Entertainment Blog Directory

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Putting the Wool in "woolies"

Or rather... where is the "wool" in these so called "woolies"?

I am so frustrated.  We've planned, we've saved and we're looking forward to Convention in Indianapolis.

What could go wrong?

Oh... yeah.  The rabbits.

The buck I was most looking forward to showing is molting so badly he has bald spots.  He's also the world's slowest wool grower.  Great, that's a no go for him.

Everyone else is either naked, about to be naked, just barely starting to not be naked or a baby.

Yeah... a BOB winning Convention lineup, they are not based on wool right now.

It's very disappointing to breed hard, make beautiful animals and then have them not be primed for Convention, the biggest show, and able to show themselves off.


Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, September 24, 2011

We say goodbye

We said goobye to Velotta's Joe yesterday.  He was a chinchilla mini lop buck who I purchased with 2 legs.  By the time we sold out of mini lops, he had a total of 14 legs including 1 Reserve in Show.   We decided when we sold out of mini lops that Joe would retire here with us.

He was a good natured buck who loved to be held and to get head rubs.  Tim even used him in a sermon a time or two.  You can imagine the preacher holding a rabbit like a baby really caught their attention.

However, as he aged, Joe began developing some issues.  We long suspected he had diabetes or kidney failure.  He would drink a 32 ounce bottle of water in no time and then look around for more.  I often told Tim he'd drink himself to death given the opportunity.   He was getting old and though we nearly lost him last winter, he pulled through for us.  Even then we knew he was likely not to make it through the year.

I found that he had passed away sometime yesterday. 

Rest In Peace Joe.

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Silvering gene in Jersey Woolies

Did you know there is a silvering gene in Jersey Woolies?

Neither did I, until Saturday.

I happened to think about a black junior doe I have while at the show on Greensboro.  Since I was standing next to Ms. DQ Queen herself, Kitty Lynch, I described the doe and finished it off with "it almost looks like she's a silver fox."

"That's because she's silvered," Kitty said, nodding.

You could have knocked me over with a feather.

Apparently this is a product of an outcross I did a while back.  The animal's granddaughter is this lovely little doe, Nova, who I nearly sold at a younger age.  Now I'm glad I didn't, as I would have hated to unwittingly passed this on to someone!

I noticed that as a younger junior, Nova had an excess of scattered white hairs at the base of her ears.  I thought it was just an unfortunate thing.  I had planned to keep an eye on it and do a test breeding to a very clean buck. 

As time went on, I noticed she was getting more and more scattered whites, until it began to appear that there was something very different going on here.

Note the white hairs distributed through her wool? The longer, wispy gray wool is her baby coat.  I imagine that by the time she fully molts, her silvering will be even more pronounced.

The doe won't get to stay around, since unfortunately the silvering is undesirable.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Greensboro NC Show Results

We had the Greensboro show today! I am exhausted, but the show went really well! We managed to get a triple done by 3:30! WHOA! Way to go Sandhills, for an excellent show.

I didn't do much at this one- everyone is super molty or very young, but I did manage a few good placings.

Travis Finkle gave Keep's Little Comment (shaded sr. buck)  his 3rd leg in Show A! Yay for the newest Keep's grand champion.  Little Comment did really well, this is only his second show and he brought him his 4th leg!

Wade Burkhalter (one of my favorite judges, by the way, hehe) had us for Show B.  My broken tort junior buck took 1/4, my black junior doe took 1/2, Keep's Heart Throb (shaded sr. buck) took BOG and Keep's Bee (self jr. doe) took 1/5 for her first leg in her first time out! Yay!

We had Owen Yates in the third show.  I really enjoyed this judge, he was very easy going and fun to talk/joke with, though he kept the pace up as well.   Under him, the broken tort junior buck took his class again and BOSG!  My black junior doe won her class again, Keep's Little Comment got his 4th leg and my baby shaded junior doe took 1/2. 

So yay!  Several new legs, granding another buck and a wonderful day full of friends.  I had friends come up from Oklahoma to visit/show and met some new wooly breeders. 

Now I am exhausted and hoarse! Someone remind me NOT to talk so much...oh wait, that's pretty much "my thing".

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Not All that Glitters is Gold

Fool's Gold sure is pretty.
You've heard the saying "Not all that glitters is gold".   If you haven't, this blog could be awkward.

In a nutshell (or in a concise statement), it means not everything that looks precious is precious.  To put it in even plainer terms as they apply to rabbits- not every animal you produce is gold, nor is every animal you buy.

Some people put a lot of store in what a pedigree says.  Who is the breeder? How many legs to the parents have? How many total legs are on all the rabbits on the pedigree?  Even the top breeders produce pet quality.  It happens, it's nothing to be ashamed of.  Sometimes two rabbits don't mesh, no matter how beautiful they are individually.  Sometimes in using "parts" animals, you don't get any of the parts you were trying for. 

Not everything you produce is gold either.  When you get some nice animals, it's tempting to assume that everything they produce is perfect.  Ok, well maybe not perfect, but at least a very nice brood animal- right?  No.  Not right.  Even the best buck, no matter how many legs, throws crap.  It's super, super, incredibly, super, super (super super?) super rare that you will get animals that will throw you near perfect animals in every litter.  By super rare I mean- that never happens. It doesn't.  Oh, the really valuable bucks and the really valuable does will throw you great litters, I'm not saying they won't, but I don't know of a single doe or buck that has ever produced nothing but grand champions. 

This means not everything you produce is worthy of being sold to a working herd.   Not every animal is "brood" or "show" quality just because it's your name on the pedigree or because of who the sire to the litter is. 

While we're on the subject, a brood is not an animal "with long ears, a narrow head, narrow body, long in type, flat over the HQ and undercut".  Folks, that's a pet quality animal.  Stop right there- I don't care who it's daddy is.  I don't care who it's GGrandsire was, or how many legs are on the total pedigree.  It's a pet.  Sell it as a pet.

Don't sell animals you aren't proud of just because "well it's better than what they have" or "they are lucky to get something with my name on it".   Hey, sometimes animals don't develop like we expect.  It happens.  However, to knowingly label something brood quality and sell it for a higher price when you know in your heart it's a pet quality animal?  That's just wrong.

We all want to "make our money back" in our hobby.  Some folks do it through pet sales, some do it through show or brood sales.  Lots of us just don't ever make the money back.  Just remember- not all that glitters is gold.  Don't let the glitter and glamor of a beautifully printed pedigree fool you, whether you are buying or selling.

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Missing a Show-

I missed the Mountain State Fair this year.  I usually like to get up there- we get ribbons for class wins lol!  This year though, I was frustrated.  We have to send in our entries almost a month in advance.  If you saw my last post, everyone is molting like crazy and has been.  Half of those I would have entered would have been bald by this show- such a waste of time and money.

So, I missed it. It's kind of sad, but at the same time, I was able to do other things this weekend, which was nice.

Greensboro comes up next weekend and while everyone is still molty, at least I can make good decisions about who I want to show there.

Keep's Sparta kindled 3 lovely babies on the wire.  Thankfully, she pulled a LOT of wool and they all made it! We have a little rainbow litter, looks like a tort, a REW and...a  black or a seal, I can't really tell right now.

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

We have babies!

Carson, a doe I have out of Hartzell lines, kindled six beautiful Panda babies for me on September 4th!

She had two REWs, a black, a tort (or sable point) and two broken blacks.  One is beautifully marked and one is missing it's butterfly and will be for sale at 8 weeks old.

Carson has proven herself a wonderful mother and I'm very excited to watch her large litter grow.  It will be the first time I get to see what she throws, she lost her first litter in the AC disaster and spent the last few months fostering another baby for me.

I'm waiting on a new lady to kindle, Keep's Sparta.  She is absolutely beautiful but unfortunately hasn't been shown at all due to my limited show schedule so far and her odd molt schedule.  I palpated her just a few days ago and felt a baby.  Once I felt the first one, I stopped because I don't want to stress her out, but she's definitely pregnant.  I believe I bred her to Panda as well.  He's getting all the action lately.

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Show season, but no show coats

Show season is gearing up-  it's starting to cool off a bit and the shows are eager to resume now that we're all going to be able to survive without getting heat stroke.

Everyone I talk to seems to be going through the same thing- bald rabbits!

I think this is my least favorite time of year, despite the shows.  These animals go all summer without a hint they want to shed and then as soon as a show is on the horizon, they all immediately do their best to go completely naked.  It makes it impossible to show them, hard to sell them and the real trouble makers shed in such a way as to make their cages a disaster every single day.

At this point, I don't even care about the local shows.  I just want them to be ready for Convention.  I'm not taking that many to show, but geez, it sure would be nice if the ones I am taking didn't look like they did last year- 90% bald.

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, September 5, 2011

Guest Post: For the love of rabbits.

The following is a guest post by Julie Cahill of Oak Ridge Rabbits.  It originally appeared on her blog "Oak Ridge Rabbitry's Blog".

Everyday when I log onto my rabbitry Facebook, I see one or more statuses ranting about rabbits. "I can't believe he did this!"..."I should've known better!"..."How could she do such a thing!"..."You know what I hate?"..."I don't understand why"..."Why do people have to"...and the list goes on. Always very intense, passive aggressive notes that probably don't belong on Facebook.

I have to agree that people, whether in rabbits or outside of rabbits, often disappoint. I have had rabbits bought out from under me. Someone has bought a rabbit from me and then turned around and sold it for twice what they paid. I have seen adult exhibitors show their rabbits through a youth. Undeserving rabbits have won a class simply because the exhibitor is close with the judge.

These things do happen. At the time, we get so frustrated with the situation that we often consider what it would be like to not have to deal with it. What if I sold out? I don't have to deal with all this, so why do I? And we question whether it is really worth it to get so bent out of shape about rabbits.

To me, it is.

Personally, I think this is a hobby worth fighting for and I feel lucky for having found a hobby that I'm so passionate about. I could just as easily take up metal detecting and go hunt for quarters in the park. I could collect spoons and spend my Saturday afternoons polishing them until I can make faces in the reflection. I could buy junk computer parts and miraculously construct a working operating system. All of those would be fun hobbies. They would keep me content, give me something to do. They'd be comfortable. But comfortable isn't quite what I'm looking for.

I'm in this hobby for the love of rabbits, for better or worse. It has brought me to some of my highest highs with unexpected show wins or some of my lowest lows with, you know...people. But it's all or nothing, and the intensity of my connection with this hobby is what makes it worth fighting for.

If you're still questioning whether it's worth it, maybe quarters and spoons are for you. As for me, I'll be at the show table. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Waiting on Babies-

I'm waiting on a few does to kindle.  There are more ladies I need to breed, but since Convention is coming up, I really need to think hard before I breed any does.  If they kindle, I sure can't take them and show them! Especially since any babies born from these breedings will be less than 4 weeks old when Convention starts, I can't take the does and I sure can't take the babies!
I guess some of the Keep's does will get nice, long vacations.

Speaking of does, Keep's Fiona, who you may remember fought for her life earlier this summer, is doing very well.  She is actually 100% recovered and I believe I may try to show her this Fall, for her last G.C. leg.  I'd very much like to make her a champion.

Keep's Rabbitry