The Roundup -

Purebred Show Rabbits Raised in Sidney

 

Aiden Bernston with his Grand Champion Satin Rabbit

Corey Rieker and his soon to be wife Margo Lawler, raise purebred show and meat rabbits in the Sidney, Montana area. Rieker started raising rabbits in northern Colorado at age 11. He retired from raising rabbits at the age of 19 and later moved to eastern Montana to work in the oilfield. After meeting Lawler, Rieker decided to buy a chunk of property and raise rabbits again.

Since then, Lawler and Rieker have created a strong working herd of quality purebred rabbits. "Our goal is to successfully raise the perfect rabbit," said Rieker. Their herd consists of four different breeds: Mini Lops, Satins, Californians, and Himalayans. They have shown their rabbits at shows in Great Falls and Helena, MT, Wahpeton and Jamestown, ND and also at the North Dakota State Fair.

Rieker and Lawler are members of the American Rabbit Breeders Association, Inc. (ARBA). The ARBA is an organization that focuses on the development and promotion of domesticated rabbits. The organization contains over 23,000 members that raise rabbits for exhibition, pets, and commercial value. Rieker and Lawler are also project leaders of meat rabbits for Richland County. Rieker is also the president of Borderlands Rabbit Breeders and Lawler is the secretary and treasurer.

Their son, Aiden Bernston, a member of the Richland County 4-H Club, has taken an interest in raising/breeding rabbits and has started raising his very own herd. He has shown his breeding rabbits at the Richland County Fair where he took reserve champion in the showmanship category and grand champion in the breeding class. Bernston has his own business along with his siblings, selling bags of rabbit droppings for fertilizers for gardens. This type of fertilizer is also known as super fertilizer because it contains the highest concentrations of basic plant nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus.

Rieker strongly encourages anyone interested in raising an animal to show at the fair to raise rabbits. "They are allowed in city limits and are a meat animal so they can be shown and sold at the fair just like any other livestock. They are also a good way to teach children responsibility," explained Rieker.

Rieker recommends feeding show rabbits timothy hay, clean/ fresh water, a complete pellet feed, beet pulp, and rolled oats. Rieker said, "If you are interested in raising rabbits I suggest buying from a reputable breeder that is willing to answer any question you may have."

 

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