4-H Rabbit Show puts variety of breeds on display
— 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-
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.
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.