|Announcement! If you are a youth member studying for the 2013 ARBA Convention, we are having an online group quiz/study night on every Sunday evening leading up to Convention. Dates are Sept 22, Oct 5, and Oct 13. Anyone is welcome. The place is https://rabbitsmarties.com/quizroom.html. Contact me if you have any questions.|
It’s mid-March. The snow has melted in some places; not in others. The rabbits are threatening to molt, and we’re gearing up for our breed national shows. The ARBA convention seems like a long way away…
But already breedings are being planned for convention juniors, and junior rabbit breeders are preparing for the ARBA youth contests. Tryouts for rabbit breed ID and judging teams will be held soon: if you’re a youth member, are you planning to represent your state or district on a team this year? Joining a team is a great way to get to know other kids and add some extra fun to your convention experience. If you don’t know who is organizing the teams in your area, contact your ARBA district director. Don’t delay! Teams in some areas are already forming.
If you are preparing for the big contests, here’s a quick list of rabbit and cavy breed identification study tips that you might find useful.
- Rabbit Breed ID Flashcards. You can make your own or download them from RabbitSmarties.com! Click here to download some flash cards. Click here to download a breed / variety ID practice sheet. More will be added every month.
- Read More!
- Browse rabbitry websites. Guess the varieties of the rabbits you see. Breeders will usually list the registration variety next to the rabbit, but you have to look up the answer to the showroom classification in your 2011 Standard of Perfection. Only makes for better rabbit breed identification practice. 🙂
- Have a practice contest at your club meeting. Each of your members can bring one or two rabbits in carriers and write the identification information on an index card. Place the index card face down in front of each rabbit so members can guess and see if they are right.
- A common “practice” is to walk around the showroom identifying breeds and varieties. But here’s the tip: take both your Standard and an experienced breeder along with you. Breeders do their best but frankly, nobody is always right. And the Standard isn’t very helpful sometimes unless you have someone to explain it. You’ll learn best with both companions.
- Identify rabbit breeds and colors any time you see a bunny photo. Try the Domestic Rabbits magazine, for instance.
- Study the list of recognized varieties for each breed till you can recite them from memory. Trust me, it’s worth it. I did it the year I won breed ID at convention. This way you will remember that, for instance, seal isn’t recognized in Netherland Dwarfs: that must just be a faded black. Also you will remember the exact name for each color in the cases where it varies from breed to breed. (Like chestnut is called “gray” in Dutch.)
- Check out our book, The Youth Rabbit Project Study Guide! This publication has a large breed ID section, as well as a multitude of other tips for success in rabbit youth contests.
Good luck at the tryouts!