I’m not a blogger, or a writer, or even a big social media person; But, the passion I have for my rabbits allows me to make observations about my rabbits, my breeding and selection strategy and the path that I find myself on fairly detailed and profound. And honestly, the best way to learn is to hear others experiences. So here is my experiences and may someone find value in them in some way.
I went to my first show around August 2017. At the time, it was difficult for me to find high quality rabbits for sale because I knew no one in the show-rabbit community. I got what I could for stock when I could, but it wasn’t easy for sure. Little by little we grew. I showed my first home-bred rabbits in December 2017 - I wont Best Of Breed. Shocked by the win, I was then hooked.
The first year of breeding was a huge learning curve. With no mentor, I taught myself by spending a lot of time with my rabbits, posing them, and going to shows and listening to judges. Things started to click, but we still learn a lot to this day - and that’s sort of the mentality you have to take with you even through life. Nonetheless, our first year (or Chapter 1 if you will) was spent learning and replacing our original stock. Since I didn’t start out with very balanced, quality rabbits then it was up to me to make the best pairings I could based on strengths and weaknesses and then be very selective with which traits were the priority in the litters when evaluating. The original breeders out-produced themselves very quickly and I found myself retiring and breeding rabbits very young (6 months as opposed to the normal 10-12 months) because of the desire to make aggressive progressive. Along the way we picked up a few more breeders when we could (some nicer ones thankfully), but I got them based on very specific attributes that I knew my herd lacked.
The second year (Chapter 2) was spent taking my hodgepodge collection of rabbits (who had great strengths, but always huge faults) and attempting to bring up the average quality of each litter until I started producing consistently more balanced rabbits.
As of April 2019, I would say the average quality of my herd has exponentially gone up. Very few of my breeders are not home-bred, every single one is a Grand Champion, and I find myself having to be exceptionally picky about which traits take priority in litters. I would say, at this point in time, Ive entered Chapter 3 of my show-rabbit career.