Breeder or Promoter?
The world is full of rabbit breeders, as evidenced by those attending shows, the supply that pet stores have, and the number of signs found along highways advertising “Bunnies For Sale.” Being a rabbit breeder is an easy task. All you need is a few does and a buck, and you’re in business.
The AHRA has among its members a number of breeders. What we need is for each of these breeders to move up the ladder to the rung which I call “The Promoter.” There is a vast difference between the two categories and the requirements for each.
As I said earlier, being a breeder is easy. Get yourself a buck or two and some does, and you’re in business. With a little work, you can soon be taking a good number of animals, regardless of quality, to shows. This will help you get points and become a leader in the National AHRA Sweepstakes. Now, you can sell your stock for reasonably good price and people will pay it because your standings are high. You may even get smart and have your show line (which you keep strictly for yourself because you don’t want the competition to use your line) and your sale line, which does not get your attention and does not measure up to your show line. People will buy from you because you’re “a winner,” and you can be making money.
Climbing to the next step has some basic requirements that are hard for some of us to accept: a devotion to the breed, and the willingness to help others who may eventually beat us with better rabbits because of that devotion. “The Promoter” often has only a few animals to show because either they have “sold themselves short” or will only put a top quality animal on the table. They often win BOB, BOS, BOV, etc., but may not be leaders in the sweepstakes simply because they do not always have a large number entered. (This may not always be the case, though. Since “The Promoter” usually brings top quality animals, he or she may be a sweepstakes leader because of the placements of the few they bring.)
“The Breeder” will often bring a number of animals that probably should not be at a show. This includes animals with dewlaps, smut, overweight, out of condition, etc. These animals may “get by the judge,” but at a minimum will help get sweepstakes points. “The Promoter,” on the other hand, will leave these animals home and earn sweepstakes points with the quality animal.
“The Breeder” will sell you anything assuring you that it will fit with your line. “The Promoter” is more willing to spend time talking to you about what you need in your line and how his or her line will help you. Tips are gladly given and knowledge shared.
In addition, “The Promoter” is one who will sanction Himalayans at shows, provide awards, and take other steps that will encourage other breeders. “The Promoter” may even be willing to see to it that newcomers are signed up as members of the AHRA, even paying membership fees out of the sale price.
My contention is that there are a lot of “breeders” in the world, but not enough “Promoters.” What we need is more of the latter.
Which are you? Decide to become a “Promoter.” Your personal satisfaction, as well as your reputation, will benefit.
* NOTE: This article has been on the internet and in other publications for quite some time. It is worthy of repeating and sharing in an effort to help create more Promoters as we don’t need more Breeders. I remember when we first got rabbits and Roger would sit in the AOL rabbit chat room night after night and share his experience and mentor folks. His wisdom and guidance gave many a youth the confidence to achieve bigger and better things … not only with their rabbits but in their lives.