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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Age of Uglies

There is a little time of development that every breeder shudderingly refers to as...the uglies. Dun Dun Dun....

It runs at different ages for different breeds and even within different lines in the same breed.

Basically, uglies are the ugly, gawky, "pre teen" stage. Think about human kids, when they get all the zits and their voices start to change and it seems like their legs are growing 100% faster than the rest of them. Welcome to Human Uglies. But we're talking about rabbits and they can't exactly grow zits and have voice changes. Instead, you get just a wierd looking creature!

Meet Keep's Heart Throb about 2 weeks ago:



I know what you're thinking- what an absolute stud muffin, right? He was right around 3 months old in these pictures. Most folks will tell you uglies run anywhere from 2 1/2 months to 4 months.

During this time, it's HARD not to want to cull everything you've ever produced. After all- look at his ears! Look at that awful head. Admittedly, it has no wool cap, but geez, it looks long and snipey and FLAT! His body isn't bad but what you can't see is he looks kind of narrow.


I should have totally petted him out, right?

WRONG.

Thankfully I know my lines and I know them pretty well. You have to go through working with your own line, growing out whole litters just to trash them all (*Note, I mean cull, pet out, etc, not literally throw them in the trash, for all you literal types*). You have to learn when the uglies hit, when they should have outgrown them, and when ugly is just plain ugly and not gawky.

Meet Heart Throb yesterday:



He's a little more deserving of that name now, isn't he? Admit it, you didn't think he'd fill out, did ya? My biggest regret is that you can't feel him- nice and wide, short, beautiful head, those long donkey ears are nice and short...

So remember folks, don't be afraid to "waste the feed" on growing out whole litters to learn your lines. It's not a waste if you are LEARNING! Besides, isn't it better than tossing out some hot potential herd buck because he looks a little awkward?

-Kristen
Keep's Rabbitry

1 comment:

April said...

If I didn't know rabbits, I would say you were showing two different animals. He is a heart throb. :)