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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » Best/preferred animal for kids shows? (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Tyler Salvador
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Toronto, ON
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Hi guys! I am looking to add a pet to my family and an animal to my kids show!

What would you all consider the best animal to own/train for kids shows? What are the reasons for your choice? Any pros/cons you would like to share?

Any and all feedback is appreciated! Thanks!
Tyler Salvador - Barnacle Bart the Pirate
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Dick Oslund
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Soft and cuddly.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Tyler Salvador
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I would trust that bunnies are the go-to magician pet for a reason. Im just trying to weigh my options before I commit to something. I've owned rabbits before and I enjoyed them thoroughly but this was before magic. I am currently without a pet. I would gladly go back to rabbits if that is the best bet. I looked in to birds and was cautioned away by many parrot-forum dwellers. What is soft and cuddly but trainable?

Rabbits and... Rats?

Smile
Tyler Salvador - Barnacle Bart the Pirate
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wizardpa
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Definitely a Rabbit. Now I would suggest that you search this forum for the best breed and such. I would also suggest you buy a young bunny. Hold it every chance that you can.
I have 3 rabbits all different breeds. Mine are all female. All 3 are super friendly, but I had to get 2 of 3 spaded. Those 2 were extremely friendly until they came into season. About 2-3 weeks later, they went back to their friendly selves.
I wonder if it's too late to get my wife spaded?
Tyler Salvador
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What breeds did you own? I had two netherland dwarves, one male and one female - both fixed. I loved them but they bonded to each other more than people. I was forced to rehome them when my living conditions became 'no pets'. We now have a cat so we are firmly in the "pets" category now and I can safely get a new bunny.
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wizardpa
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My Mini Lop Female passed away last night after 6 and a half years. She was super friendly. I will be extremely lucky to find another bunny as sweet as she was. She was not spaded.
I also have a female Netherland Dwarf and a female Lionhead. Both of these rabbits are somewhat friendly. They will tolerate kids petting them, as I firmly hold them. They will not try to bite at all, but become a little jumpy at times. Just a little! I did have to get both of these rabbits spaded when they came in heat. I did get all of my rabbits as soon as they could leave their mother, and I handled them as much as possible. My Lionhead and Netherland were extremely friendly until they came into heat. Then overnight they acted like they wanted to bite my hand off. About 3 weeks after getting them spaded, they were friendly again. My Lionhead is 2+ pounds, full grown. My Netherland is 4+ pounds full grown, and my Lop was 6+ pounds, so I guess for you, the most important thing is what bunny fits best in what you will produce them from. I used my Lop for stage shows and I will be looking for another Lop in the future, but probably not until my USDA license is up for renewal again, next April.
Tyler Salvador
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I was definitely looking at a Mini Lop as my breed of choice, that or a dwarf Hotot because of the white fur and black eyes. I always thought the red-eyed rabbits were really creepy.

Did you ever feel like people were disappointed with the lop (visually) because it didn't have perky ears? I think the lops are the cutest thing ever but their look is very different from 'regular' rabbits.
Tyler Salvador - Barnacle Bart the Pirate
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MichaelOzMagic
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I have mixed feelings about rabbits. Rabbits can be very moody at least I have found. If you were to get a rabbit I would suggest getting a baby and raising him yourself. Give them all the love and care they deserve. I personally prefer doves. First kids rarely get to see birds up close. Dove are typically extremely calm and are also not the brightest animal so they will let anyone touch them. I use my doves in my kid show and have never had a problem. Plus I feel doves play a bit bigger because there wigs can flap when you produce them using your favorite method.

Just my two cents!
Michael Oz
Robin4Kids
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If you are looking for a pet as well as an addition to your kids' show, I would say that a bunny would be the way to go. They definitely can have a better personality than a dove, and with regular attention and handling should do well in your shows. Our home is a regular zoo with 4 dogs, a cat, 2 birds, 2 bunnies, and tropical fish. I must say we have enjoyed the netherland dwarf bunnies as pets, even though their cage requires weekly cleaning. Just wish the other animals would be as quiet as they are!
Tyler Salvador
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I agree. My goal is to get it as a baby and train it to the best of my ability. I am hoping to be able to train it to stand up and maybe do the trick where it slolams your legs are you walk. I will make sure it is very comfortable around people and then the rest is based on my performance!

Thanks for the chat guys!
Tyler Salvador - Barnacle Bart the Pirate
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TrickyRicky
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A rabbit is and will always be the highlight at any children's party.
Tyler Salvador is correct about Hotot dwarf, I've worked with all kinds of different breeds over the years and found the Hotot to be the very trainable.
I've used doves in the past and found them to be a problem. One of my magic friend was told by a customer not to bring the bird in the house.
Tricky Ricky
Tyler Salvador
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Thanks for hotot advice, Ricky! Im glad they look the part AND work well.

Since we're both in T.O., can I ask where you get your rabbits from? Do you know a breeder? I want to avoid petshop bunnies. My first pair came to me from the petshop with a cocktail of problems and having to give them medicine early on made it VERY hard to get them to like me.
Tyler Salvador - Barnacle Bart the Pirate
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TrickyRicky
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Great!
How about coffee or breakfast and we can talk. My treat.
Would love to help out in anyway I can.
Ricky
Regan
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Rabbit!
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sperris
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Whatever you choose to use make sure when you let the kids pet it to pet it palm up with the back of their fingers -- you'd be surprised how many kids want to GRAB the animal!
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Dynamike
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A cute kitten or a cute bunny.

When it comes to mysterious effects, I would select the dove.
Bob Sanders
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Frankly more can be done with doves. Some will stay perched on your wand to be passed around. Requiring that the kids only touch the wand has worked for me.

However, many rabbits are almost like cats when it comes to being held and love it. You'll need to start with a weanling but it is not hard to train if you take the time every day. (Ours love trail mix fruit treats!)
Bob Sanders

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Lou Hilario
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Parrots for me. They can perform so many stunts. Frankly, the parents are more amazed.
Magic, Illusions, Juggling, Puppet & Parrot Show ^0^
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Dick Oslund
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At the start of this thread, I said: "soft and cuddly".

I'll "revise and extend" my remarks (well, congressmen do it!)

When I ssid "soft & cuddly", I was thinking of guys who produce a big live snake. As a teenager, working in a carnival side show, I did magic,fire eating,and I also "lectured" on the big snake (a 15' python). But, that was in a side show. I don't think of a snake as a PET!

In the late '60s, I developed a routine with a couple of Java doves. It "grew" into an 8 minute routine! (Lots of gags and bits of business) Those two birds were almost 20% of the school show!

Rabbits are cute, soft, and cuddly, but the birds could do schtick!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
MagicalMotivator
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I've used doves and rabbits (but overall more doves) for years - family audiences - visually and magically you can do more with doves - and while doves can be petted or greeted by the audience, nothing beats a soft cuddly rabbit - I always had my rabbits in a large soft top hat for the meet and greets - this made audience control, my rabbit's confort level and safty much easier - it also allowed for faster and better photo opts with the kids / parents.

As an aside - one of the magician's who really got me into magic and shapped me was Captain Bill James from Hamilton, Ontario (or Capt Bill as we called him). Bill used Mirtle the dove in his show which he then transformed via a tear apart into his rabbit. Now this one rabbit Bill had, after he produced him, he would put in a small box on his table. After about 30 seconds the rabbit would always pop up from inside the box and rest his paws on the box to look at the audience. Almost every time about 10 seconds after doing this the rabbit would let out a large "yawn"; Bill would time this by saying, "oh - you're watching the show - what do you think of it - YAWN". It was hilarious!!

Kids and animals...
Rick Rossini The Magical Motivator
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www.magicalmotivator.com
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