Brothers Have Fun Raising Rabbits

By Brandon Knoll, Age 14, and Blaine Knoll, Age 12, Country Bunch 4-H Club

We are brothers and we raise, breed, and show rabbits in 4-H and ARBA (American Rabbit Breeders Association) shows.  We raise Tans, Jersey Wooleys, Florida Whites, and Californians.

Blaine Shows His Rabbits

We have learned a lot from raising and showing our rabbits.  We have learned responsibility, how to recognize food qualities of a show rabbit and how to teach people about rabbits. Our rabbits need to be taken care of no matter what climate or how we feel.  Jersey Wooleys need to be brushed and all breeds’ nails need to be trimmed.  Rabbits are used for pets, meat, show, wool production, and to do agility and jumping courses.  We have had to learn how to make and repair cages, make toys for them to entertain themselves, and make nesting boxes.  Listening to the judges and fellow breeders has helped us to know what to breed and look for when we purchase new rabbits.

We have both given 4-H public presentations about our rabbits and have been selected to advance to the district level.  We have also presented our rabbis to judges for showmanship at 4-H and ARBA shows.   At the 2010 Steuben County Fair, Brandon won Jr. Showmanship out of 19 members and after a rare situation of breaking an eight way tie for 1st place.  He also won Best meat rabbit at the 2010 Steuben County Fair. Blaine won Best of Breed and Best of Show with my tan at the 2010 Steuben County Fair and Reserve in Show at the 2009 and 2010 NYS Fair 4-H Rabbit Show.  We have had many Best of Breed wins in youth, some best in shows, and reserve in shows.

Showing rabbits has allowed us to travel around NY, PA, OH, and in November 2010 we took some of our tans to Minneapolis, MN in which we won Best Opposite Sex of Bred (BOSB) in youth tans.  We received plaques for 1st place blue points, 1st place black points, and Highest Overall Points in Youth Tans for 2010.  We were able to sell some of our rabbits to pay for this trip.

Brandon wins 1st place in Sr. Showmanship

We have met many people and made lots of friends while showing our rabbits.  Raising rabbits has been fun and very educational.  It is not easy but worth the work.

For more information about the 4-H Rabbit Programs please visit http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/4H/rabbits/index.html   You may also be interested in viewing the American Rabbit Breeders website at www.arba.net or the New York Rabbit and Cavy Breeders Association website at http://www.nyrcba.com

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