Belgian Hare - Origin, Feeding and Care

Belgian hare: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The Belgian hare comes from the cross between hares and rabbits which...

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The Belgian hare comes from the cross between hares and rabbits which were domesticated in Belgium in the 19th century. Initially it was a food rabbit, but later it was valued as a new breed, participating in exhibitions, and today its popularity continues to grow as a pet. company. However, this is not a rabbit for everyone, due to its nervousness, energy and temperament. He should therefore not live with children or be in a house frequently visited by strangers or with noises that bother him, because he is easily stressed and frightened.

Continue reading this PlanèteAnimal file to learn all the characteristics of the Belgian hare, its origin, its character, its care and its possible he alth problems.


  • Europe
  • Belgium

Origin of the Belgian hare

The Belgian hare is actually a cross between a now extinct rabbit, called Leporine, and wild hares from Belgium. Belgian hares were developed in the 1800s to be bred for their meat. These rabbits were imported to England from 1856 and were called by their current name, the Belgian hare. In 1873, Winter William Lumb and Benjamin Greaves successfully developed the breed into what it is today.

" In 1877, a Belgian hare was presented for the first time in America. From then on, its popularity increased and the National Belgian Hare Club was created in 1897.After many name changes, the National Pet Stock Association eventually became the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA), where it was officially accepted in 1972."

Characteristics of the Belgian hare

The Belgian hare has a long, slender body. Its legs are long and agile, and its hands and feet are also long, thin and flat, strongly reminiscent of those of a hare, which is quite normal given its origin.

The Belgian hare is medium to large in size and weighs between 2.7 and 4 kg. The body is slender and the flanks are muscular, with an arched back and fairly rounded hindquarters and loins. The head of the Belgian hare is long and slender, the ears are about 13 cm long and tilt back, wide, high, erect and have a tracery of colors with black at their tip. The eyes are hazel and give a bright, lively and alert expression. The tail is straight and in line with the spine.

The colors of the Belgian hare

The Belgian hare has a short, stiff and shiny coat, well stuck to the skin, without any looseness. It is the only breed of domestic rabbit to have a shiny tin oxide (reddish-brown) coat with an orange-brown tint, lighter areas, and a black tic in areas such as the hips or upper back. back, a trait only found in the fur of wild rabbits.

Belgian hare character

The Belgian hare is not a suitable rabbit for everyone due to its speed and nervousness, so it is not a breed made for children. He is not very affectionate, although he is known to appreciate the caresses and hugs of his peers, as he tends to be afraid of strangers or unfamiliar people. He is also very sensitive to loud noises or sounds, and can be injured when he tries to make a sudden escape out of fear.

He is more energetic, nervous and active in nature than other breeds of rabbits, so he prefers to live in outdoor houses rather than small apartments in town.

Belgian hare care

The Belgian hare should not be bathed, as this subjects it to significant stress which increases its heart rate too much and endangers its functionality. If he is very dirty, you can rub his fur to remove dirt and dead hair without even brushing him.

Remember that they do not tolerate strange, loud or unpleasant noises, so they should be avoided as much as possible. If they are unavoidable, the Belgian hare should be kept warm, safe, close to us and in a calm and soothing environment.

As part of the care of the Belgian hare, attention should be paid to the hygiene, he alth and condition of its teeth in order to diagnose and prevent any pathology that may appear in this breed.

The ideal enclosure for the Belgian hare is a large, high, outdoor enclosure. The bottom should be solid and lined with artificial grass or substrate and the size of the cage should be at least 60 x 150 x 60 cm. However, it is important to stress that the cage should only be a refuge for him, not his home, i.e. he should not be confined 24 hours a day, but the door should remain open so he can come and go as he pleases.

Vaccination against myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease of rabbits is important to prevent these deadly infectious diseases, as well as carrying out a deworming plan against internal and external parasites that can affect rabbits.

Belgian hare diet

As for the diet of the Belgian hare, it should be based on 70% hay, the remaining 30% being vegetables and fruits suitable for rabbits, which will provide vitamins and hydration.With regard to this last point, Belgian hares must always have water available to them, which requires daily cleaning and replacement of the drinker.

Belgian hare he alth

" The Belgian hare rabbit&39;s life expectancy is 7-11 years, and it can live a long and he althy life. The most common he alth problems in the Belgian hare are the presence of mites in the ears and parasitosis caused by fly larvae, known as cutaneous myiasis, which is more common in specimens with dirty fur. and which presents an accumulation of waste products and secretions during the summer. Belgian hares affected by this problem have pain due to the feeding of the larvae which dig galleries in the skin, which they manifest by sudden jumps and increased nervousness in general."

Other he alth problems are dental problems and malocclusion, which are particularly common with an unbalanced diet, infectious diseases such as myxomatosis, hemorrhagic disease or respiratory infections.

Photos of Belgian hare

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