The Walker County 4-H Rabbit Club meets once a month. Watch your monthly newsletters for updated dates!

Texas 4-H offers a variety of information on rabbit projects. Click here for more details.


The following information is provided by Kristy Titzman, Walker County Extension Agent (4-H Youth Development)

The Rabbit Project varies from county to county in Texas.  Here in Walker County, our Rabbit Club and Rabbit Project follows the rules of the Walker County Fair each year.  (These rules can be accessed at this website: Walker County Fair Rabbits)

The Walker County Fair requires participants to own/raise the project from the first Thursday in November through the end of the fair. This means that you will be breeding your rabbits and showing their offspring as a meat pen at the county show.  On the first Thursday of November each year you will turn in the “Doe Registration Form“.   This form is used to declare the tattoo information of the does that you will be breeding for the fair.  The meeting to turn in the form is mandatory for all exhibitors.  The meeting is made mandatory by the Walker County Fair Rabbit Committee, not 4-H, so permission to be absent from this meeting but he obtained from the committee.  You will ask permission to miss this meeting from the chairman of the committee, which for the 2024 year is Kevin Sanders.  Please give him a call at 936-581-3932 if you need to miss this meeting.

One of the questions that I always hear from new members, is where should I buy my breeding stock? This is a good question and one that should be given some thought from everyone.  You may already have a friend or family member that shows rabbits and they are a great resource to get you started within this project.   But if you don’t have this opportunity, please know that there are many rabbit breeders in Texas that are willing to sell stock to 4-H members.  You must do your own due-diligence to know a bit about rabbits before you just purchase from anyone off the street though.  Please do some research on your own and first decide which breed you wish to raise.  The two most common breeds in our county show are Californians and New Zealands. There are other breeds of rabbits that can be raised for meat though and other breeds are an option, but please know that rule #1 of the fair rules states that ARBA (American Rabbit Breeders Association) rules and standards will be followed in the judging process, which means that the rabbits must be a breed recognized by ARBA.  (TAMUK’s and other composites are not able to be shown.)

The following links have a listing of possible rabbit breeders to research for stock:

Texas Californian Rabbit Specialty Club Membership

Texas Cals Meat Pen List (This list is usually for someone who would call to be put on a list for a specific breeding list for those fairs that allow you to purchase for a meat pen only, but it couldn’t hurt to see if they have breeding stock also.)

Potential Rabbit Breeder List (I have no idea how old this list is, but it seems to be one that is shared amongst 4-H clubs in the state.)

Another question I seem to hear is “How many rabbits do I need?”  There’s not a certain answer that can be given for this one.  At the bare minimum, you will need a “breeding trio” which is 2 does and one buck of the same breed.  This number rises if you have more than one child in the project and will really be dictated by the number you are able to house.  For Walker County Fair, you will show the kits that you raise from these breeding does, so you most likely don’t want to take the chance of not having any to show.  The more does you have, the more you are able to breed and the better your chances are of having a successful breeding season with plenty to choose from to make your pen of three.  Every person you talk to about this will give you a different answer, but I would recommend 6 does and 2 bucks if you have the space to raise them.

Once you get your rabbits you will want to make sure that you are feeding them a high-quality show feed.  I don’t recommend one over another, but do recommend that you go with a feed that is FRESH.  I wouldn’t recommend feeding anything to your rabbits that is more than 30 days old.  Do your research and make sure the feed you decide to feed is being replenished in a timely manner so that you are always able to find fresh feed.  (Please note that if you are purchasing new stock from someone, it is ALWAYS best to be sure and ask what they are feeding and to either keep feeding the same thing, or to SLOWLY transition them over to a different feed.  You do this my making sure you have the feed they are used to eating on hand and slowly mix it into the feed you wish to move them to and do this slowly.  Stress can cause the rabbit’s digestive system to be “off” very easily so the stress of a new barn and a new feed at the same time can be detrimental.)

You will breed your rabbits 100 days before the show date to produce a meat pen.  Gestation in a rabbit is usually 31-33 days long and you want your meat pen to be right at 70 days old on the day of the show, so counting back 100 days from the date of the show will get you right where you need to be.

You’ll add in nest boxes on about day 29 of gestation so the doe can kindle in the box.


I have found that there are many “groups on Facebook” that offer lots of good information for raising rabbits. Here are a few that I recommend joining for research purposes:

Youth Meatpen and Breeder Rabbit Show Projects of the Great State of Texas

Californian Show Rabbits and Meat Pens – Texas

Texas Youth Show Rabbit Group

The following are good documents for researching and learning more about a rabbit project.  I have found them useful throughout the last few years.

Things To Consider

Rabbit Project Reference Manual


Rabbit Essentials

Meat Pens

Feeding Meat Pens

October Meeting Handouts

Showmanship Test Bank of Questions for Study

Building Nest Boxes Handout

Preparing for the Arrival of Your Babies Handout

Taking Care of Your Babies Handout


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