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How do you choose a rabbit for a child?

How to help your child get the most from a pet rabbit.
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How do you choose a rabbit for a child?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Anntann » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:42 pm


I do NOT have children, but I foresee selling to 4-H people, (the angoras in particular) and to pet homes. How do you work with a child on how to care for this living creature? Do you work with the parents first? Do you just sell the rabbit with a "care and feeding" guide and that's it? I've been thinking about this lately, and it has me stumped.

Some re-homing sites have a written out guidelines that the adopting/purchasing person has to sign...an agreement about how they'll raise the bun, but that's always left me kind of cold.....but I do want to know that the little girl who is SOOOO enamoured of my sweet rabbit is going to take care of him...

thoughts? suggestions?

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Re: How do you choose a rabbit for a child?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby AprilW » Sat Dec 26, 2009 7:44 pm


I talk to the parents first. They have to realize that if their child doesn't assume responsibility for the rabbit, they have to do it. Ultimately its the parents' responsibility that the rabbit is cared for. I never sell a rabbit to anyone under 18 without parental consent. I go over basic care with the entire family and send them with a care packet.
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Re: How do you choose a rabbit for a child?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby ladysown » Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:09 pm


with angora's I'd start with all the reasons NOT to get this bunny.
Emphasize (over emphasize actually) the need for grooming and what happens if you don't groom them out well. Can you get pictures of matted bunnies?
I'd give a tutorial.
I'd make them stay as long as possible so you can verbally give them all the information they need, AND to sound them out a bit. Some pet people are ...umm...not sure how to say this nicely...less than intelligent? ill-informed? so you want to find out just what type of person you are dealing with. Helps you decide if you will or will not sell to them.
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Re: How do you choose a rabbit for a child?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Anntann » Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:30 pm


ah yes...pictures of matts. I bet I could get some nice ones from Brody when she gets in some of the poor things for re-homing.

and the ill-informed...yes. How many people get rabbits because they're CUTE and won't be any trouble? sigh.

thanks :)

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Re: How do you choose a rabbit for a child?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Brody » Sat Dec 26, 2009 10:36 pm


I so SHOULD have thought to take a picture of Puff Daddy or Niobe when they came in .. - he'd be the picture to scare anybody off angoras ...

I hate placng animals "for children" parents think the kids will do all the work -I know they rarely do .. (experience is a hard teacher) for 4-H I'd worry less about the short term than the long term but still an issue for sure ....
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Re: How do you choose a rabbit for a child?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby rabbitgeek » Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:43 pm


As a 4H rabbit project leader, I steer children AWAY from Angoras.

Here is my standard spiel

Rabbit Breeds for Beginners

Welcome to the group.

Are you planning to raise meat rabbits? Are you looking for strictly for show? I'm glad you are asking now because the first rabbit you buy will likely be with you for its whole life.

For meat pen rabbits, see my website with meat pen info
http://www.rabbitgeek.com/meatpennotes.html

For "fancy" rabbits strictly for show this is my suggestion for new members or beginner:

Netherland Dwarf - Lots of competition, but because the dwarfs can compete for first place in dozens of colors and groups, there is a lot of chances to win a blue ribbon. Small rabbit, small cages, small feed bill.

Polish - Many of the same advantages, not as much competition.

The prices for ND and Polish rabbits are not terribly high. We've even found good rabbits in these breeds in the raffles. Our first showbunny was a Ruby Eyed White Netherland Dwarf we bought in a feed store. He often won first place as a REW Sr Buck.

Stick with solid color ND & Polish, not the broken pattern markings which can be a problem at times.

We had good luck with Dutch, but the marking requirements can be very frustrating for a beginner so avoid them the first year or two.

I would avoid Holland Lops. They are very popular, very cute but in show there is a limited number of colors to show in. At shows there are literally hundreds of rabbits competing for a small number of first place ribbons. Because of the popularity and the intense competition, the prices for Holland Lops is much higher than for other breeds.

It can be very frustrating for children to be told their rabbit won 10th place out of 27 rabbits.

I would also avoid Lionheads. While they are definitely a popular breed, as a showbunny they are not officially accepted in the ARBA Standard. So this means that from year to year, your rabbit may or may not be showable because of color or they may change the working standard and now your rabbit has too much wool on the flanks or not enough wool on the head. So beginners should avoid Lionheads. It also means that Best Of Breed Lionhead cannot compete for Best In Show in an ARBA show. That will not go over well when you have to tell the kid all the other kid's Best of Breed can go to the Best In Show table, but not theirs.

Himalayan - Another kid friendly breed is the Himalayan. Small and generally docile they are easy to handle. 4 different recognized colors give some flexibility for competition.
http://www.rabbitandcavydirectory.com/B ... escription

If you shop for rabbits at a rabbit show, before you buy, ask if you can take the rabbit around to get opinions on it. Sometimes you can catch a rabbit judge taking a break and ask if the rabbit has any disqualifications on it. Judges usually try to be helpful to beginners and will give you a good assessment.

Also, I don't expect people to sell me a rabbit guaranteed to win rabbit shows. I want one that will not be disqualified in show.

Rabbit should have a tattoo in the left ear and the tattoo should match the pedigree.

Get the pedigree at time of sale. Be sure the pedigree is SIGNED and has all the weights written in. There are hundreds of people who were told the pedigree would be mailed and it never was. No pedigree, no sale, walk away. If the seller really wanted to sell the rabbit, they should have brought the pedigree.

Having a pedigree is not required to show, but is required to register the rabbit with ARBA and to apply for Grand Champion for a winning rabbit. ARBA membership is also required to register a rabbit or apply for Grand Champion certificate.

Having a pedigree solves a lot of issues if you decide to breed the rabbit. Pedigree also makes it easier to sell or trade the rabbit if you decide to.

Above is my standard spiel on rabbits for beginners.

It's just my opinion. Your mileage may vary.

Have a good day!
Franco Rios
Rancho Cordova 4H Club
Sacramento County, Calif

The following user would like to thank rabbitgeek for this post
Brody

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Re: How do you choose a rabbit for a child?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Anntann » Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:40 am


Wow, Franco, that would cover every situation I can think of. Thank you! :)

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Re: How do you choose a rabbit for a child?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby ZohBug » Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:40 pm


May I just add my $0.02 as a parent? With regard to Angoras in particular since I'm currently in the market for fiber rabbits, I wouldn't buy one for my child who is almost 8yo and in 4-H, nor would I buy one for most of the kids I know even though we know a lot of "farm kids" and other kids who are very interested and experienced with animals. Why? The parents just aren't that into the level of care that a small fiber animal such as a rabbit would need. My daughter would do just fine by herself with a "regular" rabbit, but if it weren't for my own personal interest -- in addition to hers -- in a fiber rabbit, it'd be a no go. Most of these kids are very sweet, caring, loving children who do just fine with chickens, goats, and such, but the poor bunnies would be all matted and forlorn looking in a matter of months! In our particular case though, I am a fiber junkie and my daughter learned how to spin and felt last summer so we both have a vested interest in taking care of a fiber rabbit. I really see it as a joint parent-child venture.

I have friends who are good people ... really ... but they haven't managed to have their llamas sheared in well over a year. In that time, they've also lost a few smaller pets and have had goats run off of their 3 acre property several times. But they keep buying pets over and over again because their kids want them. Animals aren't disposable and it takes an interest and investment for the adult and child and with a "special interest" breed like a fiber rabbit, it helps if both the parent and child have an investment in the product. Like both my daughter and I being interested in the fiber! :D I'd be inclined to steer them toward a different type of rabbit unless they had a particular interest in something beyond the "cute" factor and ask them what their interest was in the fiber in particular and see if they had plans for it. If they're knitters, spinners, weavers, etc. then go for it. Even if they plan on harvesting it and selling it, then sure, but if it's all about the cuteness, I'd be hesitant because they might not take care of it.

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Re: How do you choose a rabbit for a child?

Post Number:#9  Unread postby Anntann » Fri Jan 01, 2010 7:23 pm


Good points and good evidence, ZohBug :) Thank you.

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Re: How do you choose a rabbit for a child?

Post Number:#10  Unread postby Frosted Rabbits » Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:28 am


Anntann
Show all potential buyers for a child's rabbit the ADULT sized variety as well as any scars you may have that are a result of nails and teeth!!! I took in a rabbit about a year ago-- the kids won it at a raffle at the county fair..so , they took home a small, cute bunny, and dropped at my place, a very large, hormonal(aggressive) NZW. I showed the parents right off WHY the rabbit was attacking the girls-- and promptly dropped her in a cage slated to go to an Amish farm that wanted another working doe.I got a very nice cage, feed and some bedding out of this-and an Amish boy got a doe willing to work.

If the child cannot handle an adult sized version, the rabbit will be too large in a few months. If the child is afraid to handle a young rabbit because of it's kicking/scratching, then chances are the rabbit will become unwanted-- a victim of lack of proper socialization.
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Re: How do you choose a rabbit for a child?

Post Number:#11  Unread postby Jack » Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:42 pm


A rabbit can be a wonderful pet...
and they can be a stinky nightmare stuck in a back corner
I Hope all of mine that go to be petted are the first

Rabbit geek got it
Show the adult size and make sure they have a reason for the rabbit, a goal.
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Re: How do you choose a rabbit for a child?

Post Number:#12  Unread postby PulpFaction » Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:55 pm


I was SO into my rabbits as a kid, spent a ton of time with them, but in retrospect, I REALLY wish I had not started with fuzzy lops. I just didn't have enough time for all the activities that go with being a child to keep their grooming in top order in addition to the other regular care and chores. If I hadn't drifted into other breeds, the fancy would have lost me early on. That's not what we're aiming for here, right? LOL

Even now as a working adult with a full time job, I feel the same. My rabbits would have to be my only hobby in order for me to keep the number I have now, except with hair, and still be competitive on the show table.

Also why I no longer keep, breed or show Bearded Collies!
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Re: How do you choose a rabbit for a child?

Post Number:#13  Unread postby curlysue » Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:24 am


Breeds i reccomend for a child minilop,fuzzy lop,Holland lop,Jersey woolie ,mini rex,Polish,Netherland dwarf,himilayan and Dutch.I know some are going too say no way jersey woolies have long hair.jersey woolies with the correct wool rarely matt,ours where only brushed once a month.they dont have the fine wool that mats easily.

__________ Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:24 pm __________

Breeds i reccomend for a child minilop,fuzzy lop,Holland lop,Jersey woolie ,mini rex,Polish,Netherland dwarf,himilayan and Dutch.I know some are going too say no way jersey woolies have long hair.jersey woolies with the correct wool rarely matt,ours where only brushed once a month.they dont have the fine wool that mats easily.

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Re: How do you choose a rabbit for a child?

Post Number:#14  Unread postby PulpFaction » Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:29 pm


I recommend Thriantas. :)
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Re: How do you choose a rabbit for a child?

Post Number:#15  Unread postby Shara » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:32 pm


I think it depends on the kids and their age. For my boy, bigger IS better. Harder to hurt, because he is very rough on accident. On the other hand, at his age, they are not HIS rabbits. He just pets them.
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