4-H Rab­bit Show puts va­ri­ety of breeds on dis­play

Cecil Whig - - & - By JANE BELLMYER

jbellmyer@ce­cil­whig.com

— Flem­ish Gi­ants, Jer­sey Wooly and Dwarf Ho­tot were just some of the rab­bit breeds on dis­play at the 4-H Rab­bit Show at the Ce­cil County Fair.

Un­der the big tent were rows of cages and young peo­ple wait­ing to hear their name called to go be­fore the judges.

Ear­lier this year, Brynn LaSala went to rab­bit shows in Ohio and Penn­syl­va­nia and pur­chased six rab­bits. She now has at least 30.

“I have Flem­ish Gi­ants and Sil­ver Foxes,” she said of her pre­ferred breeds. “I like the bog breeds and not a lot of peo­ple show them.”

In a cage at her feet, the Ris­ing Sun girl had one of her does, which she said likely weighs as much as 20 pounds.

“Does typ­i­cally weigh 15 to 20 pounds while the bucks aver­age 13 to 18 pounds,” LaSala said.

The hard­est job in car­ing for the gi­ant breeds is clean­ing the cages, she said.

“You have to do it re­ally of­ten. They pro­duce a lot of waste,” she said.

Ruth Ann Lan­der from Ox­ford, Pa., said the judges will be look­ing for sev­eral key com­po­nents to find the win­ners.

One of those com­po­nents i struc­ture, which in­cludes look­ing at the eyes, the coat, the head and the over­all health of the rab­bits. Clean­li­ness is also key, she said al­though like cats, rab­bits groom them­selves.

Lan­der’s daugh­ter, Tara raises Hi­malayans, which have their own unique is­sue call “smut.” That’s when the coat of the rab­bit gets dis-

FAIR HILL

col­ored if it gets wet.

“Dur­ing the storm (Satur­day) the rain was com­ing in,” Lan­der said. “My daugh­ter had her bun­nies un­der her shirt. She’s say­ing, ‘ Mom, they can’t get wet!’”

Aubrey Davis said her rab­bits won a lot of rib­bons last year. She was hop­ing to do as well or bet­ter this year.

“I only have two woolies that I show,” the War­wick girl said. Jer­sey Woolies are fluffy and soft.

Evan Wil­son, from Elk­ton, stood at the ready for ques­tions from Judge Bar­bara Smith. He had 12 rab­bits in the com­pe­ti­tion in­clud­ing two Jer­sey Wooly rab­bits.

“I also have a bunch of Mini Lops, one Vel­veteen Lop and guinea pigs,” he ex­plained.

Us­ing the Amer­i­can Rab­bit Breed­ers As­so­ci­a­tion book as a guide, Smith would re­trieve rab­bits from cages, look­ing care­fully at ev­ery end of each an­i­mal.

“Some­times it’s very hard not to let them bite you,” she said, adding that some breeds are nat­u­rally more laid back than oth­ers.

Af­ter the rab­bits the judges would move on to the guinea pig com­pe­ti­tion. Trish LaSala said like most of the rab­bits, guinea pigs are raised by the 4-H mem­bers as pets, not food.

“We don’t eat guinea pigs here but they do in other coun­tries,” LaSala said. At the Ce­cil County Fair, the com­pe­ti­tion brings out a large va­ri­ety of the cavies in­clud­ing ex­otics with curly coats.

She added that those who raise An­gora rab­bits may use the hair.

“You could have a nice An­gora sweater,” she said.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

Bar­bara Smith, a rab­bit and guinea pig judge for the 4-H com­pe­ti­tion at the Ce­cil County Fair, looks over a Jer­sey Wooly rab­bit Sun­day morn­ing.

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