Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Show, Breeding, Pet

The question is, Show, Breeding, or Pet? Every breeder may have a different set guideline to determining which animal falls into which category. These have been something I have never really set in stone into recently, where I created a new guideline of animals who earn their hole in my rabbitry. Since space in my rabbitry is limited, a rabbit that occupies my hole is with honor.

I've cut my rabbit size down in the past year, mainly to my stress levels, as well as school, work, and everything in between. When my animals are put on my "back burner" in my head, that's when I tell myself to "cut down". Cutting down isn't just selling rabbits, it is really a whole new refocus every time. I evaluate my herd. This last time I have re visioned my herd I had every color group, and many picks of litters, but still they did not meet up with either of their parents qualities. They may have parts I need, but when space is limited I tend to find that part somewhere else and keep the "overall" typey rabbits.

When determining kits I determine usually the pet quality ones as young and 3 weeks. I usually do not compromise with their type for the shows tables. These pets are labeled as "Pets" which too, can be culls, which are used for another purpose than a person's companion. Such as meat, usually for rescues for other animals in needs, like Raptors. The pet market is sometimes little for a rabbit breeder. I have had many struggles with "pet people" as some can be very difficult to get by. Some do not truly understand the aspects of keeping a pet and usually in the end they back out and purchase an animal from a pet store. It shows lack of patience and understanding and is very frustrating to rabbit breeders. MANY of us feel our "culls" have much better lives and of fulfillment as to helping wild animal rescues, and zoos. Many of us do not like to do it either, but it's still responsible as in a way of fulfillment of life, and controlling the pet population.

Now, this is the tricky part. Breeding/Brood quality animals. These arrange in many different categories, types, and styles. Rabbits that are considered "Breeding" to me are rabbits who do not meet my standard of a show rabbit. Brood is a rabbit that is to be used for breeding/has been used for breeding, sometimes with them follows a show record. Breeding rabbits may have minor faults, but good parts too to help the breed in development. Some have disqualifications, such as mismatched colored nails on dilutes, wrong under colors, or large size. Most breeding rabbits ARE showable, but I do not consider them to be the top crop as I'd call them. These can be listed as "Show/Breeding". Disqualifications should be noted to sale, as many do not accept them. These are "Breeding" quality animals. "Brood" will usually be a senior, does specifically, who are either breeding age or have kindled kits before.

Show quality is simply that. Not all show quality animals can be guaranteed at time of sale, especially with junior animals. Show quality is the "top crop". These animals are animals we wouldn't mind holding up for ourselves, such as showing. Some animals are sold with show records, such as legs or grand championship. I feel show quality isn't just a sale for a showable rabbit, but yet a mark of your herd, and should feel like good promotion. Show quality animals are usually more expensive, due to the expectations. Though, some may be lower priced for different lines that may not be fully grasped development wise. As a breeder, I'm very iffy when selling my show animals because when I'm selling them as show animals, that's what I want them to be, are show animals. lol.

There may be a couple other categories according to ones herd. Some may use, "4-H Rabbit". This is a VERY confusing "category" to many. Because that it can differate from the rabbit being showable, or having disqualifications, it should be made sure when buying a "4-H" rabbit it is what you are looking for, what makes it a "4-H" rabbit and what is wrong with it. If I did have a 4-H category, it would be for "Show/Breeding". Some 4-H members do not care if the animal is quite showable or not, or, do not want to pay a higher price for just a "4-H" project animal. This can be a frustrating thing, and a warning sign to be taken with precautions. I've had people look specifically for a "4-H" rabbit, NOT a top show quality rabbit and NOT a pet quality rabbit. The in between, but with a good personality and can be used for showmanship. As well as sometimes those may get what they ask for, if they don't win Best in Show, they get upset. It's hard understanding what people exactly want sometimes.

A term that some may use to the "Brood" category is "Proven". As well as everything else, it differs person to person. Proven to me can't be sold guaranteed, but it pretty much has gotten a guarantee in you own herd, meaning for does; they have successfully raised their own kits, good mothers, out produce themselves. Meaning for bucks; out produced themselves, good sized, healthy litters, and good breeders. Some use "Proven" in the show category, I guess meaning they have "Proven" themselves on the show tables. I tend not to use either, for either purposes, as breeding differs from the stud or doe combination wise, and judges differs from judge to judge.

Again, all breeders have different standards for their own rabbits and herds, but these things mentioned above can create a good handful of questions before purchasing an animal, especially if you are a newbie. :)


1 comment:

Tru-Luv Rabbitry said...

Very very good post this is.

There are tons of terms in this rabbit world. Some may even be used to mislead others.

I totally agree with you on the word PROVEN. A doe or a buck performs differently under different environments and circumstances. Proven for a breeder may not be proven for another.

There is a risk in everything.