I am going to make this short and sweet and to the point.
Would you paint your house before you build it and make sure that the foundation was solid?
So why on earth would you worry about the markings on a rabbit first? I see so many that become so focused on having a perfectly marked animal that they forget about the body type. Your rabbit isn’t going to win with perfect markings and a crappy body and you aren’t doing the breed justice.
You need to take the time to work on the body type before you worry about the markings. Just like you wouldn’t paint and decorate a house that was on a shaky foundation. You also wouldn’t build a house on sand. You want to make sure you build on a strong steady foundation.
Once you get your foundation built and where it needs to be then you can start painting. Depending on the breed, you still want to avoid certain things even if you have an awesome body because they will pass it onto their offspring.
For example – Dutch with moon eyes/spots on eye/blue eyes will pass on to their offspring. Don’t be afraid to cull and cull hard. You have to be very critical when it comes to what makes the cut. Give your bunnies about 12 weeks and up before you really decide.
Take your bunnies to show and listen to all comments from judges. Make sure to listen to several judges and not just one. They all have their own opinions but it will give you an general idea. Also scope out seasoned breeders, most will be happy to discuss their breeds with you and give you some pointers.
Another thing to really watch for is BARN BLINDNESS. You may be overlooking a key aspect because you have become “blind” to it. Learn to ask for help and advice and learn to take it all into consideration. Don’t keep a rabbit just because it’s momma was your favorite.
As a breeder, you may also end up in the wrong direction, don’t be afraid to cull and step back and start over again. This is a difficult decision but sometimes it is what you have to do in order to breed correctness. This is also where keeping good accurate records will help you.
A true breeder will not only promote their breed but will also continue to strive to create better quality animals.
Tattooing rabbits is a must for those showing or keeping records on their rabbits. Some use a clamp, but we personally prefer to use a tattoo pen. There is a learning curve on the pen but as I suggest to all those getting started is to practice on your culls. It also takes patience and a steady hand.
The first step is to know what tattoo you want to use on particular rabbit, everyone has their own methods. It may be a date, rabbit name, or a tracking method that you use.
We have discovered that if you use this spray and let it sit for about 3 minutes before tattooing then it makes everything so much easier.
Once the ear has been sprayed with numbing spray and has had time to sit then wipe it gently with a paper towel. Then we wrap bunny up in a tattoo sleeve like the one below.
Once you have your bunny’s ear numb and he is wrapped up tight like a burrito then you dip the tip of your needle into ink well and start writing tattoo. Some will use a marker or pen of some sorts to write tattoo in ear first then trace with a pen. I prefer to freehand it. I also like to sit at a table with bunny on table so I have more control. It helps to place a finger behind the ear while you are tattooing to help with pressure. Once tattoo is done then I wipe it out with paper towel. Now you have a permanent tattoo in your rabbits ear.
“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.
NOPE! Did you know that you DON’T have to have a pedigree when you show a rabbit?? I get so mad when I hear someone say they were told they were not allowed to show a rabbit unless it has a pedigree. I have seen some very nice rabbits passed over because someone didn’t think they could show them, so I want to break this down some for you. You CAN show a rabbit without a pedigree – in fact they don’t even look or ask for a pedigree.
In order to show they do, however have to meet breed requirements. You can find out more about the specifications on each breed by the The ARBA Standard of Perfection which you can find at https://arba.net/
That means they have to meet the breed characteristics, meet weight requirements and not have any DQ (disqualifications) etc. in order to show.
Not having a pedigree does prevent them from becoming registered or granded out. This is not a requirement and I will go over what registration means later on.
We have a doe in our barn that came out of our stock but due to not knowing 100% which pair she was out of we chose not to guess and so she doesn’t have a pedigree. This all happened because we sadly chose to partner up with someone and it all went wrong, so not all litters got recorded correctly. We want to be 100% honest so didn’t try to guess on the litters and just started over.
Gracie went over all babies and hand picked the one she wanted to keep. The lucky bunny that was kept was a beautiful Dutch doe that she named GFF Breezy. She has earned 9 legs and has even won BEST IN SHOW!
Even if you don’t have a full pedigree you can build your own from the ones you have. Breezy will never have a full pedigree so will never be able to register her or Grand her out, but her great grandbabies will have a full pedigree.