Unless you know the breeder well and you’re willing to take the chance on their word, you should really buy only pedigreed rabbits. While Pedigrees won’t ensure the health of the animals, they do have documentation of what type of rabbit it is and it’s lineage back 3 or sometimes 4 generations.
If you’re planning on selling the fur, selling offspring, or showing any offspring in the future, you’ll want to have a pedigree on your animals.
Pedigrees not only show the breed of the animal, but who sired it, who bred it, and who the Doe was. This goes back 3 generations, so you can trace back your animals to previous breeders if needed. If you live in a small area with only one or two breeders in your area, this pedigree can also help you prevent too much inbreeding. The more inbred the animal the more health problems and deformities you may have in your offspring.
The standard practice for the rabbits name is for it to start with the rabbitry or breeder’s name. This helps trace the lineage and prove the breeding. It doesn’t show ownership, but merely who paired the sire and Doe. Offspring of a pairing usually bear the breeder’s name on the pedigree unless agreed to otherwise. It can cause a mess if this is changed, and is highly offensive to the breeder who created the rabbit.
Registered rabbits are generally for show only, and demand higher prices. In order to register a rabbit, it first must have a pedigree of 3 generations. American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) will need to check out and grade the rabbit by it’s breed. It must meet specific criteria for that breed in order to qualify. This includes ornamental coloring aspects as well as health.