Rabbit shows are conducted for many of the same reasons as stock shows and dog and cat shows. Curriculum usually includes judging for meat production, best pelt, and for the rabbit fanciers, the best looking - best developed rabbit.
The first rabbit show was conducted in Europe in the middle 1820’s where judging was mainly for meat and pelts. The United States saw its first rabbit show in Grand Rapids Michigan in 1917. Though many of the rabbit breeders today concentrate on the “perfect” rabbit and treat their animals as just another stock animal, there are still many 4-H youngsters breeding, raising and showing their rabbits at some of the shows that include love in the raising and showing of their furry friends.
4-H was created in the 1800’s in an effort to introduce new agricultural technologies to youths. The rabbit 4-H curriculum gives these youngsters guidelines for practical hands-on learning with training in areas including rabbit parts, breeding, and cost and care of rabbits. Part of this training also seems to instill love of the furry creatures.
I had a chance to attend a 4-H rabbit show this month in Adams County Colorado. Many of the parents happily gave their permission for me to take pictures of their children with the rabbits in order to demonstrate this love. One of my previous articles talked about mean rabbits. The article said that love and attention is the cure for a mean bunny. I had the pleasure of talking to a 4-H teen at this show who told me about a bunny she took in from someone that she knew who told her the rabbit was mean. She gave this bunny love and attention and said that within 2 days, it became one of the sweetest bunny’s she ever raised.
If you have a chance to attend a show with 4-H participants, look at the faces and actions of these youngsters and their parents as they prepare their rabbits for judging. The love and joy of owning a bunny shines from their eyes as they give personalized attention to each and every rabbit they have. View the slide show to see the love that these youths and parents give to their charges.