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Friday, December 28, 2012

Rabbitry Goals 2012- Revisited

Here they are- the Rabbitry Goals I set right around a year ago.  Let's see how I did this year!

Let's see- Rabbitry goals for 2012.

Keep the herd to no more than 35 animals. I have happily cut down on the size of the herd this year and I'm liking the smaller numbers.  I don't want to go above 35 animals (although that number may fluctuate as litters are born).  This one is accomplished! I even sold some extra stackers and loose cages so I wouldn't be tempted.
Take a BIS.  I finally got my Reserve in Show.  I want to bump it up a notch and take a Best in Show in 2012. I feel like I have several animals that are deserving of that honor, it just all depends on what they look like on any given show day.  Fingers crossed.  Sigh.  No matter how ready you feel you or your animals are, you just can't predict what you will show against on any given day.  I've had some looks, but that elusive BIS is still just out of reach.  Fail.

Keep the website updated. For this one to work, first I need to get the website updated.  It's my goal to get new pictures of the rabbits up and keep them updated in 2012.   Fail.  Actually this one is almost a tie if I cheat a little.  I moved the website here to the blog to help with keeping it updated, but still failed to get pictures of pretty much any of my rabbits.  Fail.

Take a Top 5 in Sweepstakes Points.  This goal is going to be more difficult.  I was so close in 2011 but close doesn't count. I'm hopeful, but at the end of the day, this is probably the least important of my goals.   Yet another Fail.  I actually skipped a few shows this past year and while I still placed Top 10 in Sweepstakes points (I was 9th), I didn't make that Top 5 and I didn't remain as close as I was last year.  Oh well!

"I think rabbitry goals are important.  Every year I sit down and think of where I have come from and where I am going.  I was blessed this year to cross off everything on my list.  It was a big year for rabbits and for me- I sent two rabbits overseas, took a class and opposite of group at Convention, won a BRIS with a homebred wooly, placed 6th in Sweeps and worked through a terrible tragedy, including the loss of my beloved Tryon.  I hope that 2012 brings more joy and bigger accomplishments."

So there we have it. I mostly failed my Rabbitry goals for 2012!  That's ok though.  This year I skipped Convention- and by skipping it, rediscovered the excitement and love I have for the "Big" shows. I can't wait to get out there next year.   I am in a better place with the rabbits- I still miss Tryon and the others we lost, but that is always going to be there.  The important thing is I can enter the rabbitry and not be surprised when he isn't there.  Never mind that his cage is still open- someday a bunny will fill it.  I'm the most excited about my newest generation- the juniors and barely-seniors who will be replacing several retirees on the show tables and in the breeding program.  I haven't been this excited about a generation in years- I can't wait to see what 2013 brings.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hubba Hubba!

I was checking out my freshly weaned little bucklings today and I managed to sweet talk Tim in to taking (or helping me take) a few pictures. Meet the two newest bucks in the barn!

Keep's - Shaded Jr. Buck
This guy is 8 weeks old.  I am very excited to watch him grow,
he is showing all the signs of being herd buck quality.  He is a
grandson of my BOSG Convention doe.
Keep's - Shaded Jr Buck
He is the full brother to the buck listed above and they are very close in type. It is going to be a hard choice between these little guys.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Baby update!

We've had a mini baby boom around here!

Keep's Indiana started the ball rolling yesterday with her litter of five by Keep's Panda!  Yep, five 12-12-12 babies born!  I checked them again today, she had three brokens and two solids. Unfortunately, two of the brokens have no color in their whisker beds, which makes them unshowable.  The third has a large patch on one side, but it also is very small- at the best it is a runt and at the worst, it is a peanut. 

Keep's Fiona was caught making her nest this morning when I went out to check on her before work.  She stopped what she was doing and stared at me, a hunk of wool hanging from her mouth.  I swear she would have whistled innocently if she could have.  She didn't move until I left, goofy girl does not want to be seen preparing for her babies.

I asked Tim to go out and check on her around lunch time and he found that she had kindled two healthy shaded babies with Keep's Bump It Up.   While checking on her, he noticed that Keep's Puzzle was in labor!  She ultimately kindled one healthy baby, one DOA and one poor little malformed creature.  It was from an outcross breeding, but nothing like this has popped up in any of his previous litters- or in hers.  It was an oddity for sure.  Her healthy baby is living with Fiona's pair.

I finally bit the bullet and stuck a hand in the Florida White cage.  She slammed her head in to my palm, but let me pet her head.  I'm not sure she knows what she wants to do, she acts as if she wants to tear me up, then refuses the opportunity to do so.

We have five LARGE fat and happy Florida White babies.  They are adorable, even if they are all plain white.

Keep's Rumor Has It's peanut passed away, leaving her with two broken babies, also out of Keep's Panda.  These are perfectly marked.  One is a tort (possibly a blue tort) while the other is... well I am not sure.  It looks like a broken black right now, but it could easily be a broken chestnut.  It can be hard to ID colors on very young babies, especially when you are just taking quick looks in cold weather!


Sunday, December 9, 2012


Keep's Rumor Has It- (chestnut wooly doe) kindled three babies today! Unfortunately the REW is a peanut, but she did have two beautifully marked brokens.

Sky's Lillith (formerly "Torn Ear") also kindled today- I believe there are six fat little squirmy babies in the box.  Lillith is a little on edge as this is her first litter, so I resisted the urge to pull all the babies out and get a more accurate count.

I am thrilled to have babies again and even more happy that the Florida White project is off to a good start! The top babies from this litter will be for sale in an attempt to get more folks interested in the breed here in North Carolina, the rest will be processed.    It is possible that the top doe from the litter will stay on so that we can track her growth rate and eventually send her on to Haiti as a proven producer herself.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Florida White Update and Slight Blog Change

Well it looks like Tim's Florida Whites are about to take off!

Sky's "Torn Ear" (he needs to name these creatures) is nesting like crazy!  She is due on Friday along with Keep's Rumor Has It, a chestnut wooly doe.

Sky's "Other Doe" finally allowed herself to be bred by Sky's "Buck" (I told you he needs to name them!) so we should be having another litter three weeks

I am  making a slight change to the blog.  I don't typically tag each post, but I am making an exception.  All Florida White updates will be found under the tag "Haiti" for ease of keeping up with the project. 

The Florida Whites are enjoying their attempt at transition to more natural foods.  Unfortunately we're heading in to winter, so while I am collecting what I can, we aren't going to be able to do a total switch over this year, though I do plan on supplementing with apples, sweet potatoes, etc. throughout the cold weather. 

Once Spring comes, I'm planning on hitting the conversion harder and focusing more on foods that will be found in Haiti.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Warm Weather

It's December 1st and here in my little corner of North Carolina, the temperature is aiming for the mid-60s.

I love it.

I am planning on getting the last few does bred while we have nice weather. Hopefully the second Florida White doe will finally breed.  The first one was easy, but the second one does not care to have babies. 

While outside, I'll be trying to gather up more pinecones for Christmas treats for the bunnies.  They are toy and munchies all in one- plus they are free! Can't beat free. 

I had briefly entertained the thought of trying to get pictures of some of the juniors, but Tim just informed me he "doesn't want to do anything, ever" today.  Guess I probably shouldn't ask about his help getting pictures.  Sigh.

Everyone is doing great- the next litters aren't expected until December, so it's quiet around here.  I don't have any shows coming up soon either, so I guess we're just in a holding pattern.  Sometimes it's nice to have that break.