THOMPSON – Despite the stormy weather that swept through the Winnebago County Fairground on Saturday, July 20, the rabbit show went on as planned.
Judge Justin Brant started the show by judging the three 4-H Clover Kids exhibitors prior to the main show.
Showing were Stochton Whiting, with his French Angora, Kach Whiting, with his silver fox and Emily Charleson with her mini rex.
Brant took the time to speak with each exhibitor about their rabbits, how they cared for them, what they knew about the breed and how long they’d had their bunnies.
By participating in the rabbit show, Clover Kids members are given a chance for a hands-on experience of what it’s like to be an exhibitor as a 4-H member.
Rabbit show classes range from commercial or meat rabbits, to the fancier breeds considered pets. Several of the exhibitors, such as Chase Sorenson, Caleb Sorenson, Kylie Buns and Kaizli Whiting, exhibited in both classes with Kylie Buns winning Grand Champion meat rabbit and overall commercial meat rabbit titles.
“With the meat rabbits, I’m looking at where they peak, the size of their loin and their weight in regards to their age,” Brant said. “Their size has a lot to do with timing and knowing when to breed a rabbit in time for the rabbits that are being shown to be the right size at fair.”
Quality of fur was another consideration Brant looked at, both in relation to breed and in relation to the current season. In regards to the fancy rabbits, Brant also looked at things such as color patterns associated with particular breeds, size of the rabbit in relation to their breed, information on what they are fed and how often and the overall apparent condition the rabbit.
“The exhibitors need to know as much about the breed they are exhibiting as they possibly can,” Brant said. “They should be able to answer my questions about their rabbits.”
Brant also talked about the difficulty of sexting rabbits at a young age, moving one young rabbit from the doe class to a buck class due to the features it exhibited.
“These are all things that come with time,” Brant said. “It can be very hard to tell the difference, even for someone experienced in raising rabbits, so for a young exhibitor, it would be especially difficult.”