Thursday, October 1, 2009

Unusual Convention Tips

With Convention exactly a month away, I figured it was time to share some off the beaten path Convention tips. You can easily find the regular tips on how to survive, but what about the little unknown tips? Last year in Kentucky was my first and I definitely learned a lot!

  • Securely lock your rabbit coops. I don't use actual locks. They are a safety hazard, and with my klutz luck, I would lose the key. I use lots of zip ties. There's a trick to know if someone has been messing with yours... I bring a sharpie and put specific line marks on them. That way I can tell if they have been moved, shifted, cut, or otherwise tampered with before I can cut them each day.
  • Take a trip outside of the show room. I know many people say they don't have time to do other activities in the area that are "touristy", but these type of National shows bring us all across the country. Enjoy time to relax and get out of the rabbit scene for a short time. Your mind and your lungs will appreciate it. Sometimes seeing tens of thousands of rabbits is mentally overwhelming. Even when trying to purchase sale rabbits, deciding between so many can make your mind go numb. By going out to get lunch, doing an attraction or something else, when you come back you feel so much clearer and get right back into the routine.
  • Sometimes the best sale rabbits are put up right after judging. Some breeders use the Convention results as a decision on whether a rabbit will be put up for sale or not before they leave. And some breeders flying home would like to take as short an amount as possible, so they will sell some cheap. I've even seen breeders GIVE rabbits away right before they depart, or make trades for babies during the upcoming Nationals, etc.
  • If possible, bring your own feed from home. If you're flying, put it in your bag. Your rabbits will be more readily willing to eat the same feed from the same mill they have been receiving at home. If you're driving, bring water from home. Trust me, pretty much all rabbits will lose condition on the trip to Convention. You will want them to be eating/drinking as easily as possible to bring it back. Bring oats or treats that will make their food more appetizing if need be. Also, Convention will most likely have the food you are feeding available at the show room to use, but they can run out within a few days.
  • When cleaning cages.. try to do it at least once a day. If you let urine soak the shavings it not only makes your rabbit miserable in its' cage, but it makes the noses on all of US miserable. And like feed, the shavings will run out pretty fast each day. Try to stay on top of it. I use a small handle broom and dust pan. You can get them at Dollar Tree or even Target/Walmart for $1.50 or less.
  • If you know your rabbit is going to try to pee/spray every direction constantly, please use cardboard/plastic to section off your rabbit. Nobody wants to spend their time cleaning urine stains off a rabbit they had been keeping in perfect coat condition.
  • Go to your breed club meetings, banquets, and events. Support your club! Also, even more so, go to all the ARBA events that are being put on. For example, this Convention we have Rabbitcon (educational seminars for 2 days), the Rabbit Fever movie premiere, and more. You will regret it if you don't.

Just a few tips and tricks to throw out there. If I think of more before the big week I will post them. Always so much to learn and discover at Convention!

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