I have posted a similar post on a local forum earlier but somehow felt I also need to pen it down here with some modifications. As most of you who have been following my blog knows that I have kept pets throughout my life so far since I was 7 years old. And being an animal lover I have always been keeping abreast with the on goings of certain sectors in the local pet industry. Or at least being informed in areas of interest for me.
Throughout the years of observation, I could conclude that there are generally 4 categories of breeders in Malaysia. We all know breeders are needed to meet the demands of those who fancy a certain species or breed. I normally categorize a breeder before deciding to acquire the pet that I desire. Here are the categories:
1) Backyard Breeder(BYB)
Any breeders operating from the comfort of their home that does not give a damn about QUALITY is a backyard breeder. POCKET MONEY is normally the main source of motivation behind the BYB. They always think that they could earn a little out of their little venture. Normally, these are also people that want their rabbits to experience motherhood/fatherhood and all the hoods in the world not knowing that they could get out of control when it comes to Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great GRAND PARENTHOOD (you get the point). How do we identify them? Their breeding stocks are always their pets with inferior quality. The number of breeding animals vary from just a pair to probably less than 30 (I have seen a house with 20 poodles kept in cages, you would not like to see this sort of puppy mills). Some may come with pedigree but mostly do not as their foundation stocks do not have them to begin with.
Sometimes referred to as Show Breeders. Operated in the comfort of their own homes (with barns attached) but with a major difference as appose to a BYB in that all they could think about is the QUALITY. Profit is the last thing on a hobbyist mind and he/she is very much aware that he/she can hardly break even. And the quantity is normally kept in the minimal since QUALITY is what matters. The only agenda a Hobbyist breeder have is the obsession of producing rabbits closest possible to the STANDARDS OF PERFECTION laid down by ARBA. The main objective of a Hobbyist breeder is to lower the numbers of PET QUALITY he/she produces. The number of breeding animals kept would probably be less than 20 heads (yes, less than a Backyard Breeder sometimes!). But in the US, show breeders have more than 100 holes. Will give you endless support and guidance. All rabbits should come with 3 generations pedigrees.
3) Pet Farm
This is quite a gray area because some pet farms have inferior stocks and some do have decent stocks. The typical Pet Farm is to churn out supplies for pet purposes. Comparing a Pet Farm to the extreme, it is somewhere I'll go (if I have no other choices) for a decent pet and if I find a SHOW QUALITY there, it is a bonus but I won't bank in too much expectations. It depends very much on how the proprietor runs the show. The number of rabbits start from 50 heads to unlimited. Some comes with pedigree and most do not.
4) Meat Farm
In Malaysia, I believe rabbit meat farmers also supplies rabbits to pet shops. The rabbits are mainly for the meat trade and therefore, anything with meat would do. Since I am very particular in striving for the best quality (based on Standards of Perfection), I will avoid meat farm at all cost unless I develop a fancy for rabbit meat. LOL!!! Yes, only good for the stomach and nothing more for me. Their rabbits do make good pets and in fact some are even used in petting zoos/areas. If you're not too particular in quality and want to give keeping rabbit as pet a try, you might want to consider this option. But in my opinion, meat farm rabbits should not cross over into the pet industry unless they are of standard. Do not expect to get pedigree as meat comes first.
What I can make out of these 4 categories is that, rabbits can easily cross over from Meat Farm to Backyard Breeders. But I believe that rabbits will never and should never cross over from Hobbyist to any of the Farm groups & Backyard Breeders. Hobbyists are especially particular that their rabbits do not fall into the hands of Backyard Breeders.
These are just my 2 cents.