When I was 9 my parents moved us to “the country.” My aunt felt I needed a farm animal and that is how BR (Bunny Rabbit) the Red Satin came into my life. For better or worse, BR did very well at the county fair that year, and for the next decade plus, my father became obsessed with breeding the best rabbits we could. I joined 4-H and then The American Rabbit Breeders Association. We traveled the country competing at shows, even National shows. When I went away to college, I thought my rabbit days were behind me. My father sold all of our rabbits and life went on.
Life went on that is till I had children of my own, and one of them got a pet rabbit. It’s just pet, right? Wrong! Last year we had signed my son up for 4-H Clover Buds (4-H for littler kids) and he had taken crafts to the county fair. We had also signed him up this year to do poultry, so he asked “can you do rabbits in 4-H too?” Ummmm, Uh oh. I started having flash backs, both good and bad. So I explained that yes, they have rabbit shows, just like dog shows. Of course to a almost 7 year old, what I said and what he heard were two very different things!
His mind went directly to a video we had watch on the Canadian Rabbit Hopping club……
Ummmm…. Sorry son, that is NOT what an American rabbit show looks like. Though it does look like a fun sport we rabbit people South of the boarder should look into!!!! So how was I to explain it all to my son? It was just my luck there was a 4-H rabbit show that very weekend! So off we went to show him what an American rabbit show was all about.
When we arrived at the building and walked it, we quickly noticed via smell, there was more then a rabbit show going on there! If you spend any time in farm country your nose becomes attune to the different smells livestock give off. What we smelled was definitely of the swine persuasion. And so we started our visit with a little look see at all the wonderful pigs. We also picked up some educational materials on the pork industry. And NO, we will NOT be getting a pig!
Once we finished looking at all the pigs it was time to go visit the rabbit show. For a 4-H show it was very busy! We perused all the vendors and picked up some Timothy hay for our PET rabbit, Steve. We then wandered around looking at all the cages filled with ever breed under the sun. For being out of the rabbit game for almost two decades, all my knowledge of breeds was still there. But there was one breed that caught the eye and hearts of all the men in my family, the Flemish Giant. Because we need a rabbit as big as our youngest!
After checking out all the rabbits, I took my son over to one of the judging tables and explained to him how it all worked. It may not have been the Canadian Rabbit Hopping Club, but my son was hooked. By the time we left he was BEGGING for a show quality Flemish Giant.
I really hope this is a passing phase, but I am pretty sure I better start looking for a breeder with Blue Flemish Giants, because they are just every where, not! LOL Why does my child always have to pick something that is hard to find. I do make this promise and I expect you all to hold me to it…. If we get him a show rabbit, it will be one and only one! There will be no breeding, no empire of glory, no cross country road trips. Just one rabbit, one!