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Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Happy Halloween from Keep's Rabbitry!

Is it a pilgrim?!


Oh, what a world, what a world.

Chaos, a Jersey Wooly, going as an undead zombie bunny.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Cold is no fun!

It's getting cold up here in the mountains. Not just a little cold, mind numbingly cold, at least to me. I'm used to Burlington, where it stays warmer longer and doesn't get quite as cold!

Because of the drop in temperatures at night, it's not a whole lot of fun to feed and water right now, even in the barn which protects us all from the wind!

Speaking of not fun- I'm not looking forward to cleaning trays this winter!

Today, we're heading out to get Tim a second water bucket, so I can help him haul in two buckets at once, which decreases the amount of times he'll have to go out. We're also going to look for a nice pair of gloves- and by nice I mean a cheap pair that I don't mind ruining with food dust and fur.

I may also load up on more mouse traps. The body count is up to 3 now, including the one we found INSIDE a sterilite container we use as catch-alls for the hanging cages. Great, that's why I don't use the live bucket traps, I don't want to have to personally put the mice down! We ended up sticking a mouse trap in there and he solved the problem for us in only a few minutes. Luckily we had just set it up the night before, so it was relatively clean in there still!

Happily, thanks to Malena, we've got our winter hay in. Thanks to the Shelby show, I now have a few empty cages in preparation for the new mini lops I'm having shipped in.

We have no winter proofing to do to the rabbitry- the roof is tight, the walls keep the wind out, and I don't put heaters out (we've discussed my worries about that before!).

We are going to look for some additional lighting we can put up. With the days getting shorter, we're going to have to rely on false light to trick the ladies in to thinking it's still breeding season. Not to mention, our normal feeding time is now pitch black outside, and I prefer not having shadowy corners were woodland creatures could lurk.

We have 2 heaping trash bags of leaves for the rabbits to snack on, though I have a feeling I'll be putting them out for the deer when the snow comes.

Yep, it appears Keep's Rabbitry is ready for winter. Which means I've overlooked something important and won't realize it until it snows. Ah well, I'll keeping thinking about it.

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Shelby- the Sequel

Okie dokie, so at this point, Zapp and the little orange buck have been thrown off the table. Joni was worried about her little doe out of Samson, who is actually working her way through the uglies. THE DOE PLACED 2ND! :) Yayyy for Joni lol, glad someone got good results :)!

While the hollands were judging, we hear the call for Mini Lops, in the All Other Breeds show! (That always happens lol!) When we trundle our cart over that way, we get the surprising news that because it's not sanctioned, we're going to show all bucks at the same time. Yeah, no juniors/seniors/broken/solids. Just slap them all up there. Ok.........

Well, I have no idea how my broken buck would have placed. The judge pretty much pulled them out of the cage, then put them back in. No posing, no nothing. Just arbitrarily picked one, then said "put up the does".

I was not pleased, nor were the other exhibitors. We didn't even get comments! Where was our $2.50 opinion?!

So we have to put the does up, he at least posed them this go 'round, and one of the guys running the show suggested that perhaps we would like comments on them (yeah, and placings would have been nice!), so we at least got comments this time. Again, no idea how Basheba and Queen would have placed, he just went down the line.

Best Doe- my broken GT Steel, Kris. Whaaaaaaaaaat? lol That was a total shocker, I decided to bring her last minute to help round out the "classes". Literally, I told Tim "ahh, throw Kris in there too, maybe we can get her in the mood to breed if we take her to the show". Turns out that was a good idea! I actually had forgotten she was on the table, I had gone back to the hollands! Oops. Good thing Tim was paying attention.

Trent, one of the other mini lop breeders, walks by and says "Your broken doe won BOB."

Shocked, I rather loudly says "You're KIDDING.........YOU'RE KIDDING!" Caused a few breeders to look at me strangely, I can tell you that. Oh well, if they knew me, they'd still look at me strangely :).

I'm in shock at this point, Kris has an amazing body but her head does leave much to be desired, and honestly, I'd have picked Basheba or Queen over her any day as a better balanced animal.

A little while later I hear "Mini Lop, BIS", and I throw my head up, see a bunch of folks standing at another table and go running over to Tim saying "They need Kris, where is she?!". He looks up bewildered from his book to say "I left her there, he told me to leave her at that table!"

At this point- a suspicion is starting to grow in my mind...I run over to the table where people are watching me, my friend Nita included, and as I approach, the same guy who suggested we'd like comments looks at me and says "Mini Lop takes Best in Show".

My jaw drops, and pretty much the only thing I can say, to the amusement of all, is "Whaaaa? What?" It was total shock. Tim had run up behind me, thankfully, because I'm in a daze holding a trophy and probably would have forgotten the rabbit.

Kris, without us knowing it was even judging, had won Best in Show for the All Other Breed show. The best of the non-sanctioned breeds, and would be competing in the "Grand Champion of the Day" show- where all BOB winners went up against each other for BIS.

She didn't take Grand Champion of the day, but honestly, there were so many nice rabbits (despite the fact half of them left because it was 5pm and we'd been there since 8am) I REALLY would have keeled over from shock if she had won.

I know some of you are thinking we have shows set up strangely here, but I want to tell you this is the first time I've ever been to an all specialty show, and it was definitely weird!

We've also decided to start our own Mini Lop Club here in NC, so NEVER AGAIN will Mini Lops be unsanctioned at a show. Trent tried his best to get other breeders to come up and to get a club to sanction the show, but it didn't happen. So, keep your eyes out for information on the Super Awesome Mini Lop Club of NC that we'll be putting together :).

*whew* So after all that, Tim dragged me to a concert that started at 9pm, we got home around 12:15am, unwound until 1am, then collapsed. I got to play hooky from church, which lead to sleeping until almost noon, and here I am, recording events of yesterday for you! :)

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Shelby Show

Wow. I'm exhausted and the night is still young (so young in fact, we have a concert to go to in just a few hours!)

To begin with, let me say THANK YOU so much to everyone who complimented this blog, or who picked on me about it being updated so sporadically! You really don't know how good it makes me feel to know you guys enjoy it! :)

Wow, what a roller coaster of a day, seriously.

It started at 5:33 am, when I hear "Uh, baby, we need to get up...I think I didn't set the alarm right". I'll say, we were supposed to meet Malena in Asheville at 5:45 to caravan in together! Great start.

So, we bust butts throwing rabbits in carriers, loading up the car and leave at exactly 5:59 am- and all in all, we still arrived at Shelby in plenty of time- in fact, we were only a few minutes behind Malena, who thankfully called at one of the few moments I was in the house, racing around like a mad woman! :)

We set up our areas, and straight off the bat I sell two woolies, one of whom was one of my keepers until recently (Keep's Spoof). There was actually quite the que for woolies, and I ended up selling a really cute tan pattern doe to a friend- she was my favorite of the trio of does I had!

After a semi-frustrating checkin, in which Tim had to go get change so I could pay for entries, and Janet and I had to follow Lisa Young around to figure out who was doing the AOB (All Other Breeds) show. *whew* So yay, with that all taken care of, I was able to sit back and enjoy talking.

I got to see a blast from the past- The Nature Trail's Samson who I miss, and regret selling after seeing how that booger has grown up!! He couldn't have gone to a better owner though, and I think he's helping her herd more than he contributed to mine. That is- if her placing of 2nd broken junior doe (Samson Daughter) in Show B said anything :). But, I get ahead of myself.

In this show, I only had a pair of hollands and a handful of mini lops to show. It was an odd speciality-only show, which I did NOT enjoy, to be perfectly honest. Holland Specialty was called, and we had a heartattack, because though I put Miss Muffet on the table, her ear number was never called! WHAT?

Fearing the worst, I ran through the does on the table, to discover "Miss Muffet" was actually Fendi! I'd put the wrong doe up! Unfortunately, the writers didn't say anything, I would have greatly appreciated someone saying "Wait! That ear number doesn't appear on the list", rather than sticking her placing on any ole rabbit. But, whatever. So, I wasted my $4 entry on that doe! Fendi is definitely not in show condition right now lol.

Next up was Lil Bit Farms Zapp, my new broken sable point buck who I was SO excited to show! He did so well, placing 2nd in his class to- of all things.....a broken orange buck! WHO says colors can't place?! That little orange buck had a magnificent body, for all Janice (his breeder) said he was "cute".

My painted pumpkin missed the pumpkin contest, because it was riding around in the car with Tim on his quest to get food. Chalk another one up to bad luck.

Muffett did terribly in the second show (yes, it really was her!), and surprisingly enough, so did Zapp and the orange buck who won his class in the first show!! Yes, Mr. 1 & Mr. 2 happened to be Mr. 1 & Mr. 2 again- straight off the table! I definitely did not agree with the placings, but as we say SO many times- it's just the judge's opinion we pay for. The first judge actually is a top Fuzzy Lop breeder, winning and judging nationally- so ah well. :) I guess we just have to pick who's opinion we want to believe for this show!

Ooo, my turn to jump into the shower! I'll have to tell all about the mini lops in another post!

Keep's Rabbitry

Friday, October 26, 2007

Bunny Obsessed

I've heard from so many new folks who started off with just one bunny- whether it is pet store or one they bought as a pet, who look at me and say "I must be crazy! I bought one, now I have five! Or ten, or twenty, you know how bunnies are :).

I always respond with- you think you're crazy? We had ten in the living room of Tim's apartment when we started breeding! Or I tell my favorite story-

We had just gotten married and had flown to Disney World for our Honeymoon. We got back on a Friday, and were up at 6:30am the next morning...you guessed it, to go to a bunny show! (We did well too! Got a leg on one of the rabbits we bred (and a BOSB!), and the other juniors all took 2nd in their class :) ).

I've had friends who were sick as dogs trying to stagger outside in the rain (pneumonia anyone?) to check over condition to see who should be entered on Saturday, we've driven 4 1/2 hours for an 8am show (yeah- do that math on that one real quick!), I've gotten HOME from a show at 6 am, and I can remember getting up multiple times during the night to nurse a sick doe back to health. The stories go on and on.


Because it's fun!

We're planning the trip to Kentucky already. A 5 day trip just for bunnies! I did have to promise Tim at least one day of sightseeing, but I'd like to do a little KY visiting outside of a Convention Center myself. I've started saving my spare change, hunting for roommates for the hotel (which I've already chosen!) and working on what will happen to the creatures we have while we're gone.

Maybe we can get some friendly church folks to take care of the rabbits for us, and spread the bunny love around! :)

Keep watch Saturday or Sunday for show results!

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


It never fails. Ever. Show entries are due tomorrow. And it never fails.

I go out with Malena to my rabbitry today, to show her a few of the animals. Gorgeous, the smoke pearl junior wooly doe who is, to be honest, gorgeous- is starting a molt. Her wool cap looks not good to say the least. Oh joy.

Then Malena looks at Spectacular funny- sure enough, the holland brood doe next to him has been chewing on his wool. Guess he'll have to stay home too.

Another doe I have that just turned senior I've decided to use as a brood only. That leaves me with- yep- zero woolies to show. *sigh* I could probably find one or two does to pull in a pinch, but my best show prospects are looking TERRIBLE!

The mini lops look fabulous- and of course, they only have a single show. Great. At least I'll have three or four of them to show. Gah.

And the hollands....yes...the hollands. I've got two of them in show condition. My bucks still need some polish, and most of my does are broody or out of condition.

*sigh* I just can't catch a break!

Oh well, we'll go to the show to have a good time and hope for better condition for the Taylorsville show on the 10th.

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, October 20, 2007

On with our lives!

Well, convention is over now until next year. Already, folks are making their Kentucky reservations and planning breedings for show animals. We must be crazy! There were over 23,000 rabbits shown in Michigan- whoa.

I have a mini lop doe (first timer) due today who is showing no desire to nest. I've got a holland lop and Jersey Wooly due tomorrow who've already worked on their nests, and a 4th doe (also a Jersey Wooly) due the day after who has played in her hay a little, but not done much else. Wish us luck for babies.

The first litter of Jersey Woolies we had this Fall are starting to want to leave the nestbox! One "has an eyeball" as we say, and they are so cute! This is a mother/son breeding, so I'm very interested to see how they develop.

One of my brood does has had all her face fur chewed off by the holland buck next to her- she's truly frightening to look at. I'll have to get a picture soon to post, though I warn you not to eat anything at least an hour before you see her!

The Shelby show is this weekend! I'm very excited, one of my newfound rabbit friends is going to be showing in her first show, with one of her very own juniors! I'll be bringing two hollands, a handful of jersey woolies, and maybe three or four mini lops. It will be a more relaxing show for us hopefully, since we'll be showing relatively few animals.

I also need to get on my painted pumpkin entry! I haven't decided if I want to try to dress a wooly up for halloween- they hate it in general, and I'll have to see how much time and creativity I have to put towards making an entry.

I'm pretty sure Tim and I will not be participating in the breeder costume contest- I always manage to get some kind of rabbit nastiness on me and I'd hate to ruin a costume :). I can't wait to see the participants though!

And in a rare non-rabbit-related moment... Roxy, my AKC mini dachshund female is FINALLY in heat again! :) Wish us luck that in another few months, we'll have some little rotten Bear/Roxy pups born!

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Even More Convention Results!

Some have been updated in previous posts, here are a few more that are still trickling in!

American Satin - BOB Pat Haefele, cream

American - BOB Kathy Edie, Solid Silver
BOSB - Berma & Linda, REO

Texel - BOB Kathy Edie, B/C Sr B
BOSB - Linda Wilbur, B/C Sr S

Teddy - BOB Alaina Holstege, B/C Sr B
BOSB - Renee Martin B/C S

White Crested - BOB Sheryl Newland silver solid Int S,
BOSB Samantha Marlin

Golden Solid Sr B

The Texel won BIS and the Am Satin was RIS

For Holland Lops (Youth)-
SSB - Heather Washburn BOV
SSD - DJ Swan
SJB - Larissa Antonioni
SJD - Kassandra Abrams BOSV
BSD - Sarah Walter BOSV, BOS
BJB - Karina, Devin & Damon Yoder
BJD - DJ Swan

For Blanc de Hotot (Open)-
BOS - Laurie Staley-Jones

For Mini Satin (Youth)-

BOB Rhyne Harris
BOS Kelsey Allen.

For Belgian Hare (Open) -

BOB Sheila Scagnelli
BOSB Sheila Scagnelli

For Thrianta (Open) -

BOB-Amanda Pitsch/Kim Glass - Sr Buck
BOS -The Mairs -Sr. Doe

For Thrianta (Youth) -

BOB - Alexis Wade - Sr. Doe
BOS - Ryan Gustafson- Jr. Buck

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

COD Presentations

COD or Certificate of Development presentations are going on today at Convention.

Basically, some colors (such the martens in hollands, blue tort in ND, broken havana) or breeds (lionhead, velveteen lops) aren't recognized by the ARBA. However, you can apply for a COD and present these rabbits at the National convention. They must pass presentation three out of five years, and only one COD holder is allowed to present in those five years. After that, the next COD holder must begin over at the beginning. So if Lionheads were to pass the second showing, and the COD holder drops his COD, the next person in line must start over at first presentation. This is always a huge setback!

Until the breeds are ARBA accepted, you can not register them, win legs or compete for BIS.

So far:

Broken Havanas: PASSED their third presentation! YAY!

Velveteen Lops: PASSED their first presentation!

Broken Satin Angora - PASSED their first presentation!

Blue Tort Netherland Dwarf - PASSED their first presentation!

Sable Mini Rex - PASSED their first presentation!

Himilayan Mini Satin - PASSED their first presentation!
Copper Mini Satin - PASSED their second presentation!
Red Mini Satin - PASSED their first presentation!
Chinchilla Mini Satin - PASSED their first presentation!
Opal Mini Satin - PASSED their first presentation!
Black Mini Satin - Not Presented!
Chocolate Mini Satin - Not Presented!
Otter Mini Satin - FAILED their second presentation! sad.gif

Blue Silver Fox -PASSED their first presentation!

Lionheads: FAILED their second presentation. COD now goes to Gail.

Silver Martin Holland Lop: FAILED their first presentation, too many white hairs.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

More Convention Results

*All Results are from members posting on Rabbit Habbit, unless otherwise noted*

Please check yesterday's post for breed updates.

Open Group winners

Open BIS -Mini Satin -Rob & Amanda Waupner

Youth BIS-English Angora- Collin Burns

Youth Group winners
English Angora- Collin Burns
French Angora - Sam Jacoby
Champagne d'Argent

For Polish (Open)-
BOB-Blue Sr doe- Pat Glenn
BOS-Black Sr Buck-Sissy Dennison(not 100% sure on owner)

For Polish (Youth)-

BOB-Seth Baareman-Brkn buck
BOS- Kesley Avvarsold-BEW doe

For French Lops (Open)-

BOV Solid Sr. Doe – Caleb & Jean Thomas
BOSV Solid Sr. Buck Diane Wolford
BOV Broken – Caleb & Jean Thomas – Sr. Doe
BOSV/BOS Broken-Gary & Suzanne Garrett

For English Angora: (Open)
BOB- Betty Chu-colored sr doe

For Giant Angora: (Open)

BOB - Jack & Karin Bailey
BOS - Jack & Karin Bailey

For Blanc De Hotot (Open)

BOB Shawn & Jackie DeArmond- Sr Doe
BOS Laurie Staley-Jones- Jr Buck S840

For Satin Angora (Open)

BOB - Linda Kolassa
BOS - Trina Dunn

For Silver Fox: (Youth)

BOB Ashton Hosmann CA
BOSB Ashton Hosmann CA

(From CARabbitShows)

Open Results

Satin Angora -

BOB - Linda Kolassa
BOS - Trina Dunn

Giant Angora -

BOB - Jack & Karin Bailey
BOS - Jack & Karin Bailey

Best Over All wool (GA) - Jack & Karin Bailey

French Angora -

BOB - Charlotte Schweikart
BOS - Jacque Dumas

BOV White - Charlotte Schweikart
BOSV White - Jacque Dumas
BOV Colored - Charlotte Schweikart
BOSV Colored - Charlotte Schweikart
Wool - Best Over All - Charlotte Schweikart
Best Colored wool - Charlotte Schweikart
Best White wool - Jacque Dumas

For Jersey Wooly (Open)-

BOB - Jessica Bielejewski. with her self jr buck.
BOSB - Charlotte Schweikart - shaded sr doe.

BOG- Brian Hartzell

BOG- ?
BOSG- Gayle Bearu

BOG- Jessica Bielejewski - Jr. buck
BOSG- Deb Snyder - Jr. doe

BOG- Brian Hartzell

BOG- Amanda Pitsch
BOSG- Brian Hartzell

For Jersey Wooly (Youth)

BOB- Tessa Erb - Broken Sr. buck
BOSB- Kelsey Dehling (sp?) - Shaded doe

BOG-Kelsey Shultz - Sr. buck

BOG- Heather Kaminski - Sr. buck
BOSG- Robert Geizenhoff (sp?) - Jr. doe

BOG- Jessica Usakowski -

BOG- Kelsey Dehling (sp?)
BOSB- Kelsey Dehling (sp?)

BOG- Kelsey Dehling (sp?)
BOSG- Dakota Moat (sp?)

For American Chinchilla (Youth)-
BOB - Logan Van Allen
BOS - Olivia Summerlot

For American Chinchilla (Open)-

BOB - Janet Terry MI [Best Junior & 1st Jr Doe]
BOS - Wade Burkhart MO [1st Jr Buck]

Monday, October 15, 2007

Convention Result Updates!

*All Results are from members posting on Rabbit Habbit, unless otherwise noted*

For Mini Lops (Open)

BOB- Richelle Hellpap
BOS- Kersting & Pancast
BOSV- Kassi Sieber- SJD

For Mini Rex (Open)

Tiffane Astle - BOB- Black doe
Berlena Reynolds - BOV & BOSV- BEW
Berlena Reynolds - BOV-Himi
Holly Scrimshaw - BOV-Red

For Californian (Youth) -

Ashlee Jones - BOB Californian with 6/8 buck

For English Lops (Open): (as posted on Showbunny Yahoo Group)

Debbie Ernst took BOB and BOS and BEST DISPLAY

For Fuzzy Lops (Open): (Thanks Katie!)

SSB Brian Hartzel
SSD Leslie Hobbs
SJB Leslie Hobbs
SJD Brian Hartzel


BSB-Leslie Hobbs
BSD-Dawn Guth
BJB-Brian Hartzel
BJD-Paula Grady

For Fuzzy Lops (Youth)
BOB - Sarah Hardy - Broken Doe

For Holland Lops (Open) (From Laurie Stroupe's Blog):

Solid Senior Buck - Tracy Lukeman/Jenna Buchenauer - BOB
Solid Senior Doe - Jennifer Poprawski
Solid Junior Buck - Tiffany Schwandt
Solid Junior Doe - Ardis Hartwig & Tim Waddell - BOS
Broken Senior Buck - Jennifer Poprawski
Broken Senior Doe - Laurie Stroupe - BOSG
Broken Junior Buck - Roman Kulesza - BOG
Broken Junior Doe - Bonnie Norton

If you have any more results, let me know! :)

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Gossip from Convention!

I want to wish luck to everyone headed to Michigan- be safe!

Now, I'm going to try to keep this updated with all the latest gossip- such as placings, presentations of breed/colors, etc. I'll update the news as I receive it.

The only thing that has trickled back to us now is that the 2009 Convention will be held in San Diego, CA! It's been confirmed by several different sources :).

Keep's Rabbitry

Friday, October 12, 2007

The First Lionhead LEG!!

I got a surprise when I got my show results from the Greensboro, NC show back in September. There it was, nestled between Joe's upteenth leg and Basheba's first- a leg for Tiny Thomas, who won BOB in his first lionhead show.

Confused I looked at Tim and held it up, saying "What is this? Lionheads aren't accepted, they don't get legs!"

Rushing off to Rabbit Habbit Forums, I hurriedly typed out a question "I got a lionhead leg! Why?!", wondering if perhaps this was a standard thing. Several folks were quick to giggle along with me though, as they all had the same answer "No! Lionheads don't get legs yet".

Donna from Canada suggesting I frame it as the first lionhead leg.

I think I will!

Show secretaries are amazing people- they put up with so much from the folks entering the show and do so much work for a show they won't even have time to enjoy. Apparently our secretary for Greensboro was so overwhelmed, she forgot Lionheads aren't a recognized breed, so aren't eligible to get legs! :) I want to thank her though, if she ever reads this, for a great laugh!

This leg is going up on the wall, in a place of honor with the other trophies and ribbons we've won. Here's to hoping that in the next few years, lionheads will be accepted as the newest breed, and legs on a lionhead won't be a joke anymore :).

Keep's Rabbitry

Winter Nestboxes

In the winter, many breeders suggest giving the does straw to nest with, instead of hay, because straw will insulate the nests better. You can also try putting down an inch or two of shavings (remember, NO CEDAR) in the bottom, for the same purpose.

If you have a nestbox that has wire or holes on the bottom, try putting in a piece of cardboard. Personally, my does go nuts and shred the cardboard *sigh*.

If you don't have a bag or can o' hair, Fall is the PERFECT time to get one started! When you brush or pull that molting hair out of your rabbits, make sure it's clean (no pee stains or poop on it) and stick it in a bag! This provides you with extra fur for litters. It seems like in summer does will pull themselves bald because they are hot, but in winter, they can be very stingy with the fur! It never hurts to have a little extra.

You can purchase nestbox warmers, but to be honest, I've never had one and so I can't tell you a lot about them. You place them under the nestbox, and it helps keep the chill away.

With heat lamps, I'd be extremely careful, I've heard of people actually baking their kits on accident.

In general in my rabbitry, I try to stay away from anything that needs to be plugged in or generates a lot of heat. I'm completely paranoid of fire breaking out (haven't we discussed this?).

Really, with a nice nest, a litter of rabbits will be fine. Just keep a check on them, make sure the doe doesn't show signs of wanting to chew on the hay ( I give her extra for snacks), stuff a little more in the front when it shows signs of being trampled down, and you should be fine. If push comes to shove and you're afraid of losing a litter, bring them in the house and bring mama to feed them! Just don't keep her inside in the warm too long. A garage or something is nice for this, so she doesn't have to get too heated.

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Winter, you are upon us.

It's starting to get chilly here in the NC Mountains. It's time to start thinking about how to keep the rabbits happy during the winter.

Crocks- I'm going to have to make sure I have a good supply of water crocks on hand, for when the water bottles freeze. We always leave a little air room in the bottles during winter, "grow" room as I call it, for when the water freezes. This way, the ice can grow up a little, instead of growing out and busting the bottles (as easily). Once we establish the freezing temp in the barn, out go the bottles and in come the crocks, which make watering much easier!

I'll be scaling back my breedings to 3-4 weeks apart, instead of 2 1/2 weeks apart. This way, nestboxes can stay with the babies a little longer, protecting them from colder night time temperatures!

We'll have to keep extra food on hand. At any given point in time, I have one bag partially full and another full bag waiting in the wings. During the cold times, I increase feed because of the energy the bunnies expend to keep warm. So rather than running to the feed store every few days, I'll store the food in a dry clean area. It also doesn't hurt to have the extra in case of a power outage or a bad snow! I know I don't want to try to buy food from a feed store in a blizzard!

We'll have to keep an eye out for more mice looking for a warm place to stay and free food! Note to self: More mouse traps!

The nestboxes themselves are going to have to undergo some winter-proofing- I think I'll discuss that tomorrow!

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Rabbitry Updates

Yesterday, my lovely REW jersey wooley doe Aspen graced us with 2 beautiful, healthy REW babies. Unfortunately, she also had 2 DOAs (Dead On Arrival), but these things happen sometimes, and I'm so happy to have the two we do. She was bred back to her son, who is a beautiful creature, so I'm expecting great things from these little ones! Of course, I'm hoping for a buck and a doe- cover the spectrum, ya know :).

Today, our first time (and only) Lionhead doe gave birth to one DOA baby. I had completely forgotten it was her first time, being very hopeful for a nice large litter. Ah well, these things happen! She did have her baby in her nest, and she pulled a small amount of fur, so I have reason to expect she'll do great next go round! I'm sure Tiny Thomas won't mind having a date.

Keep's Dawn went to her new home today! I'm still not sure I sold the right sister, but her new owner is thrilled with her! I'm happy to have that cage open now, though it won't be open for long!

Tomorrow, if we have an opportunity, Tim & I are planning on sterilizing 3 new cages we got, as well as cleaning some that are already set up. Unfortunately, due to a death in the church, several surgeries and a death sentence given (pancreatic cancer), he's running himself (and me) ragged, and we've just not had an opportunity! Thankfully they got a super cleaning not too long ago!

We've set traps to take care of the mouse that has started haunting the barn. Hopefully he'll be our one and only, but at the store today we noticed four other people looking at various traps and poisons, so I'm thinking this is only the beginning!

Our next show will be the Shelby NC show on October 27th. Email me if you need the catalog! This will be a collection of specialty shows, with a single All Other Breed Show at the end :).

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, October 8, 2007

Hay Scarcity

I don't know if hay is scarce where you live, but here in the south (particularly North Carolina) I've been hearing stories of horses turned loose because their owners couldn't afford to buy the hay needed to keep them. Of course, no one is buying the abandoned animals, because we've been in such a drought this year that the price of a bale or roll of hay is outrageous- and only going to get worse.

I know from personal experience, the quality of hay to be found here & now is, to be honest, very poor. The last bit we bought has thorns, weeds and even pieces of tomato plant in it, which I do my best to pick out. Everyone is mowing up fields, regardless of their purpose, in hopes of making a profit, or in just keeping enough hay on hand that their livestock can survive the winter.

Luckily for bunny breeders, our animals don't survive mainly on hay. If you find yourself in a bind this winter, know that you're not a bad breeder for not free feeding hay!

Who needs it?

The does who are pregnant. Don't be stingy, make sure they have enough crammed in their box and hanging out in their cage they can make good nests for their young. You don't want to lose the litters because you wanted to save a handful of hay.

The babies. Don't be stingy with your babies either- if you don't give them hay daily, at LEAST give them hay every other day. Enteritis can strike and kill very swiftly. You may even consider giving them less hay, but daily, as opposed to one big clump of it every other day.

Keep a watch on your juniors and non-pregnant adults. If anyone looks like they may be having trouble going to the bathroom, or they develop diarrhea, they need hay and plenty of it! You have to pick your battles- would you rather spend $20 on a bale of hay, or $200 to replace your herd buck who died because he needed it, and you didn't want to "waste" too much of it? This isn't to say they HAVE to have hay every day. We try to feed a big handful of hay every week or two. I have a feeling it may be cut back more this winter.

LEAVES! Yes, you heard me, LEAVES!! With fall approaching, feel free to bag up nice, dry leaves, especially from oak & maple trees. The rabbits consider them great treats, and it works nicely as roughage. A few years ago, around this time, Tim and I were walking around my mom's yard with a trash bag, gathering clean leaves for the rabbits. Make sure you don't pick up any your dog may have pottied on or too close to. Try to avoid any that have been ground into the mud. Don't put wet ones in, it may cause mold! Leaves are free, and will help save you money!

One last thing to remember this winter- if you have hay you need to throw out, because it is old or you're afraid it's been compromised to dampness or mice, don't take it to the dump, throw it out into the woods. It's going to be hard on all animals this year, the wild ones especially. I'm sure the deer and wild rabbits won't mind picking through our leftovers to keep them alive.

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, October 6, 2007

New Arrival!

Welcome to Lil' Bit Farms Zapp! He's a gorgeous junior (4 1/2 month old) broken sable point buck, who I'm SO thrilled to have!! Thanks so much Melanie and LeAnne- and to Malena who let me ship him in with her son's new Netherlands!

I am already completely in love with this buck, he's a very mellow, sweet little boy with the most gorgeous fur!!

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Preparation for babies

We've got 4 does due in the next few days, which is very exciting. Two are woolies, one is a lionhead and one is a holland- and for all but one of the woolies, these will be the first litters I've gotten out of these animals.

We made sure all the nestboxes were clean. A few had collected a few spiderwebs , so those were knocked out- luckily the spiders weren't at home.

Then, I stuffed all the boxes full of hay- making sure to remove any thorns or weeds. With the drought in this part of the country, most of us have to take what we can get as far as hay goes. The does also got a large handful of free hay, to play with and move around as they see fit.

I made sure everyone was in a good birthing cage- no sprayers or aggressive rabbits housed nearby that may disturb mama's preparations.

I checked my trusty baggy of clean fur from the molters/false pregnancy does that I've been collecting. It's all clean and ready to line nests, should one of the does be stingy when it comes to pulling fur.

I have the dates marked on the calendar- I'll start looking for babies tomorrow, in case one of the does goes 2 days early, then we'll seriously begin keeping an eye out Saturday, since it isn't unheard of for the does to give birth a day before their due date. With luck though, no one will go early, and on Sunday and then again a few days later, we'll go out to see a beautiful nest full of healthy wigglers. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, October 1, 2007

Rabbit Graphics

I've been working with Photoshop Elements recently, and I wanted to share a few of my pictures with you guys! No laughing, I've only had it about a week lol.

This one I put together for Alison at The Holland Farm. :) I'm considering offering avatars and banners for sale in the future (when my skills increase).

My first photoshopped picture ever!!
Well, that's most of them for now :)
Keep's Rabbitry

Rabbit Terms for Newbies

Some of the terms rabbit folks use can be confusing, especially to a newbie to rabbit ownership!

Buck: Boy
Doe: Girl

Junior: Under 6 months of age
Senior: Over 6 months of age

BOB: Best of Breed. The best rabbit of that breed.
BOSB: Also written as BOS. Best Opposite Sex of Breed. If BOB is a buck, this will be a doe and vice versa.

BOV: Best of Variety. In Mini Lops and Hollands, varieties are divided in to Broken and Solid. Each one will have a BOV and will be able to compete for BOB & BOSB.
BOSV: Best Opposite Sex of Variety. Like BOSB on a smaller scale. Each variety will have a BOSV and will be able to compete for BOB & BOSB.

BOG: Best of Group (see BOV for explanation)
BOSG: Best Opposite Sex of Group (See BOSV for explanation)

Groups: In certain breeds, (Netherland Dwarves & Jersey Woolies for example), colors are shown in groups. Agouti, AOV, Broken, Self, Shaded, Tan- in that order.

Leg (or GC Leg)- GC legs are won for classes with 5 rabbits or more (and 3 exhibitors or more), for BOB, BOS, BOV, BOSV, BIS or RIS.

GC- Grand Champion. Has 3 more more GC legs and is registered.

DQ: Disqualified/Disqualification

Registered: Has official paperwork with the ARBA. Any rabbit can be registered, as long as it is DQ free.

Keep's Rabbitry