BELGIAN HARE CARESHEET/INFORMATION
The Belgian Hare is actually a rabbit, with the features of a hare.
Life expectancy – 5 years +
Gestation period – 30-31 days
Adult weight around 9lbs
Can produce large litters – usually between 5-12 in a litter
They need plenty of space, exercise and enrichment – the cage needs to be of good height, like any other large rabbit, the RSPCA recommend 6ftx2ft and 3ft high
These are one of the most intelligent rabbits and like stimulation through toys such as things to climb on/crawl through, chew & dig and they love ramps and lookout posts. They can also learn to come to their name and be trained to use a litter tray/area
When feeding the important thing to remember is little and often particularly with Hares of 6 months and under and offer them hay, fresh fruit & veg and a good dry rabbit mix through the day and plenty of fresh water
They can be skittish and a little nervous when young but generally have a good disposition and make a good pet as they are intelligent and friendly
They have a dense, shorthaired coat
Mainly for those experienced with the species due to large size and speed
Specialist Info – What to look for
HEAD – Should be long and fine
EARS – Must have substance and be nicely rounded at the top. When posing, the ears should be at the same angle as the head, not straight up. The recommended length is 5 inches, if they are too short they look rabbity. There should be deep black lacing around the top of the ear.
NECK – should be a good length to give a better appearance when posed.
FRONT – should be narrow and long leading to a pair of gun barrel straight legs. The longer the chest and front legs the higher the arch will be.
FEET – should be solid in colour, free of ticking. The back feet should be fine and around 6 inches long.
SHAPE – this is what typifies the breed. The back should be distinctly arched, smoothly round not choppy or square. They should have a graceful racy appearance. The Hare should be fine and not heavily boned.
TAIL – should be straight and have no kinks.
COLOUR – should be solid Chestnut Red evenly distributed, particularly on the haunches and around the jaw. It should be topped by rich black wavy ticking evenly over the body. The colour next to the skin should be dark slate blue. Belly colour should be red but is usually paler and is lighter in the groin.
CONDITION – the flesh should be firm and free from looseness or ungainliness. The Hare should have a healthy appearance.
COAT – should be short and stiff-ish and fly back when groomed the wrong way.
Thanks to The Hoyle’s Belgian Hares website for all their help in compiling this caresheet – visit their website at http://www.belgianhare.org/