Saturday, December 22, 2012

Time & Money

L to R: Time, black tort,  Money, & 2 blues
Hubby and I have a breakfast date every Friday morning.  I love our time together because we get to talk about all kinds of things without either of us being distracted by homework, cooking, laundry, rabbit chores, house chores, or dogs.  

This week's topic was about our new litter of rabbits for the 2013 show season.  We have 5 pretty kits from Cimmerian and Princess Grace.  Last year, we decided that we would divide our rabbits into two lines: a shaded gene line and a line of REWs, torts, and self.  This all started because my hubby felt that since he helped finance my rabbits, he should get naming rights.  So, in the spirit of compromise, hubby names the shaded rabbits and I name the others.  

The kits are so far (I think) are 2 blues, 1 black tort, 1 pearl of some sort, and a smoke pearl.  I mentioned that hubby should start thinking about names for his two shaded rabbits.  Without hesitation, he said, "I've already picked out names.  One will be called User of Time.  The other will be called Lots of Money."  
Ugh.  I think he got me.  

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

These Are A Few of My Favorite (Rabbit) Things...


This is probably not what Maria in The Sound of Music had in mind, but here are a few of my favorite things over the course of this year. 

Rabbitech cages:  I LOVE my Rabbitech cages! If I never live to see another drop pan, I'll be OK.  I just need another set of cages for Kiki's Satin Angoras. 

Sherwood Forest Natural Rabbit Feed: This feed is the best rabbit nutrition around IMO.  I can't wait for it to come in 50# bags. Yes, it's expensive if you have a larger herd, but my herd is small so it works for me. I choose to feed it because nutrition makes the most difference...for all of us, including rabbits. If you see me at the shows, ask about this feed.  I'll be happy to talk to you about it...and give you a small sample bag.  I'm not a representative, just a happy customer. 


Wools & Tools:  My favorite yarn shop in town where I hone my skills at knitting, crocheting and spinning yarn.  Plus, they're the only other folks in town that go ga-ga over fiber. 


Wee-Wee Puppy Pads:  I used to put pine pellets in the bottom of my carrier trays, but now I prefer 1/2 sheet of a Wee-Wee Pad  in my trays when traveling.  The post-show cleanup is so much easier. I also use the puppy pads to line  nestboxes. Wee-Wee Pads have a frequent purchase program.  Collect 10 UPC codes from your packages and mail them in to get $10 in savings back. I buy mine at Tractor Supply Stores where they're $5 for a bag of 30.

Texas Thrift Stores:  I have snagged whole packages of adult Depends (for kits in the nestbox..I know, I know), crocks, litterboxes and a ton of polyester grooming shirts that make me look like I belong on the set of That 70's show. Note: make sure to sanitize any pet supplies you get at secondhand stores...just in case.  

Rabbit/Fiber Friends: Can't complete a list of my favorite things without adding my rabbit and fiber friends (both new and old). I've learned a lot from everyone and I sooo appreciate it.  Thanks for everything :)



Friday, December 14, 2012

Google + Rabbit Communities

I spend a lot of time on Facebook...however, not so much to keep up with family and friends anymore.  I am usually on the Facebook rabbit groups.  While these groups can be super dramatic, they can also be an interactive resource of information if used properly.  I've really learned a lot from discussions on these groups.  

Facebook groups are great, but Facebook isn't the only way to communicate with rabbit people.  The new Google + Community pages (released December 6th) also does all the great things Facebook does, but it allows topics to be searchable...which Facebook does not.

I know that the last thing some folks need is yet another social network to keep track of, but it's really not bad if the Google+ application is downloaded to your phone or computer. You can get (or turn off) notifications just like Facebook.  Most rabbit social media folks are on Facebook, but I think the Google+ communities will provide an additional way for rabbit people to communicate with the added bonus of indexed content...no more scrolling through a zillion old posts to find that one post about nestbox management

Above is a video about Google communities and below are a couple of links to rabbit communities. Enjoy!

Google+ Rabbit Breeders Community
Google+ Angora Rabbits Community 
  


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Johnson County RBA Show WrapUp



Kelfla's Bruce Lee
Judge Ken & writer @ Show B
Just my daughter and I went up for the Cleburne show this past weekend.  We had a great time visiting with our rabbit friends.  Last time we were in Cleburne, we came to the Friday show as well, but this time we could only squeeze in the Saturday show. 


My daughter brought her new Satin Angora she got from Amanda LaDue and got a lot of great comments (Thanks, Amanda!).  

Both of the judges were so complementary and really took the time to talk to Kiki about her rabbitI can't say enough how much a kind judge will impact a youth exhibitor.  Kiki was completely pumped after the show.  It was so nice to see her so excited.  








Here are the show results:

Show B (Judge Ken McCracken)
English Angoras BOB: Ricardo Gonzalez (blue tort doe)
English Angoras BOS: Kelly Flading (black buck)
Satin Angoras BOB: Kiki (REW doe)

Show C (Judge Conall Addison)
English Angoras BOB: Ricardo Gonzalez (blue tort doe)
English Angoras BOS: Ricardo Gonzalez (REW buck)
Satin Angoras BOB: Kiki (REW doe)


Ricardo grooming one of his beautiful REWs
Kiki & LaDue's Marshmallow





Monday, December 10, 2012

Catching Up

There has been a lot going on lately.  So much that I have been neglecting my blog...nothing bad, just enjoying my rabbits and rabbit hobby. I've been learning so much.  Since I haven't been around, I thought I'd share a bit of what I've been up to.
  • Lots of Christmas knitting at my favorite yarn shop. So far, I've completed the shawl, three pairs of mittens and have begun work on an octopus.  I belong the the local fiber guild and I've made a lot of new friends and have even learned to spin. Yay!
  • Rearranging the rabbit room.  We've completely moved everything around to better organize the space we have. I love that we brought back in the pens DH had made for me.  The Rabbitech cages are great, but my hubby's handmade cages are very special to me, plus they make great nursery pens.  
  • We also enstalled a camera system inside the rabbit room.  I can watch "bunny TV" from the comfort of my own living room couch. It's great!
  •   Club work. My secretarial duties have definitely kept me busy with the Southern Angora Rabbit Club.  We're working on our ARBA affiliation and setting our 2013 webinar schedule. We were so lucky to end our 2012 webinar season with a great presentation by Linda Cassella. It was so informative. Everyone asked such amazing questions.  I'm very thankful to Linda for to taking the time to answer everyone's questions. 
  • Add to that all the holiday hoopla, Kiki's volleyball schedule and Brian's fall semester class load...well, things have been busy. 
Hopefully, I've gotten a grip on things around here and can catch up again.  And now, if you'll excuse me...I've got some Christmas decorations to get up :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Better Late Than Never

NARBC Booth..My wool entries placed 3rd & 6th
A Betty Chu Tort (L) and my Bruce Lee (R)...No pressure lol
I know it's bad, but I am just now uploading a few Convention pictures that I had stowed away in the camera.  It's been a crazy few weeks getting caught up after being gone a week. I've been working with fiber mostly and a bit of knitting/crocheting, but the next show is in a little over a week and I just realized that I hadn't posted in a while.  

Marcus, Margaret, and Judge Allen
So...Here's  a few pictures from ARBA Convention 2012.  It was really an amazing experience.  I enjoyed it all.  I wish I had taken more pictures, but I was too busy taking it all in. 
 




Marcus looks on as Judge Allen comments

Our vantage point..best seat in the house. 

 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Adopt-A-Teacher Program

The American Agriculture Alliance recently received a grant to give out 200 Adopt-A-Teacher kit at no cost to those who request one.  We sent an application in for one of our area schools.  

We received a letter today from the organization saying our sponsorship of an Adopt-A-Teacher kit was accepted! I was excited to see that there were all types of books, videos, brochures, and an educational CD with printable activity sheets that teachers can use to teach children about agriculture. 

So many people today do not realize the connection between the farm and the food we eat. It's awesome that most of us can run to the grocery store and buy what we need. However, it is also important to know where our food comes from.   

There were categories for general animal agriculture (Rabbits fit here.), pork, poultry, beef, dairy, and lamb.  The teacher receives posters about food and farms, virtual farm tours CD, animal fact brochures, "Adopt A Cow" flyer, and activity sheets that highlight housing, nutrition, and animal welfare.
 

The Animal Agriculture Alliance, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is a broad-based coalition of individual farmers, ranchers, producer organizations, suppliers, packer-processors, scientists, veterinarians, and retailers. The Alliance's mission is to communicate the important role of animal agriculture to our nation's economy, productivity, vitality, and security. The Alliance shows how animal well-being is central to producing safe, high-quality, affordable food and other products essential to our daily lives


Friday, October 19, 2012

We Have TWO Yarn Shops Now!

So...there's this new yarn shop right around the corner from my house. This could be trouble. 

I've been there about three times within the week and plan to be there tonight for the Friday night group.  Figured that this would be a wonderful way to prep for Christmas gifts.  I already have a list of items I wish to make for the holidays.  Now I just have to carve out time to make everything. 

My current project is a shawl for Mom (Cassie don't tell lol).  I chose a wonderful Malabrigo worsted weight yarn in a color called Paris Nights.  It's beautiful....dark blue with a touch of forest green.  Looks like the deep ocean.  Fabulous!  
 
The shop is stocked with KnitPicks, Malabrigo yarns, dyed roving, wool, spindles and an assortment of other fiber fiend goodies. 
 

And best of all...that's not the only yarn shop in town. Yay! The other one is the Old Spinning Wheel shop. I really like it, too. 

Old Spinnng Wheel has a nice complement of items like Cascade yarns, wonderful books, and also KnitPicks.  They have a group that meets on Thursdays if you're on that side of town. I'm so happy to see fiber enthusiasts have places of their own in our area.

If you're in the Central Texas area, check them both out....Wools & Tools and The Old Spinning Wheel.  

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Learning to Dye Yarn


One of the perks of being a TARC club member is access to all our webinars...not bad for $5 a year.  I have gotten a lot of great information from these little informal webinars.  My favorite so far was the interactive webinar Dyeing with Dana.  It was so much fun!  

I gathered all the supplies and dyed my yarn along with Dana from Gray Haven Farms.  We had a great time! I chose Berry Punch and Lemon Lime Flavor Aid.  I'm very pleased with the color.  Dana showed us how to dye our yarn, dry it, and then card it using slicker brushes.  

Once my wool dried, I couldn't resist trying my drop spindle again and spun the yarn.  I made a 100% English Angora 2-ply yarn. Yay!

This was my first real attempt at making my own yarn so it's pretty lumpy (art yarn-ish) but I had a blast creating something myself from animals I raise. Best of all, it wasn't hard at all. 

 I only made a small amount of yarn so I searched the Web for a tiny project and found a cute, little bracelet.  I'm going to try to make it.

Once I'm done, I'll post a picture.  This was such a fun project. I can't wait to try more colors.    

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Litter Box Adventures - Part Deux


Continuing with the litter box theme...We also tried what we dubbed the "Sterilite Special". 

It is a modified Sterilite plastic storage bin.  This worked pretty well for our messier bucks.  It was definitely cheap...$1.25 spent on black plastic door guard trim.   

We simply used an old plastic container we had and the plastic door guard trim.  We started by drawing our door onto the container using a sharpie marker.  We then drilled a hole through the plastic (and inside the door we drew) so a jigsaw blade could fit in. We then used the jig saw to cut out the door. 

WARNING: Be very careful if you try doing this.  Wear safety glasses and watch hands/fingers.  Plastic cuts  very differently than wood.  We only made one because I was chicken about the cutting.  A Dremel might work better, but ours burnt out during one of my other "ideas".  

The door guard trim went around the cut edges to keep from snagging wool.  We drilled holes through the plastic and used carabiner clips to attach the litter box to the cage.  We placed wood pellets in the bottom and put a plastic foot pad over the pellets.  

The Sterilite Special worked well at first. Then our buck decided to just use the area just outside the litter box.  He didn't seem to like the "trapped in" feeling when he was inside.  I wonder if he'd like it better if we cut out two holes in the tote.  Rabbits always seem like to have another exit so that could have been the problem.  

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Litter Box Adventures

I try to litterbox train rabbits before they go to another home.  I think this helps make owning just one or two rabbits (in a non-herd setting) much easier.  I try to set the rabbit up for success.  Most take to litterbox training very well.  This has lead to some experiments with different litter boxes as I try to balance what I like with what my pocketbook likes. Over the next few posts, I thought I would share a few of my litter box adventures.
The corner litter box with wire grate works great short term.  It is expensive, though.  I got mine for about $17 for the extra large corner litter box from a large chain pet retailer.  Sure, it's fine for one or two, but not a practical purchase for a herd.  

One of the problems with this type of litter box is that rabbits like to chew on the removable lip that comes with the litter box.  I don't know why the manufacturer even bothered to put it on.  I (or the rabbit) took all of them off of my litter boxes. 

The small wire grate is not very durable either.  I purchased several litter boxes over a period of time and most of the wire grates failed within 2 months of use.  These litter boxes do work great for kits and young juniors, though.  I usually leave these in my weaning pens.   

Also, feisty rabbits can learn to wiggle the latches that hold the litter box to the cage.  They then wear it as a hat...which is very entertaining to them and to me, but does not allow the litter box to serve its purpose, plus it is no fun to get pine pellets out of wool. I think this litter box is the prettiest though out of the ones I've tried.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

American Dwarf Hotot Rabbit Club Membership

I recently joined the ADHRC because...well, among other reasons, dwarf hotots are so stinkin' cute.  I have been looking at them...thanks, DH blog friends...for some time now.  I eventually will add another breed to my project...like within the next year or so.  I wanted the second breed to be a regular haired rabbit, but one that would be challenging enough for me to stay interested (but hopefully not frustrated).  Of course, it had to be visually appealing as well.  I think dwarf hotots fit the bill.

The ADHRC seemed like a great place to start.  For a $10 membership, I got a great guide book, pamphlets, and general information about dwarf hotot rabbit breeders in my area.  I think that's a pretty good deal! I have already read the guide book from cover to cover.  There was lots of interesting information regarding DH genetics.  I'm learning a lot already. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

New Rabbitech System = Rabbit Room Remodel

Painting the rabbit room Behr paint color "Peru"
"Peru" means purple....very purple.
Rabbitech as it arrives on a pallet
"Now where ARE those directions?"
Christmas (and my birthday, and anniversary) came early this year.  Hubby surprised me with a new cage system from KW Cages...Rabbitech Cages.  Woohoo!!!  

They arrived this week on a nice little pallet.  That meant moving everything out of the rabbit room and a good scrubbing. Blah.

Sooo, since the room was empty anyway....out comes the sketch pad to draw up a rabbit room makeover.  First was a new paint color...
something bright and tropical.  A fiery coral was my first pick, but I really wanted something cooler.  So I went with a Behr paint called Peru.  Jeepers, it's super purple!  I could never get away with that inside the house...so we just went for it.  Hubby was kind enough to help...again.
 
All put together and ready
 In the end, we only finished half of the rabbit room...just enough to get the cage system in.  The rest will come along throughout the winter.  But I have a nice sketch to guide me.   


It took two days to put that Rabbitech system together, but this morning...it was totally worth it!  Just a bucket of water down the drains and I was done cleaning.  Bye, bye trays.  Thank goodness! What to do now?.....well, groom....of course.    

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

More on Sherwood Forest NRF

My feed (Top); SFNRF Pregnant Rabbit (Bottom L); SFNRF M/S (Bottom R)
We've gone just past two weeks on my little Sherwood Forest Natural Rabbit Feed trial.  We initially started with just the Pregnant Rabbit Feed.  I felt this was a good place to start because good nutrition starts with Mama. I planned to transition the babies to the Baby Rabbit Feed, grow the kits out, and then transition to the Maintenance/Show. 

However, I was so enamored with the freshness of the pregnant rabbit feed, that I ordered a box of the Sherwood Forest NRF Maintenance/Show feed as well. I must say that the Maintenance/Show formula looks even better.  It's so pretty and smells great. 

Here's what I've noticed so far:
  • Rabbit's urine is clearer than with my regular feed. 
  • Less rabbit urine odor, which meant less flies for me to swat.
  • The rabbits really like it.  
 I have begun transitioning most of the herd to the Maintenance/Show feed as well.  Our super picky eater Satin Angora just scarfs it up.  Picky French Toast is now leaving the old feed in the feed dish. Everyone else likes it, too. Of course, we're still in the transition stage and plan to continue transitioning throughout the week. I'll be monitoring for all the usual things like loose stools and such. Of course, it's too early to tell just how things will work out for the herd. But, the feed looks so fresh and clean. That's promising.  I'll definitely be keeping tabs on how the herd does. 



Sunday, September 23, 2012

Johnson County RC/SW RBA Show Wrapup

It was wonderful to see my show friends after a long summer break, BUT...Boy, was it hot in Cleburne TX this weekend!  

Judge Scott judging BIS
We arrived at Friday evening's show and I almost turned right around and went home as it was mighty hot in the barn for Angoras.  The rabbits went straight to the hotel while I checked in for the show. 
 

We took a bit of a gamble, but I was worried about the rabbits. Angoras are usually called to the judge's table towards the end of the show here.  I stayed at the show to be able to scratch the rabbits in case they were called.  Hubby had bunny sitting duties until the sun went down and everything cooled off.  
Bruce Lee's BFF, the fan
I grabbed what was likely the last power outlet in the building and settled in.  Once the sun set and temps cooled, the rabbits came back and I began grooming everyone.  I had just started... and guess what?  Angoras get called to Judge Scott Rodriguez's table.  Eek! (not for Judge Scott...but for my "still in the process of being groomed" rabbits).  I gave him a big laugh by rushing to the table and putting up all three of my entries...with soft hair bands on still their furnishings. Oh geez! 

Judge Scott was very nice and I got some good comments about my all rabbits. I returned Bruce Lee to the grooming table and was able to make finish "dolling him up" for BIS Show A.  Everyone was called to the table for BIS and I was so surprised!  Bruce Lee won 2nd RIS!  I couldn't believe it...that made my whole terrible day...and lots of bunny juggling much better.  

The only thing was that all my Texas Angora friends who have mentored me (like Ricardo, Dana and Sasha) weren't scheduled to arrive until Saturday.  I wanted to call them...but it was so late.  And special thanks to my friend, Ricardo, for  telling me, "Ivermectin that baby.  He'll fill out nicely."  As always, you were right.     

The next day it was still super hot.  I spent a lot of time visiting with my good friends. I chose not to blow out coats again because I didn't want to stress the rabbits. I was working overtime just keeping them on ice. No one looked awful...just not as pretty as when when they're blown out. That's the downside of showing Angoras in Texas. 

After a day filled with ice for buns and fans, the rabbits all made it home safe and healthy.  I, however, was exhausted and dehydrated from rushing around trying to keep rabbits cool.
Here are the show results from this weekend:

Show A (Judge Scott Rodriguez)
English Angoras BOB:  Kelly Flading
2nd Reserve In Show: Kelly Flading (Yay, Bruce Lee!)

Show B (Judge Carrol Hooks)
English Angoras BOB: Caylie Voudren
English Angoras BOS: Kelly Flading (Kingfish)
Satin Angoras BOB: Dana Faber
Satin Angoras BOS: Dana Faber

Show C (Judge Ken McCracken)
English Angoras BOB: Kelly Flading (Bruce Lee)
English Angoras BOS: Sasha McPherson
Satin Angoras BOB: Dana Faber
Satin Angoras BOS: Dana Faber
   
I really wanted to stay for Show C's BIS, but it was just too hot.  It would have been nice to see how Bruce Lee did. 
 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My Yard Is Green...with Dandelion Leaves

Thanks to the much cooler weather, rain, and my lax front yard maintenance schedule, the dandelions are all abloom in my yard. Thankfully, my neighbors do not seem to mind.  I do not mind either; dandelions are my favorite flower.  They are so useful.

Every morning you can find me outside with a bowl picking the day's crop of greens.  It's the best kind of vegetable garden, growing with absolutely no meddling from me. To be honest, I would probably mess it up anyway.

Dandelion leaves have long been known to be good for rabbits.  My rabbits go crazy for them. Feeding greens is a part of my anti-woolblock regime. 

Most of the information I could find about dandelions refers to human consumption, but it probably isn't too far off base for rabbits either. Here are some interesting facts about the little dandelion leaf.
  •  Dandelions rank in the top 4 green vegetables in overall nutritional value.  
  • Dandelions leaves are a diuretic. I did not know this, but find it interesting. 
  • The dandelion's scientific name, Taraxacum officinalis, means disorder remedy of pharmaceutical value 
  •  There is a website out there totally devoted to dandelions, http://mydandelionisaflower.org
The rabbits really enjoy their treat and I get a bit of exercise. 

Sources:
 USDA Bulletin #8, "Composition of Foods" (Haytowitz and Matthews 1984)

 Clare BA, Conroy RS, Spelman K. The diuretic effect in human subjects of an extract of Taraxacum officinale folium over a single day. J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Aug;15(8):929-34.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sherwood Forest Natural Rabbit Food Trial (UPDATED)

Sherwood Forest NRF(top), my feed(bottom)


Sherwood Forest Natural Rabbit Food has been on my radar for a bit, but I just recently bit the bullet and ordered a free sample of their food.  I've read all the promotional material.  It sounded good, but why wouldn't it? It's their material. 

But, I'm super attracted by all the science-y talk and the research involved.  Sure, all the feed companies have research departments.  It's just not all out there on the company's web page. I like that.

Someone on one of the many Facebook groups, online forums, or Yahoo! groups I belonged to one gave an excellent description of what a good rabbit food should look like and what to look for on the ingredients list. I wish I would have copied the exact posting because it is what I use now as my guide to rabbit feed.  My wording is not near as good as the poster's.

This feed passed all the initial tests.  It was super green and smelled great.  All...and I mean, all of the rabbits jumped to attention the moment I opened the small plastic trial bag.  They do not usually do this. I would see actual chunks of alfalfa in the pellet.  The ingredients list contained words I could actually pronounce.  Two of my rabbits volunteered to be "guinea pigs".  I will try them on this feed and see how it goes.  While not exactly a scientific trial, I am excited to see how it goes.

What I'm worried about:
  • Protein %.  My Angoras need lots of protein to grow wool...or at least that's what I've read.  After several emails about the quality of protein with Sherwood Forest Natural Rabbit Feed, I was willing to give it a try with some of my non show herd rabbits. I actually LOVE my current feed.  I'm just curious mainly...and always looking for improvement. Although recent freshness issues have made my curiosity go into action.
  • Corn. My current feed is a corn free feed. I've read most of the research quoted on the Sherwood Forest NRF Web site.  I'll buy that corn is not better or worse than wheat or barley.  I read somewhere that sunflower meal is actually better, but I haven't seen a feed that uses it.  
GUESS WHAT!  Sherwood Forest Natural Rabbit Feed has NO CORN in it!  Whew, one less thing to worry about. Although, really I'm not scared of corn...just of change lol.   
 
We're on day 5 of our feed trial.  So far, the rabbits have transitioned well and love the feed as much as their old feed...no problems with diarrhea or loose stools.  I ordered a bigger box.  Nope, it's not cheaper than my old feed, but I think, just like the rabbits, I'm hooked on the smell.            

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Many Faces of An English Angora

Happy Cricket     
We're not one to play favorites *wink, wink*....but, Cricket is just a doll right now.  We took a million pictures of her the other day...just because she was being cute.  And....she wins this week's award for easy keeper Angora.  Her brothers are such slobs. 
Curious Cricket    
Shy Cricket    
Bored Cricket    
Feel Like Someone's Watching Me Cricket    



Thursday, September 6, 2012

Grooming Day

Terri's Stonewall Jackson (black pearl EA)         
Kelfla's Kingfish (black EA)       
We've spent the last few days grooming rabbits. Some might find this as a chore, but I LOVE grooming days.  

I wish they would pay me to run my hands through angora wool all day because I'd completely make that my career. 

The rabbits seem to enjoy it, too.  It's probably because of the dried papaya chips and tender dandelion leaves.  

A clipped Terri's Princess Grace       
Here are a few pictures from our day.



Saturday, September 1, 2012

Not The Type of Christening I Had In Mind

Athena, the offender
Even though our little dog is housetrained and has a very large yard in which to do her business...she decided to christen our shed yesterday.  

Scene of the crime
After taking a midday break, we came back to a "piddle" in the corner of the partially constructed fiber and craft creativity hut.  I'm not sure who has more irritated...DH or me (who actually cleaned it up). Athena appeared to be quite pleased with herself as evidenced by her photo. That dog is always all smiles. 

I guess she felt the need to leave her mark on our little construction project and identify it as hers.

In the end, we all ended up having a bit of a laugh about it...but  she is now restricted from the area as a result of her actions. 

Bad dog!...but cute dog, too.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Construction on the Kelfla Craft & Fiber Hut


Well, OK....It's just a shed, but I'm still super excited about having my own place to work on fiber projects and whatever else I come up with. As always, DH is busy helping make things better.  Thank goodness for him.

Although I'll have to share my "creativity hut" with holiday decorations, long forgotten sports equipment and empty computer boxes...I can hardly wait to be able to have a dedicated space for fiber storage, a spinning wheel, and an endless supply of craft magazines and supplies.  

Hopefully, we'll be finished within the next two weeks.  A lot of our schedule depends on how tough a semester Brian has.

Then we can begin on the next project:  a deck around the shed so I can sit on the front porch and spin in the morning sun. 


But...as hubby says..."One thing at a time."  

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Cavalry Group

I received my Cavalry Group membership packet in the mail yesterday.  Yay! 

The Cavalry Group is part of an additional part of my project that focuses on self-protection and a better sense of security for my rabbit enterprise.  

Of course, nothing in life is 100%, but I feel a bit better knowing that I can have a team of experienced people by my side if I were to be in need. 

They are a private member-based company focusing on protecting the right to animal ownership. They have a network of attorneys who are focused on animal ownership and animal issues. They have programs available for hobby and commercial animal breeders.  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Local Rabbit Club Meeting About Cavies

One thing I really like about our local all-breed rabbit club is that each month we learn a little something new. Kudos to those folks who plan each month's presentation, game, or activity. 

Last night we attended our monthly local rabbit club meeting and learned a bit more about cavies.  ARBA Judge Michael Franke gave an excellent presentation, teaching youth and adults about cavy body type, fur, and general care.  Right now, our activities are geared towards preparing our youth for Convention.  

Here are some things that I didn't know about guinea pigs.
  •  Four toes on the front feet....only three on the back. 
  • How much I liked the Abyssinian breed.  DH shook his head "no" from the back of the room.  
  • Roan is a white intermingled with another color...and my favorite color variety.  
  • They are only allowed two teats; anything more or less is a DQ...but they can raise 3 or 4 babies easily with no problem.    
  • Cavies become sexually mature at 3 weeks...so separate at weaning.  
  • After a 70 day gestation period, they are born with fur and eyes open...similar in development to a six week old rabbit. 
By the end of the presentation and  hands on piggie time, most of the kids were begging for a cavy.  I have to admit that I really wanted one too. 

Next month's activity....Bunny Bingo.  I can hardly wait! 


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Wait A Minute...You're Not An Angora!

We got a message from a family friend this weekend.  She has moved out of town and rabbits are not allowed in her new apartment.  

She called us to see if we would be able to locate a home for her rabbit.  I couldn't say no...because it is a dwarf hotot! 

If I ever start a non-Angora breed, it will be a dwarf hotot.  They are soooo cute!  

Of course, I jumped at the chance to take it in.  The little guy immediately found a home with my son, but I got to enjoy it for the weekend. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

It's A Long Way To Wisconsin...But Worth Every Mile

1280 miles
Recently my daughter and I took a little trip north to Superior, Wisconsin to visit one of my mentors, Terri. Terri has an English Angora blog that has been very helpful to me as I learn.  I have talked to Terri many times about my Angora rabbits, but we have not had the pleasure of meeting in person.  She had a few rabbits for sale and I wished to check them out...and learn a bit more in the process. 

My family thought I was a bit nuts to drive that far to just look at rabbits, but it was much more than that.  We attended one of the Wisconsin shows (5 shows in weekend) and I got to see what shows are like for Angora folks in other parts of the country. Plus, I soaked up valuable stuff that I would have never gotten otherwise. 

Helping a new friend with her Himalayans
It was a real learning experience to watch Terri prep her rabbits for the show.  I have to say that she was just amazing... always unfrazzled amidst a whirlwind of activity.  I could only stand around awestruck.  I really appreciated that she took the time to teach me along the way, too. I learned a lot.

 I also got to meet some other really nice Angora folks with beautiful rabbits, Deb and her daughter Alicia...and also Pam, who taught me how to needle felt. Such nice people!  I felt very welcomed...and was so excited to share in their day. I wish I lived closer OR could teleport. 

I ended up with two more wonderful rabbits to add to my herd.  I picked up a black pearl junior buck for my pearl line herd sire and a senior REW doe.  Both bunnies are gorgeous.  Princess Grace is very nice, even clipped down.  

Our favorite rest area...in Iowa...so cute and very clean.
I did fall in love with one of Terri's REW bucks.  I just couldn't keep my eyes off of him. I thought I didn't like REWs, but after seeing a REW in full coat in real life...I see what all the fuss is about.  There is nothing like a big, glorious, white cloud of a rabbit...and not cirrus clouds either, but big puffy, crawl in and sleep cumulus clouds. Spectacular!  It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. I wish I hadn't been to wrapped up in everything to take pictures during the show.  I was just too busy soaking everything in. I did brought home his mother, though. Maybe one day I'll get lucky!
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