Checkered Giant Rabbit – information and facts about the Checkered Giant Rabbit Breed. Learn more about Checkered Giant Rabbits in this article. Breed photos are included.
One of the 48 domestic breeds recognized by ARBA is Checkered Giants. Of course, because it is a giant rabbit, one would easily conclude that the purpose for raising the breed is for its meat. Little did they know, Checkered Giants are more known for being show rabbits rather than meat rabbits. This is just one of the many interesting facts that we’re yet to unveil about Checkered Giants.
Despite not being too popular compared to other rabbits, the checkered giants boast its unique traits and characteristics that distinguish the breed from the others.
Checkered Giant Rabbit Facts
Historically, checkered giant rabbits are developed in Europe. While it is known as checkered giant today, in United Kingdom, it is more popularly known as Giant Papillion.
While most of the historical accounts don’t known where the breed has started, much of the breed’s development happened in France. Papillion means butterfly, which is seen as a complement to the markings on the Checkers’ noise. Others claim that Checkered Giants first appeared in Germany, with the first year of importations to United States in early 1900s.
Regardless of the location, some people who tried to unlock the history of the Checkered Giants believe that the breed originated from a cross between a Flemish Giant and a Lop, or any white breed with markings.
2. Characteristics and Appearance
Do you know that Checkered Giants are one of only 11 breeds that have defined markings? These markings really distinguish them in a set of different rabbits, which makes them easily identified.
As the name suggests, Checkered Giant rabbits belong to the family of large rabbits and a six-class breed. Male Checkered Giants, who have already reached the age of maturity, should weigh at least 11 pounds. Their female counterparts, on the other hand, should weigh around 12 pounds. However, there is no maximum weight for these giants. Despite its large size, the Checkered Giant is still lighter compared to the Giant Chinchilla and Flemish Giant.
At first sight, Checkered Giant rabbit resembles an English Spot. The commonality between the two is they both don’t pose in the show tables, despite being full-arched rabbits. However, they still occupy the length of the show rabbits’ table. Like the English Spot, the Checkered rabbits also display a spotted marking pattern, which is caused by the broken gene. The Checkered rabbits should have a jagged ‘herringbone’ shape or dorsal stripe that runs down their spine from ears to tail. For both English Spot and Checkered Giants, markings and body type are both necessary. The markings on Checkered Giants put emphasis on their body type.
Going specifically into each of their characteristics, Checkered Giants’ markings are placed in strategic areas that make them distinctive from simple ‘cross-breeds’.
There are two recognized colors for the Checkered Giant, the black and the blue. They have two large patches of color on either side of the rabbit’s hindquarters. Checkered Giants havefly back coats. Their smooth and short body fur is primarily white. The spine marking, which is either black or blue, will run to the tip of the tail from the base of the ears.
On both the left and right sides of the Checkered Giant, there will be side markings, which are consist of two spots, or group of spots. The ears will then be fully covered with color, and then head will be heavily marked of the same color. For the eyes, they will be encircled as well as spots on either cheek. One special marking to note is the butterfly mark that spans the nose and the lips.
Basically, mixes of Black and White, or even those with black and white broken markings, are often referred to as incorrect Checkered Giants. Since the markings are very specific, any deviation would be considered undesirable.
Checkered Giants have a slender and quite a muscular build. Its long, arched back, coupled with the powerful legs, make it look like a hare. It head is wide, enough for the large and broad ears to stand upright.
3. Personality and Traits
Checkered Giants do not do well in high or low temperatures. They do very well in the house as pets, and are good groomers of themselves. They also love to chew, just like any other rabbit.
Interestingly, Checkered Giants have excitable dispositions. They are often described as ‘biter’. And since they can be temperamental, they are not recommended as pets for children. Sometimes, they even get aggressive in behavior. Such aggressiveness can drive them to bite. More experienced handlers would better fit in addressing the needs for special attention of this breed.
Generally, Checkered Giants are good-natured and have a fairly calm temperament. They are active, full of energy, and can also be very playful. They also need a lot of exercise to keep up with their nature.
4. Feed, Housing and Common Diseases
Raising Checkered Giants require special attention coming from the owner. For example, he has to look at having a large size housing facility. This is to factor out the rabbit’s size, as well as its activeness. In order to wrangle these rabbits, rabbit owners need to have strong hands with a gentle touch.
Rabbit owners may need to crossbreed many times in order to achieve the show-coloring desired. For example, when you breed two rabbits that are correctly marked, some of the offspring’s color will be solid. A fraction of them will end up mostly white, called ‘Charlies’, and the rest will be marked. The partial coloring of Charlies is thought to stem from the partial butterfly marking on the breed’s nose, which looks like a ‘Charlie Chaplin’ moustache. Out of these marked rabbits, some of them may not be able to develop markings in the right places.
Proper care must be done to ensure that they are free from any diseases and disorders. Just like other rabbits, for example, they are also susceptible to STD. In caging, a solid surface must be placed in their flooring to prevent the abscesses in feet.
Despite oppositions from some commercial rabbit breeders and rabbit rescue shelters that believe that pellets are not healthy for the rabbits in the long-term, commercial rabbit pellets are most recommended for Checkered Giants.
Now that we know the characteristics of Checkered Giants, hopefully, you can distinguish them when you see them pose through their length in rabbits shows and fairs.