I've had folks ask me, What's up with that? What do breeders have to hide?
Generally speaking good breeders have nothing to hide, but they do have some legitimate concerns.
There are a few different reasons.
1. The Desire to not have Animal Rights and Animal Control people in their lives. This is becoming more and more of an issue. Breeders can lose their animals even if the complaint made is unjustified. Many groups target breeders specifically, even if the breeder has done nothing wrong. They know that most breeders are hobbyists and can't possibly afford the boarding fees that animal control charges to maintain their animals until the court case is heard. Sign over your animals or pay the boarding fees. A hobby is not worth risking family's financial freedom.
--- allow me a moment here to take a sidebar. I want to be clear. Animals RIGHTS people are different than people who care for animal WELFARE. I've mentioned this is other posts. Animal RIGHTS people alarm me and cause a great deal of damage because they care for animals MORE THAN they care for the people involved with them. They want what fits a particular agenda of care to be more important than the animals themselves or the people involved in the care of them. Whereas for animal WELFARE people what really matters is this: the animals under care, are they clean, fed, watered, and housed. That's what matters. -----
2. The Desire to avoid disease. Rabbits are fairly delicate animals. Bringing in pathogens on your hands, shoes or clothing is a risk to the rabbitry. One sick animal can kill an entire herd. Therefore most breeders are not comfortable with people they don't know well handling their animals or being too close to them. Airborne pathogens are the most dangerous to rabbits.
3. The Desire to avoid inconsiderate buyers. Did you know that there are some individuals who think that because you have invited them onto your property they therefore have permission to peer through windows, touch or even release animals without asking permission, and wander around commenting on whatever suits their fancy? Indeed there are! This is rather upsetting and disconcerting, and it makes one wonder just how does one handle this? Therefore some breeders choose not to deal with these inconsiderate people and simply don't allow people into their personal space.
4. The Desire for privacy. Some folks just aren't comfortable with folks they don't know well on their property. Plain and simple.
5. The Desire for safety and security. Did you know that there are documented cases of people coming to homes to look at a rabbit, saying they aren't interested, then within the week finding their rabbitry or home burglarized. By not allowing people onto the breeder's property, the breeder helps prevent this hassle in his/her life.
6. The Desire to reduce stress on the herd. Not all rabbits are created equal. Some rabbits adapt well to change and stress, and other rabbits do not. There are some breeders who generally have an open rabbitry, but when they have does kindling or raising young, they will close their rabbitry.
As a breeder myself, I have had two events over the past month that have made me consider becoming a closed rabbitry.
1.Theft. We lost a bunny and some mice to theft, the thief/thieves also took a carrier and an aquarium. Our yard is fully fenced. One has the expectation of privacy and security. These folks KNEW what they wanted to take and then took it.
2. Inconsiderate folks. Had a lady buy a rabbit from me who then proceeded to email me lecturing me about my numerous 'faults". I homeschool, my housecleaning was behind, I had stuff in my yard, and so on and so forth.
Also over the past year, I've had people poke at my rabbits, let rabbits out of cages, handle rabbits without permission and such like. Those incidents are few and far between but for now, I've had enough of it. I don't need to have safety and security of my home and my rabbits threatened.
Hence, I will be instituting some changes.
I do not WANT to have a closed rabbitry. I love having people over, being able to talk freely about my rabbits and my thoughts on how to care for them. I love it.
BUT from now on, buyers won't be going through my house or going back to my rabbitry. I just can't do that anymore. It just isn't going to happen.
I will offer some choices to you, my prospective buyer.
1. Meet close by. We can meet in a parking lot, at a bank, the local Tim Hortons, wherever. Some place close. At a mutually convenient time.
2. You can come to my property but we will meet on my front porch or in my front yard. I'll have the bunnies available for sale waiting for you. However, I will not leave a visitor at my property unattended; my private property is nobody's business but mine. If, for example, you would like to know what plants from my gardens I feed to my rabbits, I will tell you or even make a booklet to show you, but the garden itself will be off-limits
3. I will drive to your home, and you will pay me a gas fee to cover my mileage and my time.
4. We can meet somewhere I am already going. Beforehand you can tell me which specific bunny you want. We can meet at a specified time, no gas fee, just a hi, here's your bunny, let's talk (or not talk depending on your frame of mind). :)
Just so you know... I LOVE, I dearly love selling bunnies, talking bunnies, educating folks about bunnies. I LOVE IT. However, I cannot put myself or my animals at risk of theft, abuse or disease.
I want very much to express my gratitude to all the delightful people I've met. You know who you are... the folks who ask questions, who monitor their children's activities, who listen, and so forth. It is indeed my pleasure to assist you in your rabbity needs. It is so much fun. I have really loved helping to introduce you to the wonderful multi-purpose animal that the rabbit is. Rabbits are fun and interesting little critters!