Student spotlight: Jayme Czap

Rabbits of the fittest

by Arie Shaver, Reporter

Senior Jayme Czap nervously walks behind her box, she knows that everything has to look neat and put together if she wants to win, not one thing out of place. She sets her rabbit in the box as she brushes off its fur making sure that it looks nothing less than perfect and showcases its good genetics for the judge. The judge appears, darting back and forth between the contestants. Czap is careful not to make eye contact as she watches her with sweaty palms. She had always been an animal-lover. In the past year, she bred two of her Mini Lop rabbits, taking in many of their offspring. This year, she decided to take the opportunity to show off her great works, as part of her FFA competition. All she hoped for was a good score. 

On Jan. 24 through Jan. 25, Czap competed at the Greater Leander FFA Project Show in Cedar Park, Texas. There, she participated in the Greater Leander Livestock show, where she showed off two of her Mini Lop breeding rabbits.

“When I arrived, I was definitely surprised about how many rabbits were there,” Czap said. “There aren’t normally a lot of people who show rabbits and there were quite a few more than what I was expecting.”

In the competition, the judge grades the rabbit based on their genetics. The judge will look at the rabbit’s fur color, undercoat, teeth, and claws and toes, to make sure that it can breed good offspring. 

“It’s so cool seeing them grow because they look like little rats when they are born,” Czap said. “They are these little furballs with tiny ears and then they get into the stage where their ears start to fall because they’re lops, and it’s so cute.”

According to Jayme, the longer the judge stays away from the contestant, the higher they place. If the judge comes to the rabbit fairly early it means that a contestant places low or doesn’t place at all.

“Just her walking in my direction kind of gets me nervous,” Czap said. “I’m watching the judge look at my rabbit and I’m watching her go and look at other rabbits, and when she comes near you, you get nervous because you don’t want her to not place you.”

In the end, Jamie’s rabbits proved to be part of the fittest. Her buck earned third place, while her doe received fourth place. 

“I was relieved and proud of myself at the end because I’ve been working all year for this show,” Czap said. “The stress of not knowing how well my rabbits were going to do was over, and I was proud of my rabbits for doing so well and behaving during the show.”