Why do we keep at it? Guest Post

On the outside, raising rabbits looks like so much fun.   Cute fluffy bunnies and tiny babies to play with that bring home big big trophies and ribbons?  Oh boy!

But get into it, and the good times are punctuated with lots of trouble.  Rabbits are extra wonderful because they are living things — but living things, well, stop living sometimes.  In this world, life comes with death.  Winning comes with losing.  But we stick with it.  Why?  Guest poster Laurie Stroupe answers that question…

Rabbits ARE Addictive

If you took psychology 101, you may remember the schedules of reinforcement. If you get a reward for doing something, you continue to do it. Once the reward stops, you discontinue the behavior.

But there are different schedules of rewards. Sometimes you get a reward everytime you do something. When the rewards stop, you stop the behavior very quickly. If you put quarters into a soft drink machine and get a soft drink, you’ll put quarters in next time you want one. But if you put several quarters in with no drink, you’ll quickly stop.

But with a variable schedule of reward, sometimes you get a reward and sometimes you don’t. But when you get that reward, it’s so desirable that you keep trying for the next one. If you put quarters into a slot machine, you may not get a reward every time. But when you do, it’s very exciting. People put lots of quarters into slot machines with no wins, just hoping for the next time. It’s very addictive.

And so it is with rabbits. I’ve gotten emails from people who are discouraged. Perhaps they lost a littter. Perhaps nothing promising has come from their nest boxes in awhile. Perhaps they’ve had judging inconsistencies that are frustrating. They question why they even do this.

And then one day, they go to the barn, and “find” a very promising youngster. JACKPOT. All is forgotten and suddenly they are ready to go again.

Yup, it’s an addiction.