Three Little Ladies Rabbitry, Jersey Wooly
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Basic Show Etiquette


There are certain matters of etiquette that all exhibitors should follow at a show. Although some of them are not requirements, it is considered not acceptable to do certain things when showing rabbits at a rabbit show. Most experienced breeders follow these practices, but often many new exhibitors are unaware of these.

1. Be Ready

Be ready to show when your class is called. Now this sounds real easy, but sometimes this can be difficult, especially if you show more than one breed. We currently show 3 so we are constantly bumping back and forth between tables. There are a few things you can do to assist you in getting your rabbits to the table. First, when you arrive at the show, look for the signs that indicate where your breed will be judged and sit in a spot as close to that as possible. When you have multiple breeds, sit in the area where you have most of your rabbits.

Second, is the proper arrangement of your rabbits in your carrying cages. We try to place our rabbits and carriers by class. This way all of the rabbits within that class are together. When we do this we will often bring the carriers right up to the show table.

I am always amazed that some exhibitors that will purposely bring their rabbits to the table late. By doing so, they are hoping for two things to occur. First they are hoping that the judge will dismiss rabbits before they get to the table. They feel this gives them a better chance to win. The result is delayed judging, and multiple p.a. system calls for the class. I have seen several judges make it clear that if the exhibitor comes late again they will not be able to show. The second thing they are trying to do is let the judge know whose rabbit is going on the table. Unfortunately this violates ARBA rules. As an exhibitor you are to attempt to not identify yourself with your rabbit. This is why many judges will not look at the coops until it is time to judge. The idea is to do just the opposite. Donít let the judge know which rabbit is yours. By the way, this is very difficult to do, and is further compounded when an exhibitor shows up to a table late.

2. Sick Bunnies

Donít bring rabbits to a show that are ill or have any type of mite. Your rabbit will be disqualified by the judge. You also put other rabbits at risk of the same problem. Most experienced breeders understand this and abstain from this practice, but many newer exhibitors are unaware of the importance of this rule. When are rabbits arrive back in our barn, we remove our rabbits from the carrying cages, and immediately spray them with Vanodine. This is just in case someone has brought a sick rabbit to the show.

3. Rabbits With DQ's

Donít enter a rabbit in the show that has a DQ. Notice that I said donít enter them in the show. It is understandable to bring them to the show, and ask other breeders, or ask a judge during a break to evaluate that rabbit. Maybe you have a rabbit that had its ear chewed partially off by a litter mate. That rabbit may make a good brood doe or herd buck. Bringing it to the show gives you an opportunity to have it evaluated; however entering it in the show, slows the show down, and is unnecessary since it will be DQíd anyway.

4. Rabbits In Molt

Rabbits in molt are a rather gray area. A molt would cause the judge to deduct points in his/her evaluation, not a disqualification. However, if your jersey wooly looks like a lion head, itís probably a good idea to leave it at home. Again the rabbit wouldnít place well, and it would slow down the judging process. Rabbits just starting to molt and just completing a molt would require some extra grooming on your behalf, but could be shown.


Hopefully these few things will help you at your next show. It will also speed the judging process along, especially on those days with the double show!

Rob Usakowski
Three Little Ladies Rabbitry