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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Barn Blind

I have caught myself getting barn blind recently.

Actually- this most is mostly in regards to a single rabbit.

Some months ago I lost a VERY special rabbit. It was one of those things where he was fine in the morning and gone that afternoon and it broke my heart because I had loved him since he was two weeks old.

Since I had sold his dad not that long before he passed away, I had no way to repeat the breeding and pray to get another "just like him." So I used his half brother instead and I got a beautifully colored little buck that I named in his honor.

This buck, to put it frankly, has probably stayed longer than he should have.

Why? He's NOT the buck I lost. I knew early on he wasn't the same, but I hoped. I wanted so badly to have that first buck back. He's not coming back, and keeping an animal that won't help my program won't bring him back.

This is one of the causes of barn blindness. We get so wrapped up in who the parents are, who the rabbit is related to, the color, one aspect- and we can't do that. If my other buck was still alive, I know this one would have been gone months ago.

With my need for cage space, I've been slowly chipping away at this blindness- trying to make myself stop thinking of him in terms of who I wanted him to be and seeing what I really got.

It's hard. It's necessary though, because nothing is gained unless you keep the best fits for your herd- and unfortunately, I don't there there is a place here for this buck.


Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, September 27, 2010

Long Time, No Post!

Wow, so it's been a long time without any updates from me.

There isn't too much going on. I have just a few rabbits for sale, my litters haven't been particularly successful lately and everyone is STILL in a molt. Thankfully there is some sign of wool growing back, but it's growing back AWFULLY slow, especially considering Convention is coming up in a little over a month.

I am looking forward to visiting Minnesota. For me, it's a chance to spend a week with friends I rarely get to see, in a place I've never been, more than it is about showing the rabbits. That's why my show team will be small and my sale animals will probably be limited to just two.

I have a little junior buck (not yet weaning age) who is fighting wry neck. He was getting much better, then as tends to happen, at the time of the second treatment he got worse. He's such a beautiful, friendly little guy that I feel like I owe him the chance to bounce back. He's the only one in the litter affected, I'm wondering if part of it wasn't brought on by the temperature changes we've been having.

I have several does that I need to start thinking about retiring soon. That always makes me sad- bucks can go forever, but does only have a limited amount of time to be mothers.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I need to start palpating my does more often. I just had another round of failed breedings and you know- had I palpated two weeks ago, I could already be seeing if litters were on the way THIS round.

A lot of it comes down to laziness. I like to feed and water, I am trying to get pics for the website, I need to clean, I try to groom a little every night- it seems like an extra hassle to pull out often very grumpy does to have them tense up and try to keep me from feeling anything.

However- it's not cool to find empty nestboxes either. The does give me these teehee looks and go on about their business- grrr.

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Show Day

Wow, I am so tired!

The show in Greensboro was fun! We had some new exhibitors- well when I say new, I mean ones we don't normally encounter at our local shows- one lady was from Maryland and Brian Caudhill came over from Tennessee.

My show team consisted of one senior buck that has a dead coat and a bunch of babies that range from having no coat, to a soft, half blown baby coat.

Guess how I did today?! LOL!

It was fun, I won a few classes, took a group win, got 3 "second opinions" on my crop of juniors and made a few cuts! There were a lot of laughs to be had and it was so nice to see everyone!

I had a good time, even though we didn't come home with any trophies. Now I just have to concentrate on getting some coats back on my bunnies!

Keep's Rabbitry

Friday, September 17, 2010

Happy Friday

Happy Friday folks! I love Fridays :).

I managed to pick some rabbits to show this weekend. A good few from last weekend are staying home because of their massive molts and I may end up scratching a few as I brush and tattoo them today.

It's shaping up to be a junior-evaluating show, as I only have one senior not pregnant or in a full molt.

I've got a few I'm taking to the show for sale- a blue tort buck, a black tort buck, possibly a broken black tort buck and maybe a few more.. BUCKS. I'm overrun with them right now. The worst part is, I can't decide who to keep and who to let go- they are all so flipping cute.

That's what will be helpful about the show on Saturday- I can get a fresh eye both from the judges and my friends. Yay!

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

To show again?

Last week was the Mountain State Fair. This week is the Greensboro Show.

90% of my rabbits look like they fell out of the molty tree and hit every branch on the way down.

That leaves me very limited options as to who I want to take and show. Should I show some of the same rabbits I took last week? Should I just take the older ones and leave the juniors that showed at home?

There are two schools of thought on that.

One group says don't show them continuously back to back. It makes them more prone to stressing, increases the chance they'll get sick or die and is just too much for the rabbit.

One group says it doesn't matter one way or the other, show what you want to show.

I think I fall somewhere in between. My normal preference is to not show the same rabbits on back to back weekends. However, in a case like this where I have no other options, I'll evaluate them on an individual basis. Did the rabbit lose a lot of condition from the previous show? Did they go off feed? Did they have soft poo or show signs of stress?

If the rabbit looks healthy, feels healthy and is exhibiting healthy behavior, I will consider them for the show table this weekend. If they seem even the slightest bit stressed out, or that they didn't jump right back to their routine immediately on getting back home, they'll stay home. Points and trophies aren't worth compromising the health or life of any of the show herd.

Really though, in a case like this where it is one single back-to-back weekend, everyone should be fine. Just really consider not making it an every weekend type thing. I know I'd not be happy doing a show every single weekend and I don't have to be the one handled by an unfamiliar person!

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mountain State Fair

Wow- it rained the entire time at the Mountain State Fair! So much for getting to visit the fair!

It was nice to see that everyone had been hit with the molty stick just as hard as we had! It was fun though, the judges noticed the lack of wool on the woolies and we all had a good time kidding back and forth about it. Judge Bill Whaley led us all in a chorus of "It's got no wool!" when one of Joni's rabbits was being placed.

We had a new judge, one from Texas who someone said was a meat breed judge for Show A. I didn't do as well as I would have liked under him.

Under Bill Whaley in Show B, we did really well. Tryon took BOB, Panda and Elon both won their classes and "Dunno" a black junior buck took 2 of 6.

It was so nice to hear the judges commenting on how strong some of the classes were! When they say things like that, or let you know how close the placements are, it really gives you a sense of pride, whether you finish 3rd or first!

I have no idea what I'll be showing this weekend in Greensboro!

Keep's Rabbitry

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Show! Finally a Show!

Wow, the title says it all- finally a show! I've only been to one this "Season" and I'm raring to go, even though everyone looks awful. No really- they look AWFUL.

There is my jr. buck who won BOB at the last show. Yeahhhhh he's thankfully not entered because I had a feeling he was going to blow his coat. Did I think he was going blow it quite like this? No!

This show is the Mountain State Fair in Fletcher, NC. It's one of my favorites. It's always so much fun, we get fun out of state judges and of course- free fair admission LOL!

It's also going to be so much fun because I will have an opportunity to see my bunny friends!

This is the second year a friend has asked that I donate a junior wooly or two to try to help garner interest in rabbits as 4-H animals in her county. I'm so excited, the one last year went to a fantastic home, so I hope the one(s) this year do just as well! :).

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Rabbit Etchings

A friend of mine, Ragen at Celestial Wind Rabbitry, has turned her glass etching into a nifty opportunity for rabbit lovers!

She is offering etching of any breed you want on glass surfaces- these would make great Christmas gifts, awards, etc.

Take a look at her website, maybe something will catch your eye!


Friday, September 3, 2010

Molty Goodness

I've been wanting to update my website with some new pictures- however it's impossible! All the seniors are in funky molts and all the juniors are molting or in their uglies!

It's sad, because I really want to get more of my herd up on the website. I guess it is just going to have to wait though.

In the meantime, here are a few of the "uglies" babies that are floating around.

Keep's Triumph- a wooled himi.

Just kidding! Here he is posed up. Note that incredible molt?! His color is all kinds of awful right now too lol.

Keep's Tar Heel- he's got a skirt on lol. He looked at me as if to say "Why do you want a picture of my SHAME?"

These babies aren't old enough to be ugly yet!! Aren't they adorable?

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I got a couple does bred last night! Yay! The bucks both got their ladies three times, which always makes me feel better. The girls have been on a special "babymaker" conditioner that a friend shared with me- though I'm not allowed to share what's in it.

My next litters aren't due until September 11th. I guess it's a good thing that I have a large break in between my litters (the last one being born about a week ago). It'll give me a chance to move out some animals!

I'm trying to get started on my Convention sales list. I will be offering transport to and from convention. The holes are DWARF sized, but I do have an adjustable carrier. Please be aware though, larger animals will cost more per hole, because it requires more of my limited space to bring it back.

I am also offering care at Convention- feeding, watering and cleaning of the shavings, for a small fee.

My next show, the Mountain State Fair, is coming up soon!! I am not expecting any spectacular results, we had to send in entries in the middle of august (great news) and almost everyone I entered are horribly molting LOL! Ahhh well, it will just be nice to go and see everyone! I guess I'd rather them be primed for convention.

Keep's Rabbitry