Rabbit farming terminologies is difficult for any newcomer to the industry to understand.
Are you a newcomer?
Don’t worry and continue scrolling.
You will find a list of rabbit-related jargons that you will come across while running your rabbit farm business.
They are sorted according to the types of discussion that they are most likely to make an appearance.
After completing this guide, you have no problem blending into a crowd of rabbit farmers and start conversations like a rabbit expert.
- 1 Must Know
- 2 Rabbit Descriptions
- 3 Breeding
- 4 Diseases
- 5 Associations
- 6 Rabbit Shows / Events
- 7 Bookmark This Guide for Future Reference
Do not call yourself a rabbit farmer if you have no idea what these words mean.
Buck refers to a male rabbit.
If you are in the rabbit farming or breeding business, you are in the cuniculture business.
Cuniculture refers to the breeding and raising of domestic rabbits for fur and meat, as well as for exhibitions.
Dam refers to the mother of a rabbit.
Doe refers to a female rabbit.
Kit refers to a baby rabbit.
Sire refers to a male rabbit with an offspring.
You can call the father of a rabbit it’s sire.
The following are jargons you will encounter when people are trying to describe a rabbit.
The agouti color pattern on a rabbit is also known as the wild pattern.
The hair of an agouti has alternating bands of light and dark colors. The tip and base of an agouti’s hair are usually darker than the shaft in between.
The underside of a rabbit with an agouti color pattern is usually white or light cream. Their ear tips will also have dark lacing around them.
BEW is the short for blue-eyed white. You can use it to describe a white bunny with blue eyes.
BEWs have two Vienna genes, and they are highly-sought after by rabbit breeders.
Broken is commonly used to describe a white rabbit with patches of color.
For example, broken blacks are white rabbits with black patches.
In general, Charlie can be used to describe a rabbit with minimal patterns.
Some may describe Charlies as sparsely-patterned brokens because their colored patches are often less than 10% on a field of white fur.
A Charlie is the breeding result of two broken pattern genes.
Rabbits of the same age group, gender and pattern are of the same class.
- Solid Senior Bucks
- Solid Junior Bucks
- Broken Senior Bucks
- Broken Junior Bucks
- Solid Senior Does
- Solid Junior Does
- Broken Senior Does
- Broken Senior Does
There is an Intermediate age group for larger breeds. This additional age group creates 4 more classes.
- Solid Intermediate Bucks
- Broken Intermediate Bucks
- Solid Intermediate Does
- Broken Intermediate Does
Crown refers to the part of a rabbit’s head between the ears and behind the brow (or forehead).
A rabbit less than 6 months old and weighs more than 2 pounds (0.91 kilograms) is called a junior.
Molting is the process where animals shed their skin, feathers, hair or an old shell. This process will allow them to continue growing.
A kit goes through its first molt 2 months after it was born. The entire process will take 2 to 4 months before the rabbit gets a new set of fur.
A rabbit is said to have an open coat when its fur is starting to lose texture. This condition arises when the rabbit is getting ready to shed its fur.
Peanut refers to a rabbit with two dwarf genes.
Most of the time, they are born smaller than regular kits. They will not survive because the combination of two dwarf genes results in severe underdevelopment and inability for growth.
Most peanuts die within 2 to 3 days while some may last for a couple of weeks.
Pre-junior is a class for rabbits from very large breeds.
A pre-junior is also an unofficial term for a bunny that is old enough to consume food other than its mother’s milk, but not mature enough to participate in a show as a junior.
REW is the acronym for ruby-eyed white, which is an all-white bunny with ruby-colored eyes also known as an albino rabbit.
An REW results from two REW or (cc) genes coming together. They remove all colors from a bunny’s fur and eyes.
Self is a fur color pattern.
A self-colored rabbit has fur that is of the same color all over its body. This is because the entire shaft of its fur has the same color.
Tort is the short for tortoiseshell or tortoise, which is the fur color for many rabbits.
There is no clear distinction between tortoiseshell and tortoise. Also, there is no standard description for the color because it largely depends on a rabbit’s variety.
A rabbit’s variety refers to the color and the pattern of its fur.
In the rabbit farming business, breeding is an important area that you need to familiarize yourself with.
The following are words that you will hear a lot when you are discussing about breeding with fellow rabbit farmers.
You can liken gestation to pregnancy.
It is the process of carrying baby rabbits in the womb during the period between breeding and the time when the doe is ready to give birth.
In the world of rabbit farming, kindling means giving birth.
Kindling box is a box provided for a doe that is ready to give birth.
She will then turn the box into her nest before having her babies in it.
“Miss” is a description used when a doe failed to get pregnant after breeding.
Nest box is also known as a kindling box.
Palpation is the action of identifying the presence or absence of embryos in a doe.
Rabbit farmers or breeders do this by feeling the abdomen of a doe with their hands and fingers.
Sickness and illnesses of your animals and crops are inevitable in the farming business.
In this section, you will get to know some common rabbit illnesses.
Enteritis is a fatal disease of the digestive system for rabbits.
The most common symptom for enteritis is diarrhea, and excessive consumption of carbohydrates and/or stress are the main causes.
Malocclusion is the misalignment of teeth.
For rabbits, proper chewing of food and grinding upper and lower teeth together keep their teeth at a proper length.
A teeth misalignment prevents the above from happening, and the teeth will start to overgrow.
Overgrown teeth result in painful ulcers in the cheeks and gums.
The malocclusion of teeth in rabbits can be inherited or caused by facial traumas.
There are several notable associations for rabbit breeders and farmers. Consider joining to gain credibility and meet like-minded industry professionals.
ARBA is the short for American Rabbit Breeders’ Association.
It unites members of the rabbitry industry to promote the industry itself, and to raise funds for related research and development work.
Based in the United States, the association has pet owners, rabbit breeders and commercial farmers from all around the world as its members.
Rabbit Shows / Events
Rabbit shows and events are where rabbit owners, breeders and professionals congregate.
Rabbit owners show their rabbits at these events for fun and some competition.
These events are also where you will meet other rabbit breeders and people who are interested in the rabbitry industry.
BIS is the short for Best in Show. It refers to the rabbit judged to be the best at a show regardless of breed.
BOB is the short for Best of Breed. At a rabbit show, it refers to the rabbit judged to be the best of its breed.
BOS is the short for Best of Opposite Sex.
It refers to the best rabbit that is of the opposite sex of the BOB, as chosen by the judges at a rabbit show.
Here is an example to illustrate this better:
BOSV is the short for Best Opposite Sex of Variety.
After the judges have a decision on the BOVs in a rabbit show, they will go on to pick their BOSVs.
BOV is the short for Best of Variety.
You can categorize a rabbit into two varieties, namely solid and broken.
In a rabbit show, judges will pick the best rabbit for each variety. The rabbits judged to be the best of the solid or the broken variety are called BOVs.
The BOVs go on to compete for the BOB and BOS awards.
BRIS, also referred to as RIS, is the short for Best Reserve in Show.
BRIS is the second best rabbit in a show as picked by the judges. It can be of any breed and it does not have to be of the opposite sex of the rabbit chosen for BIS.
Convention mainly refers to the national rabbit show held by the ARBA. It is sponsored by local rabbit clubs from all over the country.
Many states and international countries organize their own conventions too.
DQ is the short for disqualification from showing.
A DQ can be permanent if it is issued because a rabbit has a malocclusion, missing toe or non-showable colors.
On the other hand, a rabbit can get a temporary DQ if it is ill.
A rabbit participating in a show is called an entry.
Faking is the act of changing how a rabbit looks.
Dying toenails and plucking hairs are two examples of alterations that rabbit farmers do.
A Grand Champion is a rabbit that has earned three or more legs under at least two different judges, and at least one of the legs is a senior leg.
The legs earned must be made known to ARBA with a fee in order to get awarded with a grand champion number and a certificate.
A rabbit earns a leg when it wins one of the following awards at an ARBA-sanctioned show with at least 3 exhibitors and 5 rabbits competing:
- First place in a class competition.
- Best of Variety (BOV).
- Best Opposite Sex of Variety (BOSV).
- Best of Breed (BOB).
- Best Opposite Sex (BOS).
- Best in Show (BIS).
The following awards, however, do not earn any legs.
- Best Reserve in Show (BRIS).
- Best 4-Class Breed.
- Best 6-Class Breed.
Opens are shows that welcome exhibitors of all ages.
A registrar is someone who is tasked by the ARBA to evaluate rabbits and register them if they meet the set standards.
This person needs to take a written and oral examination prior to becoming a registrar. Concurrently, he or she must meet other eligibility requirements as determined by the ARBA.
All ARBA-sanctioned shows need to have a registrar available.
Registration is the process of registering a bunny with the ARBA.
During the process, a registrar will first examine the bunny to make sure it fulfills a set of criterias from ARBA.
The owner will then be asked to provide pedigree information of the rabbit and pay a registration fee of $6.00 per animal.
Once the process is completed, the owner will get a registration number for his or her bunny together with a certificate. The bunny itself will get a tattoo.
Sanctioned shows are shows that follow the show rules set by a local rabbit association. These shows need to pay the association a fee in order to be sanctioned.
For example, a show is ARBA-sanctioned if it abides by ARBA’s show rules and pays the association a sanction fee.
Youths are exhibitors at a rabbit show between 5 to 19 years old.
Bookmark This Guide for Future Reference
Go ahead and bookmark this guide.
You are going to need it as you venture deeper into the rabbit farming business.
If you come across any words or phrases that you do not understand while running your rabbit farm, please leave a comment below to let us know.