Here you will find:
At Trickster Hares Farm, we enjoy raising heritage rabbit breeds and keeping these endangered breeds alive by using them for food production. All of our commercial and mandolin typed rabbits were at one time popular for meat, and have been replaced by the mono-culture approach of large scale industry focusing on one or two common breeds. The rare breeds suffered genetic loss as the populations shrank. Many rare breed enthusiasts today work together to help develop genetic strength and viability.
One of the best ways to get established on the map of rare breeds is to show your rabbits. The more points you get for your rabbits, and the more wins, the more you are noticed as a reputable breeder.
For the rare breeds rabbits are often transported around the country, because there often isn’t a local good source from a reputable breeder. We have to both work with what we’ve got, and when we can, ship in a rabbit from out of state from an excellent breeder. In some breeds, its nearly impossible to find a perfect show animal. I’ve experienced getting both fantastic and terrible rabbits from out of state. There is nothing more disappointing than spending all that money getting a rabbit transported to discover its so-so or sick. My advice is to see pictures or really know your breeder you are getting them from, their reputation, and how long they’ve been breeding. That still isn’t always reliable.
I sell live rabbits. They are not cheap. I do not like selling my rabbits as I am concerned about what kind of homes they are going to, but will sell when I have some that are just too good to eat and would prefer they went out to help the breed. I prefer to sell to those who want to maintain the breed and occasionally go to shows. Showing is what tells you how you are breeding up to the standard – the ideal for this breed – and not going off on a tangent. The standard helps us keep the breed in line with its heritage characteristics. Sometimes I sell to backyard breeders but don’t try to sell those offspring as purebred show stock. If you don’t show, you don’t know what you are selling. It might be purebred but your lines bred in a direction that doesn’t match the standard and give this breed a bad name when someone tries to show it. I’ve heard such terrible stories of new bunny owners who love their rabbits go to a show and find out they have rabbits fit for the stew pot.
Know that if you purchase from me, I disclose as much as I know about the rabbit. Usually provide pictures too, if you are long distance. I don’t want anyone to be surprised or disappointed by your purchase. I don’t have to sell rabbits, but it does help with the feed bill, so I do. When its not show season I just fill up the freezer. Some of these rare breeds are not perfect stock. I purchased stock in some cases from out of the country and they’re not perfect either. We are all breeding towards the standard, that doesn’t mean every rabbit is perfect already – otherwise we wouldn’t really have a problem with the rare breeds being rare. So please know that going into a rare breed – I may sell you the best I have and that I like, but that doesn’t mean its perfect – someone else might come along (usually from a different breed that isn’t rare) and tell you all its faults. The rare breeds are more in the process of trying to meet their standards than the popular breeds, who have decades of dedicated breeding and tens of thousands of animals to choose from. The rare breeds in some cases have 200 animals accounted for in the country.
My prices are usually as follows, but are sometimes adjusted for show quality, 4-Hers, or because I feel like it:
- Black & Tan $250
- Black/Blue & Tan Pet quality $125
- Show Whites $100-125
- Brood/Show Whites $75
- Blues & Sports $65-75
For current photos of animals for sale and upcoming litters check my Facebook page Trickster Hares Farm or feel free to contact me.
SPECIAL NOTE: If you have dollar signs in front of your eyes and are attracted to these breeds to make money, let me stop you right there. I spend way more money than I ever make on these breeds. I am glad for the sales putting some money back in the feed and show cost coffers, to help the buns pay for themselves. The only time I exceeded breaking even was the year I sold off most of our stock to move the farm. Belgian Hares can be hard to breed and raise, and that is accounted for in those prices. Making a show quality tan is no joke. For Beveren you need a reputation and show record (such as winning BOSB at National Convention, in 2015) to charge much more than $50-65 per rabbit. I have seen people come in and just as fast leave these two breeds. The definition of rare breed means it’s not popular. If it was popular, it would be easy to find people who want to buy them, and you can charge good money. It’s hard to try to make money off pets on these two breeds. Plan to eat a lot of rabbit.
Animals are guaranteed healthy the first 24 hours. Beyond that so much depends on the care, the transport, food, water, stressors. I want to know if your animal shows up sick or if there is a problem so communicate with me. Beyond the 24 hours I MAY give you some credit towards a replacement. I like to discuss with you first what has happened. All animals are healthy to my knowledge at the time of sale. That said, at a show or in the van of a transporter, one never knows what a rabbit might be exposed to – and that risk is on the shoulders of the purchaser and the transport they line up. I can’t vouch for your transporter. I can suggest to you to ask for special treatment and pay your transport extra $$ to take the rabbit out of the carrier at night and put it in an x-pen to exercise each night, drape a towel to keep other rabbits from sneezing on it, and other tips to help. This will ensure more safe arrival by keeping the bunny’s immune system healthy and strong, by reducing stress.
Show marked animals, animals with legs, etc.: I sell show quality animals to the best of my knowledge without fault. If there is a fault I will tell you. Ask my buyers – I don’t send off animals with knowing DQ’s. That said, if you find a DQ on your animal in the first couple weeks of arrival, please notify me ASAP. Please look the animal over when it arrives. Sometimes animals are injured in the process of transport. Some animals like marked breeds can grow black spots from bites, scratches and scrapes. These are not my responsibility, as long as the spot isn’t there upon arrival of the animal, if it is something I missed, please notify me for an exchange. As animals mature – say 6 months or 8 months or more – I have seen dark spots appear on ears taking a beautiful show animal to DQ status. I cannot guarantee this won’t happen, this is a LIVING animal with its own unique set of genes – anything can happen. In the case of rare breeds we often maintain brood stock just for creating show stock from – and that animal is still valuable and still worth the money you paid.
RETURN POLICY. Sometimes life changes happen, or you decide this isn’t the breed for you, I get it. Some of my lines are very rare and irreplaceable for me. I sell rabbits from these lines because I do not have room to keep them all. Sometimes the one I keep doesn’t turn out as good as the one I sold, or maybe something happens to it. I share my stock as an insurance policy, to be able to get back my lines in the future. Not all competitive breeders do. I have lost to my own rabbits! (Beveren Nationals in 2016, for instance, was won by a rabbit I sold a few months prior.) Some of these animals are sold with the agreement that you will give me right of first refusal. That means if you change your mind or are done with an animal, you let me know first, and give me the option to take back the animal.
And, I will always take back any animal I sell. If you are not needing it anymore or your child is getting out of rabbits, please send the rabbit home.