Kaitlyn Barrett showed the champion Pen of 2 Roasters during the 2020 Delaware County Junior Fair Rabbit Show held Sept. 21.
“This is my second year with rabbits,” Barrett said. “One of my friends did rabbits, and I’ve always liked rabbits because they’re very small animals, and they’re one of the easier animals to work with, and they were just very appealing to me.”
The year before, Barrett had placed in the top 10 with her rabbits. With the coronavirus pandemic, “it was a little bit different, but since it was only my second year, I wasn’t really set to the routine of the fair,” she said. “But I thought it was OK. It was definitely a big step up to get grand champion.”
In her division, there were 60 young people showing 120 rabbits. “There was a huge tent. They had tables, and they made us social distance, and we put our rabbits in these pens. Ten judges came around and judged the rabbits on how muscular they are, how much meat they have, and how good their fur is. They judged who had the most of that, and the placing went from 10th to grand champion.”
Barrett said that although there was also showmanship being graded in four age classes, she opted to just do the market showing. She received a plaque and earned about $850 for the winning pair.
What was remarkable about Barrett’s win is that one of the rabbits she received at the end of June “got very sick and about passed away. But we gave it oats and pellet feed, and it was doing great after that.”
Roasters, as the name implies, are market rabbits intended for grocers. According to information from the Delaware County Fair, the roasters that are shown are bucks or does that are less than 6 months old. They don’t need to be from the same litter, but they should be uniform in shape, size and color. The ideal weight is 7 pounds per rabbit (14 for the pair), with a range of 5 to 8 pounds per rabbit.
Barrett is a sixth grader at Buckeye Valley Middle School. Her parents are Heather and Kevin Barrett, and they live in Delaware.
“Next year, I’m planning to do cooking, rabbits and art,” Barrett said. “I was actually thinking about not doing rabbits next year just because I didn’t know if coronavirus would still be happening, because there was no rabbit clinics this year where they taught you stuff. So, you kind of have to figure it out on your own path how to do it. But overall, I decided to do it one more year, because I just think it’s really fun.“
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.