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Monday, March 31, 2008


It's come to my attention that some people are reposting my blogs.

GIVE CREDIT. "Taken from somewhere else" or "from my friend" or "from another breeder" isn't going to cut it.

I'm beyond livid right now. I can't even begin to describe how it feels to write out something and find out someone else has decided to steal it.

There is nothing wrong with quoting someone else, but hey- A NAME IS MANDATORY.

I can't even think of a nice way to express what I'm feeling right now, so we'll leave it at this.

Keep's Rabbitry

Convention Breedings and updates

If you're going to Convention, or even if you're not-


:D Can you tell I'm excited? We finished our first round of breedings today, with a nice mix of woolies and lops. I'll be palpating in two weeks and starting my second round of breedings then, with some tough choices ahead of me! Everyone keep their fingers crossed for full nextboxes!

If anyone is interested in Convention transport, please contact me whenever, we will have room to carry or bring back rabbits for a small fee.

Anyone interested in Keep's Convention rabbits, you're welcome to get on a waiting list now for a certain breed (I can keep you in mind for a buck or a doe, but I don't take "orders" because I've yet to figure out how to plug in litter size, sex and colors into my does at conception). Don't worry though, you can definitely wait until closer to Convention time, I'm not anticipating a huge rush on the waiting list just yet. :).

For those of you wondering, the little broken sable point with wry neck is doing well! She seems to be recovering somewhat, her neck is still tilted, but not to the same degree that it was! Wednesday she'll get another treatment with Ivomec. The last half of this week is when I'm really hoping to see an improvement with her.

I'm considering switching feeds yet again. I am not liking the condition on my rabbits with Manna Pro. They are bony, despite the same amount of food! Two I know are feed diggers, so I'm working on them now, but the others are just losing flesh. *sigh* It's looking like we may go back to Purina.

I'm planning on a barn-wide worming in the next few days, just because it's been a while and it can't hurt!

I'm not sure if I announced this before, but our barn cat is pregnant (doh...we're so used to ours being spayed and neutered it didn't occur to either of us that Mischa might not be!). So, if you're looking for a mouser, let us know. She's an excellent hunter and I have no doubts that her kittens will be as well! Plus, I'll love you forever if you take a kitten :D.

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, March 30, 2008

That's Just Rude

Something that burns me up-

People think it's funny to make horrible comments about rabbits- to rabbit breeders! I've heard about someone's cat that hunts and murders them, I won't go in to how many people feel the need to tell me they eat them, feed them to their snakes, hunt them, whatever.

To begin with- I don't care. I don't mean to be hateful, but honestly, I could care less what you used to do, what you think is funny to say to me, the joke you want to make- I don't care. I promise, I've heard them ALL by now.

Secondly, I'm 23 years old. I've had to put down babies, I've seen them born with deformities, and I've put down adult rabbits, I have eaten rabbit, I've seen cats hunt them, I know snakes need to eat, family members have hunted rabbits - honestly, this is not news to me. But I'm 23 years old, as I said. I'm not 10. This is not my dear pet Fluffy who I also happen to show.

If you want to make hateful comments for "shock value", bring them on. I promise you, you're going to get a look of disinterest from me at best, a comment back at worst. YOU will be the one walking away shocked.

Do NOT bring this crap to Youth breeders. If you do it in my hearing, you're likely to get more than you bargained for. These are kids. Some of them don't know all the gory aspects of life. This may be their first show, their only rabbit that they love dearly- and you have the nerve to say something like "There's good eatin' on one of those", or describe how you skin a rabbit?

Does it make you feel good to bully a child? Does it?

What's worse, I hear kids bully each other this way! I had a child feel the need to tell me that he feeds rats to his snake. And I care because....? But he did it for shock value. Unfortunately, he did it in front of several other youth, all of whom either own pet rats or were getting their first. I bit my lip, ignored his hateful comments and didn't let the other kids have an opportunity to feed his bullying by gasping or looking uncomfortable. We continued our conversation as normal and he left, upset that he didn't get the attention he was hoping for.

Hmm...wonder if he'll grow up to be one of the rude adults I was talking about? I wouldn't put money on him learning more respect.

My point is- we adults can take the crap. Most of us don't want to, but we can. Leave the Youth kids alone. Teach your kids that being a jerk does not make them popular. Above all- realize that as rabbit breeders, we have heard it all before. Your clever comment isn't clever. So why don't you do us all a favor and swallow that comment, before you manage to lose some respect? Or before you say it to the wrong person, on the wrong day, and get a little more of a reaction than you bargained for.

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Show

Wow, to begin with, the Taylorsville show today was TINY. I mean teeny tiny! Remember me saying I was going to try to sell some mini lops? I didn't need to bother, no one was there! lol

It was POURING rain this morning, and that rain stalked us to Taylorsville. The result was a very cold, very wet show. Unfortunately the roof in the building began leaking in various places, but nothing too bad.

Let's see- I was fairly pleased with the results my hollands got! HF's Bart I *believe* picked up his third leg! YAY BART MAN! He took BOSV. Zapp finished second in his class and Keep's Future got great comments, including raves from Lisa Young at Sugarplum Bunnies! Ah guys, it made me feel good to see her jaw drop when she saw his beautiful, strong shoulders! He's definitely going to be a huge asset to the herd :). Poor Zapp, he's about to molt out his head YAY!!

Latte, the only holland do that went, finished in the middle of her class. I think she and Future will have a date tomorrow :).

In mini lops, Keep's Basheba won her class- of course she was the only one IN her class. She lost BOSV to a little junior doe who already had four legs! The buck we took, Fatboy's ?, placed 3/3. I was with the hollands, so I didn't get to hear the results, sadly.

A GORGEOUS smoke pearl holland lop won BOSB. GORGEOUS. I wanted to mention it because he's a color lol.

We only stayed for Show A. Our litter of 8 rats is now down to just two blue boys.

I got to meet several new folks and talk to the old standby bunny friends :P. I'm sorry I was so tired guys! Getting up before 9am is never a fun thing in my book!

It was great to talk to you guys about wry neck and other rabbit afflictions. I appreciated the words of encouragement. Also, since I'm not dying of the plague any longer, I WILL UPDATE THE BLOG MORE :).

Keep's Rabbitry

Friday, March 28, 2008

Possible Wry Neck

Well, disaster has struck.

I noticed one of my holland babies, the little broken sable point, was starting to show signs of head tilt. In a panic, I rushed to the forum, used my trusty google, and contacted Barbi Brown, a Wry Neck Guru.

Let me talk a little bit about wry neck. It is caused by a parasite that lives in the kidneys of rabbits. During stress, such as weaning, dehydration, weather change, etc. the parasite attacks and replicates, leading to a number of symptoms that may or may not be exhibited in the affected rabbit.

In this case, my little girl ONLY exhibits the tilting head. There is no eye darting, loss of appetite, weepy eye or any other symptoms. This leads me to believe that it could possibly not be wry neck, but I feel my best course of action is to proceed under the fear that it IS wry neck, especially because I caught it extremely early.

After emailing with Barbi, who responded AMAZINGLY fast, and I thank her for it, I treated the mother of the baby with Ivomec, 1/10th cc per pound of body weight, and gave the afflicted baby a drop as well.

I've been keeping hay in the cage and put in a special ceramic crock that is low to the ground, so the baby can eat like her healthy sibling.

In one week, I will be retreating the doe and the baby. In the meantime, I've been keeping an eagle eye on the rest of the herd, none of whom are exhibiting any signs of problems. I've also been gently rubbing the baby's head and neck, in case of a muscle strain. This is going to be one spoiled rotten baby!

I'm also happy to report that the condition has not worsened. The kit seems to enjoy her neck rubs as well.

I'll be updating on the progress of the baby!

I know a few folks out there are wondering why I'd talk about the baby, especially when she is sick. Honestly, everyone has things happen in their herds. We all do. I want to share what is going on here, in case someone out there has to deal with wry neck too. Hopefully by reading this blog, they can help their rabbit or diagnose something more quickly :).

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spring Cleaning

*whew* I'm tired.

We cleaned all the pans in the rabbitry today. Then, I pulled out three cages (2 singles and one 4 hole) for additional scrubbing.

My choice of attack is an old grill brush to loosen molted wool or fur. Usually it's been peed or pooped on, so it's usually nasty. After scraping off what we can, I get out our small propane blow torch and go to work trying to unclog the holes in the floor that have been made solid by some particularly nasty rabbit.

It takes quite a while to get the cages back where I want them sometimes. This time especially, since we were too sick the week I wanted to clean to get them done.

I take pleasure in scraping dingleberries off the bottoms of cages. Call me strange, but there is something satisfying in solving such a little problem so quickly. Plus, it's fun to seem them go flying LOL.

The does with litters make a particular mess in their cages. Soiled hay, fur from the nests scattered- ahhh good times. We try to keep on top of it as much as possible, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the does wait for us to leave and then start digging out pieces of their nest to use the bathroom on. Thank goodness for gloves!

Hopefully everyone out there has been able to keep on top of their spring cleaning! It's sure not fun when the "work" piles up :)

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Taylorsville, NC Show

For the first time since I began showing, I find myself not eager for the show this weekend! Oh no!

Of course, it may have something to do with the fact I'm still barking (coughing) after getting the plague at the last show. I'm trying not to bring the same rabbits I brought to the NC Convention. Some were stressed out and some I'm currently trying to breed. Plus, one just made the jump from junior to senior and I don't think he's quite ready for big boy competition.

Right now, I've got four rabbits going to the show that need their final leg. Oh, if only! I'd love nothing better than to come back and tell everyone they granded, but I'm going to try not to get ahead of myself.

I think we'll take it easy this show. I'm only showing two breeds and the numbers will be down from the amount we usually show. I'm a little disappointed with my juniors, but one has been chewed on, the other is tiny and the final baby is way too small to compete right now! No point in wasting the entry fee, really.

I'm mostly going to sell a few mini lops and the rat babies. I will have a beautiful, older mini lop buck looking for a nice pet home, if you think you might be interested, please let me know! He's a broken lynx. He will NOT come with his pedigree.

Ahh well, we shall see what happens! I am going to begin breeding for Convention! How exciting! I just hope I finally get some juniors out of this :).

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, March 24, 2008

Picture Time!

I'm starting to feel alive again! YAYY!! In a little news, we lost the whole litter of mini lop babies because their mother didn't care for them :(. But, our Smoke Pearl holland gave birth to a litter of three- 2 solids and a broken! YAY!

Here are our pre-juniors from Miss Muffet and Zapp! I can't wait for these guys to get a little older!.

Broken Sable Point

Broken Tort baby and my favorite :D.

Bunny Bootay! Isn't it just TOO adorable?!

Miss Muffet, signaling the end of photo time.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Groan Groan

Okie dokie guys, still feeling bad, so don't expect any witty or fascinating blogs from me for a few days- lol

Happy Easter everyone, and remember, when you go out to the rabbitry Easter morning and see all the little chocolate eggs your bunnies made you, don't be greedy- share them with a friend *wink wink*

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Not feeling so well.

I'm feeling decidedly under the weather today. I think perhaps the two day show didn't just drain the bunnies. Luckily none of them appear to be ill.

Despite that, work still needs to be done. If it ever stops raining, cages need to be pulled for a thorough cleaning. I'm talking the whole 9 yards- pans dumped and scrubbed, cage wire scrubbed, wool burned off- devoting an entire day to cleaning.

Rabbits that are molting need to be brushed and blown out, nails need to be clipped, and of course, raining or not- sick or not-, they still need their food, water and lovings.

Babies need to be checked and counted. I have a pair that should be opening their eyes any day now. I've got the seven remaining mini lopper babies to keep snuggly and warm until they get a little older.

I've got new rabbits to check on, and all the show bunnies to watch, to make sure they are eating and drinking all right.

Luckily, if I feel really terrible, I can count on Tim to go out and take care of everyone alone, with a fair amount of grumbling and mock-hateful looks.

I've got breedings to plan, breedings to execute, sale rabbits to post. Will it ever end?

It must be getting close to Spring- and to Convention breeding time.

Well folks, I'm going to continue to shiver on the couch and contemplate jabbing myself with Pen G. It's what- 1/10th of a cc per body pound? :P. Perhaps not a good idea, but definitely tempting!

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, March 17, 2008

NC Convention

Wow- all I can say is it was a frustrating few days. Not really because of results, but because I felt the show was poorly run and the rabbits were stressed out and grumpy. I greatly appreciate the folks who run shows, but I heard the same frustrations echoed all over the showroom.

BUT- I've decided this blog is going to concentrate on the good things at the show.

I showed Keep's Future. I was scared to death to put him on the table. He's a solid senior holland buck who is under a year old. Anyone that breeds hollands can probably see why I was worried. Let me add in that he's also tiny. We're talking 2 1/2lbs. However, under Allan Ormond, he placed 4th of 10, with beautiful comments. Allan is a judge that I really respect- he gave great comments, told you what was wrong, why it was wrong, how to evaluate it yourself- and he loved the senior bucks, both broken and solid! I believe it was he who said any rabbit in either class could have won, the competition was that tight. So I really am thrilled with my little Future. He did well in his second show as well, bringing in 6/12.

I have completely lost my voice thanks to talking to all my bunny friends. I missed a couple of you, or didn't get to chat as long as I wanted and I'm sorry about that.

I got to spend the night with Joni and see all her bunnies! Especially Samson, Future's dad and my greatest selling mistake LOL! He's spoiled rotten though, so I can get over it :). Thanks SO much to Joni for letting me borrow water bottles and feed- I came home to find my bags sitting by the door in the kitchen, forgotten and sad.

Unfortunately I scratched my junior buck Forest (JW) from the second day of showing. He didn't drink at all from his bottle the evening before and was dehydrated. I didn't want to take a chance on him not feeling well, so we gave him a crock (again, thanks Joni) and let him hang out.

I sold the lionheads, the black holland buck, and Forest's dad Elm! And I only brought home- um...5 rabbits *ashamed face* But...but...yeah I have no excuses lol.

Congratulations to Joni & Malena for having an EXCELLENT show with their homebreds! I'm so happy for both of you :).

In good news, thanks to Trent's magical tickling, Abby is bred! WEEE!

Also thanks so much Trent for trying to teach my how to palpate! I'm going to go outside and squeeze on some does in a little bit. I'm still amazed I actually felt a baby!

I will have four mini lops for sale. Three are broken seniors (one has a leg) and one is a solid junior buck out of my BIS & BRIS winners.

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Geez guys-

I'm so tired, I'll talk a little about the show tomorrow and try to get back to the emails I have waiting. Sorry, I'm so tired!

We won't be doing double day shows any longer.

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

On the subject of litters-

Keep's Basheba had her first litter today. Unfortunately, 4 were born at the very front of the nestbox and froze. The other 5 were born into a nest that was dug down to the bottom of the nestbox and sparsely covered in hair.

We were able to revive three in tepid water. Later one of those passed away.

The other two were marked in their ears and placed in with Keep's Eve, who is nursing 8 babies of her own. If Wooligans Raleigh, a wooley, has her babies tonight or tomorrow morning, she'll probably be given at least one mini lop baby to take care of.

The good news is- at least we're getting live babies!

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, March 10, 2008


A new breeder just had her first litter (12 healthy hares!) and her joy and panic reminds me so much of my first litter! I wanted to take the time to leave a few "first time litter" tips here.

1.) Not all babies are going to live!
You will get lucky with all live litters that make it to weaning and new homes. You'll get unlucky with DOAs, peanuts & max factors (depending on the breed), kitcicles, enteritis victims and some babies that just don't thrive, called faders.

2.) Leave them alone!
Ok, I admit this one is misleading. Pull them out, check on them, squeal excitedly- but do not panic if it takes the doe up to 24 hours to feed them. Sometimes it takes that long for her milk to come in. Remember, the last thing you want to do is hand feed! The survival rate is not high, especially with inexperienced people doing the feeding!

3.) Cuts are normal!
Sometimes babies will have small cuts or scratches on them, either from mama's nails or accidental teeth contact as she's trying to rip them free from the birthing sacs so they can breathe. Don't panic! Just wash it off with a clean, warm wash cloth and keep an eye on it! Rub a little neosporin on it, glue it together- it will take care of it's self :). I've never had a baby die from a cut.

4.) Keep a check on Mama!
Especially with a larger litter, make sure you've compensated by increasing her feed enough she can support milk production! Try to avoid feeding her so much she becomes obese, or this litter could be her last. Run your hands down her body daily or at least every other day and feel for bones, hollow spots, etc.

5.) Hay, hay, hay!
Hay for the mama, hay for the babies. I have one doe that loves to continue improving her nest, even weeks after her babies are born! I like to give her hay to encourage her skilled building, and help prevent her from plucking herself bald. When the babies start opening their eyes, I want fresh hay there for them to nibble on. More hay= less chance of enteritis, especially as they get on pellets!

6.) Clean nestbox is a must!
If the doe soils the nestbox, don't be afraid to take it out to clean it! At least remove the hay where the poop mess is. I like to build my babies whole new nests around the time their eyes open. The clean hay and environment helps prevent any nestbox eye, which is a real pain in the butt to clear up! (It's not hard, it just takes a lot of care and is very pitiful).

So there you have it- 6 tips that will hopefully make your new litter a whole lot more fun and a lot less stress!

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Just Another Day in the Rabbitry

I made the rounds yesterday checking nestboxes. I'm happy to report that one mini lops has made a very nice nest (minus fur), one has kind of made a mess, but hasn't pooped in her box, and the third hasn't done much.

I did notice an odd nest that I am fairly sure I didn't intend.

I left the top off our box of hay- and as I went to grab a handful for the young juniors, I noticed a nest right in the middle of the box! What?! Who?! How?! Ah!!

Misha, our mouser, decided the hay was the comfiest place in the rabbitry, so she made herself right at home! Luckily she'd eaten all the mice that were freeloading off us, so they didn't help themselves too!

I closed up the box after using an old wooden pet bed to make her a place to sleep- complete with hay and a bottom layer of shavings. I had intended to strip it, sand it and re-stain it for use with the dogs, but she needs it more than they do!

After laughing at Misha for a few minutes, I resumed feeding. Houdini, a mini lop buck, provided the next laugh/heart attack.

I call him Houdini because we used to have his water bottle hooked on the inside of his cage. If Tim watered him first, he'd push his cage door open and jump out. I can only assume he was looking for food, because when I fed him before he got watered, he never left.

This time, I went to feed him before Tim watered him, and he hopped right out! Usually he doesn't move far, so I laughed, said "Houdini, you goober" (Goober being his brother's name) and finished feeding. Out of the corner of my eye, I see him make a beeline for the open door! OH NO!

Calling Tim, I circle around him as he heads around the side of the rabbitry. This involved leaping through the compost in the vegetable garden plot to get ahead of him. He hops right up to me and had no problem being scooped up and carried back inside! I guess he just wanted out to stretch his legs lol.

As I put him back, he tried to jump right back out. Luckily this time I was ready for him! Crazy rabbit.

So that concludes our two part adventure in the rabbitry :).

I just want to remind everyone to check out the yahoo group "Rabbit Shows" if you haven't already. We're up to 16 members but we can always scoot over and make room for more!

I do still have a longhair mini dachshund available. He's a black & tan male. Shoot, at this time, I may even consider trading him for rabbits LOL! He seriously is a beautiful little boy and very good about using his pee-pad! :D

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, March 8, 2008

I got sunshine...

Things are looking up for me and the herd right now!

I've got two very beautiful holland babies in the nestbox, at least two very obviously pregnant does, I've sold most of the animals I wanted to (still the lionheads left- they have interest, I just haven't been to shows; a black holland buck that is very nice; and a rew wooly buck).

In short, I'm happy! It's been a little while since I've been very happy with my rabbits. I'm not ecstatic- nope, not until the juniors grow up, wean, and get to be shown (hopefully to outstanding comments- we can dream, can't we?) Not until my does feel the need to breed when I want them to, without going on a vacation to my friend Malena's house. But I'm getting there :).

Our rat babies opened their eyes. They are so adorable, it has me wishing I could speed time forward to see Muffet's babies open their eyes- NOW!

I'm such an impatient person, it always amazes me that I enjoy breeding rabbits, considering all the patience it takes. You've got to get the rabbits, breed them, wait for a litter (which can sometimes takes forever), wait for the babies to reach showable age, show them, wait for them to reach seniorhood to breed them or continue showing for the last leg before breeding, try them with a buck or doe who may not compliment them- rinse, repeat.

It's ok though, maybe the rabbits are teaching me patience over the things I can't control. I'll still threaten to poke the does that go late with litters, but knowing it's not going to help- that's the real accomplishment :).

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Announcement about my herd

I've decided to sell out of Agoutis. This is a problem since most of my REW herd does carry for Agouti, so expect to see Agoutis for sale in the future as well.

I'm selling FFR'S Chaos, a chestnut doe from out in California. I bought her to go with Chester, my buck, but since I have sold him, I don't see a reason to keep her either. She is proven and does have 2 legs.

In other news, we had a holland litter born today! LBF's Zapp x The Nature Trail's Miss Muffett produced two beautiful, healthy kits for us, and 1 DOA. I'm very excited about this litter, especially since it is the first out of Zapp :).

We have a good number of does due in the next week or so, hopefully they will all kindle healthy litters as well! I'm looking forward to having babies again!

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I learned something new today...

I checked over my doe, Keep's Gorgeous, who just gave birth a few days ago. Her kits of course died because it was her first litter and it wasn't easy on her.

Anyway, as we went to clip her nails, we noticed a discharge on her vent. It was white and very thick, almost like cottage cheese. Are the women reading this twitching yet? "Cottage Cheese" will be the key phrase a little later.

Well, I knew she was fine just after she had given birth, so my first thought was a vent infection of some kind- but what kind specifically? I didn't want to dose her immediately with Pen-G and then have to turn around and use something else, mixing meds on her.

I inquired on Rabbit Habbit, in the Bunny ER section. Thankfully, Krys got in touch with me and after we discussed her symptoms, she confirmed my first impression, that I dismissed as silly- Gorgeous has a yeast infection.

Yes- I learned rabbits can actually get yeast infections!

I'll be feeding her as much yogurt as she can stand to eat over the next week or so. Remember- it needs live cultures and no aspartame! I'll try to give an update in a few days :).

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, March 3, 2008

Rabbit Shows Yahoo Group

Hey all-

I wanted to tell you about an awesome and helpful new yahoo group out there. It's called Rabbit Shows and is basically a place where you can find catalogs to shows here on the East Coast. It ranges from Florida up & includes TN, Ohio and several other states. Check it out, join to say hey- upload a catalog you don't see there- whatever!

We'd love to have you- through you guys, we'll make this an awesome group with a comprehensive list of all the show catalogs we could ever want!

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Word of the Day...

is "woolies".

Right now in Dalton, GA Wooley Nationals are being held. We didn't go because of my distinct lack of babies and the desire to save money for ARBA Nationals in KY.

I did hear from a friend that showed yesterday- classes are large, competition is fierce and they are having a great time.

I came in to the rabbitry yesterday to discover two nestboxes overflowing with wool. Unfortunately it appeared most had flowed right on to the wire. Arabella presented me with three, beautiful, fed, kitcicles :(. She was willing to rebreed right away though, so I bred her back to Smooth Mover. Hopefully the third time's the charm.

Keep's Gorgeous had her first litter. Unfortunately, it was a hard birth. She's still alive and healthy, which I'm so thankful for, but her pair of babies were DOA.

Ah well, at least the does are sort of producing! It can only get better from here and we're about to have some more ladies kindle in the coming weeks.

Keep's Rabbitry