Starting with Rabbits...Lionheads. First show this weekend!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by NellaBean, May 11, 2011.

  1. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

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    I have a cute little neutered pet bunny....lionhead mix male named Monroe. I have decided that it would be neat to try my hand at rabbit showing/breeding. There is a local rabbit show this weekend.....where I plan to go and try to find a nice pair to start with. I don't plan on breeding now......just starting to work with them and start showing.

    I have narrowed down the choices a bit.

    I don't want any of the SUPER COMPETITIVE and slightly intimidating breeds, such as the Rex, Holland Lops or Netherland Dwarfs.

    Just going off the ARBA website I have narrowed it down to:

    American Sable
    Champagne d'Argent
    Checkered Giant
    Flemish Giant
    Silver Marten
    Rhinelander

    I really like the Rhinelander and Champagne d'Argent. American Sable is probably bottom of my list. I like both of the Giant breeds, although the Checkered sound a little high strung. Silver Marten? Well, they're just pretty [​IMG]


    I am hoping for a very small "operation". Mostly me with a pair or trio of bunnies, hitting up a the shows to learn and maybe breeding a litter once the weather cools off.

    I do not like really high strung rabbits. I had a blue rex doe that I rehomed recently because she was a bit too crazy for me. I like my sweet and friendly little Lionhead mix guy's personality.


    Any input on this?
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  2. SlowMoneyFarm

    SlowMoneyFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Checkereds are a bit of a challenge - it's their appeal for those who like them. Have heard mixed things about Rhinelanders and Champagnes. There was a gal east of Nashville with some sables she was selling but it's been a couple months ago. Some of these, being rare breeds, may not be at the shows. There's also the ARBA national convention this fall in Indianapolis...for the rare breeds that's the best place to find some of them. I have giant chinchillas and love 'em!
     
  3. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    Flemish are probably the most laid back on average on that list. They take a little extra cage building and attention due to their size though. Champagnes are about average. The person I got mine from switched to them because aside from flemish the other large breeds he'd been raising were more high strung and harder to handle. I got his best stock because he then decided to just raise the flemish and mini rex for the kids. If you like the giant breeds you might also find giant chinchillas interesting and I'm told all the chinchilla breeds have great personalities.
     
  4. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

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    I will be building my own cages and can modify to fit any size needed, so that is no problem. I currently have my "pet bunny" in a tractor....with a 2x4 indoor area for nighttime and a 4x6 area he gets to run around in during the day, where he can eat grass and weeds and enjoy himself. And he is only a little lionhead mix, so he has more than enough space.

    Considering making 2 rows of 3x6 hutches. With a removable divider to split them in half. So it will be four hutches that are 3x3 or can have the divider removed to make 2 hutches that are 3x6. I think that would fit any breed.

    I really like the champagnes. The Rhinelander are so flashy, it might be neat to have even just as an extra single to bring to shows only.

    There is a big show in Lenoir City, TN this weekend......so I am going to go down there and see all of the bunnies in person to see which breeds catch my eye. But wanted to get as much info beforehand so I dont make a bad decision.
     
  5. RabbitMage

    RabbitMage Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't called Rhinelanders high strung, but be aware they are very smart and pretty active. They're generally more mellow than my Tans, but not too far off temperament-wise. I loved them, though.

    They can be pretty challenging because of the markings, though. You'll end up with a lot of non-showable kits that you'll need to come up with an outlet for. Several of the Rhinelander breeders I know process their culls and tan the hides and have some lovely pelts to show for their efforts.

    If you don't like high strung, you're going to want to avoid the Checkereds.

    Silver Martens are great rabbits, very gentle in my experience.
     
  6. DuckLover179

    DuckLover179 Waddles & Puddles

    Nov 28, 2010
    California
    In my experience, Checkered Giants are VERY high strung, and aggressive (My friend owns one, and she can't even stick her hand in the cage without getting severely attacked!). I LOVE Rhinelander's, and Flemish Giants, though. So for a good, relaxed, laid back breed I would go with Flemish giants. I actually haven't heard anything negative things about flemish giants, so they would be a great breed to show.

    (This is besides the topic, but if you ever want to bring your bunnies inside, I make rabbit diapers! [​IMG])
     
  7. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

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    My bunny was an indoor bunny for a good 8 months before moving outside. He is fully litterbox trained.....but SO MUCH happier outside.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

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    Okay, so of my original list.

    American Sable
    Champagne d'Argent
    Checkered Giant - high strung and hard to handle
    Flemish Giant - mellow but huge
    Silver Marten - mellow
    Rhinelander - difficult to breed showable kits because of markings

    I guess that will take Checkered giants out of the running. If I was going for a giant, I will stay with flemish then.

    Rhinelander are still in the running.
    Champagne d'Argent still in the running
    Silver Marten are still in the running.

    Size wise, how do those three compare?
     
  9. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    They are all pretty close. Max weight is
    Champagne 12lbs
    Rhinelander 10lbs
    silver marten 9 1/2lbs

    Rhinelander's are classified a full arch but are slightly unique in their body type. You will probably need to spend plenty of time talking to breeders to learn their details. Silver Marten and Champagne are a commercial type based off what an ideal meat rabbit would look like and pretty easy to learn. There are guides on the internet that cover how to judge the commercial or their smaller cousins the compacts and any breeder should be able to quickly cover the basics.
     
  10. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would like to get a Flemish someday myself for their size and temperament. My favorite though would be what your little guy is partly composed of; the English angora (love the germans too). They are high maintenance though, especially for showing.
     

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