When the topic of endangered animal breeds comes up, folks don’t often think of livestock animals like rabbits. One breed of rabbit in particular, the Silver Fox meat rabbit, is considered “recovering,” with some help from the Randolph County Center of the NC Cooperative Extension.
A barrier to raising an animal is often land or outdoor space, and this was the part of the motivation to start the conservancy program. Started last year, the rabbit chain aims to provide an “opportunity for youth to raise and show an animal all while learning important life skills,” says Extension Agent for 4-H Youth Development Allison Walker.
“[The program] also brings awareness to the importance of preserving heritage breeds of livestock. Showing livestock teaches youth responsibility, time management, good work ethic, record keeping, compassion, good sportsmanship, public speaking and many other important skills.”
The first in-person meeting of the year was held last week – rabbits included – where participants learned about rabbit anatomy and proper handling of the animals.
With the help of Sarah Moore, Agriculture teacher at Uwharrie Ridge 6-12, intern Rachel Davis and resources from the Livestock Conservancy, families are learning about the accessibility of raising livestock and are participating in the conservation of species while also having fun.
When asked about the program at a meeting learning about rabbit anatomy and the handling of rabbits, program participant Dallyn said she enjoys the program and the opportunity to raise her rabbit, Bonnie.
“She’s really sweet!”
The rabbit chain program is ongoing, and spaces are still available to participate in the project. The cost to adopt a rabbit is $25. Interested participants can reach out to Allison Walker at [email protected] or (336) 467-2927.