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Friday, January 30, 2009

The Future of Keep's Rabbitry

All right folks, the Tan trio are all pending now, so thanks for those interested- I'll let you guys know if it falls through!

The Californian doe didn't have babies- hussy! Try, try again.

Now, to the most important news - the future of Keep's Rabbitry may not include Hollands.

Please- no emails requesting certain animals right now- as always RH and my blog will be the first place a sales list is posted, followed by my website.

I started out with hollands years ago. I've built my herd, rebuilt it, rebuilt it again- poured money, years, blood, sweat and tears (all literally) in to trying to make my hollands competitive. I've had some success- a few grand champions, legs, class wins- a nice little broken colored doe- but lately, I've had no luck when it comes to breeding. My last holland babies are now 7 months old or so. Yeah. I'm very upset and frustrated with the lops right now, so I've just put a definitive date on the hollands. If they don't respond to my efforts to breed them by a certain date, they will be sold.

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tan Herd Sell Out!

I can't believe I'm doing this. As you guys know, my tan program is fledgling. However, I've been keeping a spreadsheet of rabbitry expenses and whoa.....yeah.... I've got to cut down the herd a bit. So, the tans are easiest to move out right now, because I have less work in them.

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Keep's Yup- blue otter sr. doe- possibly bred, not available until after due date.
GC Byland's YES -(Smoke Pearl Marten) 6+ legs x Wendover's Napolean (black otter)

She's my POL, for sure. A really nice doe, I've shown her at only one show and she took BOG both times (no legs).

Keep's Maybe So- black otter sr. buck
GC Byland's YES -(Smoke Pearl Marten) 6+ legs x Wendover's Napolean (black otter)

MASSIVE head. Truly, truly massive. This guy is a bigger buck- I believe he's within showable weight, I'll check for interested parties. He's molting to the skin right now, and I had been selling him as a brood buck- but I recently pulled him out and decided no WAY was he going! He's really come in to himself.

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WWR Still Fly- black otter sr. doe (has potential to carry dilute) - possibly bred, not available until after her due date.
WWR Audrey Kitching x Wooligans/WWR Ro Sam Bo
Lines, lines lines! She's a nice doe, I'd like to see a bit more width on her head and I'd like her to be a touch shorter. I need to go out and feel her again, to refresh myself on her strengths and weaknesses.

Available in Ohio: These guys will not be available until Ohio. Sorry smile.gif

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Keep's Burlington- Seal Sr. Buck -on temporary hold-
Woolians Raleigh x Hamilton's Lil Monty
Full Brother to Tryon - 2nd place Shaded Sr. Buck, ARBA Convention 2008.

This guy is an eager breeder and he's throwing me some goregeous babies. His son Durham took a Group win at this last show as a young junior. I love his head and ears. I'd like to see a little more width to his body, but he's throwing the width and very correct wool coats.

I have someone already interested in him, pending more offspring pictures, but please feel free to inquire. smile.gif

Keep's Dreamer- REW Sr Doe
Keep's Ashe x Hamilton's California Dreamin'

This girl is small. Very small. She's a little cottony in her coat, but she's not had a good, full coat molt. Her ears are a bit thin, but beautiful length. She has a nice head for her body size. Very nice body to her! My biggest fault with her is that small size. Because of that, I dunno that she can ever be competitive as a senior, though she tore the table up as a junior.

Keep's Ashe- REW Sr. Doe
Wooligans Aspen x Hare's Chesterfield
Aunt/Half Sister to Keep's Forest, 4th place Self Sr. Buck ARBA Convention 2008
Brood doe! BROOD BROOD BROOD. She's a bit longer than I like, nice head and ears! She likes to keep her coat chewed short ( rolleyes.gif ). She produces nice babies! I've bred her one last time before she goes. Definitely produces better than herself and would be a nice addition.

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, January 26, 2009

Excellent luck

Wow, I had excellent luck out in the rabbitry today!

Tim VOLUNTEERED to clean some cages! I'm still shocked over that one, but we've got about 1/4 of the cages sparkling and pretty :).

I took out a doe to breed, just in case my new plan was working- within about a half hour, I have 6 does bred multiple times! The bucks were more interested and all except one doe lifted on their own! EEK!

Now, we just have to hope the does take this time! I'm hoping they will, especially with the Wheat Germ supplement!

I'm waiting on my Californian doe to kindle. A few babies may be for sale, but most are being bred for meat purposes. She's due on the 28th, so not much longer to wait!

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Show and New Game Plan!

We had the mocksville show yesterday- where I discovered my rabbits are in bad condition! More about that in just a bit-

We went down Friday night and stayed with Brandi and Pete, who gave us the tour of their "temporary" new barn. All I can say is, WOW! I want it so bad. A nice, spacious barn, electricity, a beautiful outdoor area for the meatpens- it's beautiful! I'm planning on having Pete come out in another year and a half or so, when we move, and building something for me! WOWZA!

We all got up and headed to the show the next morning, where I officially discovered Keep's Durham is a black rabbit! I suspected this, since I flipped him Wednesday to check that all his equipment was fine for the show. Seals and Blacks are so close in color, I had anohter exhibitor ask me while my bunnies were on the table if Burlington was supposed to be in the shaded class! I appreciated it though, that would have been embarrassing to have him kicked off for being a self, but he was a seal, so in the right class :)

I lost quite a few placings on condition, but my highlights were still pretty good- Keep's Tryon took BOSG in the first show and BOG in the second, while Keep's Durham won his class the first show and got BOSG in the second! WHEE!

I talked with some folks who are interested in Belgian Hares, which is SUPER exciting! They also suggested writing up a contract that Belgians purchased at the discounted price must be shown for breed promotion- I LOVE that idea! I'm working on it right now!

Congrats to Brandi and Pete- who both won BOB, one is Show A and the other in Show B.
A huge congrats to their son Trace who took BRIS in both shows- with two different rabbits! He's not fit to be around right now!

So- the New Game Plan! As I've talked to folks and we've considered all kinds of factors (feed, weather, worms, etc) I believe the culprit is a combination of the flip flopping weather and frozen water bottles, leading to partial dehydration, despite our best efforts to ensure everyone got enough water.

I'm mixing oats and sunflower seeds back in with the feed (Purina Fibre3) and I plan on bringin in some Wheat Germ to help with production.

I'm also about to treat the entire herd with Corid. It's going to blow their coats sky high, but I'm hoping at least some will recover in time for the State Convention in March. If not, oh well, I've got my eyes on Ohio anyway!

So, wish me luck on my journey to get the condition back up on the herd, as well as getting BABIES!!!

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My Harrowing Adventure

Well, yesterday, I got a message from Susie out in California- the shipment of rabbits we've been planning were on their way! HOORAY! They were scheduled to be in Atlanta by 3:17pm, so we planned on arriving around 4pm, knowing it takes a while to get the cargo unloaded and to the shipping offices.

As we left our house, it started to snow- and for the first time this year, it started to stick!

We met April of Silver Maple Rabbitry there- this shipment was split among four folks, in hopes that we could offset the considerable costs of shipping in stock!

I talked a bit with some ladies shipping in puppies (that were adorable! A Bull terrier pup and an english sheepdog) and endured some eyerolling from the man behind the counter that we were waiting on rabbits. Ahh well, he didn't have to like it, he just had to tell me where to sign.

Around 4:30 or so, FINALLY, in come our rabbits! I'm always a nervous wreck when shipping, so many things can go wrong! Everybunny looked well, from the quick check we could give them- it was FREEZING outside!

April got her starting wooly herd, including Yes! I think we're going to have to watch her tan patterns, from what I've seen of her new buck and doe, coupled with Yes...she's got the potential for some killer animals!

We start back home, and outside of Atlanta it starts snowing. And starts laying! Uh oh. Around 3 hours from home at this point and it's snowing? Not good.

It proved to be not good at all. We hit some hairy sections that required speeds of no higher than 30 mph, but the worst came from the idiots that wanted to blow past in trucks- fishtailing the whole way!

What would normally be considered "30" minutes away from home, we came to a dead stop. It was the second wreck we'd seen, but it wouldn't be the last. We were stuck, dead still, for 30 minutes, and finally when we were able to move on, the roads had gotten even worse. On the last big mountain before home, we saw another 4 wrecks, the car slipped and slid, even going the blazing speed of 25! On our exit, there was yet another wreck.

Thankfully, we made it home safe and sound. The bunnies are hanging out in the living room, taking turns in a playpen- though as my girl Vixen and a doe I'm "babysitting" Honeybee learned, if you jump out of the pen, you go back in. Do it again, and you lose your play time!

Here are the pics! Starting off with Vixen!

Mystic Moon

Little Steps

Constant Comment

As you can see, they won't be hitting the show tables any time soon, but that's ok :)

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, January 18, 2009

So excited!

My first show of 2009 is less than week away! WEEE!

I'll be eyeballing everyone tonight as I feed, trying to decide who to take! Entry fees are $3.50, so I surely can't take everyone I want to.

I'll probably take the belgians- it's almost a waste of a fee, because there is never competition- but at the same time, they need to be seen! That's what breed promotion is about- bringing them even though there IS no competition! It will be Jasmine's first show as a senior! I can't wait to see how the judges think she's developed.

I've got a ton of woolies to take- a senior that has finally molted her baby coat, a junior who's shaping up really nice- well, let's suffice it to say there are definitely "several" coming with me :).

As for the hollands- I've got a blue tort doe I'm dying to show- hopefully it will also help get her in the mood! We'll just have to see with the hollands. Part of me is saying "meh, leave them all at home and just show the woolies and belgians!", while the other part says "who cares if he's granded! Bring him! Who cares if he isn't mature enough? Bring him!"

I guess it will all depend on how much my entry fees end up being. I always start out with a list of EVERYONE I want to show, then cull down from there based on the maximum I'm willing to spend in fees!

Not to mention, with five sale woolies and two sale hollands, space could easily end up an issue!

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, January 17, 2009

GC Wooly Does for sale-

and some brood bucks..... :)

GC Byland's YES - Smoke Pearl Marten doe 6+ legs
Proven Doe, 2 1/2 years old.
Rosewood's Luke (1 leg) x Rosewoods Mariah- out of Erb's and Sloan's lines.

I got a beautiful litter of black and blue otters out of this girl, nice big heads, good wool, good bodies- 2 of the 3 were shown and got EXCELLENT comments- won BOV and BOSV as juniors. She's had her face chewed off, so she's not in a show prime, though she is still showable.

GC TB's Pretty Snow- REW doe
Proven Doe, 2 1/2 years old, Red/White Seal Registered
McKies Zrue (3 legs) x Erb's Pretty Baby - out of McKies and Erbs lines.

Pretty Snow is a larger doe, though still within show range- she can be shown still. She is proven, and is a great looking doe and excellent foster mother. Could carry dilute. She was Brandi's "ringer"- she ALWAYS placed well on the table.

Keep's Wishful Thinking- REW sr. buck.
Keep's Ashe x Hamilton's CA Dreamin' - goes back to Caudill's, Hare's lines- lots of nice animals in the pedigree.

This guy is a brood buck. He's got a very nice H/E, nice wool- generally a nice body, but he's a bit long for my taste. Has the potential to produce nice offspring, he's the nephew of Keep's Forest (4th place Self Sr. Buck ARBA Convention '08) and his dad keeps bringing up an EXTREMELY close 2nd to Keep's Tryon (2nd place Shaded Sr. Buck @ Convention).

BL's Attitude- REW Sr. buck
Rosewood's Luke (1 leg) x BL's Phoebe (3 legs)- goes back to Sloan's, Erbs lines. Grandson of TB's Pretty Snow

This guy is nice and small! He's not a pocket wooly by any means, but he's definitely downsized from Pretty Snow. I like his nice, small ears. Wish his head was a bit bolder, would like him to be a bit shorter His sister has won 2 BOBs and a BRIS- AS A JUNIOR! So the potential to produce nice is DEFINITELY there. Would be a good investment to get some excellent lines at lower price.

Will be attending Mocksville- can meet you on my way to Georgia on Monday as well. smile.gif

Thursday, January 15, 2009

It's Freaking COLD!

We're in single digits with a negative windchill here tonight, and have been for hours. Thankfully all the rabbits are locked up tight in their rabbitry.

Unfortunately. I've got four does due- one appears to not be pregnant, though the other three at least have a chance at kindling. I stuffed their cages extra full of hay, so all I can do now is keep my fingers crossed that they make good nests and check everything out in the morning! I'd definitely not be upset if they went late.

Due to the extreme cold, I relented and gave everyone 1/2 cup of pellets. It's just too cold to chance the does losing too much weight!

I'll hopefully have some exciting news to share in the nest few days- no promises because there are some variables, but I'm optimistic it will all work out!

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The All Veggie Diet

When I first started out as a pet rabbit owner (as an adult! Not when I had them as a kid), I purchased the book "Rabbits for Dummies". It was great- had a list of good foods vs. bad foods for them to eat, etc. I dutifully avoided giving Scout fresh foods until he was 6 months of age, then limited carrots as treats, apple as a VERY rare treat and he got "Scout Salad" less than once every two weeks. (Scout Salad consisted of dark green lettuces- kale, romaine, broccoli which he didn't like...etc). He ate plenty of timothy hay.

When I became a breeder, I tried several feeds before deciding what to feed (Purina- it's just my favorite!) Now days, the rabbits get a single carrot perhaps twice a year.

There is a movement, out there in the world, for all domesticated rabbits to be moved to a purely fresh vegetarian diet.

That's what this post is about.

I believe, that if done PROPERLY by people who are not brain-washed in to thinking they can do no wrong, a MOSTLY fresh veggie diet is not a bad thing. Mostly, because I do believe PELLETS are necessary to make sure the rabbits get everything they need in a diet. Yes- I know that somewhere out there is a rabbit that has lived to be 16 on it. I have a 6 year old pet rabbit in my barn that ate a slim jim. Does that mean we need to start them on a meat by product diet? No.

Unfortunately, I feel 99% of owners on the Fresh Veggie Diet (let's call it FVD for short) are brain-washed in to thinking this is the ONLY possible diet. When your dwarf rabbit can't put it's front feet on the ground because of obesity, there is a problem. When rabbits have diarrhea constantly, fur loss, chafing, chapping and need to be fed gas drops DAILY- something is wrong. When animals are dying at under a year of age on this diet- there is a problem.

To begin with- pellets are not "CRAP". They are specially balanced foods that make sure an animal gets all of the nutrition it needs to survive. I know of a rabbit living to be 19 on a pellet only diet, and I can show you several now over 8 years old. A good pellet keeps the rabbit in beautiful condition- which is why show breeders feed it. It's also why we're always checking condition on our animals- because if they AREN'T getting all they need from their food, we want to know about it as soon as possible so that we can rectify that.

TOO MANY FRUITS WILL MAKE YOUR RABBIT FAT AND HAVE DIARRHEA. I'm sorry, fruits are high in sugars. Fluffy does not NEED them. If you had never had chocolate, would you NEED it and CRAVE it? No. By the way, these are animals. It's not about what they WANT, it's about what is good for them. Dogs will gorge on food until they get sick- does that mean they should be allowed to do that? No! Same with rabbits- they should NOT be allowed to gorge on junk food. If the rabbit gets fat, cut back the food!

Just use common sense- if the rabbit is sick constantly, does that REALLY mean that the FVD is the best for it? Should you have to dose it daily with medication? Should it have to live such an uncomfortable existence, such as being covered in it's own liquid feces, with the skin red and irritated? All for what, by the way? Because someone who's owned a pet rabbit once or worked at an animal shelter once told you that's the only way the animal should live?

Who would you rather have- someone who's been a nurse and had practice taking care of people, or someone who saw a nurse from across the room once?

I fed fresh foods in moderation when I had my pet rabbit. REMEMBER!!! These are not wild rabbits. They can't handle eating old vegetables, or snacking on anything they can find. They are not exposed to the same conditions as wild rabbits. Oh and need I mention the lifespan of a wild rabbit?

If you are experienced in rabbit care, experienced in their dietary needs and KNOW how to mix it so that they get the correct amount of food, plus all the vitamins and minerals they need- then feed your animal the way you want to. However, if this is your first pet rabbit and you can't even tell if it's male or female, a lop or an up earred breed, and can't figure out how to clip it's nails.... well, do you really feel qualified to say you know more about rabbit diets than a team of specialists who work for a large corporation who only gets paid based on how well their product sells? If the rabbit food is crap, breeders won't buy it- and that company fails to thrive. So they have the best interest of the rabbits at heart- because dying rabbits means dying sales.

Ok, taking a break from my soapbox.
Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, January 12, 2009

It appears to be working!

Well, just a few days in to the all hay diet, I'm getting some extremely hateful looks from my does and bucks! The bucks have been reduced down to a half cup like they should have been getting all along. No more "That doesn't look like enough food"...... half cup! End of discussion!

I picked out the "skinniest" doe, by which I mean the least fatty fat and popped her in a cage with my most eager buck- and I'm THRILLED to say he caught her 3 times! She even lifted on her own! Could it be working already?! I hope so!

We've also been running the rabbitry lights longer.

The third round of breedings are due on the 16th. We'll see how that works out. I *think* one of the does is definitely pregnant! Fingers crossed.

My first show is soon- Mocksville on the 24th! Hooray! I can't wait and I'll have several woolies and several hollands available for purchase :). So if you're looking for anything, lemme know!

Keep's Rabbitry

Friday, January 9, 2009

The old college try

Well-Bluebelle had 3, tiny, DOA babies. Hey- at least she's started! I can't help but wonder if they were affected by the Ivomec any, but you know- SHE'S STARTED! That alone makes me happy. I plan on rebreeding her immediately, either to Forest, who she was bred to this time, or to Tryon, who I'd LOVE to get babies from. Maybe Tryon...hmm. Though I want babies from both! Ahh, I'm feeling greedy this morning lol.

I haven't checked on the other does yet. Mainly because it's cold outside and I'm still in my pjs. I'll update when I know if I have other cause for celebration.

I plan on putting my does on the "Hay Only" diet. They are going to get a TON of hay and hay only until they lose some of this fat. I overfeed (especially in the winter!) and I think that's effecting my baby results- especially since this ton was one of the "thinnest" ones (by which I mean, not mildly obese like the others lol).

I'm going to have some very angry bunnies on my hand soon. But hopefully, they'll be very angry pregnant bunnies!

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Perhaps I spoke too soon?

Bluebelle, the wry neck doe who is 95% healed, is currently nesting in the living room! We placed her in a small solid bottom cage with a thick layer of hay and the poor girl is wandering around looking for a suitable nesting place. I don't think she'd really do well with a box right now, and the only cages we have available right now are tiny anyway.

I need to remember to remove her water bowl and give her a bottle- it would be my luck that she'd kindle right in the middle of it!

Fingers crossed for healthy babies, she's a first timer who's been medicated for a while. Shoot though, at this point I'll just be happy for anything!

Definitely gonna be bringing in some does to the warm, happy, bright house! It'll be hard choosing who to bring in, but I'll manage somehow.

I plan on writing about what I do when I get my most successful breedings and my views on the all "veggie" no pellet diets and the dangers of feeding this when you don't know what you're doing.

So, a few good topics coming up!

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Five does due today- NO babies, no fur lined nests- just a lot of frustrations.

I'm getting irritated.

My first thought is "SELL THEM ALL". When I calm down some, my next thought is "I've got more due in a few days..."

Ugh, as the days tick by, we're getting closer and closer to Ohio. I wanted some nice juniors to show, it's looking like I won't have any worth taking- any I might get will still be babies!

I'm thinking I'll pick some of the larger carriers, pick the "most important" does, bring em in and keep them inside a few days, then try breeding- then bring them back in to stay a few more days before they go back outside. I am so frustrated right now!

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Well, I took this from 4 Kings Rabbitry Blog :)

1. How did you deceide the name for your rabbitry?
Keep or Keepee is actually an old screen name I've used for years- and since on some non-rabbit-related websites, I've become known as "Keep", I thought "Keep's Rabbitry" was perfect :).

2. Youth or Open?
Open! I missed out on the joys of showing in youth competition, as I didn't become aware of showing until I was 20.

3. How long have you owned rabbits?
Hmmm, I've had pet rabbits all my life, at various different times :). I had a Babs, a Thumper, a Whiskers...then of course Scout the mixed breed who prompted me to buy the book "Rabbits for Dummies" which mentioned...RABBIT SHOWS!

4. What's the biggest win you've had so far(not that winning is everything!)?
Hmm- Best in Show :). Best Reserve was a biggie too, since it was at the NC State Convention :).

5. What's the most embarrassing or 'Ah Ha' moment with rasing rabbits?
Oh no, do I have to share that? Geez, maybe my mini lop buck that sprayed EVERYONE whenever he was put on the show table- and since it was 4 shows over 2 days...yeah... I still get teased about that one.

6. How did you decide what breed to raise?
Our first purebred rabbit was a holland, so we just kind of dropped in to those and I've been working on them ever since. With the woolies though- Shhhh, I thought woolies were UGLY when I first saw them. But I started talking to Lisa of Wooligans on a forum and she'd post these drop dead gorgeous rabbits- I knew I'd have to have some.

7. What is your current 'set up' and how many cages?
I've got about 45 holes right now. I don't really plan on going above that, but I hope to get a nice barn to put them in within the next few years!

8. What's your short term goal (now to June 2009)?

9. Long term goal?
I just want to make some beautiful animals and get some big wins :). ;)

10. Anything else we need to know?
Not really- we'll be moving around a lot, so it's always going to get my does stirred up, unfortunately.

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Doe with head tilt

Well, the doe who had head tilt due to the weather is doing much better! She's still tilted, but rather being at a 90 degree angle, she's now around a 30 degree angle! Her balance has improved greatly as well!

I'm still not 100% sure if she's pregnant or not, because I was unable to palpate her due to the freak out following the one attempt I made (she ended up rolling along the ground trying to get away!)

My plan is to put her in a solid bottom cage with plenty of hay as a thick flooring. That way, if she does kindle, at least the babies can snuggle down in to the hay, if she's incapable of making a good nest to keep them warm. If she kindles and some of the other does kindle, I'll try to do a fostering, to keep the strain off poor Bluebelle.

Ahhh well, we'll worry about babies when and if she has them. Right now, I'm just thrilled to see improvement!

Check out my website to see my newest pet, Roni, (I pronounce it like Rice-a-RONI), who is featured as the homepage picture!

Keep's Rabbitry