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Monday, July 30, 2012

Growing babies

The babies are growing up! Everyone is out of the nestbox and running around- so far we've had no losses, which makes me so happy.

I haven't done very much breeding in July- I believe I have only two litters due in the month of August.  This is partially because nearly all my does are on litters already. I do have two ladies that will be bred for one last litter and then hopefully sold- it is my goal to breed them, foster the babies and then have them available for sale at the September shows- I may have more does available, depending on how these little junior girls grow up! I'm looking forward to starting a new round of does in production- it has been so long since I have had more than one doeling!

I'm already in love with at least two bucklings.  Thankfully they aren't brothers, but what in the world am I going to do with two more bucks?

Puzzle's litter was split up- half went to her daughter and she has been raising the other half (2 and 2).  I am very happy with my decision to split the group, even though it meant waiting to rebreed Muse and hopefully get a live, non-peanut litter out of her.   The Puzzle kits are too important to me and Muse has been worth her weight in gold as a foster mom.  Her first foster kit, Keep's Rumor Has It, thrived under her care.

I hope others are the same wonderful luck I am (knock on wood, of course).


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Happy Baby Boom!

I'm so happy with the baby boom I've been having lately- everywhere I look are babies.  A preliminary sex check is also showing me I have some doelings- hooray! I can finally start moving out some of the does to make room for the new little ladies.

I've got such a rainbow of colors right now, it's crazy!  Of all the babies 6 weeks old or younger, I have:
3 sable points
4 torts
1 blue
4 blacks
3 siamese sables
1 chestnut
1 sable chinchilla point (agouti sable point who will be petted out because of unshowable color)

Yep, 17 babies right now! I love it.  I am just so excited to see these little guys grow up, a few are looking super adorable right now.  I've identified one little buckling who will be petted out because he's looking a little big.  Of course, he also has the smallest white snip on the very tip of his nose which I would have missed initially had it not been for Tim's sharp eyes picking it out. The sable chinchilla point is looking gorgeous and already has a pet home lined up- that leaves me 15 babies to evaluate in the next few weeks and months!  I'm starting to regret selling so many cages.


Friday, July 20, 2012

More updates on APHIS

Ellyn over at Rabbit Smarties is really doing a great job with reporting on APHIS.

Here is her latest update! It's a must read, as it lets us all know who and what will be affected as of right now- she really breaks it down for all of us.

Ellyn is the creator of the Rabbit Smarties youth study books- they are fantastic.  While you are visiting her blog, please feel free to stop in to her shop and look around.

Here is also a letter from Eric Stewart:

"Dear ARBA members. The ARBA has been actively addressing regulatory concerns that impact our hobby and members. We have received a number of questions and misconceptions regarding the proposed revisions to the USDA’s Animal Welfare Act. This has been reviewed by independent legal counsel then also reinforced through direct correspondence with the USDA. The proposed revisions basically involve two items-

1) Inclusion of internet sales of wholesale pets

2) Increasing the number of breeding female dogs, cats, exotic and wild mammals (rabbits and cavies are not affected) from 3 to 4 before they are included in licensing requirements.

The Animal Welfare Act (AWA), adopted in 1970, has remained largely unchanged for the past 42 years. The overwhelming majority of ARBA members will not be effected at all by the proposed revisions to the AWA.

The ARBA has endorsed recommended care guidelines for rabbits and cavies. This initiative is to protect members and educate animal control officials of reasonable expectations for rabbit and cavy care. Cages sizes mentioned in the formal document are the federally mandated minimum sizes and actually smaller than what most breeders would use. Note that the notation “ft2” is “square feet” when detailing floor dimensions of cages; this is calculated by multiplying the width by the length of the floor. For example, 1.5 square feet would translate to a 12” x 18” cage for rabbits up to 4.4 pounds. 4 square feet would translate to a 24”x24” cage for rabbits between 8.8-11.9 pounds. We are looking into the addition of recommendations for weaned animals remaining together after the doe has been removed. Note that the cage height for rabbits is 14 inches and that is not involved in the floor dimension calculations. The document mentions several options with the term “may” such as the need for resting boards, etc. Clarification is made that rabbits do not require food 24 hours a day. The objective was to offer realistic recommendations to avoid some of the expectations imposed by less educated inspectors/officials.

The ARBA will be meeting with officials in Washington, D.C. in the coming weeks; once the formal dates have been secured notice and updates will be available. If you have specific questions for the USDA we will compile a sampling of questions to include in our meetings. Please send brief, clear questions for the USDA to eric@arba.net or Karen Horn kjhorn@gmail.com for inclusion in the sampling. As time will be limited we can only offer that a sampling of questions will be guaranteed. For further information on the topics mentioned, please go to http://arba.net/news.htm#current July 11th, 2012 for pdf copies of documents containing specific information regarding our USDA teleconference and the ARBA approved Recommended Care Guidelines for Rabbits and Cavies.

All the best,
Eric Stewart
Permission to cross post message granted in its entirety."


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Show and Baby News!

Keep's Tequila Mockingbird (we've gone through several name changes) won a BOB her first show out at the Taylorsville Night Show! I'm so tickled, I like her, but wasn't expecting her to do so well this young.  She turned 12 weeks old the night of the show :).

Keep's Orion, a little broken junior buck, joined his brother Taurus in the "We've got a junior leg" club.

I also won $10 in a drawing the club did for all the show writers.  It was my lucky show!

The good luck continued, when I got home today I found Keep's Puzzle with FIVE happy, fat babies!  These are out of Keep's Poplar, my REW herd buck.  Puzzle is my BOSG- Convention doe, so my fingers are crossed this litter grows up without any troubles!

Keep's Fiona kindled three! This is her largest litter since the Incident- she did have one peanut, but I'm not counting it in the litter count.  The sire to the litter is Keep's Unexpected.


Friday, July 13, 2012

APHIS and USDA news

I could write a long, involved blog about the USDA and APHIS- and how under the Animal Welfare Act, hobby breeders could have to be licensed if they gross more than $500 a year in sales. 

Instead, I'm going to direct you here, to the Rabbit Smarties Blog. Ellyn does an excellent job of explaining not only the Animal Welfare Act, but what ARBA is doing about it!  She also includes information at the bottom on how you can help fight this legislation!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Even more babies

I was hoping for some Fourth of July babies- After all, I had does due on July 2nd, July 3rd and July 4th!

Nope, it wasn't to be.

However, on July 3rd Keep's Bee gave me six kits by Keep's Poplar.  Her first litter had only two, so I am shocked, but thrilled! It looks like four REWs and two blacks, but I do my best not to count my chickens early, there have been some wild color swings over the years here.

I am hoping there are some doelings in all the litters around.  I'm still waiting on Keep's Sunset, Heartbreaker and Epiphany to kindle.  Then in another week and a half we have another round due!

I may do some breedings tonight.  Keep's Muse just weaned her foster baby a few days ago and I'm eager to send her on a date with one of the boys!