In Part 1 of this topic we discussed where to acquire breeding stock. Now let's talk about what factors should be considered when selecting your stock. I prefer to think of it in a lot of ways like purchasing a new vehicle. First, you decide on a brand. In this case, our brand in the New Zealand which is now considered the number one meat breed in the country and quite versatile.
The next thing we decide is color. Do we want red, blue, black, white or broken? Maybe you just want to focus on one color when getting started until you get a better understanding of how it all works. One mistake I see with newcomers is trying to do too much too fast and then they become overwhelmed. This usually leads to frustration and discouragement and they get out before they have barely gotten started. If you decide, however, to go all out and start several color lines then, by all means, be my guest. Of course, you are probably going to need a crash course in color genetics.
After you have settled on a color, next comes body style. For a better understanding on that subject I would suggest you obtain a copy of the ARBA Standard of Perfection. You can order a paper copy or you can download a digital copy onto your device. You might also want to, again, talk to some experienced breeders and attend a few shows so you can get a clearer picture of what is desired. Some of you may be thinking that you only want to breed for meat purposes so why would it matter what the bunny looks like. I personally think that it is especially important if your purpose is meat. When you go to the store for meat, do you pick just any old cut of beef or do you sort through each pack until you get what you consider to be the best looking piece for the price and take it home to feed your family? I think the answer is clear. We all want the best quality we can get for a reasonable price. At any rate the goal should be to produce good quality stock no matter what the intended purpose might be.