Rabbits Have Things Hopping

Rabbits Have Things Hopping
Posted on 01/13/2019
Rabbits Have Things Hopping

Things are hopping in the greenhouse located behind Nacogdoches High School.

Thirty rabbits being raised by NHS ag students are biding their time in the greenhouse until a trip in March to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

NHS ag teacher Jerrett Cobb credits the idea for the rabbits to Nacogdoches FFA president Triston Chidester, who was thinking of ways to get more students involved in ag projects. (Triston is caring for his own rabbit, a cinnamon named Monnie.)

That led Cobb to reach out to contacts around the state for any rabbits that could be donated to the program. Some came from area producers, others from as far away as Waco, Austin and Beaumont. Cobb made about a 700-mile round trip to pick up the donations.

Now, students that don’t have a place to keep an animal are on schedule to show their rabbits at the Houston Junior Livestock Show in March, said Cobb, as long the students are passing their classes when the time comes (they are, he said).

Caring for the rabbits teaches students things such as responsibility for watering and feeding their animals, as well as time management, Cobb said. Students have to regularly sign a log to prove they were in the greenhouse to care for their animals.

“We’re offering opportunities to kids that they wouldn’t normally get outside of the program,” said Don Hasley, director of NISD’s Career and Technical Education. “And many of the things they learn will stay with them throughout their lives.”

Feed and other supplies for the rabbits are paid for mostly by proceeds from the department’s Doggie Day Spa.

And it’s a program Cobb expects to keep itself going in coming years. Once the livestock shows are over in March, the best rabbits of the bunch will be bred, meaning subsequent classes at Nacogdoches High School will have animals to care for and raise.

The class has also received generous donations of supplies from NISD teachers and staff, a need that will be ongoing as the program continues, said Cobb.

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