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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Barn and Babies

Nova kindled two beautiful babies and a peanut.  She had a gorgeous marked broken black and a solid black. I am hoping for does, but the way my luck has been running, these will both be bucks.   I am still waiting on Snow, Bahama and Muse (Muse is now overdue and probably didn't take).

I have decided to completely rearrange my barn.  I plan on permanently removing at least another two stackers (which will be for sale along with some single holes once I finally get pictures).  

I've also decided on a few more rabbits that will be for sale, along with a "?" list where I need to commit to either keeping them or not.  After Nationals, it's very definitely going to look a little bare in the barn!

Oh well, it just makes more room for new babies.

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Waiting on babies

I'm waiting on two does to give birth- they were marked as due yesterday, which means they could go any time.  I'm hoping both took!

Keep's Bahama, my top producing shaded doe, is looking miserable.  She is due on the 30th and for the past few days has been lying around looking like a swollen, fuzzy balloon.  I'm very excited for this litter, the father is a gorgeous little buck with beautiful wool and these teensy little ears framing his huge head.  Bahama produced Keep's Panda, the RIS buck- here is hoping for a few that look just like him!

I've been trying to get pictures of the rabbits I'll have for sale at Nationals- it's an ongoing process, which is why I start so early! It's looking like I won't have as many shaded bucks to go around as I have folks looking for them, but I guess that's a good problem to have!

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, January 21, 2012

What to name it?

Nope, this isn't about Fluffy or Sir Sprays a Lot the III- it's about what comes BEFORE the name of the rabbit- the Prefix!

Generally, it's not a big deal. I take my buck, my doe, breed them together and my litter gets the prefix Keep's.

Duh. :).

What happens when the situation is more complicated? What if I breed a doe you've bought from me (which I don't do, but we're going hypothetical here). Who gets the prefix?

What a sticky question. First of all, I highly recommend letting the person know beforehand your preference and only do it for folks you know well. I also recommend that if someone does this for you, to abide by their wishes.

Some breeders will want their prefix on the litter. After all, they own both parents and are doing you a favor.

Others don't want their name on it at all- they don't know how the babies will turn out and don't want people buying a "Keep's" rabbit as a show animal that might not make Keep's Show Animal Standards.

Still others are happy to do a split litter- I'll call my pick Keep's, and you can put your name on the rest.

There is still one more option. You can always do a split prefix- Keep's/Friend's Fred.

I want to stress, I do NOT feel that it is up to the buyer to choose which option is right. I think it should be the decision of the person who sold the bred doe and once it's decided, that's it. Sellers, you can't say "Oh no, name them your prefix" to your buyers and when the litter turns out to be gorgeous, suddenly want it only your name.

If you purchase a bred animal and the seller didn't state their wishes, just ask! It's much better than to have a misunderstanding arise and cause a strain in a friendship.

The same rules *basically* apply for borrowing a buck- some folks do it by whoever owns the buck. When my friend and I would trade off holland breedings, we played it by whoever owned the doe. It's really just up to you and the other person to decide what works best for you!

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, January 12, 2012

When Does a Line Become Your Own?

"When does a line become your own?" is a question a lot of breeders ask. Obviously, if you start out with a rabbit here, a rabbit there- then the mish-mashing of lines is uniquely yours.

I brought in most of my rabbits from one line- Wooligans. I think working with a solid foundation in that line has definitely helped me get my quality where it is today, though I have other friends who provided me with solid animals that really allowed me to build on that foundation.

However, my line is my own.

Why? Because it's several generations MINE now. I've added in a buck from here, a doe from there- I've made the decisions on who to keep and who to cull and who to breed to who.

I once heard someone describe lines this way:

Imagine you're making a cake, and you use someone's recipe. In my case, Wooligans. If I never make the cake any different, it's always Wooligans' recipe.

However, if I start playing with that recipe, adding a little of this, taking out a little of that, then what started out as the Wooligans recipe becomes Keep's recipe, with my own unique twist and flare.

I think that this is a very good description of what we as breeders do.  We take the best parts of the "recipes" (or rabbits) we can get our hands on and we mix them together.  We try a little of this, a little of that and sometimes we fail epically.

I'll never forget the first time someone described an animal as having "the Keep's look".  It helps that it was a highly complimentary comment about the consistency and quality of my animals.  It also made me realize that I had moved past being "that girl who has this line".

Now, I'm watching people take my recipe and start changing it and adapting it in their own way and developing their own lines.  I'll never forget all the folks who helped me get started in the breed, but I'm proud to say I've made these woolies my own.

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Hickory New Years Show

I didn't do much at the show- I did grand out a bunny, took a few BOSGs and put a first leg on a junior.  Not bad!

I also got to see Joni take BOSB with a 10 week old junior buck she took "just for comments"- which I was then able to tease her about the rest of the show.  So. Much. Fun.

The BEST part for me actually came in the youth show.  We have a new youth breeder that I really like named Sarah.  She's 16ish and loves her new woolies to death.  She purchased a REW junior doe from me at the last show (which turned in to the POL) and her mom contacted me about a buck for a surprise Christmas gift- so we agreed on her getting Keep's Tar Heel.

In the Youth show, Sarah showed both Keep's Nim (her REW) and Keep's Tar Heel- and took BOB with Tar Heel and BOSB with Nim! I was so happy for her.  

The HUGE surprise came when Keep's Tar Heel took BIS in Youth.

You could have knocked us both over with a feather! I joked with Sarah that I had been trying for all these years for a BIS with a wooly and here she comes along, first show (after owning the rabbit just since Christmas) and takes it!   It was a great day!

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Winter is here

It's freezing cold and the rabbitry is showing signs of it.  I lost a little black bunny baby.  I'm not really sure why, he was in with three other kits, they still have their nestbox and they still have plenty of wool.  Since they are 2 1/2 weeks old, they should be able to handle this weather a little better, though the wild temperature swings surely aren't helping.

However, with perfect timing, my Sweeps Award for 2010-2011 arrived today!

It's a scarf! I love my name is on it though as a friend pointed out, it should have said "Keepee" hehe.