Purchasing Rabbits & Pricing Tips

Pricing your sale rabbits can be tricky and can vary greatly based on your breed and location. It can also vary depending on where the rabbit is sold. Prices at the national shows are much higher, partly to cover the cost of transporting the rabbit, but also people tend to lose their head and want to buy the most expensive rabbit, thinking it must be the best. While this is not always the case, I do want to remind everyone that generally you get what you pay for, especially on the local level.
At the Cal State convention this past weekend like usual we had lots of 4-H’ers looking for their project rabbit. First, let me make a recommendation to 4-H’ers, do your research ahead of time, and contact breeders who have rabbits you are interested in before the show. This will enable you to get exactly what you are looking for, rather than settling for what’s available. Many 4-H’ers show up just looking to buy a rabbit and buy what they think is cute, which is fine but if you haven’t done your homework on that breed, how do you know you are buying a quality rabbit? Let’s go over an example from this past weekend. I had already sold the juniors I planned on selling, but this family asked if I had anymore, and so I reluctantly pulled out another junior. I told them his price was $45, but I give a $5 discount to 4-H’ers. The mother was a bit shocked and stated that was what she was planning on paying for two rabbits, as she had 2 sons and others had already offered them 4-H rabbits at that price. They left and I felt really badly for the boys as mom was going to go buy the $20 rabbits. I can’t state for sure, but I’ll bet these were someone’s culls that they were willing to sell for $20. Remember you get what you pay for most of the time. Personally, I do not think it’s right to sell culls to 4-H’ers. I don’t sell a rabbit unless I’m willing to show it myself, and therefore I’m not willing to accept “pet store” prices for rabbits I worked hard to raise and breed to higher level.
So to help you in your pricing and purchasing efforts, here’s how I price my animals. I start all show stock at $45. I add $5 for each leg the rabbit has won. As stated I also give a $5 discount to 4-H. This may not seem like a lot, but I think my rabbits are priced more than fairly. I know a breeder who prices his 8 week old rabbits for more than what I sell a grand champion for because of “his name”. Breeding stock is a little different and depends on how much breeding life the animal has left. Brood does are usually in the $30 to $50 range. Herd bucks are usually more as you can get much more offspring from a buck, even an older one. I do occasionally sell young 8 week old rabbits and I price them about $35, as they are a gamble really, as to what they will turn out to be. I feel it’s important to sell rabbits at decent, affordable prices as the more players we have in the game, the more it helps the whole hobby. But one must remember that not all rabbits are created equal and price should reflect that.

Cal State Convention Show Report

Well, 2013 Cal State Convention is in the history books and was quite the success! For the show and me personally. Lol.

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Saturday wasn’t too spectacular show wise, though I did get a few polish juniors sold. Expect an article this week on pricing and 4-H rabbits. Things started picking up though, after a great dinner out with friends. And Sunday went great for me, LDR’s Skipper won another Best of Breed bring him up to 11 legs, I think. I also think my steel junior buck took a BOSV for his first leg. Sadly, I don’t remember much more than that. I didn’t have a lot of dutch to show anyways. Can’t wait for the babies to grow up! My broken Polish did really well on Sunday too. In the specialty LDR’s Wynona beat out lots of nice does to win her second leg with a BOV and a super cute new junior buck LDR’s Spiderman won the BOSV. I think they repeated these wins in both show C and D too. My Choc buck LDR’s Hershey won several BOSV’s on Sunday too. I sold a few more rabbits and got to spend lots of time catching up with friends. That’s why they say, “even a bad day at a bunny show beats a good day at the office”, ain’t that the truth.

More Nestbox News

Spring is definitely in the air here in beautiful California! We are having lovely 70 degree days, the flowers are already starting to bloom and the fur was flying this morning, lol. Love it! I had four does due, and my blue polish doe LDR’s Pixie surprised me with an early Valentine’s gift yesterday. She had 3 lovely little blues sired by Sypneski’s Grover. Both parents are granded so I have high hopes for these little guys. I’m particularly happy too, as Pixie is a tiny 2lb doe and I was worried she may not produce well.

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This morning all three of my dutch does were kindling. My gray doe, Schmall’s KPL had 2 grays, 1 opal and 5 steels for a total of 8 sired by Lehmann’s Frazier. So happy with a bunch of steels, some are not show marked but may make good brood animals. Then my tort doe, Ronda’s Penny had 8 torts sired by Schmall’s Peter. I can’t see their markings yet, so we’ll see how things look in 2 days. Last but not least my black doe Nelson’s Sassafras, that I got from convention had her first litter. She had 7 blacks sired by my tort buck, GC LDR’s Maximus. I made this cross with the intention of breeding these back into my tort line to continue improving them. Well, stay tuned as I have a few more does due this weekend.

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Nestbox News

Like most experienced breeders I usually breed multiple does at the same time, so I can foster babies as needed. However, the does don’t always cooperate. So I’m very lucky that my lone steel doe, SS Cleopatra is doing a great job with her second litter.

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These babies are sired by Lehmann’s Frazier, my steel buck I got from convention last fall. I’m so exicted to see 2 steels in the litter. They don’t appear to have any marking DQ’s so keep your fingers crossed they have nice type! The other two kits are a black and blue, both kits have a 50/50 chance of being double steels. A double steel carries two copies of the Es gene and this covers up the steel ticking but will cause them to throw 100% steels. So I’m really crossing my fingers and toes that the black is show marked, beautifully typed, double steel AND a buck. That’s not too much to ask right?

New Breed

Ok, now that I’ve kept you in suspense for 24 hours… Meet our new chocolate Havana doe from S&S Dutch Rabbitry. Isn’t she pretty? I’ve played a bit of a trick though, as I’m not starting into Havanas. I picked her up for a cross breeding project with my polish. I have a nice chocolate polish buck who’s color is just wwaaayyy too light. So I’m going to do some line breeding and hopefully put that lovely dark Havana chocolate and snappy fly back coat on my polish. Wish me luck! 😉

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BVRA Show

Well, the BVRA show yesterday was a good one. I was getting spoiled with wins at the breed level so it was only slightly disappointing to not win any Best of Breeds. 😉 But my dutch buck LDR’s Skipper won another BOV bringing him up to 9 legs. I also won BOSV with my new tort junior doe I put on the table, LDR’s HRP10. For polish, LDR’s Kryptonite took a BOV bringing him up to 5 legs. My new broken doe that I’m so exicted about, who I’ve named Wynona, was off feed last week, and was definitely off in flesh, still managed to get 2nd out 8 in a very competitive junior doe class! That’s all I remember of the results as it was a no comment card show and I was running back and forth between the dutch and polish. Since both breeds were up first and at the same time, I was done showing shortly before 1pm, and hadn’t gotten enough of my bunny fix, so I stayed and socialized for awhile. I picked up a bunny of new breed, but no pics today. ;)- You’ll have to tune in tomorrow to find out what breed and see pics of my new pretty girl. Hope you’re enjoying your Super Bowl Sunday.