KSS Rabbitry
Haskell, Oklahoma


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About Rabbits

Pedigrees vs. Registrations:
RNRQ, V1 N4 & V2 N1 1998 Spec. Ed. #2
(From the Show Bunny website)

Pedigrees--What They Are

The new breeder. The new, proudly owned breeding pair. The papers. Wait a second. What are papers, anyway?

On purebred breeding or show stock, ‘papers’ are the pedigree, which tells you the ancestry of the animal, and if the animal is old enough and has been registered, the registration certificate, which tells you that the animal has passed inspection by a licensed ARBA registrar.

The pedigree is the most important piece of paper you will ever have regarding that rabbit! It is more important than the registration, the legs of grand champion, or the Grand Championship Certificate. Hmm...if it is that important, must be pretty complicated, you think.

Well, you aren’t far off. It’s pretty simple, though, when you take it step by step.

What is a pedigree? A pedigree is a piece of paper listing on it the most recent three or sometimes four generations of the rabbit’s ancestry. That’s it...that’s all...it tells you who sired whom out of which doe, for three generations. Three generations is considered a complete pedigree by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA).

What is all this stuff on here? Is it supposed to be there? What is supposed to be on the pedigree? For each and every rabbit on the pedigree, the following data are required: Name or ear number; registration number if available; color; and weight. Optional extras are full name, ear number if registration number is present, grand champion number, show winnings and breed.

So--what about when I name my new rabbits, do I put my initials there? Everyone else seems to. Okay, here is where it starts getting a little complex--but let’s take it one step at a time. On many rabbits in the pedigree, you will see a prefix, which is usually a name like Whosis’ or initials such as RRR’s. This prefix denotes who the original breeder of that animal is, and may not be changed or removed. The only time you may put your prefix on a pedigree is if you actually bred the animals together which produced the one you now have. As far as naming is concerned, if it is not registered, name it anything you like... but that prefix, if any, stays.

I bought a bred doe--what about the kits? Again, we are talking about the original breeder. Opinions on this one vary, but ARBA says the original breeder’s prefix goes on the pedigree. An agreement at the time of sale may smooth things out considerably. If I purchase a bred doe, for example, I tell the breeder that their name, or prefix, will be on the kits--and most are quite appreciative. On occasion, the breeder may not want a prefix on the kits, so this is certainly something you would want to ask questions about before buying.

Wow--these names are long. How long can they be? There are two limited entries on a pedigree. One is convention, and that is the use of no more than five letters, digits, or any combination of those in an ear tattoo. Names must be no longer than 22 letters if you wish the entire name to be entered when the animal is registered...and, once registered, the name may not be changed! This number includes the prefix, too...so the shorter, the better. Most prefixes are only two to four letters, or else the name is very short!

Hey--this one color back here isn’t recognized for the breed! What do I do? Nothing. The presence of an unrecognized color in a pedigree or registration does not affect the showing, pedigree, or registration of the animal. The animal itself, however, in order to be registered, must be recognized. But an unrecognized animal may be fully pedigreed.

What is ‘purebred’, anyway? Purebred is a word which in rabbits, speaking on a practical level, means that all of the animals on that pedigree are the same breed. If there is a Mini Rex hiding on a Standard Rex’s pedigree, or vice versa, or a Fuzzy Lop hiding on a Holland Lop...well, you had best hope that the breeders back there were honest and put the breed down when the pedigree was copied! Pedigrees are largely a matter of trust, in many ways. If the ‘foreign’ breed is obvious...for instance a four pound animal in a pedigree on which all else are eight to ten...the registrar has every right to reject that animal as not being purebred.

So what about blanks? Some of these don’t have weights! It has become required that all weights be present on all animals on a pedigree in order to register that animal. However, for many years, few people registered or weighed their stock, which led to a nice blank spot on your pedigree. How you deal with that is up to you. Your ethics will determine whether you follow the common practice of putting in a weight (top weight for small breeds, bottom weight for larger ones), or stand by what you know, personally, to be true--if you never saw this animal, how do you know what it might have weighed? I have not had a registration ‘bounced’ back yet for a missing weight...but some of these animals have mysteriously gained a weight reading! I sigh and ignore it...at least it wasn’t me who put it there, and I have the pedigree to prove it.

What does ‘import’ mean? Imports are animals brought into the US lines, usually from Europe or the United Kingdom. ‘Import’ on the pedigree, however, can cause a serious problem when registration time comes around, for an ‘import’ cannot be registered...it lacks the required data, unless the name, ear number, color and weight are present! Many pedigrees simply read ‘import’ as some imported animals lack pedigrees.

How do you make a new pedigree from the parents’ two? It’s really simple! Lay your new pedigree blank on the table, to your left. Place the sire’s pedigree a litter further away in front of you, and the dam’s closer, just like the sire and dam on their pedigrees. See now where they go?

The information on the father should be entered on the sire blanks, and the information on the mother entered below that, on the lines reserved for the dam. Copy the information from each of their pedigrees onto the new form, just exactly as it is on the original. Be sure to write it legibly...block printing is usually preferred, typing is even better, and a computer? Hey, you are with it! :)

Be sure to sign your new pedigrees, and that all information is complete and accurate. At no time should you ever omit or change information on a pedigree to suit your convenience. If the color as recorded is incorrect, and you have the rabbit in front of you, then it may be changed....but make sure you are right!

~ KSS Rabbitry ~
Katelynn S. Sokolowski

Haskell, Oklahoma
Phone: 915-482-1560
Email: katers20011@yahoo.com
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