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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Who to breed?

All my does are coming off their R&R breaks.  They've raised their litters, they've had time to recover and be baby free- so now my thoughts are turning to who to breed.

I try not to breed too many at a time- I'll have to prioritize the does (who is hardest to get bred, getting older, the nicest animal, etc).  Are any of the does first timers? If so, I like to pair them with proven does to have the chance of fostering off a litter if the newbie doesn't want to care for her babies.

Type is a big consideration when planning my match-ups- not only do I want to "fix faults", I also want to strengthen existing attributes.  Sometimes it is a toss up between "Do I make this pairing to make the head really big, realizing that both have slightly longer ears, or do I fix the ears, but possibly lose some head mass" (or whatever the case may be).

Lines are also something I like to keep in mind- while I love to line breed, I want to make sure that I don't make my lines too tight.  Remember- line breeding brings out the best AND the worst in your line.

Finally, I consider show schedules.  Do any of the does I want to breed need a granding leg? Is there a big show coming up where I'd really like for one of them to strut her fluff on the table?  How long will the does be unavailable if I breed them now?

There is so much more that goes in to breeding than just putting this rabbit with that rabbit and waiting on babies.  It definitely takes me several days of planning before the bucks ever get to go on dates with the ladies of Keep's Rabbitry.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Show Fun

It was so nice to have a show this past weekend!  The gang was all there- and thankfully we were all on pretty much equal footing as far as super molty animals, hehehe.  We all traded BOB and BOSBs around, with no one person winning more than one BOB or BOSB!

I had a great time- Keep's Bump It Up took BOB in Show A for his granding leg! Three of my shaded junior does finished 1, 2, 3 (of 6) in all three shows, while my two self junior bucks flip flopped first and second in the second two shows.   The little blue buckling also took second in the first show.  He is going to be heading to Florida in a few weeks to live the pampered life of a herd buck.  I'm so excited he did well, it was definitely above and beyond my expectations, considering there were 10+ junior bucks in the class!

Orion, my broken black buck, picked up his second leg, which surprised me since the poor guy had no woolcap!  He showed very well the whole day. It makes me feel a little better considering I just sold his brother, Keep's Zumba.

I got to spend a chunk of time with a new youth exhibitor as well.  She took home Keep's Bee, the mom to the blue buckling mentioned above, to be her first wooly doe.  I am excited for her to start breeding and showing, she's clearly spent a lot of time researching the breed and what to look for.

The show wasn't all fun.  One of my very promising does turned in to a buck- on the table!  She was changed for the next two shows and HE ended up taking a class win and a 2nd.  I guess I can handle that.

The saddest news came in Show B, when the judge pulled me to the side and told me that Keep's Muse had an umbilical hernia.  Translation?  DQ.  She did mention that Muse was the best animal she had felt come across the table, but that doesn't make me feel a lot better- especially since the same thing happened in Show C, when the judges told me she was going to place BOSB until they felt her hernia.   I had left her in because multiple exhibitors were going to be leaving and I didn't want to scratch her and risk causing someone to lose a leg.

The silver lining is that I now know why Muse can't have live litters.  The bad news is I had rebred her the day before.    I guess once this litter is born, I'll find her a nice pet home.  She's a fantastic foster mom, so I am planning on breeding a few girls and hoping they all take.

I moved out several animals, but I brought in a little broken black doe and I purchased a proven black tort doe.  So I only gained one hole once everything was said and done.

I am looking forward to the next show.