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Saturday, July 7, 2007

Where did the big lops come from?

As promised- The only semi-exciting news I have right now is that my Rabbitat tattooer came in the mail, so I'll continue on with the epic saga of how we got where we are today.

We're in a dark period- the tiny beginner herd of Hollands aren't doing so hot- I've started learning what to look for and have brought in several nice rabbits from awesome local breeders. However, shows are long affairs and Tim & I tend to get bored at shows after the Hollands have finished showing, and we're waiting for the second show to begin. Tim also tended towards grumpiness- usually because we had to be up at 5 am to make it to whatever show on time. So I turned to him and said "We could get you a breed!" He looked apprehensive, but he's really gooey on the inside and agreed to get his own fluffies. We looked all all kind of breeds- easy to culls such as Harlequins and Dutch rabbits, tiny Netherland Dwarves, Polish, Havanas, Mini Rex...you name it, we considered it! In the end though, at a show in Tennessee, my friend Sam and I were walking around, and dragged me over to look at baby Mini Lops. I pulled Tim over, we stared for a while.... and Sam bought a little broken Gold-Tipped Steel Doe. I bought Tim her sister, a solid GT Steel and another doe, this one an opal. I ended up later, at the same show, buying a Chestnut doe. So we had three mini lop does. Sam had offered to let us breed one to her guys, so we weren't concerned about a buck yet. It was then I made my first mistake- I let Tim name the chestnut doe. He named her Bertha. *sigh*

We showed Bertha, and she earned 1 leg at a small show in Snow Camp. Opie (Ophelia, the opal doe) never did particularly well on the table, but is an amazing mom. The GT Steel was named Abra Cadabra, because she was SO good at escaping her cage. She was a sweetheart, the apple of Tim's eye. It's no wonder that he was heartbroken then, when as a junior she was basically called "Crap" and sent packing from the table. He considered getting rid of all the mini lops, right then and there. Nevermind that we'd been in Hollands for almost a year, and they weren't great- nope, two strikes and it seemed Abby would be out.

However, I'm stubborn. If you know me, you'll recognize this immediately :D. I told him "I don't care, I still think she's pretty, let's keep her a while longer". At her very next show, her first show as a senior, Abby took Best In Show. Yes folks, you read right...Best...In...Show. This same rabbit who was called crap. She beat a very, very good mini lop breeder around here, the man who gave us our first mini lop buck- Trent of Fatboy's Rabbitry. Trent is the best of what you want to see in a breeder- generous, helpful, honest- and a great sport.

Anyway, Abby granded quickly after that and there was no more talk about getting rid of the mini lops. We still have the original three- Bertha has produced several nice rabbits for us, including a grand champion, Keep's Super Fly. We're looking forward to her current litter hitting the show tables this fall. Abby has 2 very promising babies that will be attending their first show on the 21st of this month (Fly is the daddy! Yay) and is set to kindle with her first litter by Joe any day now. Ophelia has 3 babies of her own and one Holland Lop foster baby.

We've enjoyed a success with Mini Lops that we're still working on with our Hollands. I like to joke with Tim that I just "have the eye" for the minis. They are the giants of our rabbitry, weighing in at a scale-tipping 6 1/2 lbs. (The giant breed folks will laugh at such a small animal, I'm sure).

Well folks, now you know how we brought in the giants- nothing left to explain but how we got the "Fluff of the Fancy". See ya next time :).

Thanks for reading!

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