This year is going to be filled with learning and fun. I am excited to be doing the program this year. We will have our Sunday showmanship competition in the Rosa arena and the breed/market on Monday also in the Rosa. We will also be able to have our skill-a-thon on Wednesday afternoon so I hope you will join us for the fun. There will be a sign up posted in the rabbit barn. The times will be posted in the rabbit barn during fair week.
For those of you doing Market rabbits, the date to have your animal bred for the 70 day olds at fair will be the end of May.
Possession date of all rabbits should be by the 1 of May. The rabbits and cavy for this program need to be a recognized breed from the ARBA association. A list of the Recognized breeds can be found on the ARBA website. If you have any problems please give me a call.
Below is a form that I need to have filled out by everyone who is in the rabbit and cavy program. Each rabbit and cavy must have a ear tag in order to be shown at the fair. So I can map out cage space for your club and your animal please fill it out and return it to me by July 1. If I do not have this information I might place your large rabbit into a cage that may be too small.
With this crazy spring weather please watch your rabbits for any sickness that it may get. It is important to keep your rabbit well. The weather does not help when it is 50 degrees one day and 30 the next. Also watch for sore hocks. I have visited a couple of 4H groups and have seen the starts of the sore hocks on a couple of the animals. One indicator to watch for is the start of missing hair on the hock and the skin looking pink. Now is the time to make sure it is taken care of. Place a board for the rabbit to sit on if they are on wire or if they sit on the shavings make sure they stay clean. I am looking forward to a great year and meeting everyone.
THURSDAY AND FRIDAY Decorate and prepare pens with sawdust. Give your rabbit or cavy a good bath before coming to the Fairgrounds. SATURDAY Bring your animal to the Fairgrounds. Check in is in the Parking lot in front of the main entrance. NO RABBIT OR CAVY PERMITTED TO ENTER THE GROUNDS WITHOUT BEING CHECKED FIRST NO ANIMALS THAT ARE NOT TAGGED WILL BE ALLOWED TO ENTER Attend mandatory Barn Meeting Attend mandatory Meeting in Grandstands.
SUNDAY Green/White Market Card must be up in your pen. Be ready for showmanship at 830am Back tags will be available in the Rosa Arena Know your class and watch the board in the arena Sunday is all about you and your knowledge of your project. Be sure your rabbit and cavy are clean for breed judging on Monday
MONDAY It’s all about your rabbit and cavy breed day. This will be in the Rosa arena
WEDNESDAY Rabbit quiz bowl. Come join us for fun and prizes
THURSDAY AUCTION DAY
Remember to thank your buyer after you put your rabbits away. A small gift and thank you card can be given to your buyer. GREEN /WHITE MARKET CARD--add your buyer and price per lb. Sit in the arena and cheer on your friends.
SATURDAY Leaders Only--You may pick up your market papers in the back of the barn.
SUNDAY Before you can be checked out by me. Clean all hair and food and poop off cages Clean and sweep under the cages
Tips and Suggestions: About a week or two before fair start them all on electrolytes, just a very small amount at first, then increase it about every other day. They should be almost to a half & half mix by the time fair is here. This is only a suggestion but will help with stress.
Use a fan to cool off the barn. You may want to try ice bottles if it gets really hot. They don’t have to lay on the bottles, if they are near them it will help cool them down.
Flies & bugs can be kept at bay by using fly strips. They also have sprays available that can be used for small animals. Be sure to check the label before using them!
Start handling your rabbits & cavies now. They need to get used to being put in different positions. The more you handle them the easier it will be to do showmanship later. Practice turning them over.
Things you may need to bring the fair: Wheelbarrows Rakes Shovels Extra Feeders & Waters Extra Feed (in case you spill some) Scissors Tape Markers, Pens, & Pencils Staple Guns & Staples Hammers (and anything else you can think of that you may need)
We are looking forward to seeing all of you at the fair this year, we plan on having all kinds of fun! Keep Smiling!!!
Breeding Time Breeding time is right around the corner. It’s time to check over all your bucks and does that you plan on for breeding this summer. Are they healthy, are their nails all trimmed, are they clean? Are their cages clean? What you use for breeding stock is the foundation of your entire stock.
Make sure all feeders & waters are clean.
Start counting day. Are you ready?
Did you check & make sure all your next boxes are clean and in good repair? Do you have enough straw?
Make sure you check your does regularly, remove any & all dead kits, this is very important for the health of the entire litter & the does.
Make sure the doe pulled enough fur to cover her litter. Even if it’s hot the kits need this covering. As the kits get older they are more active.
Here are some more tips.
The main focus should be on the health of your breeding stock, Bucks and Does.
You will have problems with your breeding stock if they are unhealthy to begin with.
Check them all over carefully They should all be in quality condition.
For those with Market Projects your Does should all be in possession on May 1st, with a breeding Buck close at hand.
Making sure that your Rabbits have the correct amount of daylight, either artificially or naturally.
These precautions should be followed for those who wish to Breed for Fair. Remember that kits must be 8 weeks or older for Fair.
Check all nest boxes, making sure they are clean and sanitary. Have a supply of clean. Straw for the boxes before the Does kindle.
Keep your eyes on all your Does that are bred. If they are bred for the first time especially. Some does go by the book, others don't. Just be aware of any quirks.
Watch their diet, they should not be given extra treats or food because they may be expecting a litter. Either before or directly after. Gradually add extra food as the Does are producing milk. Clean water always.
Check nest boxes each day for any dead kits and remove them. Leave the rest alone, they do not need to be handled after birth. Let the Does take care of them. Your job is to keep the nest box as clean as possible. Let the Mom raise the litter.
You may need extra information check the ARBA or the Michigan branch. MSRBA. Check you local Library.