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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Co-Ops- A How To Guide

There is a lot of worry when you go in to a co-op- at least, there should be. You can't approach it with the lovey dovey we'll be best friends foreverrrr approach and work out issues as they arise. You just can't. Everything needs to be planned out, down to who gets the trophy if you win something. I wanted to share a few things Joni and I went over before deciding to merge our herds.

What happens to the rabbits that don't/do make the cut in our current herd at sale time?
We did a cull of some very nice rabbits when we merged our herds to make our numbers manageable. We decided that any rabbit brought in by the party(ie, I added in Keep's Amelia) to the mix is our sole property when it comes time to sell. So, Amelia made the herd, but when we decide to move her on, I get 100% of the sale. Same with someone who didn't make the herd cut, like Keep's Gus. That little buck was sold and I kept 100% of the money.

What is our prefix and when do we use it?
I was all for Lyle Creek/Keep's. It didn't matter to me. Joni came up with KLC and I have to admit, I do like it better than the bulkier version I was first thinking of. This is something important to talk over. One person may be adamant that their name come first. It's usually not a good sign if you can't agree over something as dinky as a prefix.

We set a date, January 1st, 2010, as implementation day for our new prefix. No matter that there were does bred before that date, any babies born after 1/1/10 will be marked as KLC. That way, you don't have "Well, this one is still mine, that one is still yours". The Co-Op is functional even if Joni has already bred 2 of "her" rabbits together and the same goes for me.

What if I want to Sell Out, and you don't?
A biggie. What if one of you wants to sell out the herd (Joni and I agreed to a HL trial period), and the other doesn't? Do you pick and choose who to keep and who to sell, do you put prices on everyone and your partner buy out your half on the ones they keep, do you just worry about it when you come to that bridge?

DEFINITELY NOT THE LAST ONE. Joni and I decided the best course of action would be to price everyone and buy the other person's half out. After all, if I were to keep wanting to show, I'd obviously want the best rabbits, aka the most valuable ones. In the case of it being a rabbit I brought in to the herd as discussed early, it's solely my rabbit, just as if I want a buck she brought in, it's solely hers- thus the 100% must be paid.

Figure out who is going to get the trophy from a win. One or both of you may not care at all, both may really want it. It's important to have this set up from the beginning.

Entering in Shows/Registration.
We settled on joint entry in to all shows, joint registration on all animals except ones that had already earned legs under one of us- for instance, Lyle Creek's Quizno already has 1 GC leg under Joni. So, he'll be shown and registered under her name. It's just easier that way. We are splitting the entry fees 50/50 and are consulting each other as to what animals to show. After all, it would kind of suck to show up and find out you have an additional $60 in entry fees you didn't plan for because your partner brought everything in the barn.

We decided against having a separate website. Both of us get good traffic already to ours and neither wants to go through the trouble of having to be webmaster to two sites. Plus, we don't have to worry about "what color background, how is this style text..."

Definitely make sure to try to cover all your bases in an honest, upfront manner. This is not the time to worry about insulting someone. If you can't work out these basic ideas on paper, you will NEVER SATISFACTORILY IMPLEMENT THEM. Get it? If you can't agree on a Prefix, you'll never agree on who to keep, who to sell, who to show, etc. You don't have to do things the way we decided to do them, that's your perogative, but make sure both members of the co-op understand how things will work before you ever merge the herds :).

Keep's Rabbitry


Whitney said...

good tips! I want to be in a co-op!

Keep said...

That can be arranged Whitney... :P ;)

Whitney said...

LOL but what breed would I have to raise? Something small and wooled? hehehehe

SO excited for PaSRBA!!!!

Julie said...

I LOVED this post, Keep! Definitely valuable information, and you were right- if you can't agree on the basics upfront, it will never work out. Not falling into that again!

Keep said...

Hehe Whitney, I'd so be willing to glom on to your beautiful hares :P.