Our family homesteaded and started raising rabbits here on Durbin Creek 28 years ago! We call our “Home Sweet Home” a rabbit park because we not only enjoy teaching about our pedigreed purebred show rabbits but because there are dozens of wild cottontail rabbits that live on our land along Durbin Creek as well!
We truly have a rabbit park here in South Carolina! In fact we are the only rabbit park in the whole country! Our rabbit park was originally built to raise and promote purebred rabbit breeds as well as preserve rare heritage rabbit breeds. In addition to those goals we also offer the extraordinary “opportunity of a lifetime” for people to meet and visit with lots of real rabbits of many breeds and varieties. Our programs and presentations provide interesting facts, histories, human interest stories and resources about our rabbit breeds and allow people to interact with our delightful show rabbits! While we teach helpful tips on rabbits care and handling we promote rabbits and the many benefits of raising rabbits. Families return to the rabbit park many times to meet new bunnies and breeds, enjoy special theme programs, play games and to get their pictures taken with Garden Gate rabbits! Some of our rabbits are celebrities that not only illustrate our books and note cards but have been with us on TV with Joe Gagnon on Fox Carolina (Fox 21) and Jack Roper on “Your Carolina” ( Channel 7). Garden Gate Rabbit Park is a unique recreation that provides amusement for the whole family and memories that will last a lifetime!
Garden Gate Rabbit Park
Scheduled visits begin April 1 of each year.
Visits to Garden Gate Rabbit Park are by appointment only.
Scheduled visits are Monday-Saturday.
$85 donation/fee 1-4 people
Add $10 for each additional visitor in your family or small group.
Visits last approx. 60-90 minutes.
Returning visitors enjoy new bunnies, custom programs, special tours etc.
In case of rain your visit will be rescheduled.
The Rabbit Park is closed Sunday, holidays
and during the winter season.
Sunday is the Lord’s Day ~ See you in church!
FAMILY FUN WITH RABBITS!
VISITORS LEARN ABOUT SEVERAL BREEDS OF RABBITS….
and enjoy the incredible personal experience
of interacting with our beautiful rabbits.
We have been raising rabbits over 26 years here on the banks of Durbin Creek!
The first rabbits that we cared for were Californians given to us by some neighboring friends. White New Zealand rabbits were raised for several generations along with the Rex breed. Several other rabbit breeds have been raised at our park such as Dutch, Mini Rex, Holland Lop, Fuzzy Lop, Mini Lop, Harlequin, English Spot, English Angora, French Angora, English Lop, Tan, Flemish Giant, Satin, Sable, Jersey Wooly and Himalayan. Currently we raise several varieties (colors) of favorite fancy “pet” breeds here at Garden Gate Rabbit Park. Our purebred rabbits are all pedigreed and range from popular fancy breeds that are award winning show rabbits to rare American heritage breeds!
Currently we raise litters of Dutch, English Lop, Holland Lop, Mini Rex, Netherland Dwarf, Rex, Sable, Silver Fox, & Thrianta and others based upon request!
GARDEN GATE RABBIT PARK—FOR PICTURES!
One of our visitors said she waited 4 years to come to our Rabbit Park!
She had waited until her first grandchild was born!
She kept our business card knowing how special
it was going to be to enjoy the bunnies with her grandchild.
It was also her great opportunity to take unforgettable keepsake pictures!
OWNING A GARDEN GATE RABBIT
“Yes, at times we have rabbits available to buy for pets, for rabbit shows, and 4H!
The majority of people that buy our rabbits want to raise a purebred domestic rabbit. The smaller fancy breeds have become the most popular for family pets. However, there are many medium and larger sized rabbit breeds that are just as lovable and entertaining that make wonderful pets! We raise rabbit breeds recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association. Raising a rabbit can be a wonderful experience and enjoyable hobby for anyone. Garden Gate rabbits are purchased and often shown at ARBA shows, state & county fairs, specialty & 4H rabbit clubs, or raised as pets. People also buy our rabbits to improve bloodlines of rabbit breeds at their rabbit farm or rabbitry.
When inquiring or requesting a particular rabbit breed please email us at Loretta@gardengatecards.us and include your contact information with a phone number please. Please tell us what you are looking for as far as breed, variety, quantity, does or bucks, and age group. If you need show stock please tell us. People that are interested in a particular breed & variety may need to place an order with us along with a deposit. Always email or call us to check what rabbits are available.
We display pictures of our “available” rabbit breeds rather than a particular rabbit for sale on our Rabbit Park Page. When you are ready to buy a rabbit it is actually best to make an appointment to see the rabbits available in the breed you are desiring.
“Please remember that the rabbitry where you buy your rabbit
is also the source where you will get future support,
information & helpful services!”
We will gladly show you how to properly pick up & handle your rabbit. We will also help you learn how to examine rabbits for their fur and body type, health and identity, condition, size and color! Spring and fall seasons are when we are breeding for litters. A deposit placed on a rabbit is a commitment to purchase it. The appointed time for the rabbit to be picked up requires preparation. Young bunnies are not available until they are 2 months old or more. Remember to bring a pet carrier/cage for your rabbit to travel in.
Our work with rabbits is a labor of love! We gladly help the families that have purchased our rabbits. Please, remember to buy rabbits from reputable breeders that have healthy stock and excellent bloodlines! Genetics is everything! You are buying more than a loveable bunny with a cute furry face. You are buying the breed with it’s behavior, temperament, fur type, respiratory, digestive and immunity systems too! You are establishing ties with that rabbitry and the owners! They should be your source of help and where you can get reliable information, referrals and advice in the future!
“When you buy a rabbit you are acquiring new friends!”
~ Loretta Hayward
In the wooded foothills of the Appalachian mountains that roll into the northern portion of South Carolina is the location of Garden Gate Rabbit Park. It is just 20 mi. south of Greenville or Spartanburg in the Fountain Inn area of Laurens County. Every day is so uniquely beautiful with unexpected surprises. The wildlife along Durbin Creek often visit our garden, pass through our homestead or meet us on one of the winding trails.
“My life with my family and rabbits that we raise here along Durbin Creek provide the inspiration for my drawings, books, and product ideas! All the stories and poems written in my children’s book series pour from joyful experiences that I have had with our rabbits. My illustrations and the photographs I have taken for Garden Gate Note Cards and products that I have designed are a few ways we share our joys!”
Nothing could be finer than to live in Carolina country!
SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS & GARDEN GATE RABBIT EVENTS
Children at Hopewell School learn valuable lessons about rabbits.
Loretta Hayward and her family travel with their rabbits to various events upon invitation and special appointment. They share their excitement & joy of raising & showing rabbits with a variety of audiences! Loretta is an experienced teacher, author, illustrator/ photographer and public speaker. With a variety of programs and assorted presentations they provide great entertainment and helpful information. Programs are adjusted to a range of themes and audiences.
“Garden Gate Rabbits make a birthday, anniversary, family, community, church, or business event an unforgettable day!”
Your guests will agree we are EXTRAORDINARY!!! Children and adults are thoroughly entertained by the vast differences in our rabbits whether petting English Lops, gathering around a Flemish Giant or giggling at the antics of a Netherland Dwarf! ( In fact adults actually appreciate our programs even more than children!!) It is a great opportunity for pictures and inspiration!!
Email: Loretta@gardengatecards.us Call 8674-876-3914 (9:00-8:00 EST)
Here we gathered on a Saturday with a Sunday school group in Simpsonville and had demonstrations, displays, storytime and visitation with many rabbits! Everyone had a great time as you can see-including parents and teachers! These meetings are foundations for developing future writers, good readers, researchers, illustrators and learning life long skills! We get different rabbits out to run and meet new friends.
PLAN YOUR NEXT EVENT- ANY TIME OF THE YEAR!
Our rabbits will make your event extraordinary! We customize our presentation and programs to match whatever variety of events that you have planned for us to attend. Private events are very popular and are scheduled early. For birthday parties we recommend calling us several weeks in advance.
Spring Events: Call us weeks in advance for any event plans to be made during the Spring season~especially nearing the Easter Holiday. Our Saturdays fill up first. We are happy to schedule weekday mornings too.
Annual events that our bunnies attend are private garden parties, Easter Egg hunts, Spring Brunches, Public Park Recreation Events and Community Clubs!
Summer Events: The early mornings are great for outdoor gatherings. We schedule indoor events all summer long where there is air conditioning. City festivals, country fairs, farmer’s market events and family reunion times can be planned early with our garden bunnies entertaining everyone (ages 4-100)!
Events for our rabbits are listed below.
Please call and check if the dates you have in mind are available.
The fee charged to attend your event with our rabbits is based upon the size of the event (number of people), time span of programs requested, and the distance to your location. (Basic fee starts at $95 for up to 8 people)
OUR PREVIOUS EVENTS:
Family & Senior Citizen Outings
Family Fun Day
City Parks & Recreational Events
Educational Skill Development
Classrooms & School Events,
Business Promotions or picnics
Customer Appreciation Days
Art in the Park or Craft Day,
Scout groups and patch achievements,
4H clubs & showmanship training groups
Private Programs or presentations:
Engagement Celebration etc.
Indoor Events: Preparations include good lighting, moderate temperatures, and low noise levels allowing for conversation and good communication.
Outdoor Events: Preparations include a shaded location in the summer, with wind break, and low noise levels allowing for conversation and good communication with regard for the safety of all the children in attendance.
For Educational /Youth Groups, Scouts, Children’s Classes in art, crafts, Reading & Writing- we have informative handouts or even craft sheets! (Request ahead of scheduled visit so we are prepared)
A PARK WITH A PURPOSE
We raise rabbits for many reasons and their numerous benefits!
At Garden Gate Rabbit Park we raise rabbits for enjoyment, to teach families about the amazing differences of rabbit breeds, to promote rabbits and teach the benefits of raising them, to improve the body and fur types of our purebred blood lines for healthier rabbits, to promote the proper handling and care of rabbits for a happier successful experience and also to preserve rare rabbit breeds of our American heritage stock.
Bunnies bring a lot of smiles to people!! We make it possible for people to meet many breeds of rabbits!! Manyof our visitors include children & adults that pet bunnies for the first time! The boys smile and the girls giggle while they watch our litters of young bunnies play in a garden wagon! Some people say, “Ooooh, the fur on this Rex rabbit is like luxurious velvet -there’s no animal like it!” What fun it is to see the bunnies wash their faces, pose or kick up their heels and leap about! Families learn what gentle pets rabbits can be and how we enjoy raising rabbits! Our visitors sign the rabbit park guest book and tell us who their favorite rabbit is and how much they enjoyed themselves. Before the visit is over everyone has made many new friends!
You may help us by telling your friends and neighbors about our rabbit park, donating our beautifully illustrate books (available in our store) to your local library or church nursery, using Garden Gate Note Cards when writing a friend or send a “Get Well” wish, reading our books to your grandchildren or neighbor kids or supporting the preservation of purebred and rare rabbits and our rabbit park as a business or individual with your gifts sent to Garden Gate Rabbit Park, 600 Griffin Rd., Fountain Inn, SC 29644
THE AMERICAN RABBIT BREEDERS ASSOCIATION (ARBA)
We are members of the American Rabbit Breeders Association which is a leading rabbit breeders organization for the promotion of domestic rabbit breeds. Our rabbits are often shown at rabbit shows that follow the ARBA Standards of Perfection Handbook for 49 recognized breeds of rabbits. ARBA is an organization that has a wonderful history established by rabbit breeders that for decades has improved and preserved rabbit breeds and led families and rabbit clubs to greater enjoyment of the hobby in vast resourceful ways! The face of ARBA is more than the home office and elected officers. The membership of the assoc. includes thousands of families and individuals across the country. The ARBA has informative publications for members that are very helpful as also the ARBA website that lists Rabbit Clubs and breeders of all the various recognized rabbit breeds and rabbit shows across the nation! There are also businesses listed on the website that produce rabbit supplies, gifts, and rabbit themed products. When you decide to join ARBA and become a member- please let them know that Gloria Hayward, our registrar, recommended you join (it is a help to her)!
MEET OUR ARBA REGISTRAR
Gloria is a licensed Registrar for the American Rabbit Breeders Association and is happy to help at rabbit shows. You may have seen Gloria working with ARBA judges at various ARBA Rabbit Shows, tattooing rabbits or registering champion rabbits as a show registrar. Learning the ARBA Standards of Perfection for Rabbits and keeping informed about all the rabbit breeds is not an easy task! If you are interested in having your rabbits registered you maywant to make an appointment with Gloria. Plan to have Gloria travel to your rabbitry if you have several rabbits needing to be registered.
To have a rabbit registered with ARBA you need:
The rabbit with an ID tattoo in left ear.
Rabbit pedigree completed.
ARBA membership card.
Registration fee $6 per rabbit
Services rendered: Rabbit examination. (Rabbit must meet wt. & all senior breed characteristics )
Official documentation completed and mailed to the offices of ARBA.
Registration insignia tattooed in the right ear of the rabbit.
Contact Gloria Hayward by emailing email@example.com to schedule her for your rabbit club meetings, shows, etc. Additional services such as tattooing rabbits for identification (in their left ear) are also available. We appreciate your courtesy in keeping your appointment.
Our whole family is involved with our work here at Garden Gate Rabbit Park despite those working fulltime jobs! Gloria has been a great help to many that need their rabbits examined for show prospects or to be registered with the American Rabbit Breeder’s Association. Need a registrar for your rabbit show? Contact Gloria!
“GARDEN FRESH HABITS FOR RAISING RABBITS” article by Benjamin Hayward
“Peas” remember, rabbits need a relatively clean environment. Rabbits can get diseases (not contagious to humans) and they can catch colds which may lead to pneumonia and become fatal. Keep the cage or hutch wire mesh free of dung and fur by periodically washing with Vanodine mixed with water or bleach water. A clean cage is necessary. Also wash the cage between the occupancy of different rabbits. Allowing people with colds to handle the rabbits is a risk! It is a wise precaution for only healthy family members and visitors to handle the rabbits.
Does your rabbit “turnip“ his nose at food? Bunnies that are young will taste new foods and learn to like a variety of foods. However, mature rabbits like to eat what is familiar to them. If a rabbit is raised on one brand of food it usually will not eat a different brand of rabbit pellets unless some familiar food is mixed in. However, a rabbit will not starve itself. A rabbit that abstains from eating may be sick or there is a problem with the food. If there is rabbit feed left in the feeder after half of an hour the rabbit has had sufficient and will eat at a later time. Left over feed will attract weevils and insects that will ruin the food. Food spoils due to moisture, or can even become soiled by other bunnies in the litter. While they love to eat carrots, apples, beans, greens, hay, oatmeal, berry leaves, herbs etc, do not overfeed your rabbit.
If you “carrot“ all for your rabbit you will provide a good shelter for it. Rabbits all have fur coats, but that does not mean they are unaffected by wind, rain, and temperature changes. Shelter should be provided for rabbits when there are chilling winds. Heat is a problem if a hutch is in the direct sunlight and temperatures exceed 75 degrees. Rabbits must have sufficient ventilation and yet be protected from extreme temperatures in order to live in cages or hutches.
Squash bad habits! Keep the feeder and water bottle clean. Wash in a mild bleach water. Keep the toe nails clipped (nail clippers for dogs work fine). Check the ears and keep free of mites (Swab with a Q-tip and Vetrix-a camphor treatment). Check young bunnies to be sure their teeth are growing straight. Be sure their eyes are clear (runny eyes may be from dust or a sign of an infection-check the nose for snuffles) Eye drops (Visine) can be used to clean or clear a rabbit’s eyes (loose fur may get into their eyes). Get help from a vet or experienced rabbit breeder to treat any infection-right away. Avoid giving your snack foods to your bunny-change of diet can result in the “runs”(aka: scours) and dehydration. Correct the “runs“ with blackberry leaves, hay, oatmeal, etc. It is serious!
“Lettuce” prepare properly for bunny litters! Plan ahead so that you have cage space and a nest box for the doe! Mark your calendar on the day you breed a doe. A nestbox of hay should be provided on day 27. Expect your litter on day 30. The doe will pull fur to cover her litter, but you need to check the litter to be sure all the babies are alive. Remove any that do not survive. By maintaining the nestbox, you can keep a wall of hay built around the nest area so that the young do not crawl away from the litter while they are very young. Your family will share a lot of joy with a litter of bunnies!