As much as I would like to include every rabbit breeder in the country (or even the world) on this list, that is outside the grasp of my resources. But hopefully, one day soon, we will at least have the majority of the most popular ones.
Sometimes you may find that there are absolutely no breeders living in your area. If you select one of the rarer meat breeds, this will almost certainly be the case.
If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, you have a few options.
- Pay shipping costs for your breeding stock. Many breeders will not actually ship rabbits so this may not even be an option to consider, but if they will it could be expensive.
- Drive to the nearest breeder to visit their facility and pick up your rabbit(s). This will give you an opportunity to see the breeder’s rabbitry but it could require a few hours drive.
- Attend the next National ARBA Convention. If you attend a convention you should contact the breeders you want to get stock from BEFORE the event. Breeders generally only bring their best stock and you want to make sure that there will be a rabbit waiting for you when you arrive. No one wants to go home empty handed or end up with rabbits that aren’t up to their expectations.
It is possible that the breeder will not let you see their housing area because they fear the spread of disease. Although it sounds crazy, handlers can transmit diseases on their clothes and an outbreak of snuffles could kill their entire stock.
Meat and fur breeders also get harassed frequently by animal rights organizations and one phone call could cause all of the breeder’s rabbits to be confiscated. So you can see why they may be hesitant to welcome you in. I have noticed several breeders even insist that you meet in a public place instead of their rabbitry so that they, and their rabbits, are protected.
If you are looking for meat rabbits, you will find many of them on this list under popular meat rabbit breed categories. But many of the more uncommon breeds are raised for show and as pets. These breeders are often not sympathetic to the views of meat raisers and cannot comprehend why you would consider eating little Floppy or his offspring for dinner. This does not mean that they cannot provide you with wonderful breeding stock; it simply means you must be more delicate about your intentions. After all, you are not going to be raising your rabbits in inhuman quarters or kill them with cruel means. And the rabbits you purchase from them will be living out happy, long lives – and will very likely be viewed as pets in your homes. But do be aware that many show breeders will charge a lot more money for their breeders.