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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Changing Breeds

A lot of times, the breeds we start out with aren't the breeds we stick with. We're inexperienced, we don't know about specialized care, how to pick a nice animal- maybe we get cheated or we get ignored by the other breeders (some breeds have a reputation for unfriendly/nasty breeders), or we just realize that there is another breed out there that suits us better. Some of us just rotate through several breeds until we find the one that screams to our hearts THIS IS IT! WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG?

Sometimes we're at the bottom of the pack when we decide to switch our focus, but sometimes we're at the top of the pack. My friend Whitney is an example of this- she took BOSB at Convention in Belgian Hares this year. She won 3 of the 4 classes and in the one class she didn't win, she took 2nd and 3rd. All this with a small rabbitry- yeah that's right, she has a very small number of hares. Now, her focus has switched and she's selling out her remaining hares to concentrate on her lovely rhinelanders.

It's so sad to see her get out of the hares. She was the perfect champion for the hare breed- conscientious, health-conscious and very strict on the conditions in which one of her animals would live. I have the sire to my Belgian Hares still here with me- he came from Whitney and the offspring from him went on to place VERY well at Convention and they produced some animals who placed even better than themselves- and he came from Whitney <3.

I can understand what motivates her though. Sometimes you just fall out of love with a breed. I had the Holland Lops and the Jersey Woolies and I originally got the woolies just as a secondary breed. Slowly they took over the barn and I found myself passing over the hollands to play with the woolies. Pretty soon I was eyeballing the remaining hollands, trying to figure out who I could sell so that I could convert that hole into an official wooly hole. I grealy loved my hares, but I didn't have the room to keep more than just a few, I had a lot of trouble getting them bred- the list of problems just went on and on (for my particular situation).

As you go through your rabbit "career", chances are you're going to change your mind, or fall out of love with a breed. It's pretty natural I think. Sometimes you find your heart breed and never look back- like the folks who have been in rabbits for 30 years and always with the same breed. Sometimes, even though you love a breed, you just don't have time to make it work. I know too many people who have had to switch off woolies or american fuzzy lops because they just didn't have the time to maintain the wool. Other things were more important to them and I can respect that they realized they didn't have the time to properly care for the animals and decided to go with something lower maintenance.

Keep's Rabbitry

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