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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

All Quiet on the Western Front

The title of a very good book- and of our blog today!

It's quiet here in Western NC. The girls have their nestboxes and the first of them have gone overdue. I suspect some kits may be born tonight- mostly because the weather has turned very chilly the past few days.

We all know how rabbits wait and try to have their babies in the worst possible weather, don't we?

I say "all quiet" for another reason- the following was posted on a message board. Whether or not there are problems in New Hampshire, I feel it's not a bad idea to warn ALL breeders to take extra precautions against those who would prefer to harm us and our animals.

"If you know someone with these breeds who sells for both pets and meat in the New Hampshire area, I STRONGLY suggest that you let them know that they may be targeted by anti-breeders. If there is ANY weak spot in their barn/herd, they need to deal with it, immediately.

Also, it would certainly be an excellent idea to increase/improve their security.

This warning is from a post on a pet list....so please, be aware. Next time, it could be you."

So there you have it- everyone try to stay safe, and keep an eye on those stubborn does!

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Feed Change Update

Well, we're a few weeks in to Purina.

I'm thrilled. Animals that were in less than perfect condition are filling back out! I can't say enough how thrilled I am!

It remains to be seen if Purina will have any affect on the productivity of the rabbits! I always had excellent conception and birth rates prior to our move. We're coming up on nearly a year since the move though, so I'm hoping everyone has settled down.

I have high hopes, the does seem to be much more willing to lift and the bucks are doing their jobs multiple times. In the previous months, the girls would attack the boys after the first attempt (successful or not) and they'd have to be removed.

So, I just wanted to let everyone know that I'm thrilled with Purina, as always, and we'll see how it goes in the coming months!

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Outdoor Play Pen

I have two pet rabbits I'm looking for homes for- 1 is a Cal buck and 1 is a Chocolate Dutch buck. Please contact me for details, they are both BABY DOLLS! And amazingly, at 6 months old (ish) they live together in harmony!

Anyway, we let these two guys out to run in an outdoor play pen I set up. They had a great time! I think we're going to mow the playpen area about once a month and let special bunnies play out there (with supervision of course).

Our pen is large enough the pair of bucks were able to binky to their heart's content, plenty of clean grass, digging opportunities, and then fence kept them in. Plus, the dogs got to run with the bunnies (on the outside of the fence, of course) and there were several nose-through-wire encounters.

We had a little heart attack when Mr. Dutch escaped the pen, luckily he's so tame we were able to usher him back in and get the trouble spot taken care of!

It's hilarious to see the rabbit trails they've created in the semi-tall grass. The big holes in the yard- not so much fun. But that's ok, they are fertilizing as they go, so the holes will be filled in soon enough.

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Well, here they are- my litter of hollands! :)

This is a Zapp x Miss Muffet cross!

Keep's Zephrim (Tim named him)- Tort prejunior buck.

Come baaaaaaack! I lurve you!

I've decided I prefer to be shy.

Most excitingly- presenting.....

Keep's Barbi- sable point prejunior doe- and wry neck FREE!

She climbed to brother to get more lovins'

She's named after Barbi Brown, who encouraged me so much and who's advice helped me nurse her back to health! I don't know what I'd have done without her. So everyone keep your fingers crossed this little girl burns up the show tables! I'd love to be able to tell Barbi her bunny granded out!

I know, I know- no posed pictures! These guys are looking good! They'll be weaned from Mama soon, then taken away from each other. Once the fur chewing stops, we'll get some nice posed pictures!

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Price of Free

We just came in from cleaning cages. Actually, we were more of forced in to cleaning the cages today.

Someone wanted to get bunny poop- fine! We give it away, no problem, we thought we'd just set a time up over the phone.

No- they show up while I'm in the shower. Tim hasn't even gotten to shower at this point.

So, he proceeds to go outside and have to dump the cages for an hour. To be fair, the pick up person did scrape them in to his buckets. Then this person gets a little irritated that he didn't dump ALL the cages for him. I'm sorry, shavings cost money. If they don't need to be cleaned, they don't get cleaned. Not for you, not for anyone else. Nevermind this is Tim's day off, and I don't have to work today, and we had plans. No, just come on over when you feel like it.

It amazes me how demanding people are, especially of free things.

Has anyone ever given away a free rabbit? I have. I find these people are more demanding than the folks that buy their pets.

Example- I posted a free rabbit I was helping someone rehome. I was bombarded by emails, and most of the time it was "What comes with it?". Excuse me- go to a pet store and buy the $40 rabbits there- you won't get any extras with that one! Why do people expect to get a cage, feed, shavings, water bottle, toys and a few gold nuggets?

Ahh well. I'm feeling a bit irritable at the moment. That happens when people try to take advantage of me. Unfortunately, due to certain politics, Tim couldn't have just told this person "go away and come back later."


Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, April 20, 2008


I will be posting pictures very soon of Keep's Barbi & Keep's Zefram!

Who are they?

My Zapp babies! Barbi is actually my wry neck baby. Thanks so much to Barbi Brown who helped me get this little girl back to health. She's looking perfect right now, after suffering a slight relapse.

They are about to be weaned. I plan on removing Muffet from the cage. I don't want too much stress to trigger another relapse in Barbi.

I am just so thrilled that she has gotten well! I can't thank everyone enough for the support! I can't wait for her to hit the show tables. Poor little girl, I already have her breeding future planned out!

Now we just have to wait for those ears to lop.

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

It's Spring- I think

It's Spring!

At least it is according to all the bunnies in the barn furiously shooting their coats out. The tall, tall grass and the beginnings of fly season also seems to indicate that it's spring.

Then why did it snow here two days ago? Sigh.

My second set of Convention breedings will be starting soon. In fact, I had planned on starting them already, but decided to wait a few days to give the girls from the first round an opportunity to go over. After all, with a limited amount of nestboxes, I'm going to have to take them away from the first does and put them immediately back in to use.

I am planning on devoting a small part of our garden to growing bunny treats this year. After all, they did work so hard this winter to provide fertilizer. I'm going to do a mix of veggies and herbs. I'll get the list up once I have everything in the ground!

I'm still considering getting a pair of meat rabbits, for private use. I wish I had someone to butcher them for me though, if you know of anyone in my area, let me know :).

I've finally decided to sell Smooth Mover, my shaded herd buck. I've had so much interest in him, it's overwhelming! Of course, first person to tell me they want him, gets him (pending deposit, of course). See his ad in the post below.

There were some issues with several links on my website working, they should be in order now though :)

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

For Sale-


FFR's Smooth Mover, aka "Pocket Wooley"- a smoke pearl tiny senior jersey wooley buck. His head is AMAZING, especially for his size, he's a nice short little buck.

Mover is in pretty much every shaded rabbit's pedigree that has been born here lol. I think it's time to move him on. He's so small, and I love it! Throws beautiful, big headed babies, I had a pair out of him both win their classes at 2 months old.

He's hard to keep in coat, though I haven't had this problem with any of his offspring. He also wheezes, and has every since he was shipped to NC. He's got clear eyes, never had discharge, we've never had a sick baby out of him, etc., etc. He's just wheezy lol. He doesn't pass the wheezy on either.

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, April 12, 2008

New Website Page!

I finally did it!

Announcing: Articles, located on the home page of my website!

I've compiled some of the more helpful links from since my blog has started. Not my ultimate favorites, not fun ones with pictures- but ones dealing with how to cull, bunny poop, how we make no money from our hobby, etc. If there is one you really feel should be listed that I missed, please let me know!

Keep's Rabbitry

Friday, April 11, 2008

Purina Show Formula

I switched back to Purina Blue Bag today.

*sighs happily*

I dislike Manna Pro intensely- always have and always will. I know it does really well for some breeders, but it and I- we clash.

I had forgotten how beautiful Purina feed is. No- I'm serious! It's this lovely, fresh green color (the bag is from DECEMBER), while my newer Manna Pro Sho bag was dirt brown.

Even my picky eaters dove head first into their bowls tonight! They all seem thrilled to death, like I gave them candy!

Hopefully we won't start going through infertility now. That was the main reason I switched before, we had issues with getting babies. We shall see.

I do expect my condition on the bunnies to increase drastically. I'll keep you all updated on how it goes. I'm a Purina girl, so I'm very happy to be back to my main brand! :)

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Second Round of Convention Breedings!

I'll be doing my second round of Convention breedings soon!

Oh I'm so excited! I've go so many nice matches I want to make, I'm kind of torn as to who I should breed to who!

As I was feeding today, I would look at a particular doe and think "Hmm, if I breed you to Buck 1, I can get a doe and breed her to buck 2, and then breed her daughter back to Buck 1, then to buck 3..." These poor girls! I'm planning 4 generations out! Of course, it will depend on what faults I need to fix, so that will keep me calm and not going nutso with excitement.

I'm really lucky in my hollands right now. I've got a beautiful TINY buck with NO shoulders, who is an absolute brick. He's for my BIG girls and anyone with shoulder issues.

I've got a good mid range sized buck with BONE and MASS and a KILLER head. Just need to bring his crown the tiniest bit forward and add a tiny bit to his HQ.

I've got a larger buck with a perfect crown, enormous head, good HQ- but he's a little long. Hmm- a daughter from my tiny buck mixed to him? I'll have to write that down!

I have a last buck who is beautiful. He just recently gained his GC! He's got a lot of everything I want, and he's only going to get better.

I've got all the parts I want, as well as some nice ones that overlap. No horrible anything on these bucks, and the lines mesh REALLY well.

Thus- I'm torn! All my rabbits should mesh really well- so how do I decide who to breed? Unfortunately, I haven't really mixed any of these rabbits before, so I don't know for sure what to expect! I'm just moving forward with my herd as best I can. If I get good Convention rabbits, then yay. If I get animals that are better suited for brood, well- at least I can breed them and fix the faults I hope!

On a sad note, my little sable point's head is tilted again. We're still treating her, so I hope she gets better :(.

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Some of you remember that thanks to Trent, I'm now able to palpate! *muwahahaha*

I went outside and started poking around on my does and I have to admit, I'm a little worried. Of the three I smushed, all three seem to be pregnant! I haven't had this kind of success since we moved! I hope I'm not feeling poops! :( That would be just my luck though.

I'm going to try to describe palpating for you guys, in nice PLAIN language and easy to follow steps.

To begin with, sit your doe on a table or piece of carpet, facing you.

Take your LEFT hand (always!) and put it under her, all the way back where her pelvis is. Basically, your hand should be nestled, palm up, right under the rabbit, between her legs. Do what you want with your right hand, either put it behind her butt so she doesn't scoot back, or help hold her head so she doesn't run forward.

Make a U shape with your hand by moving your fingers to just a few inches apart.

Press the U to the doe's stomach. Be willing to push firmly. This is what took me the longest to get going. You're basically trying to act as if you can touch her spine with your fingers on each side.

Move your hand, still in the U shape, towards you. You may have to widen your hand as you go. Feel anything? Something small, nickel or grape shaped, may slide through your fingers. If you can catch it and squeeze gently on it, it will be very soft. That's a baby! Poops are harder feeling, or so I've been told.

Sometimes, I have to run my hand along her belly several times to feel even one baby. Hey, I'm learning too! However, as you get more experienced, you can be like Trent. He claims he can count the babies and just by the size of the little baby tell you when the doe was bred pretty accurately!

I hope this helps somewhat! As my skill in palpating progresses, I'd be happy to bring a preggers doe to a show and help teach any local people how to do it! Like I said though, I'm still getting used to it myself, so it may be a while before Keep's Classes get started! :)

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, April 7, 2008

"Would you take my rabbit?"

Every once in a while, I get random emails or calls with people wanting me to take in their pet rabbits.

To begin with- that's dangerous for my herd. I don't know the history of the rabbit, where it comes from, the conditions it lived in, etc. etc. So, to take in a rabbit, I have to look at housing it either in the house, in the basement, etc for a quarantine period. Then, I have to spend my time looking for a new owner. So it's a large investment for me.

All right, then my favorite part. It usually goes something like this:

Me: "Do you have a cage for it?"
"Um... no."
"You don't have a cage?"
"*insert excuse here*"
"Do you have food for it?"
"It just ran out."
"Do you have any accessories to go with it?"
"Have you tried to rehome it?"
"*insert excuse here*

Ahh- so you have no food, so I need to use mine. No cage, so I need to have one. No accessories like a food dish or water bottle, so I need those too...

Contrary to popular belief (apparently) I don't have a basement full of items waiting for "hard luck cases" where the "doting" owner needs to rehome Fluffy and doesn't want to put any work in to it.

A cage, accessories, food, etc. help so much in rehoming an animal. You don't even know. Well, if you've been breeding any period of time, I take that back, I'm sure you do. You've probably gotten these folks too.

My new policy is- if you don't have a cage, etc- you will pay me a minimum $10 per rabbit fee to rehome Fluffy. Because it's a cage I have to use, feed I have to use, time I have to use, etc.

And honestly, if these folks don't want to try to rehome their own pet, I'd think $10 would be a reasonable fee to have their hands washed of poor Fluffy, whom they love so much but can not keep.

Now, with a cage and food, I'm willing to wave that fee, because it doesn't cost me anything to take in the animal and it's easier to rehome them this way.

I suggest everyone adopt a similar policy. Of course, you don't have to and you are more than welcome to handle things the way you see fit. But it's an easy way to keep from being inundated with random pet rabbits.

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Baby News

I've got several pieces of Baby News!

I sexed my pair of holland babies- 1 buck and 1 doe! EEEEEEEEK! It couldn't have been more perfect :).

The little broken sable point is my doe. She's also the one that has been suffering from head tilt. I'm THRILLED to announce that she seems to have made a full recovery! I can't express how happy I am to go out there and see her looking at me, without a tilted head :D.

Our barn cat gave birth to one kitten yesterday! Yep, one kitten. We've got a home for it if it's a girl, and a home if it's a boy. YAY! :). It's solid black, though Mischa, the mother, is solid white. Hmm... I think we have a hint about it's Daddy! lol

I guess I owe everyone pictures? Well...you'll just have to wait :-p. I don't have any yet, haha.

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


A breeder on Rabbit Habbit just had her first litter a few days ago. Well- her rabbit had the first litter born in her rabbitry, I guess I should say.

It's so cute- I love the excitement folks get out of their very first litter. It makes me think back to my very first. Oh I was obsessive, checking the doe constantly! She missed the first time, OF COURSE, but I got a litter the next time. I still get a little thrill when I go out and see a fluffy nest, with babies nestled in it.

Tim & I still rush around yelling for each other when the babies "have eyeballs" at 2 weeks old. He begs to hold them and snuggle them, pretty much from birth. We have to make sure we don't disturb the nest too much, so any playing with them while they are teeny tiny is done together.

She's having some problem with her doe not wanting to feed the newborns. Ahh...I remember that too. And the pain of losing your first baby or first litter. When my very first baby, Solitaire, died I came very close to just giving up then. Hopefully her doe will get her act together very soon.

Enjoy your litters guys :). The thrill never goes away for me. I hope it hasn't for you either!

Keep's Rabbitry

For Sale-

Sorry for the double post folks!

I am reoffering FFR's Chaos, a jersey wooley agouti (chestnut) senior doe. She had hutch burn from sitting in her soiled nestbox, but a shot of Pen G later and she's looking good!

She's a beautiful little doe from California, who has given herself (with help from her neighbor) a hair cut. Please contact me if interested!

Keep's Rabbitry

A New Day

I hope everyone had an interesting April Fool's Day! I played a few tricks myself and happily avoided the gullibility that strikes people on April 1st.

The owner of the Rabbit Habbit Forum told everyone we were going to be known as "Bunnie Talk" and made a truly hideous banner for when we moved to the new forum. Ahhh, that entertained me to no end :). Many folks fell hook, line and sinker for it.

Laurie Stroupe at The Nature Trail Rabbitry informed readers that she had written her last blog. You'll all be happy to know that she did post a new blog today lol. Very clever though, it had been a while since she had written a blog :).

It's beginning to get warm here. I'm already marking a few brood does/bucks in the wooley herd that will have a date with the dog clippers once the weather turns more consistent. I "shear" a few of the woolies simply to cut down on grooming time in the herd, and to have less wool floating around when they blow their coats. The hollands and mini lops get to dodge the clippers, lucky guys!

I wanted to thank everyone for the support with the blog-stealing issues. One person did contact me and apologize, which impressed me and I really appreciated. :)

Keep's Rabbitry