Saturday, April 21, 2012

Our First Rabbit Show

North Carolina RBA
My family and I had our first adventure into the world of rabbit shows today. I'd learned about a show in Wilson, NC and we decided to go and see rabbits. Mother has decided she wants her own rabbits to breed and wanted to see several options up close and personal to decide which one to start with. So, up early and off to Wilson with the intent to be there before they started the judging so we could experience the judging process.

I don't know about you, but sometimes the best laid plans just don't work out. This time was one of those. We stopped an hour from home to get breakfast only to find out that my wallet was not in my purse. Great! So, back home we go to get the wayward wallet. So much for getting there to watch the judging. C'est la vie. 

We arrived at the show almost two hours after it started. Truth be told, it wasn't as big as I'd imagined. This, I think, was actually a good thing. As it was, we were in awe and amazement going from one set of rabbits to another. I realized very quickly that pictures in books, magazines, and the internet do not give a true indication of the beauty of the colors nor their true size. English Lops are HUGE! WOW! (Note to self: they are about the same weight as Silver Foxes at full size. A 10 pound rabbit is Gi-normous!) 

The judging process seemed mysterious and not easy to watch as I was afraid of getting in the way of a breeder trying to show. Watching from a distance only gave me cursory information of how it's done. 

Mother ooh'd and ahh'd over so many rabbits but kept coming back to the Holland Lops and the American Fuzzy Lops. She is addicted to the floppy ears. Unfortunately, the Mini Lops was in very short supply there so it didn't get her attention. 

While some of the breeders were less than forthcoming with information, we met one, Donna of Luv Some Bunny Special, who was very friendly and willing to talk about her rabbits. She allowed Mother to hold a rabbit and showed me how to pick up and hold my rabbits so they feel more secure. Her rabbits were beautiful (several are Champions) and Mother was totally in love! The plan is to obtain a breeding pair of American Fuzzies from Donna when they are ready in June. And, a cool God-thing is that Donna is Pentecostal Holiness -- as are we! God has such a sense of humor and timing! Bring us 3 hours from home to a hall full of strangers and who do we meet but another PH Christian! 

Son found two breeds he thought were totally cool and possible options for him at some future date: Britannia Petites and Tans. The Petites are CUTENESS TIMES TEN. As pets, we're told they are greatly lacking. That's unfortunate. The Tans are very pretty. I think the Petites are cute but then I have always liked miniature things. 

I will continue to focus on my Silver Foxes. I had not planned on showing them but I might just find it interesting. It would be good to at least see how they stack up to their standard. It would help if I want to sell some as breeders. It might. I met a lady at the show who is a member of the Southern Pride Rabbit Club in South Carolina. She mentioned that she knows a few Silver Fox breeders who will be entering their rabbits in the Columbia show in May. She strongly encouraged me to enter mine in the show. I think as much as anything so that there would be something to compare the other breeders' rabbits to. I was excited to hear that there are other breeders of Silver Foxes in the Carolinas. I don't think I'll be able to show in May but I will be going so I can meet those other breeders and see their rabbits. The Columbia show is said to be much larger, too, so we'll get a taste of just how big these things can get. 

I foresee our rabbitry getting much larger than originally imagined! Son may stick with his poultry and helping us with the rabbits rather than getting into breeding rabbits himself. He hasn't decided. In that case, I'll go to poultry shows with him and he can attend rabbit shows with us. It will be a family venture, either way. Besides, the poultry will help keep the fly population down in the rabbitry. Yes, of course I had to come back around to permaculture ideas of systems working together. Even though Mother wants "pet" rabbits rather than meat rabbits, they still play a role in the homestead system by producing lots of lovely rabbit poop to fertilize the garden with.

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