Good breed for 4-h

Heart of the Matter Farm

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My daughter want a rabbits. I thought when we do get her some. I would like them to be meat rabbits, so if she like takeing care of them and wants to show at the fair we don't have to go get meat rabbits. What breed would be the best? We would get 1 male and 1 female so we can breed them when we are ready.
 

TaylorBug

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If you want to show rabbits, they can be basically any pedigreed breed. I show Californian meat rabbits as a meat pen(3 to a pen) and individually(1 rabbit to show). I also show Silver Martens. This breed is hard to find and can get very expensive, but they have a good temperament for a beginner.

A lot of 4Hers in my area show Netherlands dwarfs and Rexes, and these would be good beginner breeds. However, the stock you buy must be of good quality or there will be no point in trying to breed and show them.

I wouldn’t suggest showing meat rabbits unless you are planning on doing meat pen. One plus side though- when you need/want to get rid of extra rabbits, you can just cook them up for dinner! And rabbit meat sells for huge bucks as rabbit meat has a tiny market, but people who know and love it will seek it out.

Anyways, good luck with your choice at the fair!
 

promiseacres

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First check the rules for your local county 4H rabbit project. Also don't hesitate to call the rabbit superintendent or leader. They can direct you. Another thing that I tell people is check out an ARBA show. Completely free to go observe, talk to breeders and see many different breeds. Arba.net has show Listings on their site. Also make sure that temperment is something you tell the breeders. Some breeders cull for behavior characteristics some tolerate a lot more... o_O even for a new 4her... yes breed can tell you some but really comes down to the breeder. Any breed can be aggressive or so shy that a kid can't or doesn't want to handle.
Your typical meat breeds are commercial body type and weigh 8 to 12 # and due to size can be hard to handle for a child.
 

DutchBunny03

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Smaller breeds can make good meat rabbits, like Dutch, Florida Whites, Mini rex, and mini satin. A good meat breed has a compact body shape and breeds well (takes care of kits, has good litter size), and all these breeds fit the bill. Warning on the Dutch: if your daughter wants to show them, prepare for frustration. You may go whole litters without getting a show-quality rabbit. But Dutch are amazing mothers, and are relatively calm for their size.
 

animalmom

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I think you really should talk to the person who runs the 4-H program because some times the judges the show brings in for meat pens are prejudiced against anything not California. At least the judges that come to our county junior livestock show are notorious for giving low scores to New Zealands. You could have the best NZ and get beat by a Cali. That isn't right to the kids and it isn't right period. Shame to spend all that time with your rabbits to have the judge low score because they don't suit his fancy.
 
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