A Worthwhile Investment
If you are new to rabbits or, better yet, haven’t purchased your first rabbits yet … please invest in a membership to the American Rabbit Breeders Association ( membership and also in the purchase of the ARBA Standard of Perfection. And it truly is a very wise investment for which you will see a return on the money spent.
Your ARBA membership includes the book Raising Better Rabbits and Cavies which normally sells for $15 and is worth it’s weight in gold for all the information that it contains. It answers bunches of questions that all first time rabbit owners have and will save you time and money. It provides information about care, feeding, equipment, housing, and so much more.
The Standard of Perfection (SOP) contains not only a glossary of terms used in the rabbit world, it also provides the description for every recognized breed and variety (color) of both rabbits and cavies (guinea pigs). When you take the time to thoroughly read and understand the terminology and also the Standard for the breed you are wanting to purchase, you will save yourself a lot of heartache as well as money. Too many new folks jump into buying rabbits but don’t know what the judge will be looking for. Unfortunately, most of these folks later find out they have spent money on rabbits that don’t fit the Standard (wrong size, wrong color, poor conformation, etc) and then they have to sell them all and start over again … wasting time and money, yet again.
Armed with these two books, go to several shows and watch the judging for the breeds you’re thinking about … before you buy any rabbits. See what those winning rabbits look like and listen to the comments the judge is making. You’ll have the glossary of terms in the SOP so you can begin to really know and understand what to look for when you’re selecting your first show and/or breeding stock.
Take the time to talk to a number of breeders. Just as in life, there are rabbit people of integrity and those who are lacking this character trait and it would be best for you to know the difference. If you have done your homework and read the Guidebook and the SOP, you’ll be better able to recognize who is on the up-and-up and who is feeding you a line of bull sh*t.
I urge you not to look at your ARBA membership and the purchase of the SOP as an expense that you’ll take care of later. By making these two purchases and investing in yourself and your new hobby before you actually get started, you will save the cost many times over. There is a lot to learn about raising, breeding, and showing rabbits and you want to get the best possible start.
It costs the same amount of money to feed a show quality rabbit and a pet rabbit. If you buy cheap, pet quality rabbits (or poor show quality rabbits because you “just didn’t know”) and work for several years to develop show quality animals, you will have spent a lot more money in feed and breeding stock than if you had gone out and purchased a really nice trio to start with. Take the time to save the money for a good trio and give yourself the best start you can.
Do yourself a favor and invest in your future by becoming a member of ARBA and getting the SOP so you can make wise choices when you select your first rabbits. You’ll be really glad you did. Click here for an ARBA application.
NOTE: This is an excerpt from a chapter in Debi’s book..