New To Show Rabbits

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by FeatherMtnFarms, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. FeatherMtnFarms

    FeatherMtnFarms Songster

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    Hey Rabbit people!:bun So I've had rabbits for quite some years like more than 5 years but they were pretty much just pets I have had my Opal Mini Rex buck; Comet for oh around 4 years if I can remember right? So I'm not a complete newbie. He was bred to show but I got him when I was a little younger and never got around to showing him but I did do quite some research when I was expecting to show him, especially about the rex breed.

    But, just very recently I purchased my new 3 month old black/white broken pattern standard rex young doe; Astrid! She's going to be my first show rabbit and so, I want to raise her as so. I already am well aware that handling is extremly key as that is an issue with Comet. But; anything else I should make sure to know moving forward?:D Super excited and can't wait to grow my knowledge!

    P.s I am hoping to breed the two in a few years time: 1) at what age would it be best to breed Astrid? Comet is a lower middle aged buck. 2) Will Comet being a mini rex and Astrid being a standard size rex bring any issues? 3) Any other things I should know/keep in mind. I'll get some pics soon:thumbsup
     
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  2. VerrücktesHuhn

    VerrücktesHuhn In the Brooder

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    Didn’t know we peep rabbits here too, but what the heck.
    If your buck is smaller then the doe, you shouldn’t have any issues.
    Depending on the breed, they can get pregnant as early as about 3.5 month off age.
    I wouldn’t recommend breeding any rabbit until they are at least 6-8 month old.
    As general rule, the bigger the rabbit (breed), the longer they take to mature.
    Most Rabbits are considered mature at 8 month.

    But if you want to raise show babies, you might want to either buy a standard Rex buck, or, if you know other rabbit owners with standard Rex, see if they will let you bring your doe in for breeding.
    Besides handling, I would make sure she gets used to her travel cage, traveling in a car, and unfamiliar places.
    Mini Rex used to be one of my favorite.
    But since we have rabbits for meat, we switched to black NZs.
    Good luck, and most of all, have fun!
    PS: would like to see a picture.
     
  3. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    ^^^^This. Maximum showable weight for a Mini Rex buck is 4.4 lbs, while the minimum showable weight for a Rex doe is 8 lbs. Rex breeders are already frustrated by the common problem of what some refer to as "Midi Rex;" animals that are clearly too big to be MR's, but never even get close to the minimum size of the Standard Rex. Crossing the two breeds would produce what are basically pet-quality mutts with Rex coats, something that probably wouldn't endear you to fanciers of either breed. Show quality rabbits can be worth a great deal more than pet quality, but part of that value is based on the reputation of the breeder. Rabbit people talk, and a reputation for producing poor quality can take a long time to live down.

    Though with these particular animals, it may not be an issue, anyway. Rabbit does should not be bred before they are fully mature, which for the Rex would be at around 6 months of age. A doe loses condition when she raises a litter, so she needs to finish her show career before she is ever bred. Most does' fertility begins to decrease when they are 2-3 years old, and most are basically sterile by the time they are 4. While the fertility of the doe is more frequently an issue than that of the buck, older bucks are also less fertile, and a buck that is 5 to 6 years old may not be able to get a doe pregnant.

    You say you've been doing your research; that's great! You will find that there are certain details unique to each breed, some that you may only learn from others that work with that breed. Most breeders are eager to help a young newbie build a good herd, so finding good quality animals to work with shouldn't be hard. Good luck, and have fun!
     
  4. FeatherMtnFarms

    FeatherMtnFarms Songster

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    Thank you both SO much, I have already learned so much more! I'll get some pics here shortly!
     
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  5. FeatherMtnFarms

    FeatherMtnFarms Songster

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    I guess I do have one more question:
    As far as feeding what does everyone recommend or feed their show rabbits? How often? how much? I assume both hay and pellets? Any other supplements? - Specific to show rabbits, Thanks!
     
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  6. VerrücktesHuhn

    VerrücktesHuhn In the Brooder

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    My rabbits get manapro show and timothy hay.
    Both free choice.
    Always make sure the have fresh clean water. But you probably know that.
    But on the food, ask 10 different people, and you are likely to get a bunch of different answers, everyone swearing by what they feed.
    If your rabbits do well on what they eat, you don’t need to change.
    Otherwise experiment, and see what works best for your rabbits.
    Switch feeds slowly over 7-10 days, slowly increasing the amount of new food. (I never had issues switching - like if the feedstore was out of “my” regular feed, I switch straight from one to the other - but that is not usually recommended!;)
    And! Most expensive is not necessarily the best.
    They should be good on a complete rabbit feed and free choice hay, but:
    You can offer them some fresh fruit and veggies if you want to spoil them a bit.
    Careful though, too much can (doesn’t have to) cause diarrhea.
    Mine like a slice of apple, carrots/-tops (greens), strawberry, dandelion, clover/-flowers, blueberries, willow branches, kale, turnips/-greens, ...
    Stay away from lettuces, they are most likely to cause loose stools.
    Every rabbit can have a different taste.
    Give small amounts as treats, remove promptly, if they don’t eat it.
    Ok, gee - time for bed - way time!
    I’ll read over it tomorrow, and edit / add if I think of anything else.
    (Tired brain)
     
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  7. FeatherMtnFarms

    FeatherMtnFarms Songster

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    Thank you @VerrücktesHuhn:thumbsup, my mini rex right now gets purina bunny chow complete but that's cause we feed pretty much all our pets purina. We've had good luck with it and it makes things easier. Astrid is on a different feed from her breeder that I'll look at and see if I want to keep her on it or switch to Purina complete. We'll see what's best for her, just like all other animals, duh, now I feel kinda ridiculous, lol.:rolleyes:
     
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  8. NoFlyBackFarm

    NoFlyBackFarm Crowing

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    I recommend Rowe rabbit feed and I have a 2 mini rex castor females and are getting a castor male and black female breed at one year old.:bun:bun:bun:bun:bun:bun:bun:bun:bun:bun:bun:bun I also have Silverfoxes.
     
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