Registration Deadline is July 1st!                             

BCYF Robbit showmanship score card

Pre Fair Set up dates: Thursday, Aug. 1st and 8th @ 7 p.m.

There are lots of classes.  How do I know which class to enter my rabbit in?

Lets break it down into 4 basic categories.  These four categories are Crossbred, Show, Market, and Doe and Litter.  Let me explain each category.

Crossbred:  The crossbred and pet class is mainly for rabbits that are a mixture of two or more different breeds, those rabbits that the exhibitor is unsure of what breed it is, or rabbits that have been neutered or otherwise altered.  Note: breeds which are not yet formally recognized by the ARBA must be shown in this class.  These rabbits are judged primarily on conformation, health and condition.

Show Rabbits:  These classes are for rabbits that are pure breed and are recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA).  These rabbits are judged primarily on conformation, health and breed characteristics as suggested by the ARBA’s Standard of Perfection.

Market Rabbits:  These classes are for rabbits that are of market age and size.  Rabbits in these classes cannot be over 10 weeks old and must weigh between 3 1/2 to 5 1/2 pounds. A pen of 2 market rabbits should be of the same breed and variety.  These rabbits are judged mainly on conformation, health, finish and uniformity as suggested by the ARBA Standard of Perfection.   Rabbits that receive an A award will be auctioned at the small animal auction.

Doe and Litter:  This class is for does (female rabbit) and her litter.  The litter should be between 4 and 6 weeks old.  This class is judged on the health, condition, uniformity and breed characteristics of the doe and her litter.  To ensure a Doe and Litter cage is reserved, exhibitors must verify Doe and Litter by Aug. 1st

Exhibitors that exhibit in one of the above classes may also use that rabbit in Showmanship and/or Costume class.

Showmanship:  Unlike the classes listed above where only the rabbit is judged, in the showmanship class the exhibitor is judged on their knowledge and handling of rabbits. Showmanship is judged in accordance with the Berrien County Youth Fair Rabbit Showmanship Score Card.  To be eligible for a showmanship class, the rabbit must be shown in a show class (classes 515-617)

Costume Class:  In this class the exhibitor and the rabbit dress up in a costume.    They are judged on originality and quality of the costume.  Only one rabbit may be used in this class.

How many classes may I enter?

You may have a total of 5 entries maximum in classes 525-617.  Only 1 (one) market entry and only 1 (one) doe and litter entry.

 What time should I arrive at the fair?

Health check for rabbits opens at 8:00am and closes at 1:00pm.  Plan on arriving no later than noon, but the earlier the better.  This will leave plenty of time to get your rabbits properly caged, fed, watered, the paperwork completed, and get to the entry office before they close at 2:00 pm.

 What Can I expect when I arrive at the Fair on Entry Day?

When you arrive at the fair on entry day you will proceed to the rabbit health check, which is held under the tent between the rabbit barn and the entry office.  After going through health check you will enter the barn and find your cages.  If you are with a club you may have cages reserved.  Make sure to check with your leader.  If you are not with a club one of the volunteers will help you find a cage.  You will put bedding into the cage for your rabbit (the bedding is provided by the fair).  You will get feed and water for your rabbits and fill out the required paperwork.  You can than find one of the volunteers and they will check to see that all of these things are done.  They will initial your entry slip and you can proceed to the entry office for your pass, before 2:00 p.m.!

Do I need to reserve cages?

We allow clubs to reserve cages.  That way all club members may be housed together.  Individuals will be assigned cages on entry day.

What do you look for at health check?

At health check the rabbit is examined to make sure that it is healthy.  We check for a thick nasal discharge, which indicates that the animal has an infection in the lungs (cold).  We also check for severe diarrhea and parasites such as ear mites.  We are also looking for any open sores that are infected.  If a rabbit exhibits any of these conditions they will not be allowed into the barn and the exhibitor will be asked to take their rabbit back home.  This is done to protect the rabbit from getting sicker and also to protect the other rabbits in the barn.  There are very few rabbits that are sick and not allowed to show at the fair.

What forms or paperwork need to be filled out?

Entry Form: This form needs to be filled out and returned to the fair by July 1st.  Make sure to keep the yellow copy of this form and bring it with you on entry day when you bring in your animal.  The entry forms are available at the Fair Office or your local library.  Or you may enter online, if you do, you need to print out the email for your “yellow” copy.

Animal Health Care Form:  This form is available at the fair on entry day after you go through health check with your rabbit.  The fair may also have these available to exhibitors prior to the fair.

Cage Tag:  This is a form that gets filled out and attached to the rabbit’s cage.  It contains information about the rabbit and exhibitor.  These are available in the barn on entry day.

 What type of containers should I bring to feed and water my rabbits in?

Appropriately sized* heavy crocks, clamp-on dishes or water bottles must be used for water.  Use of cans or light weight metal bowls for water is prohibited.  Appropriately sized heavy crocks, bowls or clamp-on dishes must be used for feed.  All dishes/bowls to be provided by exhibitor. No glass dishes or bowls are permitted.

* Appropriately sized refers to matching the food and water container to the size of the rabbit.  i.e.  Little rabbits need smaller water bottles that a large breed.

What do I do on Show day? 

Listen for your class to be called.  When it is called go to the doors that lead out into the show area.  Volunteers will be there to instruct you.  You will take your rabbit out to the show table and place it in a holding coop.  The judge will come through and look at your rabbit.  The judge will give comments on your rabbit and grade and place it.  Listen carefully to what the judge has to say.  When the judge excuses you from the table you may take your rabbit back to its cage.

How do I know when my rabbit will be shown?

On Monday the Market Rabbit, Doe and Litter, Showmanship and Crossbred classes are judged.  All show rabbit classes are judged on Tuesday (exception, Crossbred).  Signs will be posted directing you to the holding pen location and announcement will be made telling when to bring your rabbit to the holding pens.  Show rabbits are presented in the order of the Exhibitor handbook (i.e. Flemish Giant, French Lop, etc…)

How often do I need to come to the fair?

You will need to be at the fair every day to feed, water and clean your rabbit’s cage.  You will also need to be at the fair to show him on show day.

What should I bring to the Fair?

  • Yellow Entry Sheet
  • Feed and water containers
  • Rabbit feed
  • A jug to transport water in
  • A small dustpan or scoop to clean cages with.
  • A pen and marker
  • 2 liter pop bottles filled with water and frozen on very hot days (see below)

How do I prepare my rabbit for the fair?

There are only a few things that need to be done to get your rabbit ready for show day.

  1. The first thing is to trim the toenails. This is done similar to trimming a dogs or cats toenails.  Be careful to not cut too much off or the rabbit will bleed.  If this   happens, hold pressure on the toenail until the bleeding stops.
  1. Check your rabbit’s ears for mites. These are tiny parasites that sometimes live in the ears of rabbits.  Look down into the rabbits ears and if you see brown to black scabs that are infected it is probably ear mites.  These can be treated with dog or cat, ear mite medication.  You may also take your rabbit to your veterinarian if you suspect that your rabbit has these. It may take weeks to clear these up so do not wait until the last day to check.
  1. If your rabbit is stained or dirty it may need to be bathed or cleaned. It is not recommended to routinely bath your rabbit, but sometimes they get very stained and bathing may be done as a last resort.  Bathing removes the animal’s natural oils from the fur and bathing too close to the fair may adversely affect the rabbits fur.  If you are going to bathe your rabbit do it at least two weeks before the fair.

What can I do if it is very hot during fair week to keep my rabbit cool?

Many exhibitors will fill empty 2 liter pop bottles with water and freeze them before the fair.  If it is very hot you can put a frozen bottle in with the rabbit and he will lie against it and get cooled down.  You will want to transport these in a cooler until the rabbit is ready for them.  You can take them home and refreeze them. You may also bring a spray bottle, set to “mist” to mist the rabbit’s ears and nape of the neck to cool them.  DO NOT saturate rabbit’s fur.  DO NOT spray the rabbit’s face or into the ear canal.

When can I take my rabbit home?

Rabbits are released from the fair Saturday night between 11:30pm to 1:00am.  We strongly encourage you to remove your animal Saturday night.  If this is not possible you may come between 8:00am -9:00am on Sunday.  You will need your yellow entry sheet to remove your rabbit.  Tack boxes will be inspected upon removal from the barn.

Do I have to clean my cage before I leave Saturday or Sunday?

Cages are cleaned starting Sunday morning between 8:00am and 9:00am.  We need all the help that we can get.  We need to have both barns cleaned and dismantled by noon.  All older exhibitors and their families are encouraged to attend barn cleaning on Sunday morning.

Please read additional information/rules found in the Exhibitors Handbook, Department 14, Rabbits.

Premium Checks:  Checks may be picked up on Saturday of fair at the Entry Office from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. or Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  They can be cashed at either of these times also.