave. Offer lots of praise and treats when they behave well in your presence.
What to Feed Your Beveren Rabbit
You will want to feed your Beveren rabbit a mixture of food, mostly consisting of hay (70% of his diet should be hay). The rest of his diet should include rabbit food pellets, fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens.
Hay is important for a rabbit’s diet. The best kinds are Timothy hay, oat hay, and alfalfa. If they do not get enough hay in their diet, it can cause tummy problems like loose bowels.
Do not feed your rabbit apples or pears without first removing the seeds. The seeds contain a small amount of cyanide, which are fine for humans to consume, but could be harmful for a rabbit. Rhubarb and mushrooms should be avoided as well.
Keeping Your Beveren Rabbit Healthy
Rabbits in general need less care than a dog would, but you still need to maintain his fur and give him attention with petting and toys.
You will want to brush your Beveren rabbit outside regularly (about once a week) to keep his fur nice and to avoid excessive shedding in your home.
Like we mentioned before, Beveren rabbits need at least 70% of their diet to be hay. If this doesn’t happen, they can develop diarrhea and it can get on their fur. If this happens, the rabbit’s fur needs to be cleaned off.
It can be a very unpleasant task, however, rabbits who have this problem can attract flies, and the flies will potentially lay eggs on them, which means the flies are here to stay. You can further prevent this problem by keeping your rabbit’s cage inside and as clean as possible.
A rabbit’s teeth never stop growing. This is another reason why hay is so important. When a rabbit eats hay, their teeth are naturally ground down. If you find that his teeth are getting too long, take him to the vet to get his teeth clipped. Also, you should regularly check the rabbit’s ears for ear mites.
Pure bred Beveren rabbits are quite rare these days. Though interbreeding is common, the ARBA does not condone this. They have had to import more purebreds from overseas in Britain, where they still breed Beverens today.
When Beveren rabbits are bred, they typically have large litters with bunnies that grow very fast. The female Beveren rabbits make great mothers, due to their gentle and sweet nature. Beveren mother rabbits have been known to even take care of other orphaned bunnies, taking them in as their own.
Are Beveren Rabbits Suitable For You?
A Beveren rabbit is best suited for families with older children, singles or older couples. The only time they get nervous is when they are picked up often or handled too much, so it’s not recommended that people with small children get a Beveren rabbit.
Because of their lively temperament, Beveren rabbits make an interesting and friendly small pet. They can be kept in a cage most of the time, or you could let him loose in your house. They are big, so you will not lose them easily! With their smarts and good nature, Beveren rabbits will be sure to win your heart over.
Featured Image: Helen J Davies, Shutterstock