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Monday, May 31, 2010

KLC Baby Boom!

The KLC co-op is having an incredible baby boom right now! Joni's doe Taboo kindled FIVE KLC babies, while my Kira and Lexia have contributed TWELVE babies in the past 2 days! That brings our total to 22 holland babies under 8 weeks old in the co-op.

We're both thrilled. I'm hoping that our girls take great care of the babies. It will be so nice to have chubby little holland babies hopping around again!

I've got three Jersey Wooly does still set to kindle. Part of me would LOVE to have litters of 5-6 like with the hollands. The other part is wondering what in the world I'll do with all these babies! :D

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, May 30, 2010


I had a litter of SIX holland lop babies born today! I'm beyond excited, I really am. One looks like a peanut, but the other five are fat and happy. :) The daddy is Keep's Rockstar. This was his first litter sired. I can't wait to see how the babies turn out!

I'm beyond thrilled. Now I'm just waiting on the other four does to go :D.

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Show Today

Wow, the show today was HOT! HOT HOT HOT.

I went to the show with no hopes of winning BOB- and guess what happened? I didn't win BOB! I'm awesome at predicting lol. Seriously though, I had 4 to show- 3 molting and one a molting baby. I was pleased to bring home a BOSG in Show A and a BOG in Show B :).

Show B's win went to Keep's Heart Throb (who you may remember as the subject of a 'why you don't cull in uglies' post). I'm happy with that, he's working on his G.C. and this was his first senior show- and first senior leg! :)

There was a lot of down time in this show. I was thrilled to get to cycle around and actually speak to folks this go round- even getting to sit down a few times and chat! I met a few new breeders, which is always fun, evaluated a few bunnies, talked to multiple people about moving and the future rabbitry and got to see folks I haven't seen in months.


Keep's Rabbitry

Friday, May 28, 2010


I was on vacation and without internet for a week! It was tough :).

First off, some very sad news- Keep's Oasis, fresh off a BOSB in Columbia, SC, passed away today. He was fine and then he was gone. I'm going to miss that little guy SO much, especially since his dad, Keep's Forest, is now states away with his new owner. :(.

In some "I can't believe I was that stupid" news, I sent off my entries for Taylorsville- without specifying what BREED I was entering. All I can say is... wow lol. Hopefully I don't cause too much havoc, since I was only able to clarify TODAY and the show is tomorrow. Oops.

I came home to tons of molty bunnies. In fact, 1/3 of my entry has to be scratched, they are molting THAT BAD. Everyone was in great condition though- I'm so happy. Malena at Hamilton's Hoppin' Lops did me the hugest favor of caring for everyone while we were gone. My little babies have grown SO MUCH! I can't believe it. Bunnies that were barely out of the box when we left are now running around acting silly. We've got tons of agouti or agouti-carriers, a pair of tans, and I don't think I've got any colored-selfs right now. I have only a lone pair of shaded babies- out of separate litters. I'm going to have to have a talk with my shaded girls and see WHAT is going on.

I put in 5 boxes today. One doe jumped in IMMEDIATELY. One tried to attack the box (I'm taking that as a good sign) and three sniffed around. They are all due on the 30th, so my fingers are crossed.

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rabbitry Ideas

Okie dokie, so the time has come! I'm putting out a call for folks to PLEASE share rabbitry ideas with me!

I'm looking for something either cheap (but sturdy!) or reasonably priced and portable! Above all though, I'm looking for SAFETY. I want the rabbits to be safe in it, no worries about it collapsing on them, the elements getting to them- nothing like that.

I've got a few ideas of my own but I've not got anything nailed down yet.

You're welcome to post in comments, or email me at enslaved by bunnies @ hotmail .com. Please removed the spaces, which have been entered to keep from getting spammed to death :).

Thanks guys!!

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What to Wear at a Rabbit Show

I get this question a LOT. "What do you wear at a bunny show?" So, this is a bunny version of "What Not to Wear..."

Don't wear... wait a minute.

Who cares?

In rabbit showing, there is no set uniform to wear (thankfully!). You don't have to be dressed up like in dog or horse shows.

Basically, wear whatever is comfortable to you. Wear something that you don't mind getting covered up in hair/wool, peed on, icky poop smeared on, or that won't kill you if a twitchy rabbit hooks a nail and makes a hole in.

Lots of folks use aprons to give their clothing a bit of protection. I had one that I won as a BOB award, but have no idea where it is. It saved me from wet clothes a few times though!

One fellow wooly exhibitor had the great idea of using a hair-dresser type coat. Sorry, I have no idea how to explain it better than that. It's made of a slick material, which makes clean up easier and protects her clothing.

There are also arm wraps. My pair is made of a thick fleece to protect my arms from being clawed. My holland co-op partner Joni has a pair of kevlar sleeves that she says are hot, but immensely useful in the same way my fleece wraps are.

That's basically it as far as most useful apparel. I've often though how awesome a tool belt would be. Clippers here, a comb there, pen and pad pocket on the side for results- Hmmm. I may have to start working on that.

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tired and Frustrated?

Sometimes, we get tired. We get frustrated. We get down on our herds.

It's times like that when you need to make a decision. Do you sell out the breed completely? Do you sell out current stock and start over? Do you spend big bucks on a new herd buck or a couple excellent does to pull you back where you need to be? Do you cull a color project to concentrate on type? Or have you had enough and throw in the towel?

It's important to be decisive. If you let the frustrations build, you'll do something rash- like sell out completely and find that you miss showing all too much. Then you will have to spend all that money on your start up costs all over again. Or, if you let the frustrations build, you can lose your love of the rabbits. No one wants that!

I culled the agoutis in my Jersey Woolies and later the tans. Why? Because I wanted to work more on my selfs and shadeds. Those open holes mean I can keep more juniors to grow out, or bring in a new buck or doe that will give me the BAM! I need to bring everything together. However, I've recently let the agoutis and tan creep back in. It seems though, even in my mind, I keep thinking "If I can get a nice black out of this....". So while I have an excellent little agouti buck and a very nice pair that are throwing me otters, I'm always breeding them to self in hopes of getting self- so I can work my way back to just Self and Shaded.

I cull extremely hard. It's because I want to breed my own rabbits and keep my juniors, I don't want to feed rabbits I'm not using, I want to challenge myself to push hard forward and not be complacent. It's because empty holes make me happy, I like feeding less rabbits, I love knowing that when I need to split up some juniors, I'll have holes ready.

I think less rabbits is less stress. Letting go of the agouti and tans let me focus more tightly on two colors, rather than spreading myself thin over them all. Now that I've got less hollands and no breeding belgians, I can perhaps work a little with those other colors.

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Growing them out

I got a REW buck as a 8 week old from a friend. She was sweet enough to let me pick out of her litter, I don't remember why (we wheel and deal a lot lol).

Anyway, we both thought this rabbit was Top Half of the litter. Thick, thick ears, promising head coming in, good baby wool and just a really short, cobby rabbit overall.

I tried showing him a little bit as a junior. The judges HATED him. I even told my friend I had no idea why- we still thought he was a cute rabbit. He hit junior-senior uglies and I left him in his bottom cage.

I'm not going to lie, I kind of forgot about him. Oh he got fed and watered, I just didn't take him out and pose him up a lot- right after uglies came a terrible molt, then came winter where it was FREEZING cold in the barn, and he just kind of slipped through the cracks.

Fast forward to Nationals. While she was visiting, I pulled REW out and showed him to her. He's still looking good to us, but of course, he's molting again.

Fast forward to today- I realized I need to do SOMETHING with this rabbit. If not show him, breed him. If not breed him, he needs to go back to his breeder (I told her she had first refusal on him since we worked out the deal where I got to pick a baby).

As I put a doe in with him to breed, I really started studying him. Ear length is terrific- but his ear THICKNESS is what gets me- they are wonderfully thick. His head- oh gosh his head has finally popped. It's taken him a while, but oh my, I thought I was looking at Forest, who I judge all my REWs by. His width of chest is amazing, his legs have bone that I wouldn't be ashamed to see on my hollands (who put a lot of emphasis on SHORT, THICK, STUMPY bone).

I'm thinking perhaps forgetting about him for a while was the best thing I could have done. While he was nice before, he's REALLY blooming now. I may have to give him a spin on the show tables and see if the judges still don't like him. Regardless- I'm happy to say we're expecting babies from him soon, and there will DEFINITELY be more does in his future!

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Picking your Keepers at Birth

I've got some friends that say they can pick their keeper kits in a litter a birth. BIRTH.

I'm skeptical. They KNOW I'm skeptical- and a few laugh at me for it. That's how I am though, I've got to try it/see it to believe it.

My first question was- how do you know it's the same kit, especially if you've got several of the same colors in a litter? My friend Amber responded by telling me that through looking at her kits daily, she can still differentiate between them as they grow- wide head as a baby is a wide head as a junior.


She and several other folks who can pick quickly have told me things to look for in newborns. I'm thinking of giving it a shot- based on their ideas and descriptions, I may run out to the rabbitry and pick my favorite in each litter, then compare them overall to each other and pick an ultimate favorite. I'll mark it if it's in a same-color litter and then grow them out to my normal growing out stage and see how it went.

I've also considered doing monitoring of each kit. What they look like at each stage and how that translates in to faults as a 3 week old, 4 week old, 6 week old- you get the picture.

I am determined to find out if it can be done and how accurately- I have been told by these same friends that they don't throw the babies out with the bathwater- that is, they sure aren't selling kits at 6 weeks old because they know their keeper.

This will be an interesting project I think. I've seen the shining star babies that scream LOOK AT ME at 3-4 weeks old. Now let's see if I can see them at 3-4 hours old!

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Look what we saw!

One of the dogs got VERY excited, looking in to the neighbor's field.

Look what we saw! A wild bunny.

Folks always give me a funny look when I get excited over wild rabbits. Usually it's with some kind of comment like "Don't you RAISE them? You'd think you'd be used to it by now".

I can't help it. I got excited when I was little and I think I always will. Raising rabbits has made me especially sensitive to the trials their wild counterparts face. After all, we've all lost perfectly healthy, well fed, sheltered bunnies suddenly and for no reason. The wild ones survive on drinking out of whatever they can find, eating grass and raiding veggie gardens, living in whatever shelter they can find during raging storms and cold winters.

There is something so amazing about seeing a small creature playing in a world where literally EVERYTHING is out to get it. If the cats don't, the coyotes will- or the hawks, or hunters, or dogs, cars, snakes, weasels- the list goes on and on.

I dunno- I guess people can make fun of me if they want to for loving to see the wild rabbits. It doesn't bother me at all- I just can't help but admire their magic!

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Exciting Announcement-

We're moving! I've known for a while, but due to certain restrictions, we couldn't share the news with anyone before today.

I'm thrilled to be moving- we're staying in state of course. Sadly, we won't be much closer to any of the usual shows, but we're going to be VERY close to the Greensboro shows! I look forward to having folks come stay with us before a show for once!

It's going to be a pain moving everyone- of course, we did it when we moved up here without too much problem. I just have to be very careful in my breedings and make sure I don't have to try to pack up mothers with 3 week old litters.

As far as we know right now, we're going to have to try to build or buy a rabbitry, though there is a place I can keep them temporarily.

I'm SO excited about doing our own rabbitry. I've got a thousand different ideas, we'll just have to visit our new house and scout out locations to place it- and then I'll have to start pricing pre-built buildings versus the supplies to build my own. Ideally the barn will be moveable- as in semi-easy to break down and take with us when we move again. Ideally, it will also not send us to the poor house to build.

So excited! I can't wait :D. I am not a fan of the unpacking and the nitty gritty packing you get down to when you have the last few things to try to shove in the box... but I love being in new areas! A whole new house, new area to explore, new places to eat, new JOB OPPORTUNITIES! (This is a big one for me!)... Just can't wait :D.

Keep's Rabbitry

Friday, May 7, 2010

Just a Quick Note-

All the babies are doing great! :) If only I was getting larger litters- but I can't complain too much, since at least there are a few babies out there!

I'm really happy all the moms are doing so well, especially since several are first timers or first-time-with-live-litters girls.

A friend of mine is thinking about getting in to REW woolies. She asked how you keep them clean, and I saw a few interesting answers- peroxide, water and baking soda, whitening shampoo- my answer was "Mine just naturally seem to do it." Poplar is a pristine REW, while Forest occasionally gets a little messy, but really not too bad at all. The two REW does I have are also very clean gals. I had one in the past though who was a filthy girl- the only way to keep her clean was to let her live with another rabbit. I think she'd get embarrassed by how she looked then lol!

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Fostering a First Timer's litter

Keep's Epiphany kindled yesterday! Unfortunately, she kindled 3 DOAs and only 1 live kit. One DOA was large, one looked underdeveloped and one was severely overcleaned. I'm wondering if the overcleaned one was the first born. It was her second litter, her first one was a DOA set.

I had brief thoughts of fostering her singleton off to another doe and rebreeding her, but decided against it for two reasons.

1.) This doe is going to be one that LOVES to be a mom. I spruced up her nest a bit and she was immediately in there checking on her baby and rearranging for it. Even as I walked by to feed, she was jumping in her nestbox to hide her baby. I feel like it would depress her to take it away.


2.) I don't want to set a bad example. I don't want her to get it in her head that it's ok to have the babies and then quit caring for them, because I won't always have a doe open to take another baby or babies. Even if it means losing this baby due to a first timer mistake, I WANT her to know how to care for it and get used to a baby trying to nurse. If I see that she's not producing milk or taking care of the baby, then I'll foster it. It just means a little extra time poking around in her nest daily.

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, May 3, 2010

Look What I Made!

I finally got pictures of a few things I made recently-


These are lampwork bunny head earrings! I did a few variations on these guys- this pair is hanging from the hooks by a small chain. A tiny baby blue bead sits lightly between the ears and you can see the larger bead that the head sits on.

The picture on this pair is terrible! It has a little more "play" on the hook than the other pair does, though when they hang properly you can't tell at all. The beads are connected directly to the earrings. A light pink bead sits between the ears, but the bunny beads rest on top of a textured, large purple bead.

I can do these guys a variety of ways. I'll have several available at the next show at $5.00 a pair, first come first serve. They are a little more difficult to make than I had originally anticipated. The ears make it harder to work and of course, the natural variations in the lampwork beads make it time consuming to match up a pair of bunnies.

Here is another pair of earrings I made- this pair is definitely all me! It's wooden hoops that are supposed to be black and brown. Due to some differences in the wood, this pair is mostly black, with small bits of brown peeping through in places. Light blue tiny beads are on either side of a turquoise larger bead that has splashes of light blue and black color. Definitely one of my favorite new pairs I've made!

This picture, while terrible, shows the brown/black of the rings better. It's got two clear beads on either side of a flat pink variant bead.

I'll definitely have multiple pairs of earrings available at the next show- the non-rabbit ones will be $4, the lampwork bunnies are $5 as I mentioned earlier.

I really enjoy making things. Earrings require less patience than breeding bunnies (by a little bit, anyway) and it's good to relax sometimes when it's not practical to run outside and play with the rabbits- such as when it's 11:00pm and raining outside. With the addition of the rabbit beads though, I think it's become official- rabbits have infiltrated most of my hobbies now!

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, May 2, 2010


I'm so happy- Keep's Dancer, a REW doe, kindled 3 babies today! These are out of my blue buck Tar Heel. I couldn't be more thrilled, even though it's definitely looking like Dancer is a tan pattern under that REW. *sigh* I think I got a self, a tan and a REW.

Keep's On a Lark FINALLY kindled. She was definitely worrying me, she's very close to a year old and had never had any kind of litter. She passed a peanut and a large DOA kit- but at least she's started! She made a halfway decent nest. I'm hopeful that next time she'll produce a big beautiful litter for me.


Wooligans Charmin also kindled! 1 DOA, 1 viable! Hooray! I moved Dancer's REW to keep the singleton company.

I'm so happy, finally babies!!

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, May 1, 2010

I don't own a Standard of Perfection

I feel funny just writing that title, but it's true- I do not now, nor have I ever, owned a Standard of Perfection.

It made a few friends go "Whaaa? Really?" when I casually mentioned it. I never felt like it was something I really needed. I can look up things like the minimum and maximum weight on my breeds via the internet or the Rabbit Forum.

I'm a much more hands on learner. When I got my woolies, I knew the "look" I admired, so that's what I bought. It's also what I breed for. Short, cobby bodies, short ears, big heads- It's just what I like. I knew they were supposed to be *similar* to Netherlands in certain aspects, and I felt like I had a pretty good grasp of how to generally judge Nethies.

I showed my starter woolies and listened to the judges when they placed all the rabbits in the class. I've felt a few animals from other exhibitors and asked for clarification when I didn't understand something. I also got another exhibitor to show me wool texture and what I should be looking for. I think that was the hardest part for me- figuring out what the correct "feel" of the wool should be and then applying it to my own animals. I don't feel like that is something easily learned, especially for me, by reading words on a page.

I'm not saying don't get a SOP or don't use it. Some folks have called it their "Bunny Bible" and some day I'll probably get one. But- I thought I had read enough to know what I was looking for in hollands- and I found out early on that I was wrong. What helped me to learn how to pick a good animal from a bad animal was those early "learning sessions" with experienced breeders.

Keep's Rabbitry