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Friday, January 29, 2010

JW Nationals Sales List

I've spent the morning working on a Nationals Sales List- MAN does it make me sad to do this! I'm going to be moving out some stock that has produced beautifully for me- for instance with one doe, one litter alone (out of 3 babies) has ALREADY produced 2 Grand Champions.

Breed Nationals is a great time to buy and sell stock- with so many folks coming together from all over the country, you get the opportunity not only to bring in harder to get stock, but to spread your lines out across the country as well.

It's going to be hard letting some of these animals go, but at least I have the opportunity to get one last litter out of them before they go.

Look for the sales list after the PaSRBA Show.

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Age of Uglies

There is a little time of development that every breeder shudderingly refers to as...the uglies. Dun Dun Dun....

It runs at different ages for different breeds and even within different lines in the same breed.

Basically, uglies are the ugly, gawky, "pre teen" stage. Think about human kids, when they get all the zits and their voices start to change and it seems like their legs are growing 100% faster than the rest of them. Welcome to Human Uglies. But we're talking about rabbits and they can't exactly grow zits and have voice changes. Instead, you get just a wierd looking creature!

Meet Keep's Heart Throb about 2 weeks ago:

I know what you're thinking- what an absolute stud muffin, right? He was right around 3 months old in these pictures. Most folks will tell you uglies run anywhere from 2 1/2 months to 4 months.

During this time, it's HARD not to want to cull everything you've ever produced. After all- look at his ears! Look at that awful head. Admittedly, it has no wool cap, but geez, it looks long and snipey and FLAT! His body isn't bad but what you can't see is he looks kind of narrow.

I should have totally petted him out, right?


Thankfully I know my lines and I know them pretty well. You have to go through working with your own line, growing out whole litters just to trash them all (*Note, I mean cull, pet out, etc, not literally throw them in the trash, for all you literal types*). You have to learn when the uglies hit, when they should have outgrown them, and when ugly is just plain ugly and not gawky.

Meet Heart Throb yesterday:

He's a little more deserving of that name now, isn't he? Admit it, you didn't think he'd fill out, did ya? My biggest regret is that you can't feel him- nice and wide, short, beautiful head, those long donkey ears are nice and short...

So remember folks, don't be afraid to "waste the feed" on growing out whole litters to learn your lines. It's not a waste if you are LEARNING! Besides, isn't it better than tossing out some hot potential herd buck because he looks a little awkward?

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, January 25, 2010

How Many Do You Show?

I showed 11 animals at the show in Mocksville, which surprised a fellow exhibitor.

To break it down, I had:

1 Jr. Agouti Buck
1 Jr. Broken Doe
1 Sr. Self Buck
1 Sr. Self Doe
1 Jr. Self Buck
2 Shaded Sr. Bucks
1 Shaded Sr. Doe
1 Shaded Jr. Buck
2 Shaded Jr. Does

So in my list- only two classes had more than one animal. In the Shaded jr. does, one doe had been to a show before, the other had never shown.

Do I consider this a lot of entries? NO. Not when I have seen people bring 25-30 animals. I strive to bring animals that are competing in separate classes, not dumping 10 in a single class.

It's also not a case where I'm "buying" Sweepstakes points with lots of entries. Every rabbit I bring, I believe has a chance to win it's class. Remember, if these all only get 2 points per rabbit, that's only 22 points. That isn't going to catapult you to the top of the sweeps lists.

In the occasions where I have 4 shaded/self/whatever junior does, I may bring them all to their first show and have them competing against each other- but only if it's a case where I'm not sure which I prefer and want a fresh opinion on them.

Each person has their own philosophy on how many to show, whether it's a maximum number of animals plan, an entry fee cap, or if there is no plan at all and they simply bring as many as they feel like that day.

My personal philosophy is I try not to go over $100 in entry fees, though it seems I usually don't have more than 7-8 animals entered. I try not to show 5 animals in the same class if they've been out before and I show the ones I think will do the best for me. Sometimes I do bring animals I should have left at home, don't we all? Sometimes those animals still win. Sometimes they are bottom of the class, but they help someone else get a leg.

I feel that I do well in Sweeps points because I breed hard and I cull hard and compete well. No one is harder on my rabbits than I am. If you only show 1 rabbit per show, are you going to be WAY up there in the Sweeps? Probably not. If you show 30 rabbits per show and they ALL place dead last, are you going to be WAY up there in sweeps? No.

I'd love to hear the philosophies of other folks- how do you decide who to show? Leave a comment or email me at enslavedbybunnies @ hotmail . com :).

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Show Results

Today was a rare show- it wasn't in Taylorsville!

First show we had Stacey Bollinger-Sauter. Never had her before, so it was a new experience!

Didn't do much until Keep's Epiphany (shaded sr. doe) took 1/4- BOG FOR HER GRANDING LEG! Yes, Yes, I finally granded out a doe LOL. I can mark that off my resolutions post at the end of the year!

Keep's KTA (shaded jr. buck) took 1/2- BOSG- BOSB!! I love this little buck so much.

Second Show we had Rusty Westhoff. I was hoping to get Travis Finkle, having never showed under him, but he was engaged with other breeds. Still, it worked out pretty well for me-

Keep's Chapel Hill (self senior doe) took 1/5- BOSG

Keep's Cairo (shaded sr. buck)- 1/6- BOG

Keep's KTA- (shaded jr. buck)- 1/2. There was a mix up and he was taken off the table instead of one of the other animals, so he wasn't shown for Group.

Keep's KSA (shaded jr. doe)- 1/2- BOSG. Rusty LOVED her. LOVED her sister KTLM too.

I enjoyed seeing everyone! :D.

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Co-Ops- A How To Guide

There is a lot of worry when you go in to a co-op- at least, there should be. You can't approach it with the lovey dovey we'll be best friends foreverrrr approach and work out issues as they arise. You just can't. Everything needs to be planned out, down to who gets the trophy if you win something. I wanted to share a few things Joni and I went over before deciding to merge our herds.

What happens to the rabbits that don't/do make the cut in our current herd at sale time?
We did a cull of some very nice rabbits when we merged our herds to make our numbers manageable. We decided that any rabbit brought in by the party(ie, I added in Keep's Amelia) to the mix is our sole property when it comes time to sell. So, Amelia made the herd, but when we decide to move her on, I get 100% of the sale. Same with someone who didn't make the herd cut, like Keep's Gus. That little buck was sold and I kept 100% of the money.

What is our prefix and when do we use it?
I was all for Lyle Creek/Keep's. It didn't matter to me. Joni came up with KLC and I have to admit, I do like it better than the bulkier version I was first thinking of. This is something important to talk over. One person may be adamant that their name come first. It's usually not a good sign if you can't agree over something as dinky as a prefix.

We set a date, January 1st, 2010, as implementation day for our new prefix. No matter that there were does bred before that date, any babies born after 1/1/10 will be marked as KLC. That way, you don't have "Well, this one is still mine, that one is still yours". The Co-Op is functional even if Joni has already bred 2 of "her" rabbits together and the same goes for me.

What if I want to Sell Out, and you don't?
A biggie. What if one of you wants to sell out the herd (Joni and I agreed to a HL trial period), and the other doesn't? Do you pick and choose who to keep and who to sell, do you put prices on everyone and your partner buy out your half on the ones they keep, do you just worry about it when you come to that bridge?

DEFINITELY NOT THE LAST ONE. Joni and I decided the best course of action would be to price everyone and buy the other person's half out. After all, if I were to keep wanting to show, I'd obviously want the best rabbits, aka the most valuable ones. In the case of it being a rabbit I brought in to the herd as discussed early, it's solely my rabbit, just as if I want a buck she brought in, it's solely hers- thus the 100% must be paid.

Figure out who is going to get the trophy from a win. One or both of you may not care at all, both may really want it. It's important to have this set up from the beginning.

Entering in Shows/Registration.
We settled on joint entry in to all shows, joint registration on all animals except ones that had already earned legs under one of us- for instance, Lyle Creek's Quizno already has 1 GC leg under Joni. So, he'll be shown and registered under her name. It's just easier that way. We are splitting the entry fees 50/50 and are consulting each other as to what animals to show. After all, it would kind of suck to show up and find out you have an additional $60 in entry fees you didn't plan for because your partner brought everything in the barn.

We decided against having a separate website. Both of us get good traffic already to ours and neither wants to go through the trouble of having to be webmaster to two sites. Plus, we don't have to worry about "what color background, how is this style text..."

Definitely make sure to try to cover all your bases in an honest, upfront manner. This is not the time to worry about insulting someone. If you can't work out these basic ideas on paper, you will NEVER SATISFACTORILY IMPLEMENT THEM. Get it? If you can't agree on a Prefix, you'll never agree on who to keep, who to sell, who to show, etc. You don't have to do things the way we decided to do them, that's your perogative, but make sure both members of the co-op understand how things will work before you ever merge the herds :).

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, January 18, 2010

Productive Day!

Wow, we had a productive day today- Tim cleaned up some cage pans while I scraped wire to remove any stray hair and poo balls.

Then, I groomed eight of the woolies- one who was matted things to her goofball brother, several that just needed to be checked for mats because they are little and a few I was going to sell and though "eh, why not?"

Of my six wooly babies, 2 were bucks and 4 were does! I definitely don't need more bucks right now lol. I need to move a few out as is.

I've got a few for sale right now-

Sable Point Jr. Buck
Wooligans Arabella (siamese sable) x Keep's Tryon (siamese sable)

Beautiful CLEAN sable point coloring. 2 1/2 months old and in the uglies. Looks like he's going to be a VERY cute buck, would like to see more thickness to ears at the current time. Has a rip in one ear- I'm not sure if it detracts from his overall appearance or not.

REW Jr. Doe
TB's Shadow (siamese sable) x WWR Little Steps (smoke pearl)

3 1/2 months old. Not currently showable due to chopped wool. I LOVE the shape of her head and ears. Looks like she might be a little more brood than show.

I'm definitely moving out a self buck soon as well.

I also accomplished some breedings! HOOORAY :). I didn't get many done, just a few woolies, but something is better than nothing! :)

I've got to leave for a rabbit club meeting soon. I'm so tired though! Ah well, it's a day dedicated to bunnies :D.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Good Kind Of Lazy

Sometimes I'm really lazy. "Groan, I don't wanna tattoo! I'll do it in the morning and I'll groom then too."

Sometimes it bites me in the butt- as it did in Columbia, SC where I was frantically trying to tattoo a rabbit who's class had just been called to be put up. I pulled it off, but WHOA.

Sometimes, it's a good kind of lazy.

There have been several rabbits I've decided to sell that no one seemed interested in. I put them back in their cages, intending to pet them out or let them go for meat and for one reason or another it just never happens. So I end up feeding these culls.

Such is the case with Keep's Poplar. Not a bad little buck, he was by no means a stunner. I showed him once or twice and he got some meh results from the judges- he wasn't first off the table, but he didn't earn any junior legs either.

I put him for sale, no one wanted him. It happens. Junior bucks seem to be harder to move out than junior does anyway.

So, poor Poplar was going to go for meat. I had no use for him, he didn't wow me, he's not the best candidate for a pet (an older junior wooled breed animal? Most people run screaming in horror) - so why not let him go for a purpose? However- time marched by and it just didn't happen. No room to take him to the show to be culled, no meat person going to be there, no purpose in getting Joni's skinning knife out for one small rabbit... no pet person calling, begging me for a 5 month old REW wooled buck pet.

And so he stayed and he ate- but most importantly, he grew.

I was out grooming today. It was the first time I'd had any kind of chance to do it. Most are fine, but some of the juniors were matty and I decided to pull Poplar out for giggles and pose him up, then see if he needed any grooming.

Let me just say, he's got a few little side mats from changing out his coat.

Next let me say........uhm..WOW?

I knew his head had filled out well, but when I posed him up, I just have to say... wow. My little pretty decent duckling has turned in to the Golden Goose. I'm very pleased with him!

Thankfully, I was striken with a good kind of lazy, because I'd hate to have culled this guy for a pet or meat. He may be making an appearance at Nationals, along with his father.

So if you find yourself a little slow or lazy culling a decent little animal, maybe it's some sixth sense telling you "WAIT WAIT WAIT!"

That's what I'm going with, anyway- intune with nature... not lazy ;)

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I'm hoping to raffle a few items to help me make it to JW Nationals in April. The raffle is starting today and will run through January 23rd. All items can be shipped, but it would have to be at the cost of the winner.

I can get these items to PaSRBA or to JW Nationals, or any NC show, so feel free to buy a ticket even if you aren't local wink.gif. biggrin.gif Or just give me monies because you love me LOL.

I am accepting cash, check, MO or paypal.

Tickets are $1 each, please specify which item you'd like the ticket applied to. All items are NEW and kept in a smoke free home. The yarn has been kept in an air tight container as well.

Other pictures can be provided. Please message me privately or email me for mailing address or paypal account information smile.gif.

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200 yards of hand spun yarn. 80/20 Shetland/Angora. Made by Deb Snyder, who has won several awards for her yarn. Not sure of retail value.

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Brand New Isabella's Journey Madeline style ID Wallet. In the beautiful off white and red coloring, has a pocket for your ID and money/change. Retails $10.

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Brand New Beanpod Candle- 100% Soy Wax in Apricot scent. 16oz, smells amazing.
Retail: $17.00

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Brand New Bunny Pan! Oven, Microwave and Dishwasher Safe, it comes from Celebrating Home, who recently bought out Home Interiors. Retail Value $15.

*This is a picture of my PERSONAL pan. The one on raffle is in an unopened and most definitely unused.*

Everyone who purchases a ticket will be entered into a second chance drawing for a $10 "giftcard" to Celebrating Home on your choice of item(s). Since I am a representative of CH, I do ask that you shop via a link I'll provide for you, so the discount can be given smile.gif. No expiration, no minimum purchase required.

Items will be on display at the January 23rd Show in Mocksville, NC smile.gif.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Saying Goodbye

One of my favorite hollands is going to her new home today.

Talk about Depressing.

Barbi doll is going out to help another herd and I've brought her in for a last hour of cuddly before her new owner gets here.

It's so hard to let the special ones go- Barbi was a doe I spent a LOT of time working with as a baby, we nearly lost her and if not for Barbi Brown's expertise and encouragement, she'd have died.

She's such a sweet doe and makes such beautiful babies... I'm keeping her daughter Amelia to replace her in the herd, but there is just no replacing her in my heart.

There are always a few special animals in the herd who you just can't let go. Were something to happen tomorrow that caused me to sell out, I just don't know that I could let a few of them out there go.

I'm really just wallowing in misery. I should have probably told you that beforehand.

Barbi is going to be a productive member of a new herd though. Hopefully I'll be in a position to buy her back as a beloved pet when she's done.

Ahh well, they say you shouldn't show your pet bunnies or pet your show bunnies and for the most part I follow that. That doesn't mean you can't love on your show animals, it simply means Don't Get Attached!!

Unfortunately, sometimes it happens.

Keep's Rabbitry

Friday, January 8, 2010

Trying to Evaluate

Have you tried to evaluate your herd lately? I have.

BRRRR it's not easy when your fingers are about to fall off.

I think one of the important things to remember when you're evaluating who to stay and who to sell is what your herd as a whole looks like. It's easy to get caught up in moving out this one and that one- and the next thing you know, you've culled out your best crowns because of bad HQ, or your best wool because of long ears. You trade one herd prevalent fault for another

This is something I have to keep in mind, especially when I pre-sale woolies and hollands. For instance, soon I'll be without Forest, so I have to evaluate what he brings to the herd and make sure I don't kick out someone with his particular strengths.

Keep in mind- you do NOT have a herd of perfect animals. You just don't. That's what rabbit breeding is about- balancing faults here and faults there and hoping in the end you get something that comes close...and, dare we dream, can throw that near perfection with consistency. Just try to not get so blinded to being slightly undercut that you throw out the baby with the bathwater- it is NOT helpful to keep a herd buck with a nice HQ when he doesn't have the ear length, wool, head, shoulders or depth to ALSO help your herd.

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, January 3, 2010

So Cold!

We had the first ever New Year's Show in Taylorsville on Saturday- it was actually on Jan. 2nd, but hey, still the New Year's Show! :).

We got there right around 7:30am, in the FREEZING cold. I'm not kidding folks, it was in the teens with the windchill. We found out the club wasn't allowed to turn the heat on in the building until 7am that morning, so it was obscenely cold. So obscenely cold, it was nearly impossible to force my hands to do the touch ups on the tattoos I had meant to do the night before. Procrastination: 1, Kristen: 0.

Tim made a run to the nearest Walmart for Hot Hands and Gloves- it really made ALL the difference. I don't think I could have made it through the day otherwise.

The first show we didn't do a lot as far as results in the woolies. Keep's Cairo did take BOG for his second leg (he's a shaded senior buck, my beloved Tryon is at home looking icky LOL), WWR's Little Steps took second in that class. Keep's KTLM, a shaded jr doe, took BOSG and was looked at hard for BOB (though it went to a beautiful broken black doe from Tresia Burleson). Keep's Burlington, owned by Joni at Lyle Creek, did take 2nd in the Self Sr. Buck class, losing out on wool to the first place animal. Poor Burlington, he needs to finish growing out that coat!

In Hollands, in our first show as a Co-Op, Lyle Creek's Quizno earned his first leg, taking BOSV against some EXCELLENT competition.

Show B looked up for me as far as woolies, with Keep's Forest (the self sr. buck) taking BOSB, again to Tresia's broken doe... do I sense another DD on the rise? lol. Cairo again took BOG for his granding leg, KTA a jr. shaded buck won his class and KTLM won hers again as well. Keep's Tar Heel, my self jr. buck, also won his class, but no legs on any of the class wins :(.

By this time, we were ready to get out of dodge! It was now tolerable in the building, but it wasn't warm enough to remove our gloves or put down the hot hands by any means!

One cute moment of the day- the club decided to give out a prize to the first DQs and first BOBs of the New Year. Leave it to the wooly table to produce the first DQ, with a lack of tattoo on a doe. *Ding Ding Ding*, we rang the bell and the "winner" accepted her sparkly "DQ" pin.

We came home find more snow on the ground and frozen water bottles- oh joy. After the windchill got in to the negatives last night, we're up to a whopping 6 degree windchill, with a 19 degree actual temperature- and it's coming up on the warmest part of the DAY! They are calling for this all week, so I guess we're going to have to get used to our new watering and feeding routine. Bah

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Holland Co Op!

I'd been getting tired of the hollands. I love the breed but I was just missing the excitement I'd had.

I talked to a fellow breeder who was feeling the same way and we tentatively started talking about the possibility of a co-op.

Months went by and recently I emailed her and very simple said "If you want to do a co-op, let's do it. Otherwise, I'm selling out."

She emailed me back with "Let's go for it."

After a lot of pedigree comparing, rabbit evaluating & dotting the i's, crossing the t's, etc-

We'd like to introduce you to KLC Hollands- a NC co-op between Keep's Rabbitry and Lyle Creek's Rabbitry!

Joni and I are maintaining separate JW herds and our own websites, but all babies born to us from today out will fall under the prefix KLC's

Keep's Rabbitry