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Monday, July 9, 2007

The Perfect Rabbit

Every breeder is looking for the perfect rabbit. Every breeder hopes that it comes from their lines. Sometimes we think we find it, only to realize later how badly mistaken we are.

I have a rabbit like this. She isn't of my breeding, but as a young junior, this mini lop was gorgeous.

I kept her, hoping she'd be our next Grand Champion doe. When I took her out to pose her today, the depth was still there- but unfortunately, those shoulders of hers had lengthened out. Can she beat the two broken junior does I already have? No. I don't believe she can. But I'll hold on to her anyway, she may be going through uglies, it may have been that she was trying to get away to go play in the grass- or she may have a case of the "Abbys" and wait to get that killer body back until she's a senior. That's the thing about someone else's lines- you don't know how they play out. I know some breeders who can cull at 6 weeks, again at 8 weeks, and have their show team picked by 12 weeks of age. I can't do that. Some people know that at 2 months old, their rabbits will look the way they will as fully mature seniors. I'm one of those "wait-and-see" folks. Because a rabbit is ugly today, doesn't mean they will be ugly tomorrow. Abby has proved that for me, she wrote my policy on growing out babies- unless they have absolutely no trace of promise in any of their development.

Today, Abby kindled 2 DOA babies. I was extra heartbroken, because the father of these babies was none other than Joe. My two favorite mini lops, the two that come the closest of any in my barn to being my perfect rabbits. So I am convinced, put great with great and I stand a chance of getting perfect, right? Well, maybe. Anyway, we've already discussed how lines don't always mix, but I have a feeling these two will mix. I guess there is nothing left to do but repeat the breeding. However, part of me is screaming "NO! WAIT!!"


Because I don't want to chance one of my "close to perfect" (as I see her) does. Because in summer, it's hot. There is more stress on the does, trying to carry their litters to term. It's hotter for the babies, piled in the nestboxes with all that hay. And you've got the risk of fly strike killing the does, if they don't get themselves cleaned up, or if the dirtiness of your trays sneaks up on you. So I don't know- if I do rebreed Abby, it will be soon. If not, September isn't all that far away, the temperatures will be cooler- and maybe this time, she'll kindle a live litter for us. Until then, we do have her two daughters to play with :).

Thanks for reading!
Keep's Rabbitry

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