Mink Hollow Rabbitry Blog

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In an effort to move away from Facebook more, I am starting a blog. I will post things here that I would normally share on the farm page on FaceBook.

—- watch this space for more —–

Now that we've had a brief introduction to rabbit shows, let's have a look at clerking.

Judge is in the foreground, and the clerk is in the background.A clerk at a show is a volunteer who assists the judge during the judging.

In the image, it is the person in the background with the pencil and yellow sheets of paper.

In an ARBA sanctioned rabbit show, it is essential that records are kept of all rabbits entered, and of the results of the judging. At the end of the show, the Show Secretary must compile all the results and submit them to ARBA.

The clerk will typically do the following things:

  1. Get the next set of judging sheets from the Show Secretary.
  2. Call up the breeds and classes when the judge is ready.
  3. Make sure the rabbits go in the holes in the correct order.
  4. Record the judge's decisions on the judging sheets.
  5. Hand the completed judging sheets to the Show Secretary when the judging of that group is complete.

Sample judging sheet - ready for judgingHere we have an example of a judging sheet, filled in with the entries for this class.

If there are multiple shows happening at the same time (as in a Double or Triple Show), these sheets are often printed on coloured paper using a different colour for each show. This helps in keeping the shows from getting mixed up.

Each class is printed on a separate sheet of paper.
There is a typical hierarchy for the order:

  • Breed, such as: Mini Rex, English Lop, Harlequin, etc.
  • Variety. Often this is the colour, such as Black or White, but can also include a number of colours, such as Otter, or Solid. Each breed has a specific set of accepted varieties, which can be found in the Standard of Perfection.
  • Class: each has specific weight requirements, depending on breed
    • in a 4-class breed, this will be either Junior (under 6 months) or Senior (6 mo. or over)
    • in a 6-class breed, this will be Junior (under 6 mo.), Intermediate (6-8 months), or Senior (8 mo or over)
  • Sex: either Buck or Doe

As you can see in the sample, this sheet is for Dutch rabbits: Black Junior Does.
There are 13 entered altogether.
This sample also has Coop #'s listed, implying it is a cooped show. If it is a carrying cage show, then that column will be blank.

Judging sheets placed on top of the coop waiting for all the rabbits to be brought up.
NOTE: It is the EXHIBITOR'S responsibility to get their rabbits up to the table when called.

The order of judging for the breeds as well as the number of entries in each breed will usually be posted near the judging tables on the day of the show, so you can often get a pretty good idea of when your breed is going to be called up.

If the number of entries for a particular breed is small, then all classes and varieties may be called up to the judging table at the same time. They will normally be put into the holes in the roughly same order as on the judging sheets, and the varieties will go in alphabetical order. The clerk (that's you) will place the judging sheet for one class on top of the first hole for that class, and then leave enough spaces for all the rabbits in that class. They will then place the next judging sheet above the next hole, and so on. The sheets are normally placed so that the exhibitors can read them, so they can see where to put their rabbits.

Green judging sheets in front of the holes, ready for the judge to start judging.The order of the rabbits in the same class doesn't matter. We just need to make sure that all of the rabbits competing in that one class are together for the judge.

If the entries for a particular breed is larger than will fit on the judging table at the same time, then it will be called up in smaller groups. There are 13 rabbits in the sample judging sheet, so it is possible that only the Black Junior Does will be called up for this round.

In the image, you can see the green judging sheets on top of the holes. Note the gap - that is because there are 3 rabbits in that one class, and only one of each class in the others.

The next image has the sheets on the judging side of the table, ready for the judging to begin.

Occasionally, you will find a rabbit crossed out on the judging sheet. The comment should say “SCRATCH”. This means that the exhibitor has decided (some time after the entry deadline) not to show that rabbit. There can be any number of reasons for this - maybe they forgot to bring it, or maybe it broke a toenail. The reason does not have to be recorded; only that it was scratched.

Sometimes an exhibitor will decide to scratch an entry on the day of the show. That's OK too. Your job as clerk is to make sure that all of the rabbits on the judging sheet are accounted for.

In our example, the clerk would have counted only 12 Black Dutch Junior Does and then asked the exhibitors which one was scratched. Once you find out which rabbit is not there, cross it off on the judging sheet with a note (see image later).

The judge is giving her critique of an angora rabbit while the clerk is taking notes. Most judges are VERY willing to help explain things to the clerk if they are unsure about something, so don't hesitate to ask!

The judges do what they do because they love rabbits and the fancy, and most also love helping new people learn - no matter how young!

The judge will normally go over all of the rabbits in the one class before making a decision.
As a clerk, what you need to do right now is just pay attention.

Sometimes the judge will notice something about a particular rabbit that disqualifies it from competition. It could be over- or under-weight for its class; it could have a colour fault; it could have been mistakenly entered in the wrong class. The ARBA SoP lists all general disqualifications as well as all of the breed-specific ones. Most judges keep a copy of the SoP handy while they judge and will refer to it whenever they want to double check something.

If the judge decides to disqualify an animal, they will let you - the clerk - know. At that point you will need to verify the ear number. Find that rabbit on your list, mark it as a DQ, and write a brief explanation. There are a few examples on the filled in judging sheet below.

sample judging sheet - filled in after the judging Once the judge has made their decisions, they will let you know. Get the judging sheet and your pen or pencil handy.

The judge will often make some general comments about the rabbits, what they especially liked, and didn't like, for example. If you have the time, you can make a few notes on the judging sheet about what the judge said, but this is not necessary.

What IS necessary is to record every placement and award. Some judges will place every single rabbit in the class from last to 1st, while others start with the 5th or 4th placing rabbit. In the example, the judge started with the 5th place winner.

The judge will usually take the rabbit out of it's hole, and read out the ear number for you to look up on the judging sheet. Sometimes, tattoos aren't very clear and you may have to figure it out together with the judge. That's OK.

It is more important to get it right than to do it fast.

If you're not sure whether you have matched the rabbit to the sheet - let the judge help you. You will get better at it with time!

The judge will then move on to the next one up the line, until they get to the 1st place winner of that class.

If there are more classes in the same variety or breed, you will have to hang on to that sheet a bit longer. Sometimes, you will only have one entry in a given variety - like only ONE Black Rex, for example. In that case, provided that rabbit wins 1st in its class 1) it will also win Best of Variety (BoV).

You should write that on the sheet as well.

If there are other classes to judge, only the 1st place winner will stay on the judging table, and all the rest can go back into their carrying cages or coops.

The other classes will then get judged in the same way until all are done. Let's say there were entries in all 4 Black Dutch classes: Sr. Buck, Jr. Buck, Sr. Doe, and Jr. Doe.

By the time that is done, there will be 4 rabbits left on the judging table, and you will have 4 judging sheets (plus possibly a sheet where you can record the major wins for the entire breed). When the judge makes their decision for Best of Variety(BOV), they will choose one of the rabbits of the opposite sex to win Best of Variety, Opposite Sex (BOVO).

Write these awards down next to the correct rabbits on the judging sheets and also on the award sheet if you have one.

The judge will then do the next variety in the same way, and eventually you will have a BOV and possibly BOVO for each variety in the breed. All of those animals need to be up on the table again for the next step. The judge will now check them all again to choose a Best of Breed (BOB) and if there is one, a Best of Breed, Opposite Sex (BOBO). Those wins need to be recorded on the sheets as well. Those are the ones who will need to come back one more time for the Best in Show judging. All the others are done for the day.

THERE IS NO RUSH HERE.
If you are new to clerking, let the judge (or a show committee member) show you what to do.

So, if you have read this far, CONGRATULATIONS!

Now that NO-ONE will think badly of you or judge you if you get mixed up or if you ask the judge to help you. (Remember, YOU are not the one being judged here. :-) )

Everyone once started off where you are now. We're all routing for you and hoping you will come to love rabbit shows as much as we do!

Clerking is a GREAT way to learn more about rabbits and showing.

2022/05/15 11:38 · becker

By Katrin Becker

Some people are surprised when they hear that there are shows for rabbits.
Whole books could be written about just rabbit shows. This article offers a very brief introduction.

First, a bit of background.
Almost every kind of domestic animal has:

  • distinct, recognized breeds2).
  • a representative association that maintains a written description of each breed (called a Breed Standard or Standard of Perfection) that describes what it is supposed to look like, and sometimes also how it should behave or what it should be able to do.
  • some kind of show. Pigeons, poultry, sheep, dogs, cats, cows, horses,3) … and, rabbits.

Different kinds of animals have different kinds of shows, but most have some kind of Conformation Show.4) A conformation show is one where the animal's appearance is judged by someone who has been trained and is qualified to assess the animals. Other than possibly having the animal move around, conformation shows do not require the animals to perform in any way. Since part of what is being judged often includes the animal's structure, being able to watch the animal move is sometimes an essential part of the judging process (but they don't do tricks or follow commands).

Some rabbit shows include other events (like obstacle races), but unlike dogs, these other events are not officially recognized by ARBA (The American Rabbit Breeders Association), which is the official association for domestic rabbits in North America.

There are currently 50 officially recognized breeds of rabbit in North America. The United Kingdom, Europe, and Australia have their own official associations and have set their own standards for what the breeds should look like. Some breeds are common to all but their breed descriptions sometimes differ.

Some rabbit shows include separate classes for fur and commercial qualities. These may be discussed in a future blog.

ARBA holds a very large national show once each year, usually in the fall. It draws hundreds of exhibitors and has thousands of entries.

Most shows are much smaller, and are put on by local rabbit clubs.
There are currently 3 rabbit clubs in Alberta:

There are 2 main varieties of rabbit show:

  • cooped, and
  • carrying cage

In Alberta, carrying cage shows are more common than cooped shows, but we do have both.

In a cooped show, cages are supplied by the show. This often happens when the show is part of a larger exhibition and the the venue wants to provide a more consistent way to display the animals for the public attending the event. Sometimes you can choose which cages to put your rabbits into. Other times cages are labelled and you must place your rabbits where you are told. This is often done to make sure that all rabbits of one breed are in the same area.

In a carrying cage show, you are expected to keep your rabbits in cages you have brought yourself. In both cases you are expected to bring everything your rabbit will need for the time it will be staying at the show grounds. That includes food & water dishes, sufficient food, bedding, and any grooming equipment you will need.

Normally, rabbits remain at the show in their cages for the duration of the show.

You will sometimes see a show advertised as a “single”, “double”, “triple”, or “specialty” show.

A single show is one show held on one day. Usually all rabbits are judged by the same judge.
A double is when there are TWO completely separate shows in the same place on the same day. They will be judged by two different judges and both shows usually run simultaneously.
A triple is when there are THREE shows, with THREE judges, all running simultaneously on the same day.

A Double-Double would be 4 shows on 2 consecutive days, often, a Saturday and Sunday. In that case each judge usually judges one show each day. In case you are wondering why anyone would want to show the same rabbit under the same judge two days in a row, things can change from one day to the next. Also, check the section on Winning, below.

A Specialty show is one where only rabbits of one particular breed compete.

How do I enter my rabbit in a show?

Rabbits are shown by phenotype5) rather than genotype6). In other words, if you have a rabbit that looks like a Dwarf Hotot(as in the photo), then you can show it as a Dwarf Hotot. This is also true for the rabbit's colour variety.

The show-giving club will usually publish a Show Catalog several weeks before the actual show providing information on rules, the judges, entries, the show venue, accommodations, and so on.

You will have to fill out an entry form, where you will identify each rabbit by its ear tattoo, breed, variety, sex7), age8)

Your rabbit MUST have a permanent identifying tattoo in its LEFT ear. You can sometimes find someone at the show who can tattoo your rabbit for your on the day of the show if it hasn't already been done.

The breed must be one of the 50 recognized breeds, and the variety will vary, depending on breed. The written Standard of Perfection (SOP) gives a detailed description and the correct name for each variety of every breed.

The age classifications usually also include minimum and maximum weights, so it is a good idea to weigh your rabbit before entering it in the show. It is NOT allowed to show a rabbit in a younger age category. So, a 7 month old rabbit that is too small for the senior group canNOT be shown as a junior. However, a 5 month old rabbit that exceeds the maximum weight for a junior should be shown in the next age category (intermediate or senior, depending on breed).

There is usually a fee for each entry. In 2022 in Alberta, that is usually $5.00 per rabbit for one show. So, to enter your rabbit in all shows of a “Double-Double” would cost $20.00. Becoming a member of the show-giving club will often get you a discount on entries.

Most shows have an entry deadline that will occur anywhere from a few days to a week before the show. This gives the Show Secretary time to enter all the entries and make sure that judging will go smoothly on show day.

Below is an example of a rabbit show entry form.

Most shows will give you time - often the day before the first shows - to bring your rabbits to the venue and get them set up, either in their carrying cages, or in the coops provided. There are often tables set up for you to use. Occasionally you will have to bring your own (that info will be in the show catalog).

When you come to set up, please be considerate of other exhibitors. Don't take up more than your share of the available space. Cover the table with a tablecloth of some sort if one has not already been supplied, and make every effort to keep your space clean and tidy throughout the show.

Judging usually starts at 8 or 9am on the morning of the show(s). Rabbits are judged one breed at a time, and the order of the breeds is determined by the show committee. The order of the breeds will be different for each show on the same day. The show committee will usually try to make sure that no breed is required for judging on both tables at the same time!

There is usually a break for lunch, but exactly when that happens depends on how the judging is going.

Your breed will be announced when it is time for it to be judged. Someone at the judges' table will be able to tell you which 'slot' (called a hole) your rabbit should go in. They will often place the judging sheet9) on top of the judging coops ove the places where the rabbits listed in the sheets are to go. They are placed into the holes on the judging table in a very specific order. For example, the Rex will often be called up by colour, then gender, then age, so all black senior bucks will go next to each other, followed by the junior black bucks, then the senior black does, and finally the junior black does. Then, all of the next variety (in this case Blue) will be placed next to the blacks, and so on.

  1. DO NOT stand on the same side of the judging table as the judge.
  2. Try not to obstruct the view of others as they watch the judging.
  3. DO NOT identify your rabbit to the judge. Who owns it should have NO impact on the way it is judged.
  4. Do not spend too much time schmoozing with the judge. Occasional question and banter are normally fine, but leave the long conversations until after the judging is complete. They only slow down judging.
  5. Pay attention while your breed is being judged. You can learn a great deal this way.
  6. The judges' opinion is NOT open for debate.
  7. DO NOT say unpleasant things about the judges, the other exhibitors, OR the show committee at the judging table.
  8. If the judge disqualifies your animal, you can remove it from the judges' table and put it back in your carrying cage.
  9. Once your breed or variety is finished being judge, remove all but the winning rabbits from the table.
  10. Be a good sport and congratulate the winner - even if it wasn't you!

DQ stands for disqualification. That's when your rabbit is disqualified from competition.

It happens to ALL of us and is normally no cause for shame or embarrassment.

The ARBA SoP lists all general disqualifications as well as any that are specific to your breed.

Some are considered permanent DQ's. An example would be if your black rabbit has a white spot somewhere.

Others can be temporary, such as a rabbit that is over or under the allowed weight for their breed and age.

Occasionally - we've ALL done it - we will forget to check our rabbits carefully enough and discover that we have forgotten to tattoo one, or entered one in the wrong class - even the wrong sex! Sometimes the judge will notice something we didn't (or didn't know yet). That's OK. It is sometimes possible to correct the entry for the next show if it's a gender or ear number problem. It will almost never be possible to correct it for the current show. Consider it the price of education.

Also, just because one judge noticed a disqualifying fault, it doesn't mean the others will too. When we pay for our entry, we are paying for ONE judge's opinion on THAT day only. Respect their opinion.

There are many opportunities to win at a rabbit show.

It might be easiest to explain this using an example:

Suppose we have the following Rex rabbits entered:

VarietySexAgeEntriesExhibitors
BlackBuckSenior3A, B
BlackBuckJunior1A
BlackDoeJunior1B
BrokenDoeSenior1C
OtterBuckSenior3B, C
OtterDoeSenior5A, B, C
OtterDoeJunior2A

We have 16 Rex altogether, shown by 3 different people (A, B, and C).

When it comes time to judge the Rex, they will likely be placed into the holes of the judging coop in the same order as above: black Sr. bucks, then the black jr buck, then the broken sr doe, then the jr doe, then the senior otter bucks, the senior otter does, and finally the junior otter does.

The judge will first look over all 3 black senior bucks. They will check for disqualifying faults and then assess the rabbit's overall quality. They often don't say much about the rabbits at that time.
Once they have made their decisions, they will take them out again - often in reverse order of placements - and give a verbal critique about each rabbit as they do so. They will say what they like about that 3rd place black buck, and then say what could be better. They will do the same for the second place rabbit, and also for the first place winner. They will often explain how they compared against each other as well.

At that point the 2nd, and 3rd place winners are done being judged for that show. They can often be taken off the judges' table and put back in their carrying cages.

Next, the judge will assess the junior black buck. Unless there is a reason that the rabbit should not win anything, it will normally be given 1st place.

Then the black doe will get judged. Since there are no junior black does, that completes the judging of the Black classes. The 3 1st place winners will still be on the table, and the judge will choose among them for the wins of Best of Variety (BoV) and Best of Variety Oppostite Sex (BoVO). If the BOV goes to the doe, then the judge will choose between one of the bucks for BoVO, and if one of the bucks is chosen BoV, then the doe will become BoVO. Let's say the Junior Buck wins BOV and the doe wins BoVO.

VarietySexAgeEntriesExhibitorsWINS
BlackBuckSenior3A, B
BlackBuckJunior1ABOV
BlackDoeJunior1BBoVO
BrokenDoeSenior1C
OtterBuckSenior3B, C
OtterDoeSenior5A, B, C
OtterDoeJunior2A

This continues with each variety until all the varieties are done. Note that there are no Broken bucks, so the only award will be for BOV.

VarietySexAgeEntriesExhibitorsWINS
BlackBuckSenior3A, B
BlackBuckJunior1ABOV
BlackDoeJunior1BBoVO
BrokenDoeSenior1CBOV
OtterBuckSenior3B, CBoVO
OtterDoeSenior5A, B, CBOV
OtterDoeJunior2A

Now, all the BOV winners will be compared against each other, and the judge will choose one for Best of Breed (BOB). Depending on whether that winner is a buck or a doe, the judge will also choose a Best of Breed, Opposite Sex (BOBO).

Suppose Senior Otter Doe wins Best of Breed, and the Junior Black Buck wins Best of Breed, Opposite Sex. Those two rabbits will be needed later when it comes time to judge Best in Show. The rest are done for that show.

Depending on how many rabbits there were and how many exhibitors showed them, winnings can be eligible for “Grand Champion Legs”. A rabbit must earn at least three grand champion legs before it can become a grand champion. It must also be registered with ARBA. Some people only register their rabbits once they have won enough “legs” in order to apply for Grand Champion stats (sometimes called “being granded”).

The basic rules for earning a leg are quite simple: The rabbit must have won at the class level or above, and must have beaten at least 4 other rabbits. So, to win a leg in a class, there must be at least 5 rabbits in that class. On top of that, those 5 rabbits must have been shown by at least three different exhibitors. This prevents a single exhibitor from earning a leg by simply entering 5 of their own rabbits.

A rabbit can only ever earn ONE leg at any given show, even if it wins Best in Show.

Let's look at the Rex classes and see where legs would be awarded.

VarietySexAgeEntriesExhibitorsWINSLEGS
BlackBuckSenior3A, B -
BlackBuckJunior1ABOV, BOBOYES - for the BOBO, but not for the BOV
BlackDoeJunior1BBoVO-
BrokenDoeSenior1CBOV-
OtterBuckSenior3B, CBoVO-
OtterDoeSenior5A, B, CBOV, BOBYES - winning just this class was enough for a leg
OtterDoeJunior2A -

The Black Jr Buck would not have won a leg for winning his class, as he was the only one.
He also didn't win a leg for the BOV. There were 5 black Rex altogether, but they were all shown by only TWO exhibitors (A & B), so no leg.
He DOES earn a leg for the BOBO win, because for that he beat all of the other bucks - 7 in total, shown by all 3 exhibitors.

The BOB winning Senior otter doe won her leg at the class level: there were 5 does in her class shown by 3 different exhibitors, so she earns a leg for that.
Winning Best of Variety, and then Best of Breed is really wonderful, but doesn't earn her any additional legs.

If you've made it this far, congratulations! I hope that wasn't too long or complicated. Please let me know if there is anything I got wrong, or anything important I left out.

Here is a Rabbit Show Checklist you can use to get ready for your next show….

2022/05/15 11:24 · becker

Purebred?
Pedigreed?
Registered?
What's the difference and why does it matter?

These terms are all interrelated and the exact definitions will depend on what kind of animal we are talking about.

Let's start with registered. An animal can only be claimed to be registered when its information has been officially recorded by an association that is recognized as having the authority to do so. Many different domestic species have registry associations: dogs, cats, horses, cattle, sheep, rabbits, etc. In North America, the ONLY association that is recognized to officially register rabbits is The American Rabbit Breeders Association, or ARBA for short.

Each registration association sets its own rules for how to register an animal. With dogs, for example, BOTH parents must already be registered in order for a dog to be eligible for registration. And of course, both parents must be the same breed.

What defines a breed is also defined by the registering bodies for that species. With rabbits, that's ARBA again, and they publish a book, called the Standard of Perfection (SOP) that describes in detail what each of the breeds is to look like, how much it should weigh, and what colours are recognized, among other things. There are currently 50 breeds of rabbit recognized in north America. There is a new edition of the standard published every five years.

We'll come back to how to go about getting your rabbit registered later.

Dogs, for example are only legally considered purebred when they are registered with a recognized registry association such as the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) or the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI).

Rabbits are not required to be registered in order to be shown, and a rabbits parents need not be registered in order for it to be registered.

All registered rabbits must be fully pedigreed, as it is one of the requirements for registration. This is true of all animals that can be registered.

A pedigreed rabbit does not have to also be registered, but a registered rabbit will always be fully pedigreed.

It is possible to create a pedigree for any rabbit, purebred or not. Saying a rabbit is 'pedigreed' simply indicates that you have a record of its ancestors going back for 3 or more generations. In its simplest form a pedigree is just a family tree. A 3-generation pedigree identifies the rabbit, its parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.

  With rabbits, in order to be considered “fully pedigreed”, the information must include the rabbit's name (including the rabbitry prefix), ear tattoo, sex, birth date, and colour along with the name of the breeder and the name of the owner. The parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents must be identified by their name, ear tattoo, weight and colour. All rabbits in the pedigree must be the same breed.

The name MUST not be changed in any way without the express approval of the original breeder. The ear number MUST be the one given to it by the breeder unless the breeder gives you permission to choose your own.
The name MUST include the rabbitry prefix, written in the way that the original breeder of that rabbit does it. Some rabbitries use the initials of their rabbitry name (eg. MH or M.H.) while others use the full name (eg. Mink Hollow). Also, some include 's (eg. Mink Hollow's Elf) while others do not (eg. Mink Hollow Elf). Make sure you follow the same pattern used by the original breeder.

With rabbits, the ear number must be permanently tattooed in the LEFT ear (and ONLY the left ear). It can be any combination of numbers and capital letters, but may not contain any special characters, and may not contain an offensive or vulgar word. Obviously, you will not want to have too long a tattoo, as it will not fit in the poor animal's ear!
The tattoo MUST be easy to read, and can be made using either clamp-style tattoo pliers, or a pen tattoo.
Most rabbit breeders use either the animal's name (like, “FLUFFY”) as the tattoo or some sort of code that identifies the rabbitry and some information about the rabbit itself. Some simply use consecutive numbers, others include the initials of the parents, and others still use other codes to indicate the year, month, litter, and even gender.

The picture is a hand-written, complete pedigree for a Rex rabbit from the 1990s. The rabbits marked in pink are registered. The KEY information for every ancestor includes each rabbit's:

  1. Name INCLUDING the rabbitry prefix
  2. Ear No.
  3. Colour
  4. Weight
  5. Registration Number (if registered)
  6. Grand Champion Number (if the rabbit has earned that title)

Other information often seen on pedigrees is not required, but many buyers will appreciate it when it is included:

  • pictures of the rabbits
  • any awards that rabbit has won
  • whether it has earned any legs towards a grand championship, and if so, how many

Below is a full pedigree that includes pictures and genetic information.

How we define purebred varies somewhat by species.

Simply stated, an animal is purebred if both parents and grandparents are all the same breed.

For some species, like dogs, it is required that both parents be registered in order for it to be legally considered purebred. Any unregistered dog, no matter how “pure” is legally NOT a purebred.

Other species allow for one great-grandparent to be of a different breed. This can make it easier to maintain a breed that is in danger of dying out, or when creating a new breed.

Rabbits do not require the parents to be registered in order to become registered themselves, so saying it is purebred simply implies that its parents and all of its ancestors as far back as anyone knows are members of the same breed. It is not really proof of anything.

The only way to register a rabbit in North America is to take it to a licensed registrar, who will check over the rabbit and its pedigree and, assuming it meets all of the requirements for that breed, will then fill out and submit a registration application and submit it to ARBA.

It's actually one of the things I really like about the rabbit fancy - in order for a rabbit to be registered, a trained and qualified registrar must look over the rabbit personally and make sure it is an acceptable representative of that breed. The parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents do not need to be registered, but they do need to be of the same breed.

arba.net_wp-content_uploads_2019_11_f1attachingapedigree-800x513.jpgIn order to complete a registration application, the owner of the rabbit must bring the following information to the registrar:

  1. You must be a member of ARBA and you must bring your membership card.
  2. A 3-generation pedigree that includes the name, ear number, sex, colour, and weight of every animal on it.
  3. The name and address of the breeder (if it wasn't you).

In addition to that, your rabbit must be at least 6 months old, and it must meet all of the requirements for a senior rabbit of it's sex and breed. It may have NO disqualifying faults.

The full rules for registration can be found on ARBA's website, here.

Rabbit registrations all have a seal printed on them. There are 5 different kinds of seals:
“White Seal” means the one or both parents are unregistered, but the offspring comes with a full and complete pedigree and has no disqualifying faults at the time of sale.
“Red Seal” means that both parents are registered, and
“Red & White Seal” means that both parents and all grandparents are registered.
“Red, White, and Blue Seal” means that both parents, all grandparents, and ALL great-grandparents are registered.
The last one, rarest of all is a “Gold Seal”, which means that all rabbits on the pedigree were Grand Champions.
I've never seen one of those.

If you want to sell breeding stock, then buying your stock from reputable breeders and keeping proper records - including full pedigrees - is highly recommended.

If all you want from your rabbit is for it to be a good pet, then it doesn't matter - unless of course you are wanting a rabbit that is a particular size, or has a particular kind of fur, or temperament. In that case buying a rabbit from a reputable breeders - is highly recommended.

If all you want from your rabbits is to produce babies for meat, then it doesn't matter - unless of course you are wanting some predictability as far as growth rates, litter sizes, fertility or mothering ability goes. In that case buying a rabbit from a reputable breeder and keeping proper records yourself - including full pedigrees - is highly recommended.

If all you want from your rabbit is for it to produce babies that you can sell as pets, then it doesn't matter - unless of course you care about your reputation as a producer of rabbits of a particular size, or that have a particular kind of fur, or temperament. In that case buying a rabbit from a reputable breeder and keeping proper records yourself - including full pedigrees - is highly recommended.

2022/05/13 03:43 · becker

Maggie's babies have been weaned, along with Callisto's and Coco's.

2020/04/14 11:21 · becker

HAPPY SPRING EVERYONE!

The first two videos are Cobalt's babies and the third one are of Cancon's babies.

2020/04/12 12:44 · becker

1)
the judge may decide that the rabbit isn't worthy of any award, but that is uncommon
2)
a breed is a distinct variety of a particular species that “breeds true”, meaning that the offspring of 2 animals of the same breed will all share the same qualities, including fur or feather type, size, colours, temperament, and abilities
3)
this is not a complete list!
4)
NOTE: the word is conFORMation, not conFIRMation. Confirmation is when you agree about something; conformation is about the FORM of something.
5)
what the rabbit looks like
6)
the actual genetics of the rabbit
7)
buck or doe
8)
junior(< 6mo), senior(> 6mo). Some large breed have and additional intermediate class which is 6-8 months. In that case, their senior age group is 8 months and over.
9)
the sheet where placements and wins are recordrd
  • blog.txt
  • Last modified: 2020/04/10 13:21
  • by becker