It is very important to keep records in your rabbitry, as without them you would not
know what rabbits are out of what, the date a doe is due, the age of the rabbit for
entering shows, etc.
For each rabbit you should have a complete 3 generation pedigree. This should
also include the weight and variety for each ancestor.
If you decide to get your rabbit registered with ARBA all of this must be complete,
and all rabbits on the pedigree must be of the same breed.
It’s best to buy rabbits that already have pedigrees, however if the rabbit does not
have one, start keeping track with the rabbits you already have. Just put the
information you have for your own rabbits when you breed them, and within a few
years your rabbits will have a complete pedigree. None of the original rabbit’s
offspring will be registerable until the full pedigree is complete.
Having a breeding record for each doe makes it easier to keep track of whose
pregnant or not. You can keep this with the doe’s pedigree, and when selling the
doe the breeding record will go with her.
At the top the breeding record should have the doe’s name and tattoo number, her
breed and variety.
Then it should have a column for each of the following:
Buck bred to
Under comments you can put any little extra notes you want on the rabbit such as
if she had them in the box or on the wire, picked enough fur or not, took on any
foster babies, etc.
On pedigrees, they have a place for you to put the winnings of the rabbit. When
buying a rabbit, it’s nice to look at the pedigree to see how the rabbit and/or it’s
ancestors have done in shows, which is why it’s nice to keep show records. This
also let’s you see whose pulling their weight or not on the show table.
Remember, don’t let all your cuts on your rabbits be based on what the judge
says as everyone has a different opinion.
Sale & Buy Records-
When you buy cages, feed, supplies, sell rabbits, etc it’s best to keep track of all of
this. This will also show you how much money you’re making or losing with
rabbits (note- there’s no profit in rabbits ;).
If you’re in 4-H you’re most likely already keeping these records plus more in your
4-H Record Books. In addition to what’s listed on here, other stuff in 4-H record
books will include:
Calendar of 4-H meetings, shows, and other 4-H events, which you’ll put a check
mark next to what you attend.
What you want to learn this year, and what you want your leader and
parent/guardian to help you learn.
Project Journal, which is to include how much you spend or earn with your project,
and how much time you spent with your project.
Photos of your project.
Project Highlights, which is to include what you have learn this year, problems and
successes with it, and what to do differently the next time.
In Washington State, 4-H kids who keep record books can get a 4-H scholarship
to Washington State University.
Ethics of Pedigrees-
When first starting out some people change the surname on the pedigrees of
rabbits that they buy. The surname is to be of the breeder who bred the rabbit, not
who currently owns the rabbit and should not be changed. The surname would be
Smith’s in “Smith’s Bob”, Bob being the rabbit’s call name. Unless the breeder
says otherwise, it’s best to leave the call name as is on the pedigree. You can
name the rabbit whatever you want, but the pedigree should not be changed.
If you buy a rabbit where on the pedigree the place for the name of the rabbit is
blank, if you know the breeder’s surname put it in there along with the name you
gave the rabbit. If you don’t know it, just put the rabbit’s name there. Do not put
your surname, as that will be dishonest as you did not breed the animal.
Sometimes you might buy a rabbit where it just says “Smith’s” with no name for
the rabbit. You can fill in what you name the rabbit after the surname.
If you have a website, make sure to include the breeder’s surname on it where
you have the rabbit’s name. When people come to your site, they want to know
who your rabbits are out of.
Now a days, to make things more easier, there are pedigree programs which do
most of the work mentioned above for you. There are a few different ones. I have
used Evans, and can not believe I went 10 years without using a program. It
makes everything so much easier. Plus, with Evans, if you have any problems,
they are very quick to get back to you.
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