No Easter Bunnies here!

“Every year, rabbits are purchased for Easter and then dumped as soon as the ‘cute factor’ takes a backseat to the reality of all that’s required to care for them properly,” “Some are just dumped outside, where they can’t survive and will die from stress, starvation, dehydration, or attacks by predators. Just because rabbits “live” in the wild does NOT mean that domestic rabbits can. They will die a miserable death. PLEASE DON’T DUMP THEM. Others are abandoned at overburdened animal shelters or bounced around from one home to another, where their needs are often misunderstood — so they often end up being sentenced to solitary confinement in a cage and virtually forgotten.

Unfortunately, every year not long after the Easter holiday, shelters are faced with families who adopt a bunny for some springtime fun, only to return the animal later after the season is over. Rabbits can make great pets, but they are not temporary gifts.

Rabbits are social and smart, they crave affection and activity. Most breeds live to be 8 to 12 years old, some even longer. If you are thinking of welcoming a rabbit into your home this Easter, make sure you and your family are ready for this commitment. I get a lot of calls every year with people in a panic because they don’t know what to do. Please make sure that you have proper cage, feed, toys, etc BEFORE you bring an innocent rabbit home.

If your child is begging for an Easter bunny then please buy them a cute stuffed one that doesn’t need fed, water, or groomed and won’t care if it’s tossed in the corner in a few weeks when the new wears off.

With all that being said — If you do want to get a pet bunny then I will be more than to discuss it and help guide you in the right direction AFTER the Easter holiday.

Best Bunny for Me!

So you want a bunny? That is the first step! Next do your research on breeds, there are 49 breeds that are recognized by ARBA. You can find them here.

You need to decide what you are interested in – they come in all different sizes and several of the breeds require special cages and care.

Maybe you want a small bunny. Examples are Dwarf Hotots, Polish, Netherland Dwarfs or even a Britannia Petite. I wouldn’t recommend Britannia Petite for a beginner or someone wanting a laid back bunny. They are like little rockets ready to go!

Maybe you want a medium size bunny like a sweet laid back Dutch or Himalayan? You have meat breeds and fancy to choose from.

Maybe you want a lop eared bunny? Did you know they come in small and large sizes? The large ones have to have very sturdy bottoms on their cages in order to hold their weights.

Maybe you want a fast moving bunny like a Tan, English spot or even a Belgium Hare – Hares have to have solid bottoms on their cages. Running breeds are also not considered cuddle bunnies and are always on the go.

Maybe you want a large bunny? Great examples of them are Giant Chinchillas, English Lops and Flemish. These are usually very gentle giants but they are too big for young children to place on the tables.

Maybe you want something you can groom daily and even use hair to make things. They also come in small to large – Breed examples are Jersey Woolies and Giant Angoras.

Maybe you want to focus and help preserve a rare breed – the list can be found at https://livestockconservancy.org/index.php/heritage/internal/conservation-priority-list#Rabbits

If you still don’t have a clue then I suggest visiting a show (shows can be found on arba.net) . Shows will give you a variety of bunnies to look over and most breeders will be more than happy to give you guidance and explain the ins and outs of their breeds. It also gives you an idea how shows are ran.

Once you get an idea on the breed you want then you need to research it! Don’t just look for all the positive things but also the negative side of that breed. That way you know what you are getting yourself into. Example – Dutch very friendly and easy breeders, Downfall is that they have to have correct markings in order to show so you have to have a place for your culls.

Rabbits are not always easy and don’t always breed like they say. Once you figure out your breed then find a breeder and talk to that breeder – ask them questions and get to really understand that breed. You also want to purchase your starter stock from a reputable breeder. If you start out with crap then you are still feeding crap and you will produce crap. Make sure you start out with Quality animals it will save you a lot of heartache in the end.

Good Luck on your rabbit adventures!

I will be happy to help in anyway that I can and help you find some amazing breeders.

Hope to see you at the show!

 

 

Guinness World Record Holders

Some interesting tidbits..

LONGEST RABBIT — The longest rabbit is Darius, a Flemish giant rabbit owned by Annette Edwards (UK), who was found to be 4 ft 3 in (129 cm) long when measured for an article in the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper on 6 April 2010.  http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/210091-longest-rabbit

OLDEST RABBIT — The oldest rabbit ever was a wild rabbit named Flopsy, who was caught on the 6 August 1964, and died 18 years and 10.75 months later at the home of L.B. Walker of Longford, Tasmania, Australia http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/70887-oldest-rabbit-ever

HIGHEST JUMPING RABBIT — The world record for the highest rabbit jump is 99.5 cm (39.2 in) and was achieved by Mimrelunds Tösen (The Lassie of Quivering Grove) who was owned by Tine Hygom (Denmark) in Herning, Denmark on 28 June 1997. The rabbit was black and white and was a member of Aase Bjerner’s rabbit club in Horsens, Denmark. No photos of the record event exist, but, other photos of them are on Aase’s web page (http://www.kaninhop.dk/uk/). Aase is a rabbit high jump judge and has confirmed all details. Both rabbit and owner were members of the club Kaninhop, which was under the Danmarks Kaninavlerforening (DK) (The rabbit Breeding Organinzation of Denmark) www.kaniner.dk . Some photos on Aase Bjerner’s website http://www.kaninhop.dk/uk/ . http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/highest-jump-by-a-rabbit

LONGEST FUR — The longest fur on a rabbit is 36.5 cm (14.37 in) and belongs to Franchesca, owned by Betty Chu (USA), as measured in Morgan Hill, California, USA, on 17 August 2014. Franchesca’s proud owner is Dr Betty Chu (USA); she’s an expert on the English Angora rabbit, which is often mistaken for a Pekingese dog and needs a great deal of care… and a lot of grooming of that dense, silky fur. http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/117939-longest-fur-on-a-rabbit

No, you can’t visit my barn

We locked our barn down several years ago. This was done for our animals and our protection. This explains it.

I have asked if I could repost the following and was granted permission. She says it best! The following was borrowed from https://www.facebook.com/meadowmunchers/

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Why animal breeders may not invite you in anymore

You’ve probably read somewhere, maybe even from me, that a breeder that won’t let you see where animals are kept or meet your animals is a big red flag.

That breeders who won’t let you meet the animals or see where they are kept must be hiding something.

Well that’s no longer true

Why you ask?

Because there is a vendetta in the USA right now against breeders, even the really good breeders.

Anti breeder types, be they from HSUS or PETA or other animal rights groups or overzealous animal shelter workers or other similar people are making it their life’s work to get breeders animal seized and stop all breeding.

Many times this involves lying, filing false complaints or worse- setting the breeder up.
Sometimes these people even gain the breeder’s trust or work for them.

No matter how clean your animals are.
No matter how well fed and clean your animals are.
No matter how careful you are to only breed the best and most fully health tested animals
No matter how much time and money you put into them and how much money you lose.

These people are looking to get your dogs seized, to get another “horrible breeder” story in the news, to use you and your animals to get restrictive laws passed.

Breeders now must not only do their absolute best , they now must guard against those that would destroy their life’s work and the animals they love for no reason other than hate.

So the next time an animal breeder grills you with questions, or meets you in their driveway or even at the shopping center in their town, don’t hold it against them – they may just be doing all they can to keep hateful people from destroying all they love.

**Side note — ALWAYS MEET IN PUBLIC PLACE and let someone know who you are meeting. If possible take someone with you.

 

Bunnies won’t breed like Bunnies

Contrary to popular belief – Bunnies don’t always breed like we would like them too. Especially if you are anxiously awaiting a litter. It can become very stressful and dishearten when you can’t get rabbits to breed and have babies.

I have learned a few tricks over the years that have helped me.

  • Add “mother” Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) – 1 Tablespoon per gallon of water. This will help does come on into cycle. We do this with all our bunnies.
  • Put buck into doe cage.
  • If doe isn’t mean then you can leave buck with her for a few days – I don’t care to do this because it can cause injury and you don’t know 100% if they mated or not.
  • Breed on table – position doe and hold while buck mounts.
  • Another trick is to swap cage with buck and doe – leave them in each other’s cages for a few days then place doe with buck.
  • They say Parsley will help fertility but I have not tested that theory.
  • You can also put them in a carrier and drive around town. There is something about traveling that seems to bring them in.
  • Add light so that they have longer “daylight” time during those shorter days.
  • Feed can also play a major role in breeding and fertility.
  • Doe is considered “in” when her vulva is swollen and red. She will normally raise up on back end if you put your hands on her back.
  • Does will also get very testy and grumpy when cycling.
  • Don’t let virgin bucks get tore up by grumpy doe – it will make him shy and leery of breeding.
  • Also make sure that buck has both set of testicles and doesn’t have spit penis.
  • Another thing is to make sure that the rabbits are of appropriate age to breed depending on breed they are.

If you have any tips or questions- Please feel free to comment here. Don’t give up!

Granding out your rabbit



You have your pedigree rabbit registered and it has won several legs so now what?




You will need to send three legs that meets the requirements. Make sure you make a copy of them before you mail them because they won’t send them back. Legs will need the barcode on them.



Rabbit must be registered and number must be provided. You will not need to send registration certificate or copy of pedigree.

Date of birth of rabbit must be noted. Date of birth will be checked against the show date to determine if animal was shown in proper class.

Legs submitted cannot be altered. Addition of registration number and date of birth submitted.

Listed exhibitors(s)/owner(s) must hold a current ARBA membership. You can find membership information at www.ARBA.net.

Listed owner(s) on registration file should comply with Show Rule #30 – “All animals must be bone fide property of the exhibitor(s) prior to entry. Each owner’s personal name must be listed on the  entry form,  but a rabbitry name may be added , if applicable, when  entering shows. It will be the responsibility of the owner and Show  Committee to not submit or accept an entry in family or rabbitry  name. The determination/conformation of ownership is the  responsibility of the exhibitors’.” 

1. Listed exhibitor(s) showing in ARBA youth show must be of youth age (5 through 18 years old)

2. If animal’s registration is owned by an adult and co-owned by a youth, rabbit can only be shown in open.

3. Adult members cannot show in youth show.

Three different shows – check sanction numbers.

Two different judges at least.

Signature of show secretary is not needed on a computer generated leg.

One leg must be a 6/8 win or senior win. A “bumped” up leg counts toward a 6/8 or senior win.

All legs being of the same ear number, sex, and breed of animal.

Check the winning listed on leg – need one win won with at least 5 animals and 3 exhibitors.

The date of registration is noted along with the recorded transfers to determine if Show Rule #30 was observed.





If a purchased animal comes with legs those can be used towards Grand Champion certificate.




If a purchased animal comes with a Grand Champion certificate then it can NOT be transferred.




ONLY ONE GRAND CHAMPION PER ANIMAL




Grand Champion fee is $4.00






Registering your Rabbit



The first thing you need to do in order to get ready to register your rabbit is to be a current member of ARBA – You can sign up at www.arba.net

Once you are member then you will be given an ARBA number which you will use for registration.


Two more really import MUST HAVES are…

  • Rabbit must be at least six months of age and must meet all senior requirements for their breed to be eligible for registration.
  • Rabbit must have a COMPELETE three generation pedigree. *Imported animals are not allowed on the pedigree unless name and/or ear number is listed, along with variety, and weight of said animal. The word “import” alone is not acceptable. *Each animal listed on the pedigree must show complete name and/or ear number of animal, variety, and weight. **English lops must also have ear lengths. If registered, include the registration number – any animals after the registration number doesn’t have to be filled out.  Each listed animal in the pedigree must be of the same breed as the one being registered.

If your good so far then you must find a licensed Registrar. They can be found at most shows and on the ARBA site.

Present your current ARBA membership Card. Individual names must be listed. Rabbit can not be registered under a company, rabbitry, family name, etc. If the rabbit is owned by and adult and co-owned by a youth, it can ONLY be shown in open shows.

Have a copy of your three generation pedigree to hand to Registrar.

Present your rabbit seeking registration to the Registrar. The Registrar will then examine and weigh the rabbit to verify it meets the standard for the breed. The pedigree will be reviewed. If everything is in order, the Registrar will proceed with registration.

Registrar will have the owner completer the pedigree portion of the application. Owner MUST proof the entire completed application. Sign only if correct.

Registration Insignia is then tattooed in the right ear of the rabbit. It is an R with a circle around it.


Sign and date registration applications and hand back to the Registrar. You will then receive a pink copy of registration application. Registrar will collect payment at that time which is $6.


Registrar will submit the application to ARBA office for processing. The registration application is submitted within 25 days from date registered. You can track your application from the time it’s received to the time it is mailed by going to ARBA and checking under “Check Registration Status”.

Application is processed and issued a Registration Certificate showing the registration number assigned to the animal by the Registrar on the day of registration.

A registration file is maintained in the ARBA office on the rabbit.







What a Leg means in Show terms

Have you ever heard someone say excitedly that their rabbit got a Leg? 

HMMMM – I thought they had four ! You would be right, they do have four limbs. So what is a Leg?

An official certificate issued by a Show Secretary through ARBA sanctioned shows, designating a certain win.  A “Leg” may be awarded for First Place in a class, BOB, BOS, BOV, BOSV, BOG, BOSG, or BIS. A rabbit can only get one Leg per show. To qualify for a leg there are a couple things that must meet the guidelines.

  • Minimum of 3 exhibitors
  • Minimum of 5 rabbits
  • ARBA sanctioned show
  • Must be judged by ARBA licensed Rabbit Judge

Sounds easy right? Not necessarily – If you have 20 rabbits and only 2 exhibitors then no Leg will is awarded. If you have 4 exhibitors and 4 rabbits then no leg can be received. This can be extremely difficult to get on rabbit breeds that are rare or just not as popular as others.

So what do I do with a Leg? Once you get 3 Legs with one being received as a Senior and if rabbit is registered then you can send in for a Grand Champion certificate. A rabbit can only receive one Grand Champion certificate but they can win numerous Legs.

This all helps prove the quality of your rabbits and makes them more valuable. There is also a pride in receiving special awards that rabbits you bred and raise receive.

You don’t have to have a pedigree on your rabbit in order to win a Leg.

You do have to have a pedigree on a rabbit in order to get a Grand Champion certificate and get it registered.

Good Luck and Happy Showing!