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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Super Busy

Wow, I've been super busy lately! I'm working on a project that won't be revealed for a few more months- but wow, so much is going in to it!

I just realized I have something like 8 does due April 12th and April 13th. Luckily, they are the next batch that are due, so I don't have to worry about no nestboxes!

I'm hoping Saturday to rebreed the girls who didn't take this go 'round. We should be having warm weather again, so hopefully it will help the conception rates!

All the babies are growing like weeds! The shaded marten/black otter litter are some of the friendliest babies I've ever had. In fact, it's an ordeal to get the cage door open to feed them. I have to pretend I'm going to walk by the cage, then SWOOP in, fling the door open and be prepared to have my arm attached with lovin's as soon as I stick it in there. Hey though, better too friendly than not friendly at all, huh?

I've been thinking hard about cuts in the herd I'll be making around Convention time. I'm going to have to move some older stock out, which hurts my heart. I really do get attached to some of these guys. No point in keeping the dad if the son is better though, you know?

No April Fool's joke from me this year- I haven't had time to prepare one and since I think I did the "sell out" a few years ago, I'll have to get you guys some other time :D.

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, March 28, 2011

An Odd Doe

I have a doe that I can't get to have babies. She's never even had so much as a DOA litter in the YEAR AND A HALF I've been trying her. Yeah- I'm a glutton for punishment.

Recently, she missed yet another opportunity. I left her nestbox in with her because she's in a bottom cage and frankly, I just forgot to take it out.

She's been pulling wool! Let me be clear, she's 2 weeks past her due date. She hasn't palp'd positive ever. Each day though, I go out and there is a little more wool in her box.

My plan is to wait until our current cold snap is over and remove her box- and give her a roommate! Oh yes, she's going to be moving in with a buck to live for a month or so. After that month, she's headed back to her cage to hopefully kindle a nice litter.

If she doesn't respond to this, I'll be forced to move her on, either as a pet or in some other way.

Fingers are crossed!

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bunny Babies

The adorably cute shaded marten babies are no longer adorably cute. Nope, they are moving in to the 4 week old range. Soon they will be 5 weeks and 6 weeks and they don't be nearly as adorable or chunky as they were when they were just tiny balls of rabbit with itty bitty little ears.

I guess it's all part of growing up.

My next does aren't due until April. That's nice, it gives me a bit of a baby-break and I have an opportunity to grow some out before I have to make decisions on who is going to stay and who won't.

With the weather so nice yesterday. I got a few more ladies bred. I am not sure what was going on, but three of the four were VERY vocal when I picked them up, grumbling and grunting. I know they must have been chewing those bucks out, because it continued on in the cages. Bizarre! One I know is a bit of a chatterbox, but the other two are usually very quiet and polite.

I've got some good pairings going on, I can't wait to see what this produces!

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Greensboro Show Results

Ok, here we go! I did pretty well in Greensboro! I'm only going to hit the highlights, with the group or class wins, or we'll be here all day :).

Show A- Judge Rusty Westhoff

Keep's Calypso- 1/2
Keep's Cairo- 1/9, BOG
Keep's Epiphany- 1/6- BOSG

Show B- Judge Todd Narragon

Keep's Tryon- 1/9, BOG, BOSB
Keep's Epiphany- 1/6 BOSG
Keep's KBT- 1/3
Keep's Rah- 1/2, BOSG

Show C- Judge Julie Uneo

Keep's Calypso- 1/2
Keep's Heart Throb- 1/9 BOG
Keep's Prancer- 1/6, BOSG
Keep's KBT- 1/3
Keep's Rah- 1/1, BOSG

Show D- Judge Josh Humphries

Keep's Opal- 1/2, BOSG
Keep's Tryon- 1/8
Keep's Prancer- 1/7
Keep's KBT- 1/3 BOG
Keep's Rah- 1/1, BOSG

Specialty- Judge Briony Barns

Keep's Calypso- 1/2
Keep's Epiphany- 1/8 BOSG
Keep's KBT- 1/2

Overall, I was VERY pleased with my placings, especially in light of the feed issues I've been having. Almost all the woolies are blowing their coats to pieces right now- except the juniors who most need to do it. Isn't that always how it works out?

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, March 21, 2011

Why I REALLY Enjoyed the NCRBA State Convention

We had our NC State Convention this past weekend, put on by the NCRBA. This post isn't about my wins or the fun times, etc. It's about some things the club really did well that made this such a great show this weekend.

Parking Passes: Our show is at the Greensboro Coliseum. They decided we have to start paying to park. BOOOO. However, the NCRBA club negotiated a deal where we paid only $2.00 per day to park, instead of the $8.00 they normally charge. Not only that, the club put in the catalog that we needed a parking pass and how much it would be, then emailed the passes out with our entry confirmations! We were able to flash our pass, go park, and when we checked in and paid for our entries, we simply paid the club the $2.00 per each day. Easy, no hassle, no arguing with the attendants that we got to pay less- and of course, we all knew how much we were paying and that we had to pay. It was super helpful.

No Set Up Zone: When we went to set up Friday night, imagine our delight (and surprise) to find "adjusta-tape stanchions". What are these? You know what they are :). They are the posts that have the "tape" (about like seatbelts) that you can pull out and attach to another post. They help with crowd control, they make up the lines at the bank, etc. These were used to block of a significant area in front of each judging coop. We all had to set up behind it. It was SO NICE and helpful to have that room while we were showing. It still got a little crowded (as it is going to), but it was so nice not to have to try to push grooming tables out of the way so we could get to the tables!

Big, Climate Controlled Area: The club really didn't get stingy when it came to room. We weren't crowded in on top of each other- everyone had plenty of room and it was climate controlled! It's so nice not to bake when it's warm outside or freeze when it's cold out. I love, love, love climate control!

Tryon is less impressed than I was with his BOSB trophy... he just wants to stretch out for his nap!

Flashy Trophies: This is a personal preference especially- The trophies were spectacular! Large and flashy, I really appreciated them!

Quick, Quick, Quick: I'm not sure what they did differently this time, but WOW did the shows go quick! There were plenty of judges and WHOA! We were out of the showroom by 3:00pm on the first day (after I spent a ridiculous amount of time socializing and piddling around). We were done by 1:00pm on the second day! Admittedly, I didn't have to stay for the Best In Show judging which was held at the end, but hey, this is around 2-4 hours quicker than other shows that haven't included my staying for Best In Show! I think it really allowed the show to go quicker because we waited to do that judging, rather than having the judges hang around while the last breeds were finished up, then having to take the time to round up all the BOB animals, have the judge look at them all, etc.

Overall, I really enjoyed this show. I think they had a lot of good ideas and good implementation! This is one of the reason that the NC Convention is one of my favorite shows!

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Few Babies!

I only have one litter in that absolutely adorable 3 week old stage- so here you go!

A smoke pearl marten, a black otter and a siamese sable marten. These guys were a bit of a surprise, since I didn't consider that the black buck I used carried shaded. I knew the doe carried blue and now I know the buck does as well! At least this rainbow litter taught be a bit about the genetics of the buck hehe. Too bad I sold him, huh?

I haven't sexed these babies yet, but if I had to guess, I'd say the two shaded martens are bucks and the little otter is a doe. Watch- I'm going to be DEAD WRONG.

I'm not really big on the shaded marten color, so it figures that this is Tim's favorite litter.

Little Mr. Attitude! This baby is constantly sucking up and acting ADORABLE. I keep telling him it isn't going to work- but somehow he doesn't believe me.

Keep's Rabbitry

Add Image

Monday, March 14, 2011

Who to show

I'm excited for the Greensboro Show! Unfortunately, it leads to one of my least favorite activities- deciding who is going to go.

I'm still especially disappointed with the condition of some of my animals- a situation which I blame on the feed, as I've said before. I'm working on doing what I can to make it a little better, we'll have to see how that works in the long run.

However, I do LOVE to trot out my new juniors. I've got three right now that I can't wait to put up, even though two need nicer coats and one needs to pop her head. That's ok though, I am excited to get comments! Besides, you never know what everyone else's animals are going to look like.

I'm definitely going to have some rabbits for sale- I haven't yet decided who it will be, though I have a few in mind.

I've got a lot to do- tattoos, nail clipping, grooming, printing pedigrees- thankfully it's only Monday!

YAY for a show this weekend! :D.

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Rabbit Smarties

Have you heard of Rabbit Smarties? It's a line of resources developed by Ellyn Eddy. She was the two-time runner up for ARBA Queen (2007 & 2008). She was the Michigan State Rabbit Queen 2008, ARBA Educational Contest Winner (2007, 2008) and has a list of other achievements a mile long.

Keep's Rabbitry has recently partnered with Ellyn and is now an authorized seller of the Rabbit Smarties line of products! I will have sample pages of the books with me at the NCRBA Show in Greensboro on March 19-20th. I am available to answer questions at any time!

Rabbit Smarties is a book of 115+ activities with a rabbit theme! It is important to have a working knowledge of rabbit raising practices and show standards to complete some of the word searches, crossword puzzles, picture games and other puzzles. This is a very poplar study aid for 4-H groups and ARBA royalty contestants, though folks of all ages will enjoy it! It is full color and contains 68 pages. It runs $15.00+ shipping

The Youth Rabbit Project Study Guide is the bestselling publication to date. The Study Guide is rich in advice on rabbit care, health, showing, breeding and includes expert study tips for contests like 4-H showmanship and ARBA Royalty. The pages MAY BE REPRODUCED for use in a club setting. 72 full color pages include an abundance of charts and photos! $20.00+ shipping

A Book About Bunny Colors is a practical breeder's guide to understanding coat color genetics in a way that can quickly help you in your breeding. Application -based explanations teach you to anticipate the outcomes of your litters, identify unknown varieties, develop a color breeding program, eliminate color faults and more! Relaxed language, at-a-glance charts and 80+ color photos make color genetics much less daunting! 64 full color pages. $20.00+ shipping

Cavy Savvy 2-in-1: Study Guide and Activity Book. Cavy Savvy is a combination study guide and activity book all about guinea pigs. The study guide section includes advice from successful breeders on purchasing, showing, grooming, breeding and caring for cavies. Cavy Savvy 2-in-1 is ideal for both the novice guinea pig owner and for youth studying for ARBA Royalty contests. 60 pages of full color! $20 + shipping

Bunny Smarties contains 70+ activities to please and puzzle the young and old. Includes bunny themed word searches, mazes, crossword puzzles, word scrambles, coloring pages and picture games to help you learn about rabbits. Suitable for classrooms, gifts and novice rabbit owners! Includes color photos and an answer key. 48 full color pages! $12.00 + shipping

You can check out more information here!

You are welcome to place an order with me, or place an order directly on the website! I just ask that if you place your order directly, please let Ellyn know you heard about the smarties from Keep! :D

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Terrible happenings


One of the does ate all the hay out of her nestbox, ate most of the wool out of her nestbox- then ate one and a half of her babies. Two escaped when I guess they were kicked out of the box, but one froze to death and I've been trying unsuccessfully to revive the last one. They were a week old.

On top of that, Epiphany's singleton froze. I'm also trying to revive it, but I don't expect it to come back around.

In just one night, I lost over half of my young babies. I'm especially disturbed by the doe that murdered her babies. She will be leaving the rabbitry- fatally, unless her breeder wants her back. I won't tolerate what she's done, especially because she's a brood doe- her only purpose IS to have babies and to take care of them.

I'm so upset and disgusted, I just don't know what else to say.

Keep's Rabbitry

Friday, March 11, 2011

Show Coming Up!

The Greensboro show (NCRBA puts it on and it is our State Convention) is coming up very soon! Joni over at Lyle Creek is coming to stay Friday and Saturday. I can't wait, I plan on putting her through her paces as soon as she gets here- we had better hope for good weather, because I want her to take a look at everyone in the barn!

I am especially looking forward to having her confirm or deny my choices of several rabbits to sell. I value having someone else look at the faults and strengths of a rabbit. If an animal has too many faults, it never makes it to the sales list!

Greensboro is one of my favorite shows. We always have such a great turnout. It's well run and we get a ton of different judges (ones we don't normally see) and the awards are usually so nice and unique!

I'm starting to think of who I am going to bring- usually it falls that I have so many I WANT to show I have to make hard cuts! I'm especially tickled this year because I think I'll have some animals in classes I don't normally show in. :).

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Well this imaginatively titled post "Update" is going to be a bit plain.

Poor Keep's Cupid. In her first litter since she's returned home from her fruitful "vacation" in Pennsylvania, she kindled several days too early and none of her four kits survived. They were slightly underformed and even if she had made a better nest, I don't believe they would have survived.

It was very depressing to find, especially since Cupid is a very expressive doe. She told me louder than words that she was sad her babies hadn't made it- but she was proud of them all the same. I gave her a head rub and to her distress took her nestbox away. I plan on giving her a bit of a rest and then breeding her again.

I'm getting requests for Convention animals already! I appreciate the folks who have inquired, it's been a very pleasant experience so far, with everyone giving me a good idea of what they are looking for and in a nice tone! Now we'll have to see if the rabbits comply with the color and gender requests. I have high hopes for this breeding season, judging by the luck I've had with litters so far!

Keep's Chapel Hill still hasn't kindled, though she spruced her nest up a bit today. If she doesn't kindle tonight, tomorrow I plan on giving her some Tums to help stimulate labor. She's very overdue and I'm starting to worry. I'm not really expecting live babies at this point, though I did have a doe go to Day 38 and kindle a live litter!

I'm waiting on two does now who were due Tuesday and another pair that are due tomorrow. I tend to "schedule" their due dates as a day or two in advance of their actual due dates. That way I know that even if the girls go early, they'll have their nestboxes already in.

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, March 6, 2011


I'm so happy!

Keep's Smoke (Smoke Pearl Point) finally kindled two beautiful, healthy babies!
Lyle Creek's Minx (broken seal) kindled 4! Two are himis/broken himis though and will not go in to the breeding program.
Keep's Bahama (siamese sable) kindled 4, a peanut, one that didn't get out of the birth sac and two healthy babies!

TB's China Dolla ended up having 2 DOAs, but she'll be rebred soon, along with the other two does that didn't take.

I have two does due on Tuesday that are nesting! After that, I have a few does due on Thursday, then a few more due after that. :)

I'm so happy with the litters! I'm going to evaluate Smoke's litter maintenance ability. If her babies seem to be getting along well, I may foster off Bahama's kids so I can keep her open for Convention babies! Her son Panda is the one who took 3rd at Convention this year, so I definitely want to have more juniors out of her ready!

Keep's Rabbitry

Friday, March 4, 2011

Waiting Game

Well, I'm slap in the middle of a waiting game.

Minx (broken seal) and Chapel Hill (black) have had nests built for days. Chapel Hill hasn't pulled wool yet, but Minx seems to be adding to it daily. Her wool is so loose on her right now that I accidentally pulled a hunk out- it had NO resistance! I'm thinking she'll go soon.

I have seen no interest in the nest box from Sweet Dreams (tort) and Flirt (black). China Doll (chestnut) kicked all her hay out the first night and has ignored it since then.

Smoke, my Smoke Pearl Point, ate all the hay out of her box last night. I went in this morning and she'd gathered up the few pieces she missed and pulled a tiny bit of wool and tried to make a nest out of it. Stupid rabbit, don't eat all your hay, THEN make a nest! I rebuilt the nest, gave her some munching/play hay and rearranged her wool. Maybe this means she'll FINALLY give me a litter! I was thinking about letting her roll if she didn't kindle this time.

So, hopefully we'll have some litters very soon! My next does are due Tuesday and Thursday of next week, so boxes will have to go in soon for them as well.

If I get any particularly small litters, I am thinking about doing some fostering around. That way I can leave more does open to breed for Convention babies later on. We'll see how it works out though.

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Feed Situation Update

Well- I can scratch one potential brand of feed off my list! The only feed store in 50 miles that can carry it doesn't have it, doesn't care enough about my business to order it and was so flippant and unhelpful that I wouldn't trust them to carry it anyway! Boo!

So now I'm left trying to either convince Tim that a 45 minute drive (one way) is really the best way to go as far as getting rabbit feed, or else come up with some other type of game plan. It's looking like I may have to start mixing feed. Joy!

I did email Purina to let them know I am having trouble with their feed. I am hoping that they do something about it or at least get back to me and it's not a situation where I offend them by saying "hey...this isn't really going great right now." I've always loved Purina and I've been a big supporter of them in the past. I really hope that we can have a respectful dialogue on the problems I'm experiencing!

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Jersey Wooly Sell Out- courtesy listing

As most of you know, I sold most of my herd a couple of months ago....I only kept the best of the best...now again, I am offering what I have left for sale due to personal reasons. This is a ONE time shot (meaning if they don't sell by friday of this week 3/4/2011) they will no longer be offered for sale. This is also a package deal only!

BL'S Mellow-REW senior doe (she is reg. and has 5 legs) been shown in youth nice doe and great mother
BL'S Ruby-REW senior doe (13 legs) great show doe and excellant mother--has one baby on her now from TB'S Rickie
BL'S Gone Cajun-Black doe.Show wonderful nice head and ear (5 legs)
BL'S Widit- Smoke pearl doe senior has never been shown (lays flat on the table) but has a wonderful head and ear
BL'S Kuluha-black tort senior doe...never been shown
TB'S Rickie-REW senior buck (11 legs) producer of many champions and still shows great himself
McKie's Kacycee Q-Broken tort senior buck ( 3 legs) produces show quailty babies and still shows well himself

I also have 2 36 X 36 english lop cages, 1-6 hole stacker and 6 24 x24 single cages all with pans.
I am asking $750.00 for everything and would be willing to deliver to NC, SC or VA for an extra $100.00




If you are interested in Brandi's sell out, please let me know and I'll put you in contact with her!

Brandi is also offering transport! She will move anything, living (goats, chickens, rabbits, dogs, etc) or any stationary items (cages, furniture, etc). She's asking reasonable rates!

Keep's Rabbitry

Changing Breeds

A lot of times, the breeds we start out with aren't the breeds we stick with. We're inexperienced, we don't know about specialized care, how to pick a nice animal- maybe we get cheated or we get ignored by the other breeders (some breeds have a reputation for unfriendly/nasty breeders), or we just realize that there is another breed out there that suits us better. Some of us just rotate through several breeds until we find the one that screams to our hearts THIS IS IT! WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG?

Sometimes we're at the bottom of the pack when we decide to switch our focus, but sometimes we're at the top of the pack. My friend Whitney is an example of this- she took BOSB at Convention in Belgian Hares this year. She won 3 of the 4 classes and in the one class she didn't win, she took 2nd and 3rd. All this with a small rabbitry- yeah that's right, she has a very small number of hares. Now, her focus has switched and she's selling out her remaining hares to concentrate on her lovely rhinelanders.

It's so sad to see her get out of the hares. She was the perfect champion for the hare breed- conscientious, health-conscious and very strict on the conditions in which one of her animals would live. I have the sire to my Belgian Hares still here with me- he came from Whitney and the offspring from him went on to place VERY well at Convention and they produced some animals who placed even better than themselves- and he came from Whitney <3.

I can understand what motivates her though. Sometimes you just fall out of love with a breed. I had the Holland Lops and the Jersey Woolies and I originally got the woolies just as a secondary breed. Slowly they took over the barn and I found myself passing over the hollands to play with the woolies. Pretty soon I was eyeballing the remaining hollands, trying to figure out who I could sell so that I could convert that hole into an official wooly hole. I grealy loved my hares, but I didn't have the room to keep more than just a few, I had a lot of trouble getting them bred- the list of problems just went on and on (for my particular situation).

As you go through your rabbit "career", chances are you're going to change your mind, or fall out of love with a breed. It's pretty natural I think. Sometimes you find your heart breed and never look back- like the folks who have been in rabbits for 30 years and always with the same breed. Sometimes, even though you love a breed, you just don't have time to make it work. I know too many people who have had to switch off woolies or american fuzzy lops because they just didn't have the time to maintain the wool. Other things were more important to them and I can respect that they realized they didn't have the time to properly care for the animals and decided to go with something lower maintenance.

Keep's Rabbitry