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Friday, August 31, 2007


While we wait to find out the results of my pawpaw's surgery (that's grandfather for you non-southerners), I found myself drawn back to my blog. It's good to keep occupied sometimes. :).

Many people buy rabbits and have friends, acquaintances or even total strangers who are headed to convention pick up pre-bought animals and transport them back.

To begin with, transportation can range from free, if you have a VERY good friend going (run give them a hug- I'll wait.).............................................. to $30 or more! I've noticed average prices seem to be $20-$25. Don't forget to figure that cost in to the cost of your new rabbit(s). Often, you'll have to pay transport for the rabbit TO convention, as well as for the rabbit to come home to your new barn. Sometimes, it's actually cheaper to ship the rabbits directly from the breeder to your nearest airport. Imagine you're buying 3 rabbits from the same breeder. It costs $20 each to get them to Convention, and another $20 to get them to you. That's $120 in traveling fees! Some airlines, like Frontier, will ship for $85.

When choosing who you contact about transport, if you don't know the person, try to find out about them! You don't want to trust your precious, expensive rabbits to someone who has an unsavory reputation in the rabbiting world. Unfortunately, there are people out there who are known to untrustworthy. Thankfully, the good rabbit people FAR outnumber the bad :).

Be aware of troubles that can occur in transport- the rabbit could get sick or die, stolen, forgotten or left behind (for whatever reason). Plenty of people get rabbits transported all the time with no problems. However these problems CAN happen and have happened.

Convention is a great time to try to get animals from other states/districts. With so many people traveling, and such a large collection of breeders gathering in one place, it is much easier to find a way to get the animal to you, if you have no interest in shipping. Top breeders in every breed usually have nice stock for sale. Keep in mind, prices leading up to convention often jump higher- and this is not saying anything bad about any breeders. Often they have to add in transport, entry fees, care for the animal on the trip, etc.

I'm reminded of a story of a lady trying to sell a nice rabbit at a past convention- she priced the animal at $80, the regular price she would ask for such a creature. Time and time again people passed the animal by, and the breeder began to get frustrated. A friend suggested to her she bump up the price. After pricing the rabbit at $120 and advertising her for only an hour, the doe was snatched up. Sometimes people believe lower priced animals are always bad! Don't fall in to that trap, try to evaluate the animal itself, not it's price tag. You will find $200 rabbits not worth $50 normally.

For those of you going to Convention- I'm incredibly jealous! For those of you not going- the next one will be in Kentucky! I hope to see you there!

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Temporary Blog Suspension

I won't be blogging for the next few days, due to some family problems/tragedies . I just wanted to let everyone know, and any prayers or good thoughts/vibes would be greatly appreciated.

Keep's Rabbitry

Choosing Show Entries

Howdy folks, I thought, with show season looming closer (since the summer heat will HOPEFULLY go far, far away soon), I'd talk about how I choose my show entries.

Usually you don't have to send your entries in until Wednesday night, late. I take full advantage of this. *Note the Greensboro Catalog says the entries are due Tuesday night!*

I start out with a general idea of who I want to take, that is who is of competitive age and at "fighting weight". As I feed the week leading up to entries, I take note of who is molting, who let their neighbor chew their face fur off, etc.

On the Entry Deadline Day (DDday lol), I go out and pull most folks from their cages to get a good impression of them. I suppose I need to add weighing to that list, since Joe went mcfatty-fat-fat on us last show, being DQ's both times for being overweight. I write a list out of folks I want to show.

Depending on entry fees, some rabbits will stay at home. I set minimums and maximums- I won't got to a show with less than 5 rabbits (gas is so expensive and it's usually a 2 hour drive!). I also won't spend every penny I have on entries lol. I always prefer to take juniors over seniors, because chances are I know how a senior will place, or I'm taking them for a chance at legs. I take my juniors to get evaluations from the judges and other breeders, to help me decide who to keep and who to move on.

If I have to cut someone from the list, I go back over and try to figure out wasn't perfectly primed- or who was in the worst coat, depending on the season (right now I have about 2 rabbits in coat). I make sure my juniors have a chance of competing (it's so frustrating to get "nice but it's a baby" comments!)

If someone just needs that last leg to grand, I definitely try to take them! On does, my policy has been as soon as they grand, they go in to production. I don't want to waste them too long on the tables, and have something happen to them, or they don't want to have babies.

Finally, I get my list of rabbits I just HAVE to take- and if it's still too much, I'll only enter select ones in select shows. For example, if I have a solid senior doe that I don't think can beat the other SSD I'm taking, #1 may only end up in the first show, but not the second one. :)

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Shows & Things

I just received catalog information on the Greensboro, NC show September 15th. If you're interested and don't have the information, drop me an email and I'll forward that on to you! Greensboro is ALWAYS a fun show.

I've decided to offer Rogers Judas, a holland lop solid black tort senior buck for sale. You can see his picture above, and it is also on my website. Judas has placed very well for me when I've showed him, always in the upper part of the class. I love his head and ears especially, and this guy is so amazingly sweet. He is proven. I have decided to cut down on my number of hollands even more, and I've got another solid black tort sr buck who I love just as much. Tough decisions here guys. I'm asking $80 for Judas, which probably isn't enough but I would like to move him out quickly before I change my mind.

I'm also offering NGF Dream for sale. She's a broken black tort senior doe, and I don't really want to get rid of her- but I have to. She's had 1 litter for me. Unfortunately we were on vacation and they didn't survive the babysitters. Because of this, I'm only asking $30 for Dream. I will try to get a posed picture of her soon.

I also still have some other rabbits for sale, plus a few pets available.

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, August 25, 2007

How to decide your rabbitry size

Deciding how many rabbits you want to own depends on a lot of different factors. I know of folks who have as few as 12 holes, and some folks who have over 200!

So what are these factors? How many breeds you want to work with, for one. Do you have one breed, or three, five, nine...? If you have only one serious breed, you can do a lot more with less space. It's going to be hard to be competitive if you have only 10 holes and 3 breeds. Not to mention you're going to have no opportunity to grow your juniors.

Space is another issue. When we started out, the rabbits lived in Tim's living room! Do you have a barn, garage or other place to put the bunnies? How many cages can you put in there? If you have a garage with space for only 20 cages, and don't have the money or inclination to expand your area, you may have to be content with a 20 hole or less rabbitry.

Some folks may have a huge barn, but still only maintain 20 holes. This brings us to the next consideration- how many do you want? If you don't have someone to help you take care of them, a lot of cages can be a huge task! Maybe you want to be able to spend plenty of time with every rabbit, every day. In that case, I wouldn't recommend a 200 hole rabbitry.

The less holes you have, the less feed you have to buy, less time spent cleaning, feeding and watering, and more time to devote to each animal. However, less holes means harder culling, which can be a good thing- you'll be forced to keep only the best. It can still get extremely frustrating.

With a larger rabbitry, you can have multiple breeds, or space for color projects (such as BEW), or you can afford to keep that rabbit just to see how it turns out.

There are pros and cons to each size. Our policy was- keep adding cages (starting at 3) until I find the point where I do not want to take care of any more. :D. We've found that point now at 40 cages or so.

Good luck! I find it's better to start out slower, than to grab 40 empty cages. You'll be more inclined to buy crap and keep it just because you have the space! :)

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bad Summer for Bunnies

Today, I lost the rabbit I loved the most in my entire barn. Stardust, named when she was 2 weeks old, when I thought she was going to die. Her mom, Star, was very sick, her sibling had already died, and I had to foster her to another doe, even though she was 2 weeks.

I was determined to love this rabbit to death and she made it so easy. She was the sweetest rabbit I own, always pushing forward for nose rubs. I can't help but feel that I could have done something for her. Maybe I could have, maybe I couldn't have, but the guilt is going to eat at me for a while anyway.

I've been told it's a bad summer for rabbits. So far, I've had a friend lose some rabbits to dog attacks- 8 weeks after it happened the first time. I had a friend nearly lose 2 babies to the heat, some folks I got started in mini lops nearly lost their junior buck to the heat, I've lost my own to the heat, and 2 to unknown causes. I've heard of another lady in a neighboring state who lost a good chunk of her herd due to heat stroke as well. Not to mention, there was an illness across the state of NC for a little while, though thankfully no one had their herd wiped out.

Will this get better? The heat problem will be eliminated when Fall comes, but what about winter? Are we going to wake up to frozen kits? Frost bitten ears, deceased rabbits? Is it just a simultaneous stroke of bad luck, or am I more fatalistic because I lost my Stardust? I suspect its the latter, rather than all the former. Every year, someone has a barn fire, folks lose rabbits to heat stroke, promising juniors die for what seems to be no reason.

Some folks give up. Others keep pushing on.

We'll have to see what tomorrow brings, won't we? Right now, I'm really down. I'm not really sure if I'm going to bounce back at the current time.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Blogger Troubles

Sorry guys, blogger hasn't been working properly for me lately.

Wooligans Aspen, a REW doe from out in California, has managed to hurt herself. We at first suspected a broken leg, but it is possible it's a less serious injury.

I tried to feel for a break or fracture in the leg and foot on the side she is favoring (and that is sticking out at an odd angle) but was unable to locate the problem. Luckily, some other folks weighed in on the matter and suggested that it could be a muscle tear (which I had though unlikely, as her foot was at a 90 degree angle out). However, someone else had the same experience with her french lop, and it was indeed a tear.

We'll be moving her to a mini lop sized carrier, big enough she can access her food and water, but restricting in her movement. I definitely don't want her to aggravate the problem!

We've been hit by bad luck lately, I hope it doesn't continue!

I did breed several does yesterday, all woolies. Fingers crossed that they take, I'm going in to baby withdrawal.

I'm going to leave you today with a picture of the worst looking rabbit in my barn, who also happens to be a GC and throws gorgeous babies. He's having the worst hair day ever lol.

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, August 20, 2007

Mini Update

Yayyy! We now have 6 new holes! Plans are in the works for making them self cleaning, I'll be sure to post pictures when it's completed, which will hopefully be in the next day or so.

Keep's Future has been sold. I do have a few inquiries on other rabbits, but I must remind folks that until you make plans with me to pick it up, or send a deposit, the rabbit DOES remain for sale to others. So if you've been considering it for a week and someone else beats you to a definitive yes, I do apologize, but you lost out.

Our next show will be the Mountain State Fair on September 8th in Fletcher. Following that is the Greensboro Show on September 15th (in Greensboro of course). We can deliver rabbits along the interstate in the morning, if prearranged, or after the show if a deposit is placed on the rabbit, or paid in full- or if you managed to catch me on my cell phone on the way home and the rabbit did not sell :D.

I also lost a very promising little blue chinchilla mini lop today- I'm so sick of this heat! I NEVER lose rabbits to heat, and this summer I've lost 2, both mini lops! *sigh*

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Day of Discoveries

Wow, what an amazing 24 hours lol. To begin with-

Abby kindled! She was due on the 11th & didn't kindle until the 17th- oh yeah, she was WAY overdue! In fact, I almost took her nestbox away on the 16th when we were feeding! She had 3 babies, 2 DOA and 1 live viable kit! I'm in shock! And so thrilled, this is her first "litter" with Joe! I hope it pulls through, singletons always worry me.

We also discovered our chickens (at least one of them) has finally started laying! We have 2 Rhode Island Red hens. I'd love to have a rooster, but haven't come across one yet- and then of course, I'd have to explain to Tim why we need to get one haha.

We have had an entertaining non-rabbit-related day, shucking corn (fed the worms to the chickens! Muwahaha), and picking garden vegetables. Unfortunately, we didn't pick anything the buns could eat! I'm sure they are bitter, but next year maybe we'll get a bunny garden started :).

Tomorrow, Malena (who is amazing, by the way) is doing us a huge favor and dropping off 6 new holes, a 3 hole carrier and a new nestbox! YES! We needed the new holes badly, as you may have noticed from my sales list. We're going to have to rig something up, as our new holes are hangers, but I've got a few ideas, including trying to make them self cleaning! (Fingers crossed that it works!)

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, August 16, 2007

For Sale List

Ok, all rabbits are available at the Mtn State Fair on September 8th or on September 15th in Greensboro. I will require a deposit if you want me to hold the rabbit past the Mtn State Fair. smile.gif

Pictures can be seen on my website For Sale page :).

Holland Lops:

Keep's Future: jr. Holland Lop Buck- solid black tort
Nature Trail's Samson x Nature Trail's Miss Muffet! Great body, I've been
told to keep him because his head will come in later, but I just don't have the
room! Wish his crown was a little more forward, love his body. $45

Hamilton's Fendi: Sr. Holland Lop Doe- solid black tort
Fendi is a great mom, and a beautiful doe. Quite a looker, she manages to throw better than herself and it's amazing. Keeping her daughter as a replacement. $55

Narrow Gate Farm's Aquilla (Dega)- solid chestnut holland lop sr. buck. 2 legs.
He is proven and throws his gorgeous flat ears! Selling as brood quality,
he is a bit on the small side, but has placed well for me in the past. $50. May end up keeping him, we shall see.

Mini Lops
GC (pending) Keep's Super Fly: Sr. Mini Lop buck (GT Steel). I believe Fly has 8 or 9
legs, I'm not 100%, but can check for you. He's got a nice head and nice
crown, needs a little more to the HQ and he peaks a little early. He is a
lover boy, no personality concerns at all. $30 - Need the Space

Baraba's Ophelia: Sr. Mini Lop Doe (Opal). "Opie" is a brood doe, plain and
simple, and hates posing- I'd like to see a little more width and depth to her. Produces better than herself. She's a great mother and foster mother. $10

Keep's Eve: Jr. Mini Lop Doe (GT Steel). This girl is out of Super Fly and Abby, both GCs. She's very promising, I just like her sister a little better. Placed 3rd at her first show (only 2 1/2 months old), behind her sister and behind a 4 1/2 month old doe who won BOSB. $20

Keep's Baby: Jr Mini Lop Doe (Opal). She's cute, much more of a brood, I'm keeping her sister. Out of Ophelia & GC (pending) Velotta's Joe. $10.

As always, will discount on multiples.

*Will be attending more after the Mtn State Fair, please email or pm me for potential sales- including JW & more hollands*

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Rabbit Genetics- D

Gettin' close to the end guys! :).

D is the Dense or Dilute. :D The end.

Just kidding lol, but it's really almost that simple

D is Dense, d is dilute. The dilute of black is blue, the dilute of chocolate is lilac. In any color you can get, it also comes in dilute, for example a black tort and a blue tort. Blue tort is the dilute of black tort :D. The dilute of chestnut is opal :).

"Carries dilute" is something folks will like to tell you about their rabbits, a lot like they'll let you know if it's a chocolate carrier.

All you need now is to know what color is a dilute of what! Laurie Stroupe has a nice chart on her rabbit genetics page here.

Just scroll down to the bottom! I also recommend Laurie's page for a more in depth look at genetics.

Well, I'm sorry this one was so short and sweet, but that's really all I have to say about D gene! After all, by now you know you can have a dilute only with dd, a carrier with Dd and a true breeding Dense with DD.

On a side note, I did add a cute little junior buck (solid black tort) out of Nature Trail's Samson and Nature Trail's Miss Muffett to my for sale page :).

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, August 13, 2007

Rabbit Genetics - C

The bane of my existence- the Color Gene!

Ok, I'm going to start this one out with a cheat key :)

C- full color
Cchd- chinchilla dark
Cchl- chinchilla light
Ch- Himi
c- REW (Rew carrier with 1, Rew with cc)

C-With the dominant C gene, you get a full color rabbit (examples being torts, black, etc). It is completely dominant over all the others, so while it can carry anything from Cchd to c, you'll always see a fully colored rabbit.

Cchd-This is the next gene in the dominance hierarchy. It will be expressed when matched with anything EXCEPT "C". In this gene, the gold pigment is removed from the coat. That's why with chinchillas, you've got the beautiful white bands in between the color bands of the coat (go blow in to a chin's coat! But, if you don't own it, be sure to ask first lol).

Cchl- Ugh, now chinchilla light is fun (not). This gene has incomplete dominance (let's all boo incomplete dominance! Even if it does cause pretty colors). When it gets together with one of the genes farther down on the list, it's expressed. When it gets together with another Cchl, you get a seal colored rabbit. This gene also takes away the gold pigment, and it "dilutes" (for lack of a better word) dark colors. Cchl can causes a shaded look in some colors. Because of the Cchl you get colors like Smoke Pearl and Siamese Sable.

Ch- This is the himalayan gene. With it, you get a nice, pure white body with color on the points (face, feet, ears and tail). Himalayan markings are also known as "pointeds" (which show as AOV in Woolies). Odd, how the Ch gene removes all color EXCEPT points, isn't it? Just goes to show you, genetics do crazy mess.

c- aww, the lowest on the little totem poll, c is a very formidable gene. With two c's, you get a Red-Eyed (or Ruby-eyed) white rabbit. Imagine your friend comes to visit and throws a sheet over a rabbit. Now, under that sheet there is still color- but you can't see it! It's a REW basically lol. So you see, that little c can completely wash out the other 4 genes entirely- they'll still be there, but you can't see them! Rew rabbits can not carry shaded or Himi because the gene that expresses them is carried in the same place.

Bah, Adios C genes, with your incomplete dominance and your many options! It's gravy from here lol.

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Rabbit Genetics - B

So we remember from last time that the A gene dictates A-Agouti, at- tan or a- self.

The B gene affects whether you get a black or a chocolate! That's it! B= black, b= chocolate! HOORAY! Enjoy the simplicity, C is a pain in the butt!

To get a chocolate rabbit, the gene has to be bb.

Colors in the chocolate family are lilac, lynx and chocolate. (Remember, you can have chocolate chinchilla, lilac tort, etc) If you have a chocolate chestnut rabbit, then you know it's genotype looks like this : A_ bb : A for the agouti, bb for the chocolate factor.

The Black family has many more options, including blue, opal, chinchilla, black, smoke pearl, siamese sable- basically anything that isn't lilac, lynx or chocolate!

So, if you have a solid black rabbit, he is B_, with the possibility of carrying chocolate. As chocolate is a less common color, other breeders will generally let you know if he actually could carry chocolate. A quick glance through the pedigree for chocolate, lilac or lynx can help you assess possibilities, though remember, recessive hides! If you breed a chocolate to a BB black, you can go through 40 generations before a chocolate pops up! Tricky genetics!

Gonna keep it short today- it's mah birthday :D.

Keep's Rabbitry

Rabbit Genetics - A

Wow, rabbit genetics- they can be hard lol. I loved genetics in High School biology, found it fascinating what 2 genes can do. I'm going to attempt, across several blogs, to put the small bit I understand about genetics in to a newbies guide. Please note, I don't know even half of what I should, but hey, it's better than nothing!

To start with, you have 2 genes, we'll call them M and m. In genetics, the capitalized M is always dominant, little m is recessive. This basically means big M overshadows little m. It takes TWO recessive genes (mm) for that trait to be expressed, where the dominant M is almost like a bully- it only takes one for him to make the little m run and hide.

Got it?

Every rabbit has 2 genes and each parent "gives" one to each offspring. If you have a buck that is MM and a doe that is mm, if they have 4 offspring, ALL will be Mm. That is, carriers for what mama is, but they'll look like daddy. This is because the buck can only give M and the doe can only give m.

If you wanted to do a linebreeding with siblings, you'd know genetically they were Mm. In this case, if they have 4 babies, you'd get (*statistically speaking*) 1 MM, 2 Mm and 1 mm. So the first three look like their parents and the last one is a throw back to what grandmama looked like. Figuring this out can take a drawing, called a Punnit Square.

I hope I haven't lost anyone!

Now, we've had a small background in genetics, let's move on to actual rabbit stuff. We'll focus only on "A" today.

Rabbits have a string of letters to stand for their genetics. A B C D E.

A stands for Agouti. It's dominant over the other "a" colors, which are "at" for tan and "a" for self.

Agouti can mask tan (Aat) or mask self (Aa), or you could get a completely dominant Agouti (AA).

The at gene is what is used to produce tan, or otters and martens. (However, it requires input from other genes to decide what exactly it is- more in a later post, as I am able lol).

Basically, while "at" is recessive to Agouti, it's still dominant over "a" (self). So in order of potency, you get A-at-a.

If you have a self rabbit, you *KNOW* it is aa. If it had a tan (at) or agouti (A) gene, then you wouldn't be looking at a self :).

So now you know if you're looking at a chestnut rabbit, you know it's phenotype (physical expression of a gene) is A_ (remember, it could be hiding at or a, or have another A gene). You'd have to do test breedings to figure out it's genotype, or what it's actual genetic makeup is!).

Ok, that's about it from me today. I hope this entry makes sense, if not, please let me know, I'll be happy to try to clarify! We'll try to tackle "B" another entry! :)

Keep's Rabbitry

Friday, August 10, 2007

No babies :(

When Tim and I moved here, I had 4 does due within a week or so- and from those breedings I got 1 live baby. No problem, I didn't realize how stressed out they'd be. So, we've hit the second round of breedings, and so far none of my woolies have produced. Ok, it's summer, there is a chance the buck has gone sterile, ya know?

Last night, I went out to feed and found a small dead baby in Bertha's (ML) cage. I mean this guy was tiny! She had half eaten him. Gross. She's not due until tomorrow, so I thought maybe she accidentally aborted him, or he was born early because of some problem. I gave her a nestbox and removed the baby.

While on the phone later, I made a trip to the rabbitry and discovered five more babies scattered across the wire, all about the same size as the first one. Abby is still due on the 11th, so she's my last hope for babies this round.

It's so upsetting to find dead babies, especially this close to the due-date and from a proven mom! It's sad having only one young junior baby as well!

I was told by Dennie of SCG that when she made a big move, it was in to the following year before she had babies! Oh no! Hopefully my guys and girls will realize we're still in the same state and figure 2 months of punishment is enough.

We can hope anyway, eh?

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Our BIS experience

I'm going to tell you guys an embarrassing story. Why? Glutton for teasing, I guess hehe.

We had just recently gotten in to mini lops. As you may know, our trio was all ladies, the newly senior Bertha, the middle-junior Ophelia and the baby Abby, christened Abra Cadabera because of her ability to escape from her cage (this landed her a chunk missing from her ear, and we despaired, not knowing if she'd be showable!).

As we showed, we got a little discouraged. Ophelia we bought more as a brood doe anyway (and she's been a good one!), but Bertha and Abby we expected nice things from. Bertha got 1 leg and was retired to a life of baby raising. She recently returned to the tables and placed middle of her class. Abby, as a junior was never higher than 2nd place (usually in classes of 3-4). Tim got down after time and again we were told "eh, it's an ok bunny. She's just all right". However, I still thought she was adorable and ignored the judges (yeah, that's a big failing of mine lol!).

In our first show with her as a senior (she was all of 6 1/2- 7 months old at the time), imagine our surprise when our ugly duckling won her class! She went on to be named BOV of the solids, and shock of all shocks- won BOB! This was our first real Best of Breed with the minis (Bertha's didn't really count, considering half her competition went overweight).

We floated through the rest of the day, convinced it was our best show EVER!

So, Abby was up for BIS judging. I was off doing some business with a JW breeder, and I had to miss half of the BIS judging. I come running over and hold a whispered conversation with Tim to see what's going on- and he tells me they keep looking at Abby! Which is exciting. So they (the judge and some of the show admin) stand there and the WHOLE time I'm there, they don't look at her once. That bodes well, doesn't it?

Then, the judge starts checking papers, checked her ear number, checked the papers, had a conversation with someone, look back at the ear number, then ask who owned the mini lop. So I run up there and they say her ear number isn't on the judging sheet! WHAT??! She won BOB in Show B. Then, after a few minutes, someone realizes they are looking at the Show A list! Oops!

So we go back and stand, they check the REAL papers- and then announce the holland lop owned by Laurie Stroupe takes BRIS. That surprised me, because I believe that same buck won BIS in Show A. And the judge says "And going with a similar ear carriage, our Mini Lop is going to be BIS". Tim looks excited, I get irritated. WHY? Because I missed the "similar ear carriage" part and am convinced he said Mini Rex. I know people thought I was the biggest butthead, but I was thinking "they looked at her that whole time, we went through all the papers mess and she doesn't even get a mention?". Tim got confused because I wasn't excited and he was...so yeah, finally I turn to the person next to me, who is clapping and looking at me and go "What did he say?"

Hahaha, yep, Mini Lop. We were floored. Absolutely floored. That was her first leg too!

The point? Listen to the judges when they announce wins, otherwise you look weird.

Seriously though, have a little faith in your rabbits. No, not all are going to end up winners, we've got a few that I kept around that didn't turn out as nicely as they hinted they might be as juniors. But still, don't get down and trust your instincts! Sometimes you have to take a risk on a bunny, by holding it a few weeks or months longer than you want. Abby granded out quickly, 3 legs in 2 shows and she's been retired to brood. I've got a very promising pair of does (one for sale- wink wink) out of her, with her bred to Joe! Does BIS + BRIS= BIS? We can hope so! Though I'm not greedy- I'll settle for BRIS too ;).

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Bunny Treats

I recently had folks come visit my rabbitry, with the intent of getting a bunny! Now, to begin with, they made it clear they wanted to come look around and pick my brain. I LOVE THIS! They didn't jump right in and get the first bunny they saw! HOORAY!

Now, unfortunately for them, I have no young juniors for sale as pets, but they are happily content to wait until I do get the perfect rabbit for them.

Anyway, what I'm leading up to is..... I standardly tell people "don't feed them treats before they are 6 months old, and absolutely NO iceberg lettuce!" This shocked the lady. Why did it shock her? Because we're conditioned by the media to think rabbits live on iceberg lettuce and carrots. The truth is, iceberg can give them diarrhea and kill pet bunnies! Carrots are good sometimes treats, but too many will lead to a fat bunny, thanks to the sugar.

What are good treats? Romaine lettuce, spinach leaves, kale, and other really dark green veggies. Broccoli will be eaten as well. Carrots are ok, a small bit of apple occasionally (apples have lots of sugar!) and papaya is also good! In fact, papaya can help prevent woolblock, which they get from cleaning themselves and ingesting too much hair (or chewing on a neighbor, etc).

I want to caution you to stay away from treats you'd buy in a pet store. They are loaded with processed sugar and do nothing for the rabbit except make them fat! Fresh fruit and veggies are a much better treat- and usually cheaper too! A bag of baby carrots will run you $2 or so, while a box of sugary junk treats at Pet Smart will be $3+.

Monday, August 6, 2007


Smooth Mover x Krys daughter- even in her uglies, this girl is so cute!

Smooth Mover x Zoey cross- definitely repeating this breeding, he's only 4 weeks old!

Ophelia x Joe daughter. Not related to Smooth Mover in any way lol

The man himself- Smooth Mover! In an awful, awful molt.

I'd post more, but I don't want to overwhelm those on dial-up! I'm excited about these babies, especially the Ophelia x Joe cross. Ophelia is for sale right now, and I'm expecting one of her two daughters to replace her! Fingers crossed for a future GC! :).

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Bunny Poop

We spend an amazing amount of time around poop. Dog poop, chinchilla poop, hamster and rat poop, turtle poop- you name it we see it. But I'm pretty sure we spend most of our time hauling rabbit poop! That's pretty amazing, considering how I got grossed out just hearing about someone having to go change a baby diaper!

As you can guess, we cleaned a few cages today- that's what got me to thinking about poops.

In rabbits, we love to see the normal poop. The nice, medium sized little balls in their pan that indicate everything is going well! We're currently dumping these trays on a compost heap, and as soon as we finish digging out potatoes, pulling beans and harvesting corn, squash, zucchini , peppers and 'maters, we'll have a much shorter journey to a dumping ground! Yep, the bunnies are going to be put to work fertilizing our garden plot. Nothing better than bunny manure to revitalize plants and soil!

Then there is not so helpful poop- diarrhea. I'll admit, my heart stops every time I see it. Usually there is no reason- a new rabbit is stressed from the move, weanlings are a little creeped out without mama- there are a 101 reasons for normal rabbits to have diarrhea. Most of the time, there are no problems, a little hay and some time to calm down- maybe a butt-washing or two, and everything is peachy-keen. However, sometimes it's so much more serious.

Then, we get the cecotrophes, the little slightly mushy "poop" that appears to be a clump of tiny brown grapes. These usually get eaten, but occasionally my rabbits prefer to step on them, creating a huge mess that is nearly impossible to scrape off- mostly because they hide the evidence for a few days, pooping on top of the mess and creating their own little compost heap right in the cage. Add to it a bit of hair from whoever is molting at the moment and BAM! you've got a nasty cage that isn't going to be easy to clean. We have a few like this at the moment- we'll have to torch them if it EVER stops raining!

We've also got the no-poops stage. I'm so lucky we've not encountered this yet *knock on wood*. Like diarrhea, no-poops can signal some very bad problems for your bunny! Hopefully, lots of hay and some papaya will get everything flowing again.

Poops are an amazingly helpful insight to the secret health of your rabbit. Because rabbits are prey, lots of time they don't exhibit signs of illness the way we do- or when they start exhibiting them, they are almost always too far gone to help, unless you're particularly observant. It may not be the best view in the world, but try to pay attention to your rabbit's poop. It might just save their life!

Thanks for Reading!
Keep's Rabbitry