Whether you see rabbits as a soft and cuddly pet or a business opportunity, the rabbit project is flexible for your interest. Beginning level rabbits include activities that include selection, handling, breeds, parts, management, equipment, feeding, health, breeding and kindling. At the intermediate level through hands on activities you will learn how to select, judge, give oral reasons, show rabbits, tattoo, keep records and detect diseases. In the advanced level of the rabbit project you will have the opportunity to learn more about breeding, genetics, culling, determining pregnancy, designing a rabbitry, anatomy, teaching others, and registering a rabbit, and marketing your product. The rabbit pattern is a great model for identifying parts, determining sex, checking for disqualifications, practicing handling, trimming nails, showing, and many other management practices, and can be found as a supplemental material on the project tab.
Resources for all levels
RB111 Rabbits 1
- Caring for your rabbit
- Rabbit breeding and health
RB112 Rabbits 2
- Breed characteristics
- Health care and disease prevention
RB113 Rabbits 3
- Breeding and genetics
- Showing your rabbits
Policies and procedures
Make sure you own your rabbits by the following times to be eligible to exhibit at the Missouri State Fair: Rabbits by June 1; Meat Pen by 5-10 weeks prior to show. check with your local MU Extension center for local requirements, dates, etc.
To exhibit your livestock project at the Missouri State Fair, you must be a member in good standing in 4-H. To maintain your good standing, you must comply with the 4-H Food Quality Assurance Policy.
4-H Food Quality Assurance Policy
Objective: To increase the knowledge and awareness of Missouri youth about food quality issues related to animal production.
Who should take SMQA: All 4-H members enrolled in food animal projects (including beef, sheep, swine, dairy cattle, meats, meat and dairy goats, rabbits, and poultry) must complete the appropriate level of Missouri Show Me Quality Assurance (MSMQA) certification to be considered 4-H member in good standing in that project. Additionally, members must complete their MSMQA program by June 1 to participate in the Missouri State Fair. Other county good standing guidelines may also apply. Check with your local 4-H youth specialist for current local guidelines.
The Program: The Show Me Quality Assurance Program consists of two parts. The information presented is different in each part. Most counties alternate which part is presented each year; this is why it is required to take it two consecutive years in a row.
One part covers information on daily care and management; animal handling; farm/animal identification (Premise ID); reading feed labels; withdrawal times; and biosecurity (disease prevention).
The other part provides information on HACCP; animal health products; proper injection locations; carcass quality; and carcass value.
A refresher course is required when the 4-H member turns 14. After that is completed, the 4-H is certified through age 18.
Definitions of terms:
- "Qualified to Show" means the member has participated in Missouri Show Me quality Assurance training within the current 4-H program year.
- "SMQA Conditional Certified" for youth age 8 to 13 by January 1 of the program year certification is conditional. To obtain the conditional certification status a member age 8 to 13 by January 1 has participated in two consecutive years of training. Once they obtain a conditional status they do not have to take a refresher course until they are 14 by January 1 of the program year. Upon completion of the refresher course they would be SMQA Certified for the remainder of their youth exhibition career in 4-H.
- "SMQA Certified" Youth in 4-H who attend one training after they have turned 14 by January 1 of the program year will be considered SMQA Certified and no further training will be required for the remainder of their 4-H exhibition career.