Supplies to Take to a Rabbit Show

Rabbit Show Preparation: A Packing List

You will undoubtedly add your own “must haves” to this list, but here is a starter (most necessary items are in bold).   You can also download a printer-friendly checklist.

  • The right rabbits.  Be sure to check ear numbers and pack the right rabbits.  I make a list of rabbits I’m taking and then print a carrier label for each of them.  While making preparations for packing, I lay out my carriers and put the labels on each hold.  So when I pack my rabbits, I just read the labels, and place the rabbits in the labeled hole for that rabbit. 
  • I try to pack my rabbits in such a way that it will be easy to put them on the show table.  If I have three solid senior bucks and four solid senior does, I will put the bucks in one carrier and the does in another, filling the extra space in the buck’s carrier with a sale bunny or a rabbit that I’m delivering to someone else.
  • The right rabbits include those you will show, those you want to sell or have pre-sold,  those you want to register, and perhaps, those you want informal opinions about from other breeders, registrars, and off-duty judges.
  • Water for each rabbit.  I bring refill water from home or a jug or spring water since we have well water and I don’t want to stress my rabbits with a sudden change to chlorinated city water.
  • Hay.  Chewing hay helps reduce stress in rabbits and traveling is a source of stress for rabbits.  You may train your rabbits to eat hay cubes, if the mess is a concern.  Also, I’ve seen exhibitors stuff empty toilet paper rolls with hay to keep the rabbit entertained and the hay a little neater.  I stuff the built-in hay rack of my carriers with hay and take extra hay if I will be gone more than overnight.
  • Feed.  Bring pellets if you will be gone all day.  It’s not necessary for a single show close to home, but that doesn’t happen too often.  For Convention or Nationals, make sure that your feed will be provided at the show.  The type I use was at Convention but was not at Holland Lop Nationals.
  • A list of rabbits you are showing, divided by category with ear number, so you don’t miss putting each of your rabbits on the table at the right time.  Also you can use this list to make sure you packed the right rabbits.
  • Directions to the show and directions to your motel room, if needed.
  • Treats.  Yes, treats are optional, but rabbits often go off their regular feed when traveling and may be tempted with shredded wheat or cilantro.
  • Your ARBA card, if you plan to register rabbits (If you plan to show Holland lops, please join ARBA and the Holland Lop Rabbit Specialty Club).  Your ARBA card is required for ARBA Convention.
  • A copy of your entry email or entry form, just in case there is a mix-up with your entries.
  • Book of your rabbits’ pedigrees.  If you sell or register rabbits, you will need them.  And you may want to look up something while you are at the show, such as common ancestors with a rabbit you decide to buy.
  • Markers and sign supplies, if you plan to sell rabbits.  Some people use dry erase boards.  Others put tags or signs on rabbit transport cage compartments.
  • An empty carrier, if there is any chance of buying rabbits.
  • Empty boxes, if there is any chance of selling rabbits.
  • Plastic bags filled with transitional feed to accompany rabbits you sell.
  • Folding chair, unless you are sure that bleachers will be available to sit on.
  • Grooming table for carrier shows.  It is much more convenient to groom rabbits on a table rather than on your lap.  Take a grooming shelf to cooped shows.
  • Rabbit grooming supplies:  brush, nail clippers, rinse-less shampoo, and a towel. 
  • Tattoo equipment:  if you tattoo your rabbits yourself or touch-up tattoos yourself, make sure you pack your supplies.
  • Baby wipes.  Even though you will be required to have a leak-proof carrier, accidents happen.  Paper towels are generally available in the showroom.
  • Standard of Perfection or the Holland Lop Rabbit Specialty Club Official Guidebook in case you need to look up standards, perhaps to help you decide whether to buy a rabbit or show a buyer that yours is showable.
  • Trolley or cart to help transport your rabbits.
  • Apron or cover-up.  The first thing I want to do after a long show is to go out to eat.  It’s more comfortable if you are not covered with rabbit hair.
  • Lint roller, to remove any fur not caught by the apron.
  • Business cards with your rabbitry information on it.  These are great to share with other breeders and pet customers.
  • Thin-tipped permanent marker, for putting temporary information inside a rabbit’s ear.  When I need to have several rabbits tattooed, I mark the ear number in the wrong ear to keep track of the rabbits until they are tattooed before judging starts.
  • Spare parts:  an extra water bottle in case you spring a leak, an extra spring closure for your transport cages, an extra food dish, and, perhaps, even a spare cage handle.
  • Pain reliever for you.  I often get a backache from standing more than usual and sometimes I get a headache from getting up so early.
  • Raffle table donations, optional.  Even if you don’t belong to the club sponsoring the event, your donations are appreciated.
  • First aid kit–a given any time I leave home.
  • Tarp, to place under your transport cages to protect your car.  Some people use carpet squares to protect their vehicles.
  • Change of clothes for you, in case a rabbit springs a leak at the wrong time.
  • If the weather will be hot, consider taking a fan and/or a spray bottle of water to mist hot rabbits.
  • Pens – they get lost easily, and come in handy.
  • Entertainment – books, your laptop, whatever keeps you entertained while you’re waiting for your breed to be called.  Of course, some people find chatting with other breeders to be entertainment enough!

Next Article on Showing rabbits

Next Article: Before Judging Begins

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