Rabbit show draws large crowd at fair

| October 1, 2019

Caitlin and Alaina Swiney, from This-n-That 4-H Club are getting their rabbits ready for the rabbit show at the Coshocton County Fair on Monday, Sept. 30. Jen Jones | Beacon

COSHOCTON – The junior fair arena was crowded with friends and family as 4-H youth showed their rabbits. Each competitor had to show the judge how to properly take care of their rabbits, including flipping the rabbit onto its back and checking the feet and claws. Ears and eyes have to be examined, also. After watching the youth examine their animal, the judge spoke to each one about their project.

Alaina Swiney, 13, and her sister, Caitlin, 11, were showing their rabbits for the first time. They are members of This- N-That 4-H Club and chose to bring rabbits because they live in the city and it’s easier to care for small animals.

Alaina said she was “sorta nervous” before the show. Every day, she cleans her rabbits’ cage, feeds and waters them and gets them used to being handled. Before the show, she checked their ears and cleaned them if needed. She also brushed them and cleans any dirt off of the rabbits.

She was showing a single rabbit and also a pen of three. “The hardest part of showing all three will be to keep them all contained on the table,” said Alaina. She also said the judge will look at her rabbits’ posture and make sure she takes proper care of them.

Caitlin said she was very nervous about showing her rabbits. “The hardest part of raising them is keeping them from running off. And when I show all three, to try and keep them all together.” She also said she cleans and brushes her rabbits often and plays with them so they will be used to her during the show.

Will Vickers, 15, is showing rabbits for the fourth year. He is a member of Magic Makers 4-H Club. He chose rabbits because he enjoys them and they don’t take a lot of time. “They are good money makers,” Vickers said.

Vickers said he will be showing a pen of three, too. “The judges look for uniformity between the rabbits. They want them to look as much alike as possible.  And they check to make sure you are taking care of them and nothing is wrong with the rabbits.” He said his plan when showing all three is to “line them up and have my hands ready to grab them and be sure they don’t run.”

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