TO IMPROVE THE BREED:
Rabbit breeds are always going to need to be improved. No rabbit breed has a 100 point rabbit. Until they do, there's a lot of improving left to be done.
TO PRODUCE FRIENDLY, LOVING PETS:
Many people are starting to realize what great pets rabbits can be. Where I live, pet rabbits are in high demand. I have a ton of people on my notification list waiting for a baby bunny. But the pet market isn't necessarily that reliable. It will take a while for your name to get out there and that could mean you have rabbits for sale for several months.
TO MAKE A NEW COLOR, OR NEW BREED, RECOGNIZED:
This requires lots of room and empty cages, lots of hard work, lots of culling and lots of genetics research, gene know-how and ample record keeping. Definitely not for everyone, but the acceptance of a new breed or color within an accepted breed can be so rewarding!
TO IMPROVE THE HEALTH IN A PARTICULAR BREED:
This is something that every breeder, no matter what they're breeding towards, should have as a goal. It's important. Too many times have I seen a sick rabbit on the show table, or heard about entire herds being wiped out because of a rabbit they didn't quarantine when they first bought it. The health of our rabbits is of utmost importance. On the show tables, every rabbit that touched that coop or even sat within the same air as the infected rabbit has a risk of getting sick. Sick rabbits don't breed well, they don't take care of babies very well, they aren't friendly, and they aren't enjoyable to be around.
TO IMPROVE MOTHERING SKILLS IN A PARTICULAR BREED:
Some breeds, such as Hollands, and most Dwarf Hotots, to name a few, are notorious for being bad mothers or just "careless" mothers. Having babies outside the nest, not nursing their babies, having difficult labors, etc. Just one good mother can create a line of really good mothers. And something I've learned - the mothering genes (which really come down to good instincts), can be carried on the buck's side as well. When you are researching good does to buy that are from a line of good mothers, make sure you look on the sire's side as well.
Some breeds, such as New Zealands, Florida Whites, Californians, and many, many other breeds, were bred specifically for their size and "meatiness" at a certain age. Rabbit meat is very healthy, it's low in calories and fat, and has a very high protein content.
Angoras are famous for their soft, cottony, long and gorgeous fur. The fur makes great mittens, hats, scarves and sweaters. And the cool thing? The angora just has to be shaved, like a sheep. They don't have to be killed!
To be a good breeder it's essential to breed for many different reasons. If you breed for ONLY show rabbits, and don't keep or cull rabbits to achieve anything else and only to win at shows, you may be putting sick rabbits on the show table. If breed for ONLY pets, you will most likely have many rabbits available all the time because the pet market is not a very reliable one. I breed to improve the breed overall, which to me means breeding for show; using the best mamas; keeping, breeding and selling only healthy rabbits; and producing loving pets.
IT IS VITAL to have a clear, sensible reason for breeding rabbits. There are so many unwanted rabbits already. If you don't have a clear goal in mind, or only want to breed the rabbits to "experience nature", "teach the kids about where baby bunnies come from", or plan to keep all the babies. The rabbit's personality (usually, but not always), changes after they have babies. If you are thinking of breeding your beloved family pet, I encourage you to think again.