Indian River County 4-H uses the rabbit & cavy standards of the ARBA(American Rabbit Breeders Assoc.) & ACBA(American Cavy Breeders Assoc.) as found in the ARBA Standard of Perfection for all rabbit and cavy project animals.
**In order to be used as a 4-H project the rabbit/cavy MUST be purebred, unaltered and a recognized breed and variety as found in the Standard of Perfection.**
No rabbit or cavy is perfect and will likely contain faults, but they should be free of any disqualifications. Your goal should be to find the best example of the breed based on the Standard of Perfection.
Crossbreed rabbits and cavies will not be accepted.
Rabbits and cavies purchased from pet stores are typically not good choices. Although some may be purebred most likely they are faulted and may have disqualifications. Your best bet is to contact a breeder directly that breeds for show and is familiar with the standard for their breed(s).
There are rabbit and cavy shows throughout the state that are a great way to experience many different breeds first hand and to be able to ask questions of breeders. Often times they will have rabbits and cavies for sale at the show. Because of its central location many of the shows are held in Bartow.
Take a look at the ARBA and ACBA sites and do some research. In past years we have seen many rabbits that were purchased under the assumption that what the breeder said was true. Be an informed consumer!! If the breeder themselves does not show and does not have a Standard of Perfection do not assume that they are well informed and know what they are talking about.
Do your homework!
If you have any questions about whether or not a rabbit or cavy you may already have is eligible please contact the Rabbit & Cavy Project Director. They will be able to help you determine if it meets the qualifications or if you should be looking for another.
Rabbits and cavies will need to have either a bill of sale with the sellers name, phone number, email and address or a pedigree showing their lineage and the breeders contact info.
All rabbits and cavies will also require permanent identification in their left ear. For rabbits this will be a tattoo. The cavies will have an ear tag. If your animal does not have this they will be given a tattoo or tag before the project registration deadline in December.
Although you do not need your rabbit or cavy right away please do not wait until the last minute. If you have any doubts about your animals eligibility contact the Rabbit and Cavy Project Director before the registration deadline.