FAQ AND ANSWERS TO THEM
Hop through our faq section and find the answers to the questions you’ve been most curious about.
HOW BIG ARE CONTINENTAL GIANTS?
The Continental Giant Rabbits, collectively, are known as the largest rabbits in the world. Their huge SIZE is what originally attracts rabbit enthusiasts to them. However, sorry to disappoint, but you will not be able to go out and buy a 50+ pound rabbit of any breed, let alone a 30+ pound one. It is not possible ! But, with very careful selection and very strict breeding practices, it is possible to get your hands on pure, healthy Conti’s that can grow to weigh in the ballpark of 15 – 25 pounds. With that said, lets take a step back. A rabbit this size would be in comparison to the size of a West Highland White Terrier or a Welsh Pembrook Corgi dog. Not too shabby, right!
WHERE DO CONTI’S COME FROM?
The actual ORIGINS of Continental’s are derived from the Flemish Giant, from Flanders Belgium. The separation of these Giant breeds are due to various causes, in various regions, which are how the individual giant breeds are distinguished. For instance, there are differences in colors, head and ear shapes, body types, fur quality, and bone structures. If a person is desiring larger bone density, German Giants would be your point of interest.
WHEN WERE CONTINENTALS FIRST IMPORTED INTO THE USA?
The earliest known IMPORTED Continental Giants (of German decent) is recorded as being in the early 1900’s. Those were imported for the purpose of mix-breeding them with Flemish, though the exact names of those who imported is not known at this time. However, one of the earliest recorded names, dated in the 1970’s & 80’s, was Mr. Kurt Whit. Later, more Continental’s were brought in by Ray Damiani (‘Sugar Ray’). Those Giants made a huge splash in the rabbit-circuits as well as in various forms of public media in 2006. Mr. Damiani also imported for the intent and purpose of cross-breeding Conti into his Flemish Giant lines to increase ear, bone, and length. As of 2015, there are quite a few people in the US who have and actively are pursuing Conti importations.
WHAT IS A ‘CONTI BREEDING MILL’?
By definition, a breeding mill is when animals are bred on large scale for the purpose of making a profit. Such animals live in over-crowded conditions and are raised in poor conditions (living in total filth, with inadequate food and medical care & often with a total lack of socialization). Breeders will often claim the breeding was an “accident”. Furthermore, repetitive breeding’s will be done with females that are too young to be bred, or with animals that are in bad health or in bad condition, and they pass off hereditary problems (such as malocclusion, moon eye, split penis, and so on) in which they typically will refuse to accept any form of responsibility for having done so.
HOW MANY CURRENT CONTI BREEDERS ARE IN AMERICA?
(per year 2015)
Although finding Continental Giant BREEDERS IN USA is becoming increasingly easier, there is no ‘exact’ count of the amount of breeders who do actively sell these great Giants. At a guess though, there are approximately 25 breeders nationwide, plus there are many others who are preparing to be added to the list. Additionally, there are two basic groups of US Conti breeders. One group requires an adoption contract to be signed before selling any of their off-spring; the other group does not require such a contract. My best advise in deciding which of these groups to work with is three-fold: (A) fully understand all details of what you agree to (B) invest the time to build relationships; trust and KNOW the breeder you choose to work with & (C) make certain that what you buy is healthy and free of hereditary issues, such as Malocclusion(aka wolf teeth), fine bone, and weak ear bases.
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A PEDIGREE FOR CONTI’S, SINCE THEY ARE NOT RECOGNIZED BY THE ARBA?
The importance of having a pedigree gives you the information of that giants’ lineage. This is very important in regards to any intent of BREEDING. Because US bloodlines are currently so tight, it is almost certain that a person in California may have a liter-mate (or otherwise closely-related) to another person’s Conti, who lives in New York. Furthermore, while sibling-breeding’s with rabbits does happen, it is highly advised that it not be done with Conti’s from US lines. Due to excessive and heavily repeated breedings of the same rabbits, most of the current US lines are far too tightly related as it is.
WHEN WILL CONTINENTAL GIANTS BE RECOGNIZED BY THE ARBA?
There are many people who are interested in applying for a Certificate of Development (COD) for breed recognition. However, the biggest problem is that most of those who are wishing to do so, do not meet the requirement qualifications set forth by the ARBA. Although it is true that some breeders have decided to start building a very large herd now so that once they have been ARBA members long enough to apply, or can meet other guidelines, then they will have a “jump start” at the breed development processes. There is nothing wrong in doing this, if you have an extreme amount of time on your hands to be able to give 20+ Conti’s your full-time attention. However, it should be noted that many other ARBA Members who work with other breeds do not want this breed to gain recognition. Furthermore, the general consensus is that currently the Continental Giants are far too closely simulated to the American-known Flemish Giants. As such, breed acceptance could easily be denied without there being significant changes in the physical appearance of the Contis. If that turns out to be the case, then those with such a large herd will find themselves with a whole lot of pets!
WHAT IS A BRC RUNG CONTINENTAL GIANT?
Quite simply, a BRC Rung Conti is one that has been claimed as meeting the British Rabbit Counsel’s Breed Standards, which has been given a metal leg-band with an ID number engraved on it, as a means of identification. The purpose of this metal band is the same purpose of an ARBA Recognized rabbit having a tattoo in their ear. More specifically, it is nothing more than a marking of original ownership. Furthermore, this metal band is fitted onto the leg of the rabbit with intention of it being there permanently. Additionally, when you look at the BRC Breed Standards, you will see a notation that reads such as “Ring J” or “Ring H”. Those Ring-letters are the size of metal band that is to be worn on that specific breed of rabbits. Many people may be led to believe that this permanent means of ID is proof of high quality of the animal. That – alone and by itself – is no more true than it would be to say any rabbit with a tattoo’ed ear means that it is definitely a high quality rabbit. While that may be the original purpose by even the most well-intended breeders, to denote show quality, there are a lot of people who would copy such a marking just to scam others into thinking they are getting a great deal. For this reason, we once again remind you – be very careful of what you buy and who you buy from!
WHAT INFORMATION SHOULD BE ON A TRUE PEDIGREE?
Any true pedigree needs to include information for every rabbit listed, for a minimum of 3 full generations, The noted info must include the rabbit being purchased, that rabbits parents, both sides of its paternal and maternal grandparents and like-wise with the paternal and maternal great and great-great grandparents. The information needed on any true pedigree will include: (1)The breeders names… (2)rabbit’s names….(3)ear/ID number….(4)weight….(5)color… and if possible, the date of birth of each listed.
WHY ARE PEDIGREE’S IMPORTANT?
The purpose of a pedigree is to provide the ability to find and/or contact previous breeders if questions arise in regard to the purity of those rabbits. If any information is missing from a pedigree that you receive, you should make an attempt to find that ‘correct’ information. However, before changing any information, do yourself a big favor and have that breeder to give you something in writing stating that they are aware and agree to you changing this pedigree. Additionally, if it was not born via rabbits you own and at your place, do not put *your* name/rabbitry name on that rabbit’s pedigree. Doing so is legally claiming that you are the breeder of that rabbit & that is false information. While that may seem harmless to some, trust me when I tell you that it is not! *any *responsible breeder* who sells any rabbit with a pedigree should be proud of what they are selling to you. As such, they should put their name on it, as well as all other pertinent information.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BUY A CONTI?
The cost is dependent upon who the breeder is. On average, BUYING a Conti generally costs between $250.00 to $500.00 per kit. However, as previously addressed, due to supply and demand of these wonderful bunnies, patience is required. Even though it is possible that those waiting in line before you may pass, it is not unheard of to have a waiting period of 1-2 years. Furthermore, due to the growing desire for these rabbits, some breeders may have a limit in regards to how many kits per litter that they will allow one person to purchase.
HOW LONG DO CONTI’S LIVE?
The average life-span of a healthy Conti ranges from 5-7 years, and although it is usually not the case, some may live to be 7-8 years old.