Saturday, March 14, 2015

Show Bunnies

Today's post is written by my nine year old daughter, Jordan (aka J Bird.)

Hi, I'm J Bird and I'm going to teach you how to take care of your rabbits. When you first persuade your parents to buy you a pet rabbit or sign you up for 4H or FFA, you will need to know how to take care of them.  Here's what I've learned.

Your rabbits cage is called a hutch and it's where your rabbits will live and grow.  So, you need to learn how to keep your hutch clean to keep the bunnies healthy and free of hutch stains.  To clean the hutch, simply take out your rabbits and make sure they are in a clean and safe place while you clean their home.  Use water and disinfectant to wash any dirt, pee stains, or poo off the cage using a brush. Make sure it's dry before returning the bunnies to their home.

We have two large labradors and they were very curious about the rabbits. So, my parents bought a fence at Lowe's to keep them away from the cage.

When it was cold, we place a few towels over their cage to protect from the wind.  One day it was warmer than usual, so we placed a frozen water bottle in their cage.  Bunnies do not do well in hot temperatures.

I used Purina Show Rabbit Chow and used a large 20 ounce cup to fill their feeder once a day or as often as I needed to keep it full. Our goal was to get each bunny to a weight of 3 pounds for the livestock show.

I filled the water bottle when it was low.

Bunnies are good at keeping themselves clean.  They constantly clean themselves and each other. (They also think they make great pillows for each other.)  

Valentine is soooooooooooooooooooooo cute when she's cleaning her ears.

To prepare for the livestock show, I studied with my rabbits using flashcards, books and youtube videos. Thanks to my friend, Reagan, I was able to get an idea of what to expect at the show.  So, a shout out to her for helping me.

I had to learn the parts of the rabbit and the picture below shows a rabbit hock.  The judge looks at the hocks and front paws to make sure there are no hutch stains and no sore hocks.

We purchased a simple kitchen scale to keep track of each rabbit's weight. Our goal was 3 pounds.  Although, our bunnies didn't make that goal, I still qualified to show them.

This is Joy.  Isn't she adorable?

I also had to learn to carry my rabbit properly. My parents taught me how to carry it like a football. You have to support their hocks and sometimes covering their eyes calms them down.

The Livestock Show
I attended the South Texas Agricultural Roundup (S.T.A.R) and participated in both the rabbit show and in rabbit showmanship.

Here I am waiting for the judging to begin.

Then, the judge comes to check all three of my rabbits.  He goes down the line until he finishes all participants.  Boy, was I scared.  He had a very intense look.

 A few hours later, I had to go back with one rabbit for rabbit showmanship. This is where they judge on how you interact with the rabbit and how well you can answer the judge's questions.

Here, I am waiting for the judging to begin. This is sooooo boring.

Here I just finished showing my rabbit to the judge and am talking to some other participants about the judge's questions. We had to wait again for the judge to call up people to break ties.  I didn't get called up and that worried me.  These two girls got called back to the judge.

Finally, the judge announced the results starting with 5th place.  I was confused when they said "Champion Rabbit Showman for 2015 is number 8", but then they brought me the buckle and I was so thrilled.

 It was a great experience for me.  I had to say goodbye to Valentine, Joy and Elvis, though. Sadly, they had to go.  I still have Cream Puff who was the biggest of all my rabbits, but still smaller then most of the other show rabbits.

Thanks for reading.  Cream Puff and J Bird signing off.


Post a Comment