- You've selected your breed, and now you're ready to select a show rabbit. How do you do this?First start with your breeder. While some people who don't show have quality rabbits, your best bet is to look for a rabbit from a breeder who shows currently.
Ask their record, for showing, how long they've been showing, what their goals are, both short and long term?
Ask how many shows they go to in a year,
Ask how their rabbits tend to do at the shows, and look for photographs to back this up.
Ask how many the rabbit beat for the 'first place' ribbon or BOV win. A win over one or two doesn't mean anything.
Ask for references.
Ask how many are show quality in a litter. The correct answer should be, it depends. Never are they all show quality.
You can also look at sweepstakes rankings, the number of grand champions they have, and ask for referrals.
Be prepared to wait. While we are all in a hurry, to progress to a show rabbit, not every breeder will have something right then. Not only that, they may not have the right thing for you right then. The pickier you are, the longer it will take. If you are waiting for a specific color, or breeding, the wait may be longer.
Once you are ready to pick up your rabbit. No matter who the breeder is, even if it's the top breeder of the universe check the following things:
- Clear bright eyes
- Clean DRY nose (flip the rabbit upside down, and look inside the nose for snot)
- Front feet clean (look for matted hair on the inside)
- Vent should be clean.
- Teeth should be in a normal bite (top teeth over the bottom)
- legs should be straight and strong.
Check for Show DQ's:
- Nail color
- Broken toes
- MISSING nails (yes it happens!)
- White spots in colored rabbits
- Coat that fits the standard. In a wooled breed, be very cautious buying a rabbit sheared down. Out of coat? Maybe, sheared, walk away, unless you are buying as a brood animal and the breeder can show you photos, and ideally a sample of the coat.
- ASK the breeder to go over the strengths and weaknesses with you. It's not a perfect rabbit. They know that, you might learn something, or see something you miss.
If you have to have your rabbit shipped, or buy sight unseen ask about guarantees, and even for a video. Asking for references is also important. Ask if they've shown the rabbit, and to see proof of the ear number for results. Ask for a list of faults and strengths in the rabbit. They should be able to describe what the rabbit is like.
When you get the rabbit, it should have a pedigree. There is no excuse in our electronic age. I know, I send pedigrees by email or messenger once the rabbit is fully paid for and the payment clears. If it is for sale at a show, ask to see the pedigree before handing over a payment. No matter WHO the breeder is.
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