Country View: Flemish Giant Rabbits - Karen and Donald Clouse - Kimmel, IN
Radio interview source: Karen Clouse, Owner, Clouse Flemish Giants
Karen Clouse and her husband, Donald, attended an animal swap meet, and Donald became smitten by a huge, brown rabbit. He was told it was a Flemish Giant. He'd never heard of such a thing, let alone seen a bunny that's bigger than a house cat. Flemish Giants can grow to 25-pounds.
A couple of years later, the Clouses' bought one at a rabbit show, and kept it on their Kimmell, Indiana, acreage as a pet. That was over 20-years ago, and the family has been breeding Flemish Giants ever since. Karen says she and Donald raise them for meat, take them to rabbit shows and conventions, and sell them to kids as 4-H projects.
"Recently in the last three-years we've slowed down a little bit, but I have a lot of repeat 4-H kids come out," says Karen. "That's one reason I don't have a lot of rabbits, they come back, I bought my rabbit three-years ago and it won the fair! I thought well, there goes my breeding rabbit, I just sold it to a 4-Her. But you know, when they come back and do that it makes you feel so good, I don't care. They're going to get a rabbit and it's going to be a good one."
Despite their size, Flemish Giants are laid back and make good house pets. Karen says she sold one to a 73-year-old gentleman who found the bunny to be the perfect companion.
"It took him two-weeks, he had him litter trained," says Karen. "He gave him his own room, and when he's at home he watches TV. The rabbit hops across the room, jumps onto the couch and watches TV with him. I've had a lot of people tell me that, that they just chill with them."
The Clouses are members of the National Federation of Flemish Giant Breeders, and in 2008 were inducted into the organization's Hall of Fame.
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