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Monday, December 17, 2007

Seasonal Rabbit sales

It's almost Christmas! That means the requests for pet rabbits have gone up. This time of year is rivaled only by Easter.

There are two kinds of breeders- those who breed for seasonal sales and those who don't. And I'm not saying one is better than the other, because there are ups and downs to both sides!

You're more likely to get spur of the moment requests for Santa to bring a bunny, or for the child to have their own "Easter Bunny". These folks just know it would be cute to give the pet and usually don't know ANYTHING about caring for rabbits. This can be combated by providing a care sheet, as well as asking a few screening questions in the course of your discussion. For example "Have you ever owned a rabbit before? What kind of cage are you thinking of getting? How old is the child?". I once had a lady want one of my pets for a 18 month old baby. She felt she had to reassure me by telling me that they have a fenced in acre of land, and the bunny would get to play outside all day. It was a 9 week old holland- no. That's not really the situation I think the bunny needs to be in, so I declined the sale. Remember, you don't HAVE to sell your rabbits to someone if you don't feel like it!

If you have animals that tend to have large litters, like mini lops, timing weaning/culling dates around seasons is perfect for moving out the pet quality or broods you're willing to pet out. With the increased demand for these pets (and pet stores want to buy them up too), you're able to move them out more quickly. As we all know, sometimes those pets linger!

A downside to breeding for a season only is, if you don't sell all those pets, you're taking up cage space and feed! So NEVER breed just for pets, unless you know for an absolute fact you can sell them all. I think most of us don't breed for pets in any case, but it should be mentioned.

Some folks refuse to breed for seasonal sales, and actually won't sell around Easter or Christmas unless it's to another breeder. This is to avoid the impulse buyers, the hassles of the people wanting you to hold the rabbit until late Christmas Eve (has happened to me!), the added stress in general of trying to meet folks with small baby bunnies in cold weather, etc. etc.

Personally, I breed my rabbits when I have space for them. if they wean around a season, GREAT! I'll screen buyers and then move out anyone I don't want to hold on to. I don't specifically time my litters to coincide with when they are exactly 8 weeks old, and I do not sell at 6 weeks just because someone wants the smallest baby then can get for Easter.

People can be rude, demanding and hateful in general when they don't get there away, especially when it comes to Princess getting her Easter Bunny. Remember- YOU as the breeder hold all the cards. If they don't like your policy of asking a question, or holding babies until you feel they are ready for new homes, they can go elsewhere. Don't let someone affect your policy! I wouldn't put faith in someone who says "Oh, if you have babies at ______________ I'll buy two for the kids!" Breed for you first and worry about everyone else later.

Keep's Rabbitry

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