Black Diamond Kits

Black Diamond Kits
Sage's Kits, Nine Weeks Old

For the Parents

After all, you may be thinking, "Why on earth would I consider allowing my child to acquire an angora rabbit?"  And possibly, "Aren't we already busy enough?"

I'll answer the latter question first.  Raising rabbits is not a big demand on your time, assuming you are not taking over care for the rabbits.  Your obligation would consist of monthly 4-H club meetings.  Ours last only one hour.  And you don't even have to attend all the meetings to be a member in good standing.  Our club requires only 50% attendance.  And you attend as many or as few shows as you like.  However, if your child is already very busy, then raising an angora rabbit probably would not be a good idea.  A French angora only requires about five minutes more per week in care than a short-haired rabbit.  But all rabbits have to be cared for daily--feed and water, and their pans need to be cleaned weekly at the very least. 

We have already extolled the virtues of joining 4-H.  A good rabbit club provides opportunities for learning leadership skills as well as public speaking.  Charlotte and Lydia have learned so much in showmanship competitions and they have both become much more comfortable in dealing with buyers and selling their rabbits.  4-H offers a fantastic program for learning how to care for any breed of rabbit.

Raising and breeding French angoras can be a really good business for youth if you love rabbits.  And you have to love angoras.  Don't allow your child to get into this for making money.  Get into this because you really enjoy fluffy bunnies and spinning their fiber and knitting/crocheting (the spinning and knitting can come later, but ideally these would be the kinds of activities you and your child enjoy).  Making money by being able to breed and sell cute bunnies is a bonus.  Of course, a lot depends on your area.  Angoras are easily found in most of Oregon and the Bay Area of California.  But, as far as we have been able to determine, Black Diamond is the only breeder of French angoras, or any angoras, in Nevada.  We are the only breeders between Sacramento and Denver.  We haven't been able to locate any breeders in Utah, and only German angoras and angora crossbreeds in Idaho. (If you are a breeder in any of these areas, let us know!  Sometimes we don't have what a buyer is looking for, and we can refer them to you.)

Your child could do very well in generating some income.  Lydia's current litter of ten kits will net her over $700.  Charlotte's litter of seven should net her over $500.  They only breed rabbits twice a year at most.  But the rabbits can be bred more often.  How else can a ten-year-old earn this kind of money?  A thirteen-year-old might make good money in the city by baby-sitting, but we are rural and opportunities for baby-sitting are rare.

I feel that kids really should earn their own money to buy their rabbits.  And to maintain them.  That way they have more skin in the game.  The girls have all earned their money to buy their rabbits.  However, I helped Lydia and Charlotte at first a bit with feed as it takes a while before they can start breeding and selling.  I pay show fees.  I still don't know why I do that.  But the girls keep reminding me that they give me the fiber to spin or sell.

If you have any questions, feel free to email.  I don't really care whether you are a potential buyer, or you live on the other side of the country.  Raising these rabbits has been an amazing experience for my daughters, and I'd like to see others enjoy this as well.  But I recognize it can be a little daunting, so I'd like to help.

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