Do you live in town, but want to try raising livestock? Are you interested in raising an animal project other than your family dog, cat or hamster? The Rabbit project is a great way to get involved no matter where you live. In the 4-H Rabbit project, you will learn the basics of caring for rabbits and you will be able to show your rabbits!

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Exploring 4-H

Exploring 4-H Rabbits

Spark Activity: Get to Know Your Breeds

This activity will help you to learn about all of the different breeds of rabbits and what each has to offer. Here are some questions for you to answer:

  • What is the difference in a 4-Class and a 6-Class Rabbit?
  • Which breed of rabbit is known as the largest? Which is the smallest?
  • Which breed is known for its extremely soft and velvety fur?
  • Which breeds have floppy ears and which don’t?
  • What are the best breeds to use for meat?
  • What are the best breeds to have as pets?
  • What is the gestation period for the different breeds of rabbits?
  • At what age should you wean baby rabbits?
  • Plan and follow a biosecurity plan for your project.
  • Research and know the risks of RHDV2. Feel free to use your project book, Google or the American Rabbit Breeders Association website to find the answers!
4-H Project Levels and Goals
  • Build a nest box for your rabbits 
  • Learn about the different breeds of rabbits and choose which breed is right for you 
  • Learn proper care for your rabbits
  • Learn about rabbit nutrition and proper feeding 
  • Learn proper grooming techniques for exhibiting 
  • Learn about biosecurity
  • Learn proper housing and care for your rabbits
  • Set up and run your breeding program 
  • Choose best rabbits for exhibition
  • Tattoo rabbits for identification
  • Learn about rabbit body types and their functions
  • Develop a biosecurity plan for your rabbit project
  • Learn about genetics and setting up your own breeding programs
  • Learn how to prepare pedigrees and registration papers
  • Market your rabbits to others
  • Learn palpation techniques in order to determine pregnancy
  • Practice your biosecurity plan for your rabbit project
Put Your Project Into Action

Show Your Skills

  • County 4-H show, State Fair, ARBA shows in your State and other States, County Fairs and Convention shows
  • Display on proper care, nutrition, breeding programs, pedigrees or designing a proper rabbit barn

 Service and Leadership

  • Raise a litter and dedicate them to helping other members get a start in the rabbit project
  • Donate rabbit manure to others for garden fertilizer
  • Help with repairs to your fairgrounds rabbit barn
  • Organize a rabbit workshop for 4-H members
  • Set up an informational rabbit display at your local library or school


  • Breed, raise and sell rabbits
  • Start a rabbit supply business
  • Make and sell rabbit cages or carriers

Technology Connection

  • Ultra sound for pregnancy detection
  • Cameras linked to cell phones allow monitoring of rabbit activity, wellness, and birthing
  • Artificial Insemination is emerging in the commercial rabbit industry

Connecting with a Mentor

  • Connect with an older 4-H member who has been in the Rabbit project for several years
  • Seek out local rabbit breeders


  • Annual 4-H Rabbit workshops
  • 4-H Rabbit show
  • County Fair shows
  • State 4-H Livestock Ambassador Team member
  • ARBA shows in every State
  • State Fair Rabbit shows
  • National Shows

Project Manuals & Exhibit Requirements

  • LEVEL 1: What's Hoppening?                      
  • LEVEL 2: Making Tracks            
  • LEVEL 3: All Ears!

Purchase manuals on the Shop Illinois 4-H Store

View exhibit requirements and scoresheets on the Illinois State Fair page.

veternarian holding a rabbit
  • Certified Judge ARBA (American Rabbit Breeders Association)
  • Rabbit Breeder
  • Rabbit Supply Business
  • Animal Supply Store
  • Pet Store Employee
Start a Conversation

Start a Conversation

  • How fast do rabbits grow?
  • How many ounces per day?
  • What can you do to learn more about a proper breeding program?
  • What is the best feed, hay, supplement for your rabbits?

Illinois 4-H Project Guide 2019-2020

4-H Spark Sheets are a collaborative effort of 4-H staff, volunteers, alumni and teens from across Illinois. A big thanks to the many contributors and reviewers