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Friday, August 29, 2008

The trouble with early entries.

I had to send my entries in to the Mountain State Fair by August 13th. The problem? The show isn't until September 6th!

Right now, babies I didn't think would be ready to show are looking good. My preferred show line up- looking TERRIBLE. Two of my bucks have blown their coats so badly that one has a mohawk running down his back and the other has absolutely no density to his wool.

My sale rabbits - half of them look terrible and the other half are well on their way to joining the others in the land of no fur.

Of course, no substitutions are allowed, and I had to send my money off already. So those bucks that 2 weeks ago I was hoping would be finished with their molts, aren't. Daily, others are blowing their coats.

That is the trouble with early entry shows. We're expected to be able to look into our crystal balls and see who will be in coat and who won't. Never mind if there is a heat wave or other unforeseeable circumstances.

Well, I'll chalk it up to free fair entry, opinions on bodies and an opportunity to spend time with my rabbit friends!

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Problems in the Herd- Split Penis

If the word "penis" offends you, please read no farther. It will appear several times in this blog, and you will be seeing pictures of rabbit penises.

Ok, for those of you sticking with me, please take a moment to recite this aloud. "There are problems in every line, in every breed, in every country in the world. Admitting the problems and willingness to talk about them is the first step in educating other people and finding cures."

Today, we're talking about the split penis. We don't know a lot about it- I want to share some theories of mine and give opinions of others I've talked to.

First- what is a split penis? How do you identify it? Thanks to Donna at Snowberry Holland Lops in Canada, for allowing me to post the pictures you're about to see. They ALL are property of Donna, please do not remove them from this blog. You may visit her website to obtain permission for any use you may want to put them to.

This is a split penis from the tip. It is not fully extended in this picture.

See the slit running from the tip down? Yep, a split penis is just what it sounds like- it's split open.Here is "Mr. Flare's" split flared open. This flare was achieved by applying a small amount of additional pressure.

Splits do not always start at the top. I've seen them where the underside gaped open, almost as if someone had used a pen knife to cut a small line lengthwise. I'm trying to locate good pictures of this kind of split, so if anyone could donate some, you can do it either anonymously or with full credit.

I do not believe split penises cause physical pain. Much as if a rabbit were born without a tail or a human born without a finger, it's a situation where they don't know any different. If it had been caused by a tear, yes it might be painful.

Split penises can cause problems with breeding. In some cases, a buck can not fully extend the penis, making it difficult for him to breed. Other times, the penis curls due to the split in such an odd way, he would not be able to "catch" the doe. However, some bucks with this issue can and DO breed.

Is it genetic? I believe it is. We know it has NOTHING to do with feed, cage conditions, thumping the rabbit or calling it names. I believe does, as well as bucks, are carriers- after all, lots of bucks with the split penis problem can't "seal the deal", so it has to continue on from somewhere. I have heard of some instances where a doe bred to two different bucks has thrown babies with splits- whereas neither buck had produced them before. A friend from the Rabbit Habbit forum has also noted that does who throw the split penis babies tend to have a more elongated vulva.

So what are the signs you might have a problem?

*Gender confusion- thinking a buck is a doe beyond the normal period of time. If you have a 4 month old buck you're still confused on, you need to check him very closely.
*Trouble Breeding
*Difficulty extending the penis.

None of these (other than seeing the actual split) is a surefire sign that your animal does have a split penis. These are just flags that should get you to check your animal more closely.

So what do you do if a split penis shows up in your line?

My personal preference would be to cull the animal. I do not believe it is worth it to breed in a genetic fault, anymore than I would breed in bad teeth or mismarks. I've been very fortunate in that the only split penis I've had in my barn did not come from a rabbit I bred and was not used in the breeding program before it was caught. I'm not so vain to think that's because I did anything special.

Some folks cull the entire line. That's up to you. I do think if you have a buck that throws a split penis with every doe he's bred to, you will want him gone, even if he doesn't display the split himself. Sometimes splits become more obvious with age.

If you do breed the animal, keep a close eye on the offspring. What is the use of having really beautiful babies if 90% of them are DQ'd for splits?

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Herd Reduction-

Due to rising costs of feed, I need to really move some animals!

They can be held until Convention. Please contact me for my policy on that.

Available at the Mtn State Fair & Greensboro Show

Animals will be priced to move. Discount on multiple purchases.

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English Angora/ Jersey Wooley Mixes. 1 Chestnut doe, 1 black doe, 1 Chestnut buck,

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NGF Neota- Tort- Senior Doe (HL)- red Seal registered.
NGF Leota x Saynora's Solitaire.

This girl- wow, lines lines lines. Most is Saynora, THF, Camelot, Audrey. Her head is very doeish and she has a slipped crown. However, her daddy has 35+ legs, and her mom has 3. She's got so many winning animals in her ped I think she's worth taking a chance on to see what she will throw. I need to keep her, but I need cage space more. She's got a nice wide body and a good butt-ruffle!

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** Keep's Lola- Broken Siamese Sable Jr. Doe
LBF's Zapp x Huckleberry's Ms. Lady

She's a great way to get some color in to your herd with solid lines behind her. She's a baby so it's harder to judge type. She's not going to be a BUD. She needs to grow in to her ears which are a bit long at this point. Both ears are milk dipped. Price is going to go up on both babies as their quality becomes more evident.

**Keep's Boy Blue- Broken Blue Mini Lop Jr Buck SOLD BS in NC
Hoppin's Alexis x Velotta's Joe

**Tula's Place Krys- Siamese Sable Sr. Doe SOLD K in PA

**Keep's No - Black Otter Jersey Wooley Jr. Buck SOLD B in NC

**Keep's Tryon- Siamese Sable Sr. Jersey Wooley Buck
Wooligans Raleigh x Hamilton's Lil Monty

I wanted to keep this guy a little longer, but with feed prices I just can't. He's also a smaller buck, will never go overweight unless he is allowed to eat a bag of food a day. Beautiful short ears. He's working on a molt right now. Nice body, beautiful little guy, I believe he won his class several times as a baby.

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** Hamilton's Cherry Coke- Broken Black Tort Sr. Doe
She's due tomorrow, will be for sale immediately if she misses her litter, or available after the litter weans if I can't foster.

Coke has thrown some very nice babies. She's light on her pattern & a bit long in her body. She's got a nice head, good bone. A very nice doe in general. Would make an excellent brood doe.

***HHR's Wish Upon A Star- Chinchilla Senior doe- 2 legs
Stauber's Sabrina x Bell's Leon de Giovanni

Nice head on her. Going through a terrible molt right now. I wish she had more width throughout the body. Would make a good brood doe.

user posted image Pending
Wooley Boogers Gracie- Black
Gorgeous- I love her so much. She's won 2 legs, but at the moment I can only find one >.< Pending
Sabrina- need to check pedigree.- Black Tort Proven, excellent mother. Smaller English Angora than the other. Will have excellent wool when it grows back in from having her litter.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Convention Sales

I'll be posting animals I'm willing to hold until Convention soon. Prices will include the $12 cooping fee, unless arrangements are made for pick up on Saturday, the 25th.

As of right now, there will be several Holland Lops and several Jersey Woolies available. I may have a few Mini Lops available, but they are not guaranteed at this time.

I will require a 50% non-refundable deposit to hold the animal. The final payment will be required by September 20th.

Transport will be provided to Convention free of charge.

If you need an animal delivered or picked up from Convention, I will also be offering that service. Care of the animal through Convention will also be available for a small fee. I will only pick up animals that have been entered in the show!

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, August 23, 2008

An exercise in futility

*sigh* Tried to take some pictures today! Thought I'd give you a rundown of the kinds of shots we end up with before getting even a halfway decent one :).

Ok, love the splay leg look Barbi. Not to mention Tim focused on the wrong object AND she was moving lol.

*sigh* You are not a pointer dog. Stop it.

WHAT are you doing now rabbit?

Erm...lil too upright, but good effort.

We had to take a snuggle break.

I love Lil Miss 'Tude.

This is our wry neck kit who we saved all those months ago! I love her to death, but pose she will not! Ahh well, maybe I can figure out something to put on the site for her :). I hope you guys now see why I say I'm the worst picture taker ever! I love my bunnies, but they are a pain!

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dog Toy Trouble

This isn't rabbit related, but I want to help warn as many people as possible, so here goes-


That is a link to the story of a dog named Chai, who recently had to have his tongue amputated due to a flaw in a toy design. The company doesn't care about the financial hardship they've caused the owner because of medical bills and doesn't care that several animals have been hurt the same way. The problem is the toy will continue to cause horrible accidents like this, if something isn't done about it.

So please, take a moment to read the story if you have dogs. Maybe forward it on if you don't, or if you find this something folks need to know.

And remember- always monitor the state of your pet's toys, whether they be rabbit toys, cat toys or something else. If they get worn, throw them away. Monitor your dogs when they chew on their toys. Let's keep our pets safe at all cost :).

Keep's Rabbitry

Excellent Pet Sale!

One of the chestnut "Pocket Angora" does went to her new home today.

I have to say, when you have a good pet sale, it REALLY sticks out in your mind. This lady was awesome! She didn't expect the babies to cuddle right up in her lap immediately like puppies- and of course, they didn't. She asked good questions based on things she had read, showing planning. She also listened to things I had to say, without trying to dispute facts based on some half cocked website on the internet.

In the end, one of the babies climbed into her lap and she knew who she wanted!

She even made plans for bunny-sitting in September. She and her husband will be heading out on a 10 day trip and she wants to make sure someone responsible and knowledgeable takes care of her new baby.

Such a great experience makes up for all the insincere information requests, the flakeouts, and all the other hazards of selling pet rabbits. :)

It's a good day!

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Black or Seal?

I recently had a baby I swore up and down was a black! It's mother was black, it's father was seal, but this little buck had no ruby cast to the eye.

The genotype for a black (the mother) is aa B- C- D- E-

The genotype for the seal father of the baby is aa B- CchlCchl D- E-

So you see- both black and seal were entirely possible for the baby.

As a show approached, I began to doubt that this guy I'd held on to for so long BECAUSE he was a black ( I have an older, full brother who is a siamese sable), was a wolf in sheep's clothing.

I showed him to Malena at the show, her son & I went outside to look at him in the daylight, we squinted at his eyes, etc.

Thankfully, while wondering aloud to Malena if he was actually the black rabbit I thought he was, Deidre Edder came over. She then gave me one of the most valuable pieces of rabbit information I have. She flipped him and gave him a two second glance, then proclaimed he was a seal.

How did she know?

The FEET, my dear Watson.

If a rabbit has gray feet fluff, it's a black. If the fluff is brown, it's a seal.

*doh*, Now why did I never think of that?!

So there you go, if you can't rule out the color genetically, if you can't see a brown tint to the fur or a ruby tint to the eyes- check the feet! :)

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, August 16, 2008

New Feature!!

Ok guys, I'll be introducing a new feature to the blog!

Guest Writers!

Wanna write, but don't have enough material to keep a blog up to date? Don't want to worry about doing it too often? Have an interesting topic you can put a fun spin on?

Let me know!

Pending approval, you could find your article posted here! Please fact check, spell check & grammar check before submitting! Anything written in chatspeak, no matter how awesome, will be thrown into the pit of Doom! You'll be notified when your article goes live! :)

*note* This won't be a weekly thing! I just thought it would be fun :)

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Saving Time & Money

Ok, here are my thoughts on how to save money and make time for your herd! We all know for some folks the current price of gas (which affects EVERYTHING) is really a killer! So how can we be smart about our purchases?

*Attend less shows.
You know that show that's 5 hours away that EVERYONE will be attending? Skip it! Especially if there is a closer show coming up. You save the gas money, the entry fees and food money! I have a "minimum". If 5 rabbits aren't show worthy, I don't go.

*Show fewer rabbits.
When you make it to shows, don't show everyone in the barn! Leave the GC with 13 legs at home. Rule out the babies who still have baby coats. That doe that is looking a little rough after her last litter- keep her home. Only take animals you expect to place well or really need opinions on. Besides, sometimes your fellow breeders can provide just as good opinions free of charge!

*Bulk Discount?
At tractor supply, you can get a bulk discount on feed if you buy a pallet worth. This is going to be a huge sting right at first, but essentially you can end up with a free bag of food or better. Consider splitting a pallet with a friend who feeds the same amount you do! Besides, with feed prices going up, at least you lock up a considerable amount of it at the lesser outrageous price!

*Talk to nearby breeders about carpooling!
With the pair of you splitting the gas, it takes some of the sting out of your wallet! Hey, you can even pretend it's the "good old days" when gas was only $1.75!

*Cull, cull, cull.
I'm doing something I've never done before. I'm offering dual prices for a few of my rabbits. One, lower price, is the pet price, the other is the pedigreed price. Several of these have excellent pet personalities. Others are brood animals that could be wonderful pets!

*Cull, Cull, Cull
Yep, still cull! Move out bucks you don't use as much, does that are getting older, babies that aren't going to outshine their parents. This will make chores take less time, and you will be spending less on feed and bedding!

*Budget your time!
So, you're feeling the time crunch, you culled, and you still don't have enough time? What about that bit of time where you veg out on the couch for an hour? Appropriate that time to pull up a chair to a grooming table and either groom, practice posing, or just love on your bunnies!

*Cut it in half!
No, not your herd, we're past culling now lol. If you still can't pull more time out of your schedule, cut the barn in half. After feeding and watering, go to the first 20 cages and dispense love, treats and posing practice. Tomorrow, go to the next 20. If you need to, even cut the barn in 3rds!

I hope that helps!

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Well, I'm bad at remembering dates and apparently all unnoticed, I let my 1st blog anniversary pass me by!


Let's pretend it's about a month ago, shall we?

July 5th, 2008

Title: Oh wow, a year already!

Wow guys, a year already! It's hard to believe it's been so long since I started this blog! I began writing as a way to air my views, vent my opinions and give updates on my Rabbitry- I feel like my mission has been successful so far!

I'm so proud I remembered this date! Even though I'm sick with the crud and currently trying to die, that would be no excuse for not marking the occasion! (rofl)

Thanks to everyone who's been with the blog from the start and to those of you I've picked up along the way! :D I can't wait to spend another year with ya'll!

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, August 11, 2008

Getting ready!

Well, not a ton has been happening around here lately. We're gearing up for the Fall Show Season.

First up is the Mtn. State Fair in Fletcher on September 6th. Then we've got Greensboro on September 20th. I'm debating staying home from October shows, because the last week in October is National Convention!

I purchased my catalog and the parking pass today. Hooray! I can't believe it's so close.

I've sent out feelers to find a Belgian Hare doe, as well as picking up the odd holland. I'm hoping to purchase just a few rabbits and then close my woolies as well as my hollands. I'm thrilled that I have a solid Holland doe locked in- I can't wait to get her back here!

We've sold quite a few juniors, which is great! Can't keep all the babies, after all, and I desperately need the cage space! I've still got a large number of adults available, I need to get out there and take pictures. Listing them on my website might help too.

I've wormed some of the rabbits I hope to be showing in a few weeks. Fingers crossed they push through their molts in time! I'll be using the blower to stimulate hair and wool growth :).

Laurie Stroupe announced she will be selling out of her hollands. She joins an ever growing list of folks who are either feeling the crunch of the economy, or the time crunch- too much to do, not enough time. If anyone has tips on making time for bunnies in a hectic life or money saving tips, email me! I'd love to do a blog on this in the near future!

Keep's Rabbitry

Friday, August 8, 2008

Sales List!

Keep's ?- Sable point jr. buck (wooley) - SOLD
Tula's Place Krys x Hamilton's CA. Dreamin'

Keep's Lily- seal Junior Doe (JW)

Sister to the above buck. She's going to be larger than her brother, but I don't expect her to go overweight at all. She's molting and looks terrible right now, but she's got a nice coat coming in!

English Angora/ Jersey Wooley Mixes. 2 Chestnut does, 1 black doe, 1 Chestnut buck, 1 black tort buck.
[color=blue] Black Tort Buck- Reserved[/color]

Keep's Burlington- Seal Jr. Buck
Wooligans Raleigh x Hamilton's Lil Monty
I shouldn't be selling him, I know I shouldn't, but I think I favor his brother Tryon ever so slightly more. Got HOT comments at the Taylorsville show, nice short body, nice ears and head. Working on molting out his baby coat right now. He's probably going to be a bigger buck.

HF's Latte- Black Tort Doe- 2 legs
Mtn's Gucci x The Nature Trail's Oracle

Latte is a NICE doe. Her only fault is length to the shoulders, however I think that is something that has worsened with more advanced age. She's thrown me a litter of very cute babies. Excellent head on her, beautiful ears and crown, nice bone and body!

Latte is going to be extremely discounted, because she will be turning 3 in November. She's been kept in production, however, and should have no problem kindling for her future owner. She's a SWEETheart, will be discounted further if someone wants to give her an excellent pet home-without her pedigree, of course.

NGF Neota- Tort- Senior Doe (HL)- Red Seal registered.
NGF Leota x Saynora's Solitaire.

This girl- wow, lines lines lines. Most is Saynora, THF, Camelot, Audrey. She's not that much to look at, to be honest, her head is very doeish and she's smaller. However, her daddy has 35+ legs, and her mom has 3. She's got so many winning animals in her ped I think she's worth taking a chance on to see what she will throw. I need to keep her, but I need cage space more.

Tula's Place Krys- Siamese Sable Sr. Doe- proven (JW)
This girl has such a nice head! She's more of a brood doe, but did very well as a junior. Mother to Gorgeous & Spectacular, she throws VERY cute babies! Hate to let her go, but I think it's time.

Wooley Boogers Gracie- Black
Gorgeous- I love her so much. She's won 2 legs, but at the moment I can only find one >.< Price reduction because I'm missing a leg for her.

Sabrina- need to check pedigree.- Black Tort Proven, excellent mother. Smaller English Angora than the other two.

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My New Showable Pet!

My newest Showable Pet has arrived!

It's avoiding the camera!

What in the world?!

Oh! It's a Belgian Hare!

Meet Bandit! He's a beautiful boy from Whitney at Suburban Bunnies in Northern Virginia.

I got to spend an extended period of time with Bandit and his family these past few days and I'm thrilled to have Bandit join us! He will be on the tables, promoting Hares here in NC :) Wish him luck! Wish me luck finding him a girlfriend as well! :)

Sunday, August 3, 2008


No blog posts for a few days from me!! I'll see you guys Thursday with a posting of my new showable pet! :D

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Showable Pets

To steal the term from Michael over at Silent Springs Rabbitry- I love my showable pets.

Let's see- I started out with a pair of lionheads. They were fun and I learned so much about the breed and what they are working towards.

I sold the lionheads and picked up Gracie & Blizzard, a pair of English Angoras. Oh man. I love the angoras, especially Gracie! I was sent an adorable EA from Krys in PA, who was accidentally pregnant by a mischievous jersey wooley. It's been a journey with these babies!

Now, I'm in the process of selling the EAs ( :( It's hard letting them go!).

I'll be presenting my next showable pet in a few days!

So- why? Why waste cage space on pets? I LOVE learning about the new animals, it's best to learn a breed hands on, in my opinion.

It's fun! It's a stress reliever! I buy a nice pair or trio, enjoy them, then sell them out when I'm tired of them or ready to find a new set of animals. I get to learn the new breed without the pressure of my main three breeds, without devoting the holes to a "real" breed- and I get to meet a new set of exhibitors!

It's a joy to piddle with a new set of animals, I get to own a lot of my dream pets- you should try it sometime, especially if you are finding yourself getting frustrated with your show animals. Sit down and think "What's a breed I'd love to have?" Then go buy a pair :). Who knows, maybe you'll find a future second breed! Or maybe you'll just be like me and enjoy the newbies while they are with you, then pass them on and look for the next new experience.

Keep's Rabbitry

Friday, August 1, 2008

Goodbye Summer!

Well, the summer is winding down now! Soon there will be less worry about heat in the rabbitry.

My babies are growing up! Breeding has wound down a little, I only have a few litters due in August. I'll start the Fall breedings at the end of the month, careful not to have anyone due while I'll be gone for Convention!

I'm thrilled to death with this past summer's breedings. I truly am, especially in the woolies and hollands! My minis are looking good as well, I've culled down the litter of 7 to three keepers- 2 does and a buck! They'll be culled down more after they show a bit.

As I get all these beautiful babies, I begin to worry about who to let go and who to keep- how to move out animals I've gotten attached to, or sentimental choices, like foundation stock!

That can wait for a little while though. Right now, I just want to enjoy my babies and look forward to the fall shows!

Keep's Rabbitry