What is a rabbit pedigree? Oh wait thats not the same as my rabbit being registered….
My head was spinning when I was trying to understand it all. But you can do it. After you read this post you will have a clear understanding of how rabbit pedigrees and registration all works.
I see the words “has papers” a lot when scrolling Craigslist (Come on what self-respecting animal lover doesn’t do that) 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 Does It Mean When A Rabbit Is Pedigreed
It means that a rabbit has a document created by the rabbit’s breeder that has the family tree clearly stated.
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.
There can also be the rabbits:
- Registration Number
- Grand Championship Number (GC)
- Date Of Birth For Ansestry (this is not required and is often only done when a pedigree was made by a computer program.
- Genetic Color Code
- Legs Or Past Winnings
Here is an example of a pedigree printed using the Evens Rabbit Pedigree Program.
Why Have A Rabbit Pedigree
Do You Need A Pedigree To Show Rabbits?
The short answer is no. But if your rabbit does well and you want to register your rabbit to get its grand champion certificate your rabbit must be pedigreed to do that.
So if you want to get serious about rabbit showing it would be recommended your rabbit has one as well.
Your Rabbits Will Be Worth More If They Have A Pedigree
If you have a pedigree for your animals they are worth quite a bit more when it comes to selling them. It also gives a sense of legitimacy when selling your rabbits as purebred.
How Do You Know If A Rabbit Is Pure Bred
If you are new to the rabbit world it is going to be difficult. Familiarizing yourself with as many breeds as possible will help you notice if something is not quite right with the rabbit you are looking for.
The rabbit’s pedigree works as proof that the rabbit is purebred but you are still relying on the fact that the breeder did not fabricate it.
The image below is a good example of rabbits that are not purebred. The dark ones have a lot of Dutch in them as well as the light colors to their left. But the first clue is the color of those tan-colored rabbits. That is not a recognized color of the Dutch rabbit and I don’t think it’s even possible to get that color out of the breed without mixing it.
The other clue is the black rabbits with the blaze are not the right body shape of a Dutch rabbit. But all of that takes time to learn.
How Much Does It Cost To Get A Rabbit Pedigree
You can very likely find a pedigree template for free if you look hard enough but sometimes they will have a watermark on them. You will also have to handwrite each one which becomes tedious. Trust me.
You can also buy a pedigree program which is very much worth it.
How Do You Make A Rabbit 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.
If you are willing to do that then go for it.
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.
When you are filling a rabbit pedigree out the Sire’s pedigree information goes on the upper half of the pedigree and the Dam’s (mother) information goes on the lower half of the pedigree. Make sure to watch the video below to see it done.
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 rabbit’s 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.