The purpose of IAGARB testing is to objectively identify angora rabbits with quantitatively superior traits. By including these rabbits in our breeding programs, it is hoped that improvement of the breed will continue.
Any angora rabbit may be tested in the IAGARB system. There are two levels of IAGARB Testing: Registration Testing and Wool Testing.
Registration Testing is a benefit of membership. Only rabbits that can demonstrate wool production minimum of 1300 grams per annum and earn more than 80 points during evaluation may be registered with IAGARB. Rabbits presented for registration testing must be tattooed in accordance with IAGARB protocol.
Registration is awarded on the basis of individual merit. Each rabbit to be registered must be performance tested and evaluated by an IAGARB judge. Registration of parents does not automatically confer the same status to offspring.
The second level of testing is a non-registration wool test. This is available to any angora, tattooed in any manner. This option is available to non-members. It is primarily to be used for angoras that cannot qualify for registration because they do not have an IAGARB tattoo number.
While this sounds very formal, the actual experience is supportive, educational and fun.
HOW TO HOST A SHEARING PARTY or IAGARB REGISTRATION
Shearing parties are a lot of fun. You have to clip your rabbits anyway, so why not do it with friends with whom you can learn, share, and socialize? Best of all, 91 days later, you can do it all again at the registration.
1. To book a party, the first step is to contact the Registration Secretary (registration [at] iagarb [dot] com). It is the Registration Secretary’s job to verify that the right number of days is in the proposed shearing interval between shearing/certification party and the registration. Because not all of our months have the same number of days, the dates don’t always work out to 90/91 days. The Registration Secretary will confirm your dates.
Because the Registration Secretary is the one person everyone needs to contact, she will know if there are any date conflicts with other parties. She will also know which judges might be available in your area for the registration 90/91 days later.
It is really important that everyone in the association be notified of your party. That’s why a notice needs to be posted either on our web site, newsletter or on our chat list at least 100 days before registration will take place. People need time to prepare. The Registration Secretary can help you with that too.
2. If you have not already done so, notify the District Director in your area about your party. The director is there to assist you by notifying the members and helping to organize your event.
3. Let everyone know what you expect. Are you making lunch? Would you like to make lunch pot-luck? Would you prefer that everyone bring a brown bag? It’s your party, it’s up to you.
You decide on the schedule, the location and the meeting plans. Please make sure that the Registration Secretary is aware of these details so she can assist you in posting them to the membership.
4. Print up extra certification papers. Someone always forgets. There is a template on the website for a member certificate and a vet certificate you can download.
Make sure that each certified rabbit is already tattooed before the certificate is signed.
Gather up all the certification papers and send them to the Registration Secretary. You may FAX them, email them, or mail them. Either way, they must be sent at least 80 days prior to the registration event.
1. Book with Registration Secretary
2. Invite the Membership
3. Be responsible for sending the completed shearing certificates to the Registration Secretary.
Testing involves an examination by an IAGARB judge and the removal of a rabbit’s 90 wool coat, which is then graded and weighed. For specific details, see Guidelines for Registration. With the exception of the wool testing at the IAGARB Annual General Meeting, there will be no prizes and no ribbons. The IAGARB system is more about testing the production of our rabbits than creating the pressure to win over another breeder.
Each rabbit is judged individually against the IAGARB Standard and awarded points. No rabbit is allowed to earn a perfect score of 100 points. The judge is obliged to find something that could be better. In this system, forward direction is constant.
When an IAGARB judge is examining a rabbit, he or she is looking not for faults but for opportunities to improve the next generation. The judge works in partnership with the breeder.
After examination by the judge, the rabbit is returned to the owner for shearing. The purpose of this part of the test is to remove and grade the wool so it can be weighed. This much is obvious.
There is a second factor that is indirectly evaluated and that is the shearing skill of the breeder/owner. Although no points are given for shearing ability, the grading and the weight of the wool taken off the rabbit will be directly affected by the expertise of the owner.
Rabbits are weighed before shearing and again after shearing. The wool is weighed. All of these figures are recorded on the evaluation sheet and will be checked for agreement.
Even in warm weather it is often necessary to protect closely shorn rabbits from a chill. Many members make little coats for their rabbits. The German angora replaces its wool very quickly. The coats may be necessary for about a week or two.
In order to be eligible for IAGARB registration, the rabbit’s 90-day wool coat must be at least 325 grams. The projected annual production, 1300 grams, is determined by multiplying the 90-day total by a factor of four. The rabbit must earn at least 80 points during evaluation for body type, wool qualities and condition.
GRADING THE WOOL
After the wool is graded, we record the weights in two different ways. The first figure, the GW, records the actual or gross weight of each grade: Prime, 2nd and 3rd.
The second figure is the AW or Adjusted Weight. This figure accounts for the approximate difference in the values of each grade.
Prime or 1st grade is weighed at 100% of its actual weight.
Second grade wool, which is clean but short, is recorded at 75% of its actual weight. Third grade wool is recorded at only 25% of its weight.
Stained and nasty bits are not weighed at all.
The GW and AW provide us with an opportunity to compare actual wool weights with the usable value of the wool. What good is a coat that weighs 350 grams but is one big matt? What we want to aim for is a coat that is comprised of as much prime angora fiber as possible. We want the GW and AW figures to be as close as possible.
This table is a record of IAGARB registration figures to date. Rabbits that did not achieve the 1300 gram total are not included.
Because of the similarity of genetic background, data collected during testing gives us valuable information about management, and the effects of diet, age and climate on coat growth. As this database increases, we will be able to interpret trends that will assist the membership in improved husbandry techniques.