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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2009 Rabbitry Resolutions!

So, not too long ago I took a look back at my 2008 Rabbitry Resolutions. Since today is the last day of 2008, I think it's time to post what I'm going to work on in 2009!

*Keep an accurate account of money spent/earned
I've been avoiding this for a good reason- I don't want to know how much money I blow on rabbits! However, I think having an accurate set of numbers will help me cull harder!

*Grand a Keep's Doe
Ahh this one again! I'm determined! THIS year, I WILL grand a Keep's doe! Equal opportunity, no longer will the bucks shine! No longer will I get that last leg on someone ELSE'S doe! Nope, I can feel it- 2009 is gonna be the Year of the Doe in Keep's Rabbitry!

*Grand a Keep's Holland (It's been a while lol)
This one means basically- WORK HARDER ON THOSE HOLLANDS! I've taken some GREAT steps in 2008 and I've gotten some NICE looking animals. Now I need to continue to improve on those steps!

*Stop undervaluing my rabbits
I have a friend who fusses at me for this- I need to STOP selling animals so cheaply! Maybe my first resolution will help with this one too.

*Sell more woolies
I'm bad about wanting to keep ALL my woolies. Why you ask? Let's look at Tryon and Burlington. They are full brothers from a different litter. Basically, every time I've shown them together (with one exception) Tryon is 1, Burlington is 2. So obviously, I should move Burlington out, right? Erm- right...but... he's such a nice breeder! And he's a nice rabbit too! But, I've got two shaded bucks with the same pedigree- DUMB! Look for Burlington for sale for Ohio Mini Convention....hopefully.

*Move out older stock and end up with more Keep's Rabbits than others.
Again, I hope keeping monetary records helps with this one! The hollands have a decent start on this- and the woolies are about 50/50 right now.

*Improve the crowns on my Hollands
Cull, Cull, Cull, Breed, Breed, Breed!

*Cull harder
I'm loving my bodies! I just need to bring in more forward crowns with more poof!

*Get Belgian babies and promote the breed in NC!
Wow, had you told me last year I'd be promoting Belgians (which I really wasn't a fun of, until Whitney brought Bandito for me to meet), I'd have probably laughed at you. After I got Bandit, I'd have cried the blues that does are hard to find!
Well, now I've got a buck and a doe. Jasmine turns breeding age in February/March, so my plan is to have Belgians available by mid-year next year, and begin the second phase of my promotion plan! I've generated some interest, so YAY! I've got a good feeling about this one!

Happy New Year Guys! I hope this year is better than the last :).
Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, December 29, 2008

My New Logo and pictures

It's finished, hooray!!

Another beautiful job by Lauren! I love it !

So, I thought I'd share a few pictures I've taken recently- I know I NEVER post pics here!

Keep's Forest, looking grumpy! This is the guy that was 4th at Convention- he's a rotten booger.

HF's Bart- he was for sale, but my husband has made me pull him from the sales list for now.

Keep's Durham, going through his molt. He's currently for sale, though I may regret it. I'm definitely glad I hung on to his dad! :)

Dixie in her Christmas outfit. Corgis were not made for clothing, I've discovered rofl.

My plan for today is to go outside and clean some cages. I also want to get some pictures of my rabbits- my website is lacking for sure!

Keep's Rabbitry

Friday, December 26, 2008

Lil Bun Designs

I don't do a lot of product promotion on the blog, as you guys know. However, I feel compelled to share this link with you.

Lil Bun Designs

Lil Bun Designs is the brain-child of Lauren N., formerly of Kismet Rabbitry up in Michigan. She had to sell out to go to college. Her rabbits aren't back yet, but she's making her talents available for pet lovers and animal breeders everywhere!

If you've been to my site, you've seen my Keep's Rabbitry logo (currently being redesigned to remove the mini lops). That came from Lauren, as well as the designs on the shirts my husband and I wore at Convention.
I've also commissioned a traditional picture for a friend of mine as a Christmas gift last year. I was thrilled with the results (I had asked for a family of Hollands- two parents and 5 babies (one a BEW, to represent the friend's family). My friend LOVED it, and has actually scanned it to use as a business card!
So, if you're looking for a logo, webset, special portrait of a beloved pet (any pet, she does all kinds of beautiful animals), check out her website. She can do the cartoony version I love so much, or an extremely realistic look, as she did for my dachshund Roxy. She even did a wild version of my Corgi, Dixie!

If you stop by and order something, let her know you found her site through Keep's Blog. :) It's not for any kind of kickback or anything like that, just satisfaction that in some small way, we helped.

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas (and Happy Hanukkah) to you guys! I hope everyone has a great time with friends and family. Be careful if you're traveling and try not to eat too much good food :).

My gift to all of you-

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Few Quick Blog Notes

Added a few new blog links and removed a few- sorry guys, but I don't keep up links that aren't updated in a while! I'll re-add them if they get updated more regularly :).

I also changed my picture from Velotta's Joe to Keep's Barbi.

In rabbity news, one of my pregnant JW does turned up with head tilt. I'm hoping it's because of this insane weather- 60 degrees one day, 9 the next. I'm treating her with ivomec and she's been moved in to the house- fingers crossed for me guys! I don't want to lose this litter, but I definitely don't want to lose this doe!

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Thinking about the big shows

We're trying to start planning our BIG shows of next year!

We will be attending the Ohio Mini Convention, so please keep us in mind for your transporting needs.

Even with the added expense of driving a distance, hotel stays, etc for Ohio, we're batting around the idea of flying out to California. I know what you are thinking... "Seriously? You're thinking about flying to the West Coast for a rabbit show?"

Yep. We are. We should know in a few weeks if it's even feasible. The minimum amount of money we'll need would be $1300 though, so with going to Ohio, that might be a problem. We would offer holes in our carriers for transport via airline. I need to know seriously- would any of you folks be interested in purchasing transport at convention from us? This will help us know if we could do it or not. It would run $30-$35, more than likely (price subject to change, but not by a whole lot).

I hope everyone is keeping stress and worry free as Christmas approaches!

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Former Resolutions.

My blog from last year is in blue, response to it is in Red- let's see how I did!

With Christmas over, it's time to come up with New Year's Resolutions. I thought I'd share mine with you guys.

-Get Babies:
Pretty self explanatory! My resolution is to get more lighting in to the rabbitry and get more babies! However, two of my wooley girls bred today! Fingers crossed they take! :) Hmm, I have to say this one was accomplished, but only BARELY!.

-Have more Keep's Rabbits than non-Keep's rabbits *all breeds*
I'm fairly close on this goal with Jersey Woolies! With the massive herd reduction on the hollands, it may not be possible this year to get them in to this category. As for mini lops- I'm moving out some non-Keep stock now, so we'll see how it goes! Of course, this goal depends on getting babies! When I sold out of mini lops, this was true. As for Jersey Woolies, I'm going to say it's 50/50- I've sold a good number of Keep's babies while retaining my starter stock and bringing in a few outcrosses.

-Herd Reduction
I'm working on this one right now and I have to say, I've already been fairly successful with moving out a few. I do plan on keeping my herd smaller, which may be hard once I get the aforementioned babies! Help me stay strong guys :-D. Yes! I win! This one I accomplished.

-Grand my first Keep's DOE
I specified doe here, because I've granded Keep's bucks in the past- the most notable being Keep's Super Fly who I believe had 8 legs when I sold him! I'd love to see one of my does grand! I'm already close with one of my mini lop gals having 2 legs. Unfortunately, I've misplaced one of those legs. Gah! This one is heartbreaking because I've had several does come so close to granding, but something always happened to prevent the 3rd leg- for instance, the doe won out of a class of 4, or there were only 2 exhibitors, she placed 2nd the rest of her life until I sold her or she passed, etc, etc. This one I failed! Oh no! My best prospect was a gorgeously clean broken sable point holland- so clean she had NO markings! I've got several gorgeous wooly does that didn't turn senior in time or won't be senior this year- and of course, I've got several with 2 legs, but missing that last one! *sigh*

-Get GCs sent off in a more timely manner.
I'm so bad about this one! I've got one to send off now, as a matter of fact. I'm going to try to get it done by the new year lol. *slides the legs under the couch* Uhm- you caught me- I fail this one too. *sigh* Ok, I'll be better!

Good luck thinking up your own goals and resolutions! Make sure to keep them handy, it's fun to see what you've accomplished!

Wow, so I accomplished a few goals, but not as many as I was hoping! Guess come New Year's I'll set up some new Rabbitry Resolutions and start all over again! :)

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tons of breedings!

Wow, with the exception of 6 does in my rabbitry, ALL the does of breeding age have been bred! EEEK!

I'll definitely have to look in to alternate nestbox ideas!

My plan is to palpate- those who palp positive will get the nice wooden nestboxes. Those I'm not sure about will get the homemade boxes, those who palp negative will be tried again the next day, then rebred. IF they refuse to breed again, my plan is to give them some kind of box on their due dates as a precaution. I'm not 100% on palpating, after all :).

I'm so excited. I just hope a fair number takes! Most notably, I'd love to see some Barbi and Zora holland babies, and some Nerissa and Bluebelle babies in woolies! Yep- Dear Santa, please deliver plenty of adorable babies to my nestboxes!

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, December 15, 2008

Regular Husbandry to do today-

Today, in a brief period of not freezing cold, we'll be taking care of regular husbandry issues. Cleaning cages (oh, oh joy), a little breeding, sweeping/raking out the rabbitry...stuff like that.

I think cage cleaning is my least favorite thing to do- especially when a few ALWAYS make an awful mess and it involves scraping the wire to clean them up!

I'll probably also mix up more of my conditioning mix and get it in to the rest of my storage containers. It takes a bit of time, since I've got a "part for part" system, rather than just "dump it in and mix it up".

I also need to get out there and take some pictures! I've got so many gorgeous animals that have never made it to the website- a few are molting or have been chewed on, so I guess they'll have to wait- the others though, need to be added- notably Keep's Burlington (JW), Keep's Dreamer (JW), Keep's Angel (JW) and Lil Bit Farms Zora (HL). I'll have to see if I can sweet talk Tim in to helping me get some pictures!

I also need to make my final decisions on a pair of REW bucks- one is a complete outcross with compatible lines, one is a homebred who is closely related. Who to keep...who to keep?

Oh speaking of- I've got several juniors-about to or newly turned senior. I need to check that so I can be prepared to breed them! So much to dooo! :)

Keep's Rabbitry

Friday, December 12, 2008

How Many Is Too Many?

How many breeds is too many?

I was told when I first started out in rabbits "No one will take you seriously if you have more than two breeds." Is this true? In some cases, it is. Some people don't give serious consideration to anyone with more than one breed- two at the most.

I tend to judge based on the quality of the lines and the animal in front of me. If you have 7 breeds, then fine.

I also look at the purpose of the breeds- is it breed promotion, like my Belgians and Thriantas? Is it for meat production, like Cals and NZs? Is it because of a parent, sibling or significant other that takes care of 1-2 breeds?

However- if you have 16 breeds, I think perhaps you should evaluate why you're breeding. Do you fully know the standard for all 16? Do you have the best you can get and are you producing top quality animals? If you are, keep doing what you are doing. If you aren't, perhaps you should cull out a few breeds and increase the quality in what you have already.

I also don't believe you should have a ton of breeds for the sole purpose of making sales, having no competition at the shows or just being able to have pet sales whenever anyone is looking for anything. Don't add breeds just because you happened to get a cute pet off the raffle.

At the end of the day though- it's your rabbitry, you pay the bills. If have thirty breeds makes you happy, then do it. Just remember- it's part of our responsiblity as breeders to work to improve the breed- not just slap two animals together and produce things to sell.

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Just Piddlin' Around

We've been working hard to get our rabbits to breed! I've got 5 who were caught, keep your fingers crossed they take!

We bought some plastic baby rings for the bunnies the other day- after a quick washing in the dish washer, they are ready to be dispensed to their new owners tomorrow!

I currently have two woolies available- Keep's Maybe so, a black otter jr. buck and Keep's Durham, a seal jr. buck. Maybe So is definitely a brood, with a HUGE head, while Durham is a gorgeous little show prospect- nephew to my buck who placed 2nd at Convention.

I'm already in show withdrawals. Consequently, I've been culling, culling, culling! I just let go of four holland does who I know I'll regret selling. Ahh well! Can't keep them all.

Our Miniature Dachshund female is currently in heat and we hope that soon we'll be welcoming her second litter! If you will be looking for an AKC mini dachshund in the future, please keep us in mind! Her pups were a great success last litter!

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Trying to breed in cold weather

Well, my first round of due does gave me approximately ZERO babies. So now begins the fun part- trying to breed them in sub-arctic temperatures. Ok, ok, it's not *that cold* here- I mean, it's currently 30 degrees F, that's a bit warmer than sub-arctic.

So how do we go about this? Winter isn't exactly the natural breeding time of rabbits.

Some folks just plug along and breed like normal, hoping to get a few litters- a lot of other factors depend on the chances of litters, so if you get a lot normally, winter probably won't slow you don't too much. For folks like me, who are in the less than ideal rabbitry, this is going to be sheer torture. I'll probably plug along like normal and attempt to breed them in their rabbitry environment.

Some folks bring in a few does and a buck (especially the buck, to keep him in working order) and do house breedings. While I'd love to do that, it's not really a good option for me- Tim isn't a fan of bunnies in the house and I KNOW the Parsonage Committee would have a duck. Ahh well, maybe I can talk him in a few buns in the basement.

You can also employ the "tricks of the trade". Apple Cider Vinegar (never worked for me!), car rides, cage switching- we'll do whatever it takes to get a litter in time for the spring shows. I know I'm especially adamant this year- we plan on attending the Ohio Mini Convention (yes, I'm offering transport) and we're already behind in our breedings! This last round of litters would have been the perfect age, but now we're getting farther behind every day the does don't breed.

Wonder if I can talk Tim in to helping out in the rabbitry today? Worth a shot- after all, I'll definitely do whatever it takes to get a litter!

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Searching for a Quality Hay

The search is on for a quality hay! I'm SICK to death of getting a bale of hay, only to find thorns, sticks, and dried tomato plants mixed in! I especially dislike having to repeatedly stab myself in the fingers trying to locate and remove the thorns I mentioned.

I've placed an ad on craigslist, hoping to find a horse quality hay- it's so important to get the good stuff. The rabbits eat it, baby rabbits are born in it- mold, thorns and general shoddiness can ruin your herd in a very short time!

Wish me luck on my search,

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, December 1, 2008

A major setback

We experienced a major set back as far as Thrianta promotion goes. This morning, we found out buck, BL's Cracker, dead in his cage. We don't know what was wrong, he hadn't been showing any signs of illness. I guess it's just one of those things :(.

Keep's Rabbitry