Raising rabbits teaches responsibility (video)
By Caty Hirst - CHIRST@VICAD.COM
Feb. 23, 2013 at 5 p.m.
Updated Feb. 22, 2013 at 8:23 p.m.
They aren't pets; they are how you make money, said 11-year-old Jacob Hammack about his bunnies.
Jacob, a fifth-grader at Industrial Elementary School West, and his 17-year-old brother, John Hammack, raise Californian rabbits each year for the Victoria County Livestock Show, competing against each other for grand champion.
John, who goes to Industrial High School, started showing the bunnies when he was 9 years old.
"I thought it looked easy, but it isn't like it appears," John said describing the hours spent cleaning cages, the constant feeding of the rabbits and the hardships of breeding the animal year-round.
Jacob and John have four does and two bucks. They are raising 19 babies to choose from for the show.
In years past, however, John said he hasn't been able to show because all of the babies died beforehand.
A junior, John said even though he doesn't know yet where he wants to go to college or what he wants to do, he has about $10,000 saved up for college from the livestock shows.
The boys' mother, Renee Hammack, said raising the animals and participating in the stock show teaches her sons to be responsible and to handle their own money.
"What happens when you don't have rabbits to show?" she asked her sons.
"No money for you," Jacob quickly replied.