Rabbit pedigree, registration, papers… It can feel extremely confusing.
After you read this post you should have a clear understanding of how this all works. First, let me say that it does not work like getting papers for a dog that is registered through the AKC. I will explain how to get them later but for now, put what you know about that out of your mind.
I see this a lot when scrolling Craigslist (Come on what self-respecting animal lover doesn’t do that) the words “has papers” most often I know what means a pedigree. But it could be registration papers which are not the same thing.
First, let’s start with the rabbit pedigree.
What Is A Rabbit Pedigree
A rabbit pedigree is a paper with at least a three-generation family tree of the rabbit. There is other info on the pedigree but when the term full pedigree is used it is assumed that there is the following info listed for all the animals on the pedigree.
- Ear number
If there is a blank on any of that information listed above it is not considered full or complete.
Why Have A Pedigree
If you have a pedigree for your animals they are worth quite a bit more when it comes to sales. It also gives a sense of legitimacy when selling your rabbits as a purebred.
If you want to get serious about rabbit showing it would be recommended your rabbit has one as well. While you do not have to have a pedigree to show you are going to have a hard time selling babies without a pedigree.
How To Get A Pedigree
Pedigrees are written on the honor system. Meaning the breeder writes them up on their own and it is assumed they are correct.
If you have rabbits that DO NOT have a pedigree you can start one with the information you know about the rabbit you own. But it will take you three generations before the pedigree is complete with all of the ancestries.
I use Evan’s pedigree program that auto-fills the pedigrees for me. It is worth EVERY PENNY! All I have to do is click each parent and print them out. You don’t need to have a fancy program like that. You can use a template in a google doc or image editing program. I used to handwrite them and after my first few litters were sold. Yep, it was time to make things a little easier on myself.
What Does It Mean When A Rabbit Is Registered
If a rabbit has a pedigree that does not mean they are registered. When a rabbit is registered the rabbits family tree (pedigree) is logged with the ARBA and after a few weeks and all the info is checked the owner is mailed a certificate of registration with the pedigree printed on the back.
How To Register A Rabbit With The ARBA
You have to take your rabbits to an official ARBA rabbit register and they will look over the pedigree and copy that information as well as tattoo your rabbit’s official registration number in the rabbit’s RIGHT ear.
There is a fee of about $6 to have the process done but you also have to be a current member of the ARBA to register your animals. If you let your membership lapse the animal does NOT lose the registration.
Why Register A Rabbit
The main reason to register a rabbit would be to apply for the rabbit’s grand champion certificate. But unless the rabbit has won the qualifying placements in the rabbits showing career there is no real advantage to taking this step.
Other than it looks good on paper there is no real point. Just because a rabbit is registered does not mean it has a very good type or will produce nice babies. All it means is there are not genetic disqualifications that would take the rabbit out of a show.
Papers, on the whole, will bring more legitimacy to your herd. But a pedigree will bring the most value.
And that should clear up what the difference is between a pedigree and registration.