Description: This project is suitable for youngsters of all ages from urban, suburban and rural communities. Lessons include all aspects of rabbit management and the science behind it. Young people learn about animal care, health, nutrition, physiology, breeding, genetics, housing, behavior, record keeping and presenting themselves and their animals to the public. Some participants may choose to enter their rabbits in shows and fairs or to produce meat and fur, but neither activity is required. Students may be challenged by the many-faceted Rabbit Science Decathlon, held each year at the State Fair and similar exercises held in many counties.
Audience: Youth 5 to 19 years of age.
(and sources of Rabbit Science Decathlon questions):
- Kansas State University 4-H Rabbit Curriculum (available from Cornell Animal Science Dept.)
- Your Rabbit: A Kid’s Guide to raising and Showing Rabbits. 1992. by Nancy Searle. Garden Way Publishing, Storey Communications, Pownal, Vermont 05261
- Rabbit Production, 9th edition. Cheeke, Patton, Lukefahr and McNitt. Interstate Publishers, Inc. P.O. Box 50, Danville, Illinois 61834-0050.
- American Rabbit Breeders Standard of Perfection 2016 – 2020 and Official Guide Book to Raising Better Rabbits & Cavies.
- Rabbit Resource Handbook for Breeding, Market, and Pet Rabbit Projects. Product Code: 228R
- Ohio State University Rabbit Learning Lab Kits are available to borrow from the NYS 4-H Animal Science Office at Cornell University. Fill out request to borrow the kits from Morrison Hall here. They may also be purchased from the Ohio State website or by contacting Communications and Technology Media Distribution (614) 292-1607.
Rabbit Resource Links:
- Rabbit References
- ARBA Homepage
- NY Rabbit and Cavy Breeders Association
- Angora Care Information
- Rabbit Behavior: Interpreting behavior and understanding the rabbit.
- Grooming: Care of long and short haired rabbits, moulting, fleas, nail clipping, etc.
- Rabbit Research at TAMUK
- USDA Rabbit from Farm to Table Fact Sheet
- North East Beginning Farmers website
- World Rabbit Science Association
This rapidly growing program is appropriate for all 4-H members from age 5 to 19 and from the inner city to the most remote rural areas. Cavies now have their own show and contests at the State Fair.
Recommended Readings: (check your local library)
- 4-H Cavy Project Leader Guide from Washington State University EM4664
- Cavy Resource Handbook: A 4-H Guide to Guinea Pigs
- Your Guinea Pig. A Kid’s Guide to Raising and Showing by Wanda L. Curran, A Storey Publishing Book, available directly from publisher or check your favorite book store.
- Diseases of Domestic Guinea Pigs, second edition by V.C.G. Richardson, Library of Veterinary Science. Distributor, Blackwell Science Inc., Commerce Place, 350 Main Street Malden, MA 02148 5018. Can be purchased at your favorite bookstore.
- The Guinea Pig Handbook (Barron’s Pet Handbooks) by Sharon Vanderlip D.V.M. Check your favorite bookstore.
Here are more internet sources of useful cavy information, gathered by 4H leaders:
- Seagull’s Guinea Pig Compendium (archived site)
- Cavy Health Care
- American Cavy Breeders Association
- NY Rabbit & Cavy Breeder’s Association
Contact: Dana Palmer