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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mixed Feelings

Keep's Dreamer had two babies on the wire yesterday. I think she had trouble with both- the first may have been a hard birth and then the second was hours behind the first in delivery.

I'm sad that we had another two dead babies. However- she at least kindled! So, while I'm sad, I'm hopeful for the future litters.

Dreamer is a small doe, but so cute! I'm sending her mom to NJ, so I'm really hoping I'll get a healthy litter out of her.

I've got to go look at the animals in the barn and figure out who to take to the show this weekend. I'm wanting to give the usual suspects a break if they aren't bouncing back condition wise. The other part of me says "Nooooo, take them! They'll have a month before the next show."

We'll see. I know I've got two shaded bucks that will be coming with me. I don't know who else beyond that.

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Check List

I've decided I'm going to go through my herd and write down a pretty detailed list of the faults and strengths of each animal I own.

I think that way, I'll what to keep, what to sell, what to work on in my herd, etc. If I have a doe with an undercut butt who produces only undercut babies when bred to bucks with nice butts- then obviously she needs to go b/c it's not fixable by my bucks-

I have a general idea of who is a nice showy animal and who produces well. I just think having it down on paper will REALLY help. Plus, I can cross reference with the offspring.

Sometimes just seeing it in black and white will drive home the point more than feeling it and trying to make excuses for an animal.

My plan is to set up a scale for evaluation- "Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent". I don't want to get in to "7.5 out of 10" or anything like that. I also feel like a number scale is going to vary a lot more than something like simply words.

I am then going to enumerate on faults or strengths- such as "HQ- Good. Needs more fullness in lower HQ, not bad." "Shoulders- Fair. Too much length, need slightly more width." "Ears- Excellent. Good length, thickeness, placement."

I suppose I should really evaluate the animals based on offspring produced too- "3 Show babies, 2 broods. Common faults: None. Best results when bred to _______"

This could get lengthy! Valuable information though :)

Keep's Rabbitry

Friday, March 27, 2009

So happy!

I found my blower! It's been missing since Convention and I finally located it- SO HAPPY! I celebrated by torturing my junior does- they look so nice with their fluffy coats! I'm confident with the help of my blower they'll be looking smokin' hot by the time Ohio comes around!

Speaking of- I am offering transport to Ohio and back :). Rabbits must be entered in the show or else must pick up rabbits on Friday or deliver them to me to be brought back on Sunday :).

We've got a show tomorrow in Taylorsville. I'm showing basically the same buns as last week. I hope they don't stress out on me. Everyone is looking good though.

I'm selling my Californian does. I also have some cages available :).

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Tim and I buckled down and did some Spring Cleaning today in the house- mainly in the mudroom, which was a disaster in and of itself (partially because they refused to believe us when we said the washer wasn't working properly. Oh well, not my house, not my problem...now they get to fix the tiled floor, after having the handy man out here for the third time).

I digress.

Cleaning the house always makes me think of cleaning out the rabbitry- who needs to go, who needs to stay...

Right now, all of my does except two are bred. I'm excited because the girls continue to be eager to breed. That means I can't exactly move out any does right now. However, I CAN plan on who to move out. I've got some does getting older who, though I would love to get another few litters out of them, should probably move out to make room for others.

I know for a fact one of my wooly problems is too many bucks. I've got Tryon, Burlington, Durham, Forest, Little Steps, Stewart and Mystic. Five of these guys are SHADEDS. What in the world was I thinking?!

I'll be moving Burlington on- after all, he's Tryon's full brother, has produced three beautiful babies for me...I need to move him on! So, that makes it 4 shaded bucks. That's a little better...right?

I am selling a Broken Holland buck, which will help on the "Too Many Holland Bucks" problem.

Gotta love it! Want to sell down...NEED to sell down... love everything in the barn. I guess there could be worse problems- like hating everything in the barn!

Hm..... OH! I think my Belgian Hare doe Jasmine is PREGNANT! PLEASE keep your fingers crossed for a success first litter. They are the so important to getting the belgians going in this state! :)

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, March 23, 2009

NC Convention

I'm gonna try to do this from memory since I can't find Day 1's results- I'll find them eventually though lol.

A&B are Day 1, C is Day 2, I didn't show in "D"

Hamilton's Stewart - AOV Sr. Buck- BOG A, B & C

Keep's Forest- Self Sr. Buck- 1st in class A (leg), BOSB B, 3/6 C (too high of a poser lol)

Keep's Tryon- Shaded Sr. Buck- BOSG A, 2/3 B, BOSG C, mentioned for BOSB, but lost out to a cute self buck.

Keep's Durham- Self Jr. Buck- uhm.... I can only remember 3/5 C. I was disappointed with his results though, I had high hopes for him as a baby and I'm afraid he's not going to realize the.

Keep's Chapel Hill- Shaded Jr. Doe 1/5 A, 4/5 B, 3/4 C

Keep's Taylorsville- Shaded Jr Doe 4/5 A, 2/5 B, 2/4 C

I stayed with Joni Friday and Saturday, which was a life saver! We had a ball and I got to go over all the rabbits in her barn :D. That's always SO MUCH FUN.

I think my favorite memory is going to be Tresia winning her first ever BIS- she was jumping up and down, fist pumping and GRINNING! It's SO NICE to see someone excited to win and not afraid to enjoy the moment. She got a second ovation from wooly exhibitors as she walked past the table where woolies were being judged for Show B.

We tried to convince Heidi to accidently forget to put "DD" up for show on the second day, since Tresia wasn't there. Unfortunately, Heidi remembered and DD swept the tables for another pair of BOBs. :).

It was a good set of days. I know the bunnies are TIRED and happy to be home. We've got another show next weekend and then a third the weekend after. It's going to be busy!

I'm happy to say that I sold 3/5 of the rabbits I had for sale, which always makes you feel good! I've got a lot of interest in my remaining buck, HF's Bart, so I'm confident he'll be with someone new soon too.

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, March 22, 2009


HUGE Congratulations to Tresia Burleson who took a double BIS with "DD" her siamese sable doe, as well as swept the tables and won BOB all four shows at the NC State Convention!

How many more days until DD's retirement?! LOL.

I'm so exhausted, I'll post show results and experiences later :)

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


We may be looking at success! Maybe.

Today was Day 2 of the does being set up in the outside hutch. I brought out a different buck to each lady and two of the girls lifted up immediately, allowing their boyfriends to catch them 2-3 times each! EEK!

The other doe was not a fan of the attention. >.<

My plan is to add wheat germ to their pellets tonight (I bring the outside girls in at night because I'm paranoid) and allow them to spend another two days outside. At this point, the two that were bred will be brought in and two more will go out to take their places. The doe that didn't want to breed will be tried again.

I'm hoping this extra time in the fresh, sunny outside will help not only put the girls in the mood, but will help them to actually become pregnant.

We also put a radio outside. A few of the rabbits startle easily, but now that they have their radio, I was able to go in and out of the rabbitry without offending any of their majesties.

Just had to share my excitement! It's always a good day when the rabbits breed willingly lol.

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

New Blog

I'd like to announce a side-blog "Keep Saving." I just started it today, and plan on sharing money saving tips and tricks. Judging by the awesome feedback I got from the "Bunny Money" post, I thought some of you folks might be interested in reading this as well.

Don't worry, I know the topic is simplistic and somewhat of a "duh" today, it'll get better :). I wanted to ease in to it- can't give away the best tips when no one is reading LOL!

I'm heading to Malena's in a few minutes- she's letting me borrow her Terramycin to treat an eye problem one of my does has. I'll try to get pictures and give information on the treatment.

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I love my rabbit friends

I love my rabbit friends- I really do. I'm able to tease them and joke around without having to worry about giving offense.

For instance, Tresia has a gorgeous doe who surely must have 100,000 legs for BOB by now (only a slight exaggeration). She humors me by letting me refer to her as DD (Durn Doe), because that silly thing always beats my buck Tryon. I love to tease her that DD needs to stay home and make babies hehe. Tresia hasn't attempted to smack me yet!

Joni and I are doing our pre-show trash talking as I write this, which mostly involves me trying to convince her to leave some key member of her show team. I've also threatened to whisper the "S" word (S-H-O-W) in the ears of all her rabbits the night before. Muwahahaha I'll do it too :D.

When I visited Pete and Brandi, I threatened to tell them to sell all their keepers to me, by pretending they weren't cute :rofl:

I can't even begin to explain how I harrass my other friends, even those living in California, Oklahoma, Virginia, etc, etc, etc, :). Be glad you folks don't have to show with me on a regular basis!

The list of jokes goes on and on- obviously, I love to pick around with folks and I'm so happy that all my friends let me tease them :D. I've heard that in other competitive animal shows, the camaraderie isn't nearly what we have in rabbit shows. This is why I'm so thankful to be doing what I do. Rabbit people are the best people in the world :). And lest you think I only dish it out, come by a rabbit show and listen to the abuse I have to put up with some time :).

Keep's Rabbitry

Friday, March 13, 2009

How Sweet- and other ramblings

Tim bought a long, fluorescent light for the rabbitry, and a sunlight simulating tube bulb for it. It was a gift out of the blue and he had it up and waiting for me when I got home from work. How sweet!

Hopefully, this will work better than the other sunlight bulbs we've tried!

The weather is back to cool and it's threatening to rain. Will I never get my hutch put together?! *sigh*

None of the does with nestboxes took. Big shock there, right?! I know I'm shocked.

We're back on Purina Advanced Nutrition, which I sometimes refer to as "Purina Show" or "Purina Blue Bag". I was really, really, really not impressed with long term results on Fibre3. Unfortunately, unless your rabbit is obese, I'd avoid it.

Show season gears up soon and I'm SO THRILLED!! I'm hoping Blug Bag can get my rabbits back in to at last a competitive condition before the 21st. I'm not sure they will be where I want them to be, but it's worth a shot! I'm back on track and feeling more confident :).

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Two days of Bunny Talk!

We just got home from visiting Brandi at BL's Bunny Barn. I LOVE seeing my bunny friends. I'm sure they are glad I'm gone though, because wow, can I talk someone's ear off. It's nice to have a chance to relax, after all that's been going on lately!

We started off by going in to the barn and doing a door to door evaluation. I'm convinced I should have lied about my opinions so I could have brought home some super awesome little juniors! I was honest though (aren't you guys proud of me? hehe). I did bring home one adorable little REW doe. I just couldn't resist. If I had more cages available, you can bet I would have brought home a few more! She's got a ton of nice looking babies available, as well as a few GC bucks!

We also picked out our Thrianta doe. She's a cutie, I can...not...WAIT for this little girl to grow up. Tim is excited, he is a big fan of the "Fire of the Fancy." If ya'll are interested, they do still have some "T"'s available

Pete made a frame for my outdoor hutch- I'm so excited! It looks great- if you ever need anything built, Pete can do it.

Speaking of- I got my show coop! SQUEE! It's a 3 holer that is nice and solid, without being so heavy you can't pick it up. It looks flat out professional- I can't wait to get pics tomorrow when I'm not so tired! I feel like a real breeder now ROFL!

We had such a great time. I can't wait for the show in 2 weeks where I get to see Brandi, Pete and Trace again, as well as my other bunny buddies, who I don't get to see NEARLY enough.

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, March 9, 2009

Holland Herd Announcement

I'm going to sell out most of my hollands. Available at the NC State Convention will be:

Keep's Roswell- black tort senior buck. Out of Nature Trail lines, perfect shoulders, very small buck, but well put together.

Keep's Salsa- siamese sable senior doe. Out of Lil Bit Farms and Mary lines, goes back to THF-Saynora. Nice bucky head, chews on herself, would make an excellent brood doe.

HF's Bartholamew- GC broken tort sr. buck. GORGEOUS rabbit, competes well, throws nice offspring, loves to breed. Quality Herd Buck

Saynora's Patience- blue tort sr. doe. Beautiful doe with a nice bucky head. I forget if she's just Saynora or a THF-Saynora rabbit. On hold for first option for Billi, but could be available.

Three other does have already been placed, pending litters. May have another Nature Trail doe available, haven't made up my mind yet.

Please email me if you're interested in any of these rabbits, I'll provide more information and pictures :).

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Bunny Money

I look around for a ton of ways to make a little extra "bunny money". With my feed at $16 a bag and hay at $10 a bale for anything decent, I've gotta figure something out!

I'm going to share a few sites I enjoy. If you want to sign up, GREAT, I'd love it if you'd use the links I'm going to post, as in some cases I get referral credits. If you don't want to sign up, that works too!

I recommend not using your main email account. I have a special account just for survey sites and things like that :).

Cash Crate is the newest one I've found. You can do point related offers to be redeemed for gift cards or other prizes, or do the offers for CASH. You can also do two surveys a day. I figure points work just as well as cash- if I save $20 at Walmart with a gift card, it's the same as $20 in my pocket (or in the pocket of the feed store guy).

Swag Bucks is another goodie. You use them to search through (instead of google, yahoo, etc.) You get the same results, but sometimes you win "Swag Bucks". These can be redeemed for gift cards or other prizes as well. Again- $5 free on Amazon is $5 in my pocket!

Send Earnings (click the banner above) is one I personally love- the $50 check I got from them may have something to do with that though. You get 5 cents per email you click on- that's literally all you have to do. You can do other offers through them and get money (Definitely check out the completely free offers!), or do daily surveys and it's great when you get your check in the mail.

I'm being summoned to work on dinner- I may be able to add to this in the future :)

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Cleaning Day!

Today was beautiful! Weather.com says it's a sunny 71 degrees, so we took advantage of the weather to clean cages. I wish we had had more time to really scrub the cages, but hey, 95% have beautiful, clean pans. Our neighbor has a trailer full of bunny poop for his new garden, and I have a day worth of stories to tell!

I took the opportunity to set up an X-pen and moved a few carriers outside. All does not bred got to visit the great outdoors today!

Bandit and Jasmine, the hares, got to romp in our semi-permanent outdoor pen. All was going well until I notice there is only one hare in the pen! Jasmine, after an hour or so of exploration, decided to leave us. I panicked and began to scan the yard- and a movement caught my eye. She had run to the outside spigot and was hanging out! Tim circled one way and I followed behind her. My biggest fear was that she'd head for the road, but thankfully when she realized we were trying to surround her, she bolted back towards the pen. We managed to tackle her and she went back to her cage!

Our retired mini lops Abby & Joe got to the X-pen and met Wooligans Raleigh for the first time- the three of them absolutely hit it off! Raleigh later got a date with Keep's Forest and I'm pleased to report things went successfully ;).

All of the does (Wooligans Leesa, TB's Secret Chance, and another who's name I'm blanking on) went on to have successful dates! WEEE! Could this warm day in the sunshine be just what the doctor ordered?

The worst part of the day came when Tim went to unload the brand new bags of feed we purchased. I hear "Oh no.."

A bag of food had split! But not only that........

It spilled ALL OVER the car! UGH. We spent 30 minutes trying to salvage what we could. We'll have to get out the vacuum here in a bit. *sigh*

Ahh well, it was a good day at least :)

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, March 5, 2009


If I didn't have bad luck, I'd have no luck at all.

My Californian buck died mysteriously- he had food and water, no sign of illness and no visible cause of death. He just passed away some time today.

Ugh. That leaves me with one junior Californian DOE and one possibly (but doubtfully) pregnant Californian senior doe. I'm not sure if I should bother with the meaties at this point. Ugh.

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Evaluation of my Wooly Herd.

I spent a good hour outside today, evaluating and grooming every Wooly in my herd. Wow, the numbers have sure grown!

I was thrilled with how little work I had as far as grooming- only a few needed any kind of real work and they just had a few mats. I spent some time plucking dead fur out of the butts of molting adults and a few juniors- that fur went right in to the garden :).

I'm thrilled with what I'm seeing in my herd- tiny ears, beautiful large heads, short bodies and good wool. I'd like to see a little more thickness to the ear on a few of the animals, but I have some nice bucks that can help out with that. I'd also like a bit more "fullness" to the coats. I've got a nice looking set of brood does with wool for DAYS, so I'm hoping that won't be a problem either. I need to keep an eye on the size of my woolies- they are getting very small! Again- hoping the brood does help "up size" the herd.

My two youngest junior does are looking GREAT- oh man they are turning out beautiful. One is a siamese sable, the other is either a black or a seal- it's so hard to tell, especially when 90% of the body is covered with off-color baby fuzz.

I've also decided to offer a siamese sable holland lop doe for sale and possibly a young broken tort buck. More to come on them later :)

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


My one Jersey Wooly baby is dead. It was a pure case of selfishness on the part of the mother- she apparently kicked the baby to the front part of the nest so SHE could snuggle in the wool in the back. I'm so angry right now, I'm not sure how to really articulate how I'm feeling.

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Lure of Woolies

I'm amazed by Woolies. Obviously I think they are adorable, from their wide faces and tiny little ears to the beautiful wool. I've even gone so far as to scale my Hollands down majorly and up the Wooly herd.

This post isn't about me though.

I first noticed it, obviously, when my friend Joni got her first Woolies. She loved Forest's cuddly personality and sweetness (and ironically, he's the only one who has ever bitten me lol), so she added a Wooly or two. Then another. And yet another. Last show, she mentioned she was considering maybe downsizing a Holland or two and adding in a few Woolies. Interesting.

Flash forward a bit- a Holland breeder I know happens to pick up a few Woolies. She shows them, she loves them, within weeks of the purchase she is talking about downsizing the Hollands and adding more Woolies!

When Marlee sold out, her mom Malena came oh so close to joining the Wooly movement- and Malena is a staunch Holland lover!

WHY? How do they cause established breeders to suddenly think traitorous thoughts about other breeds?

I think a lot has to do with the showing aspect. With so many color groups in Jersey Woolies, you've got a better chance of winning- or at least placing second. I'm sorry, I love the hollands, but it gets very discouraging when you have a NICE rabbit and it can't beat the G.C. 3 year olds on the table.

Which brings up my next point- woolies are competitive as young as 2 months old. You doubt me? I've won LEGS that young.

The biggest reason I've heard though are the people. Wooly people the country over seem to have a reputation for being laid back, friendly and welcoming. I only know of one person who had trouble with an individual and it was an obvious case of jealousy over the quality of animals the upstart *newbie* brought. I remember taking my first Woolies to the table- they applauded when my junior buck won his class, said hello, showed me their animals...it was a great time.

I hate to say it Holland folks, but we don't exactly have a reputation as a warm, happy, welcoming group. I've been lucky, the folks in Hollands here ARE sweet people. When I started in the Hollands years ago though, that definitely was not the case. I did not feel welcomed by any of the breeders, although no one was hostile. Those of you that show with me may notice I always try to greet the new breeders- it's because I clearly remember what it was like not knowing what to do or anyone and being so alone.

My last suspicion in the Wooly movement is color. Nice rabbits come in all shades in Woolies and I think that's a big perk for people.

So, if you're considering getting Woolies, beware- may cause severe love of the breed, to the detriment of others you currently own! Well worth it though ;)

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, March 1, 2009

My Update

Well, Dreamer kindled- unfortunately she had 3 on the wire. One was a peanut and the other two appeared to be DOAs anyway. Hey, the good news is that she's started now. I rebred her immediately to Burlington, so I'm hoping we get some babies next time.

It's pouring snow here- the tree limbs are coated, as well as the tops of things, but it doesn't seem to be laying very well on the ground. It will make feeding mildly unpleasant- gotta love frozen water bottles and bitter cold! I was so ready for Spring :(.

My Barbi girl is due today. I really, really, really want her to kindle this time! We've got others due in a few days as well- I thought I felt babies in at least one.

Speaking of babies, our mini dachshund puppies are working on eyeballs! "Red" peeked out at us yesterday with a single eye- he looked a bit like a pirate with only one eye open lol.

Keep's Rabbitry