BELGIAN HARES – King of the Fancy!
Rabbits officially arrived at Three Gables Farm in July of 2013 in the form of three Eastern Cottontail babies which were about nine days old when we mowed over their nest during hay-making, utterly exposing them to predators. We took the babies home and raised them up successfully until they and we were ready to let them go back into the outdoors. This experience was tremendously rewarding and pure joy, and was the trigger to fulfilling a long-time dream of owning rabbits; Belgian Hare rabbits to be precise.
Belgian Hare rabbits claimed Three Gables Farm as their home on November 23rd. 2013, when a young buck and doe with the names LC’s Kookaburra and LC’s Sookie finally arrived from Los Conejos Rabbitry in Washington State. After 6 years of thinking about Belgian Hares, a long and dedicated search to finding available rabbits in North America, and a wait of 3 months to move the rabbits from Washington State to the Gulf Islands of British Columbia, a dream was realized!
The Belgian Hare rabbit is a heritage breed. As its name suggests, its origin can be traced back to Belgium, but its unique look and form, striving to resemble the European wild hare, was the hard work of fanciers in England. It has been on North American soil since as early as 1888, where it laid the foundation for the domestic rabbit movement in the USA, but today, according to the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, the Belgian Hare rabbit is rare and its population threatened.
Foremost, the Belgian Hare rabbit is a fancy rabbit. Attempts to turn the breed into a meat rabbit caused an end to the “Belgian Hare Boom” in the early 20th. century and the breed nearly became extinct, because it was no longer distinguished enough to catch peoples eye. Today, only the sleek, fancy type is accepted in the Standard of Perfection once more. Yes, Belgian Hare rabbits can be eaten, but their unique form and look, as well as endearing temperament makes them more interesting and rewarding for showing, agility, having, and loving, as well as for breeding to help preserve not only a very unique breed of rabbit, which men have worked very hard to create, but also preserve a part of North America’s heritage.
LC’s Kookaburra, standard Belgian Hare
DOB: February 27, 2013
Legs: 2 (Best of Breed and Best Opp of Breed)
LC’s Sookie, standard Belgian Hare
DOB: March 29, 2013
Sookie is my super star. She is a feisty little doe and loves the camera!