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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


The Kings said...

What a great post! I have always wondered what others thoughts were on this. Thanks:-)

Dennie said...

I agree, great post! I've done the same thing, and others have said my buns have a "look".