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Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Another thing has fallen in to place!

I located a feed dealer about 25 minutes away who was already carrying Purina Show Formula! A little nervous, I asked to see the mill date on the bags before I committed to purchasing any- April 20th of this year! WOW only 2 months old! I'm thrilled, the poor bunnies were lucky to get 6 month old feed in the mountains.

I plan on taking some business cards next time we get some feed- the walls were covered in ads for horses, mini horses, goats, poultry- pretty much anything you could want was there- even listings for barn cats!

I also picked up a bale of hay. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get it at the same feed store, and I'm not 100% thrilled with it, but it is a pretty nice mix of Orchard Grass and Timothy Hay, which is better than the "catch as you can" mix I was relying on.

We've got our barn ordered and it's being built as we speak.

All of the hollands except Keep's Amelia and the babies have been spoken for, which makes me happy and very sad at the same time.

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bunny Barn

I think I've chosen my bunny barn! It's portable, but a good deal more expensive than I originally was hoping for. However, I'm trying to justify it by saying at least we can take it with us wherever we go, or I can haul it to my dad's property not too far away.

Buying is way cheaper than trying to rent an area. What hurts is that the interest on the Rent to Own is 21.6%. Yeah, OUCH. As I told Tim though- we can buy it outright or use our personal credit card that is only at 5% interest.

I hope to have it here no later than a week and a half from now. Then I want to torch the cages (which are all freshly scrubbed) and put down some heavy plastic on the floor to help protect it. Then we'll move everyone in!

I can finally use my Rabbitry sign without fear it's going to get filthy due to the terrible workmanship of that last rabbitry. The last one let in spiders like crazy and half the floor was plain dirt. You have to work with the cards you're dealt, but I'm so thrilled to be out of there and on my way to a great rabbitry :).

I plan on keeping carriers stored in the garage, along with both grooming tables and my judging coop. I'll probably keep my hay in the garage as well, to have maximum room for the rabbits.

I'm also looking at getting an air conditioner and keeping it on 80 or so, just to knock the heat off the day for the bunnies. Since I'm having the building wired, I'm excited to get in there and do all my little fun projects I've been wanting to do for years- I can put light timers in, the AC, special lights...

YAY for new bunny barns!

Keep's Rabbitry

Friday, June 25, 2010

Holland Lop Sell Out List

I've got to get 10 seconds to myself so I can fully go through the rabbits, but I'll have cages, pet cages, aquariums (not a rabbit item, I'm aware of that), etc.

So far to be available:

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Keep's Misunderstood- REW sr. doe. Carries dilute, she's hiding Agouti and Tan pattern. She's the mother to my adorable little Opal baby. Partially pedigreed, she's out of Quandary, who is out of wooled NDs. This girl is NOT for a timid owner, she's not mean, but she is highly spastic. A wonderful mother, she's got great width, a decent doe head, nice short ears. I wish she was a little shorter in the midsection, nice FULL HQ.

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Keep's Angel- Sable Point Sr. Doe
Fantastic mother, she's small but just kindled 3 babies for me. She is pictured on a litter. I wish her head was wider and her ears have a slight tendency to criss cross at the very tips. She's nice and wide, short and oh yeah- the mother to Keep's Poplar, 2nd Self Sr. Buck at Nationals this year. smile.gif

Lil Bit Farm's Quandary- Broken Black Otter sr. buck. Unshowable because of no butterfly. I had him offered around Nationals time, terminated a sale and kept him, but frankly I'm not using him, so I need to move him out. Will come shaved down because he tends to mat very easily. His daughter has perfect wool though. Only Partially pedigreed, as he is out of wooled Netherlands.

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Keep's Amelia- Sable Point Sr. Doe
Amelia does not pose, so don't ask lol. I love this doe a lot, she's a great size, got very nice bone and chest width. I wish her crown was a little wider, you can see she has ear control. She's developed a kind of hump on her shoulders blink.gif which affects her pose. I'm offering her as a trial doe- her sister was perfectly fine and this is something that developed later on, so I'm not sure if it was an injury or what. She's being discounted because of her oddity. Out of great lines, she's worth a chance.

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Keep's Kira- Broken Tort Sr. Doe PENDING DEPOSIT
Kira is also pretty spazzy. She's a smaller doe, pretty petite and loves to pose very upright. Kira is a FANTASTIC mother, she's raised her litter of 6 with no trouble and had no kindling problems despite being bred to a much larger buck. I wish she was more massive, I kept her to help downsize my buck and Joni's buck Quizno.

Her kits:
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Keep's Rockstar- Blue Tort Sr. Buck

Tiny- tiny, tiny. He's a very small buck with a lot of ear control. I wish he was more massive and had more bone. His parents both had fantastic crowns, so I'm not sure what his deal is, but he's worth trying as a brood buck for his lines alone. I have 6 kits out of him that are looking fantastic.

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Keep's Josie- Broken Blue Tort Sr. Doe
Obviously brood only, Josie's mom chewed her ears off as birth. She's Rockstar's full sister. Like him, she's small. She likes to pose very upright and she has a nice head for her size.

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Lil Bit Farms Lexia- Tort Sr. Doe
Lexia's current litter (who are 3 weeks old, so excuse how rough she looks) are looking great- all FIVE of them. She's just a little over 2 years old, nice and wide with a nice HQ and great bone. She's lengthened out as she's aged, so she's obviously no longer a show lady.

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Lil Bit Farms Sugar- Tort Sr. Doe - PENDING DEPOSIT
She's a pose fighter. Bah. Just ever so slightly over a year old, she's got width for days. Very full in the lower HQ, she needs a less slipped crown (clearly).

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*sigh* This one makes me want to cry. Ok it's honestly too late. I may end up pulling her. sad.gif
Keep's Baby Girl- Tort Sr. Doe
You may remember the last picture I posted of her:
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She is fantastic. I love her crown, love her chunkiness, I love her topline, how she feels when you go over her body, her HQ..... I absolutely would recommend her as a show doe. She's rotten, I had to fight her a little to get her to pose, but she has that show sparkle, the HEY YOU- LOOK AT ME NOW pizazz. She's a little on the smaller side, but no where near as little as Kira.

*more woolies to come tomorrow, as they are evaluated including: Keep's Handstand, REW sr. Doe and Keep's Smoke, BLUE POINT sr. doe*

Red Earred Slider female + 45 gallon long aquarium and stand, plus a huge thing of turtle food, rock decorations and floating resting mat thing. Goes by the name "Turble" thanks to Malena's daughter.

I WILL be adding more animals and pictures as soon as I have a moment.

We are now located in McLeansville, NC, which is just north of Greensboro.

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Alive and Moved!

We're alive and moved! I'm thrilled to report all the bunnies took the move well, even the babies- we didn't lose anyone and I don't think there were even any poopy butts!

I'm in the process of setting up a rather larger herd/equipment reduction. Keep checking back for that.

I'm currently in the process of searching out Purina Feed Dealers. Unfortunately, it's looking like there are no local places that carry it- uh ohs. At least I know I can go to TSC and get green bag, until I find a place that carries the blue.

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gonna miss Him

We have a wild bunny visitor. EVERY night, he comes to the rabbitry and sniffs around. I don't know if he actually goes in to visit ( I leave the door cracked in the summer when it's hot) or not, but it's so funny- no matter when we go out after dusk, he's there. Hiding near one of the cars. Over near the garden. Right in front of the rabbitry.

I'm going to miss him when we move. It's so cute to see him visiting and we've become so used to seeing him around. Too bad there isn't a safe way we could bring him with us and set him back loose, just so we can continue to "interact."

Ahh well, I hope he lives a long, safe life here and he doesn't miss the domestics too much. I'm sure he probably goes inside the rabbitry and shakes his little bunny booty and says "Nah nah nah nah nah nah... I'm not in a caaaage."

To which my rabbits reply "We're not in daaaanger of being eeeeaaattteeeeen."

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Are Does a Myth?

UGH. I was just telling someone the other day how buck heavy I am.

I went out and sexed the babies- 13 bucks, 1 doe. I even told Tim "I think I've forgotten how to sex the babies!" There are two that may, possibly, maybe, do a sex switch on me, since they are kind of young, but I really doubt it.

13 bucks. Whole litters of nothing BUT bucks. Usually my litters run extremely close to 50/50. Not this time.


I guess that means in a few months I'm going to have to do some TOUGH culls on my boys. Move out some seniors to make room for the up and coming bucks and of course, choose through the litters. Some of these litters are with new lines, so I'm not sure how they develop yet. I think I'll go on and choose at 8 weeks, then grow them out a bit while monitoring their development. By the time the shows start up in the Fall again, I'll have a very good idea of who I can let go.

13 bucks- worst luck ever!

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I don't stud rabbits

I know some folks do- but I just don't.

It's really for several reasons. What if the doe doesn't take? Is it a situation where you breed until she takes, or a one time "take your chance?" What if an unscrupulous person says the rabbit didn't take and fosters off the litter to get a second breeding for free?

What if the person pays a large stud fee and gets only one baby? That's hardly the buck's fault or my fault, but is the person that paid for the stud going to be upset? Likewise, what if that baby dies before weaning? Should they get a free breeding or do you consider that the buck gave a litter and that's it?

What if the doe isn't healthy? You could bring all manner of things from snuffles to VD in to the herd, thanks to one sick doe.

Who's prefix goes on the litter? Some don't WANT it on the litter, some do, some think it should be split. Then there is the buyer's preference. After all, they are paying for the services of the buck- but should they be given an chance to voice their opinions?

What if the litter is born with DQs, such as unshowable colors or white spots? It may not be the buck's fault at all, but an angry doe owner may not want to admit the doe could have contributed to the problem and could start rumors about your herd. The same situation may happen if the quality of the kit(s) isn't what is expected. After all, genetics is a roll of the dice.

It just seems to me like setting up studding is a lot of work for very little benefit. If you want to stud your animals, I urge you to set up a very complete contract, taking in to account some of the questions I've brought up. I'd also get it signed and dated by the person interested in studding, showing that they fully understand what is going on. Likewise, if you are interested in getting a stud for your doe, you should ask questions about what happens in case of a small litter or no litter.

It never hurts to be prepared and can save you a lot of worry and heartache by knowing what you're getting in to.

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Careful Culling Peanuts

I usually cull my peanuts at birth. I just can't see jeopardizing the entire litter by letting it pass away in the nestbox.

Usually, the difference between a peanut is immediately obvious. However, in my list litter of woolies I had a surprise.

The doe had a litter of 5, which was fantastic for a first time doe. She had two regulars and what I thought were three peanuts. As I gathered up the three skinny babies, I looked closer at the solid black one. It was thin, unlike the two normal siblings. It was smaller than they were, but a little bit bigger than the peanuts. At first glance, it looked like a peanut, but when I really compared, I just wasn't sure. So I put it back in the nestbox, determined to keep an eye on it.

The next day, the baby was a little fatter. Nothing like what the two normals were and it was still smaller, but it was active.

Now, that baby is the same size as it's siblings. It's eyes are open and it's chasing Mama around the cage.

I'm SO glad I double checked when I started to take it away with the two peanuts. If you're going to cull them immediately, you have to be careful. Sometimes babies are born a little different, or just don't get as much of that first meal as others. This little guy will have to have a special name to reflect how lucky he is.

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hot, Hot, HOT!

Record temperatures have swept North Carolina. It's is miserably hot. I've got all the doors and windows open in the rabbitry and everyone seems to be coping pretty well so far. I don't have a lot of frozen water bottles available because of the move, but I may put some tiles in the freezer to give out later.

You've got to be careful when it gets hot- it doesn't take long for a rabbit to die of heat stroke. Check for heavy breathing, wetness around the nose, or diarrhea as signs the heat is getting the best of them.

I like to cut down my wooly broods animals during the summer. Removing some of that wool really helps keep them cooler I think and since they aren't exposed to direct sunlight, they don't need it as much to protect their skin from the sun.

It's also SUPER important to make sure your animals have water and PLENTY of it. I actually just went out and refilled a few bottles- mostly does with litters who have upped their water intake.

Poor bunnies, I know it's miserable out there. I spent 20 minutes outside and felt like I needed to come in and collapse on an ice block!

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, June 13, 2010

No new babies

There are no new babies to report. I think this round of three didn't take. That's disappointing, but I still have one doe left to hit her due date before we move. The rest of the girls will be rebred.

The newest litters are all opening their eyes and starting to hop out of the nestboxes. They are SO SO SO CUTE.

I've noticed my nestboxes are starting to get a little, er, worn down. I used wooden ones, so the does chew, nails come loose, etc. My oldest nestbox is well over 5 years old- it was given to me (used) when I first got in to rabbits! Guess it's time to buy some new ones.

I've been thinking about selling my blower for the rabbits. I barely use it and it's really just sitting around taking up space. I am a pack rat by nature though, and worry that if I sell it, I'll IMMEDIATELY "need it" desperately and won't have it!

That's really about it from me. I'm going to try to concentrate on packing today and getting some of the extra rabbit supplies boxed up. I also need to count carrier holes and make sure everyone can make the trip! If not, I'll need to start begging bunny buddies to let me borrow some of theirs! :D.

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Nothing Much Going On

The title says it all- Not a lot is going on around here recently. I've got a few does due tomorrow, some litters ready to open their eyes and that's really about it.

I've sold both of my sets of hanging cages. I'm sad to see them go, but there is no way I can use them in the new set up.

I'm moving out some pet cages and small animal supplies- I'm hoping I don't get rid of all this stuff and then regret it!

Only 12 days until the move- the freak out has begun!

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Aww Dang it!

I was playing with the babies today- we had a few escapees that were running around the cages with Mama. I've never understood what drives babies that don't even have their eyes open to leap from the nestbox.

Anyway, as I was playing with Fiona's three fatties, I pulled out the two brokens to show Tim their gorgeous "freckle" pattern, when I noticed one has no nose marking!

Dang it! I hate finding unshowable babies. It leaves me with a problem. Do I keep it and have an unshowable animal, but who could be a great potential brood? Do I sell it, regardless of type? Do I pet it out because it's unshowable?

It's definitely something to think about- luckily the babies aren't even 2 weeks old yet, so I have plenty of time to decide what to do.

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Winning Isn't Everything!

I have a couple email buddies- folks I've never met, but email me from time to time, usually to ask questions or just share show stories. I love it.

One recently emailed me on the verge of a sell out. She's frustrated because some of her rabbits that she feels SHOULD win, don't, or she sees some that she thinks shouldn't win that do. I think it's mostly the second part, because she does well at shows from what I know.

It's important to remember- winning isn't everything. Any rabbit, on any day can win. If we knew who would or should win going in to it, why would any of us bother to show up? We'd just say "Mail me my trophy, send me my leg, I'm staying in bed!"

I've won before when I didn't think my rabbit was the best on the table. Sometimes one will beat another of mine and I would have sworn Rabbit B was the better animal. Other times, I don't understand why a rabbit I LOVE the judge seems to hate. It is gonna happen. We pay the judges for a $3.50 opinion and theirs isn't necessarily more valid than yours. In fact- a judge told me after judging Keep's Bahama that I should rethink my shaded program. It's the same doe that won BOG at PaSRBA and won BOSG Nationals weekend. So. There ya have it.

Just remember- rabbits have off days, judges have off days and of course- the judge gets to feel every rabbit on the table. Sometimes a rabbit that doesn't look like much from the other side of the table will shock you when you get your hands on it :).

I've been on the "Didn't win the top prize" streaks more often than the "won every show!" ones. Be confident in your breeding program and look at it as a challenge! I LIKE that I'm competing against rabbits that beat mine as often as I beat them. It makes me cull harder, breed harder and not take it for granted.

Everyone at the top of the Sweeps list has been beaten by someone, had judges not like their rabbits, had setbacks. Just roll with the punches, breed what YOU like and keep in mind- it's FUN. :)

Sometimes, all we need is a little pep talk :D.

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Not a lot is going on in the rabbitry right now- my last doe hasn't kindled yet and doesn't seem to be pregnant.

I am planning on worming the entire rabbitry either tomorrow or Monday.

We're still working on the rabbitry issue. I'm thinking I may go with a prebuilt building. My thoughts are- it will be moveable, and my dad lives only 30 minutes away from this current appointment, so if it's too expensive to move when we eventually move again, I can give it to him or sell it to someone I know in my hometown.

I'm still subject to change my mind though, who knows :). We move very soon though, it would be fantastic to have a building already set up when we get there, or have it set up within a day of our arrival.

The baby bunnies are all doing great! One of my broken x broken holland lop babies is a solid! That tickles me to death, just because it's so unexpected. These guys have beautiful patterns, I can not WAIT to see their type in a few weeks!

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

MORE babies

This is incredible- we have more babies to report!

WWR's Rice Ball, a broken blue tort doe, kindled 3 this morning. The black one is sadly a peanut, and she's got two "pinkies", which knowing the buck's history, are AOVs or broken AOVs. *sigh* I have the worst luck as far as colors.

Keep's Fiona, a seal doe, has started nesting like crazy. She was pretty ambivalent towards her nest- one minute she'd play in the hay, the next minute she's ignore it. She seems to have settled on "maybe I should have babies in this thing", so I'm hopeful she'll have babies by tonight!

Keep's Josie, a broken blue tort holland, is ignoring her nest completely. Today is her due date though, so it's possible she'll go late. It's her first breeding, so she may not have taken.

Keep's Amelia, a sable point holland, has made a gorgeous hollow in her hay. She hasn't really pulled fur. I didn't have Amelia written down as being bred, which concerns me. I'm not sure if she's just getting in on the fun of the other does and is having a false, or if I just didn't write it down. The good news is I only have two holland bucks right now, so I know exactly who she was bred to IF she actually kindles. The only reason she has a box right now is a small hunk of fur I found on the floor of her cage. I figured better safe than sorry!

It's incredible- I was just saying in Taylorsville how hard it's been to get babies lately, and suddenly I'm over run! Admittedly though, most of those babies are hollands. While I enjoy the hollands, I'd much rather have 6 wooly babies in a litter :). Maybe the shaded girls will pick up production- I've got several of them bred for next week!

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Packing it up

We're in the middle of packing. It's hard, especially since we have to balance what we're going to need versus what can be packed early.

I attacked the trophy case today. That was an awesome walk down memory lane. I've got trophies from my first year of showing- from mini lops, holland lops, lionheads, my belgian hare and of course, the woolies.

While I was wrapping the trophies and stuffing the boxes full of newspaper and bubble wrap, it gave me a chance to reflect on what I started with and how far I've come.

It's hard to believe I started in rabbits five years ago! It all started with a quad of hollands in plastic pet cages in an apartment! I went from bottom of the classes show after show to being able to hold my own Nationally.

It's been such an incredible journey.

Keep's Rabbitry