Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Beating the Standard

There was a lady at this weekend’s show.  I’ve seen her at a few shows…not showing, but checking out the rabbits and such.  She is really nice and I always enjoy talking to her.  I didn’t have a rabbit for her just then, but directed her to a fellow breeder that had some nice juniors.   

When he returned from the sale, he mentioned that the lady wanted to buy a show rabbit, but was worried about competing against the breeder.  She felt it was would be a losing battle.  He eased her mind, explaining that we all compete together and the winner is just the judge’s opinion of the best rabbit on THAT day…it could be different tomorrow, or with another judge. Really, anyone has a chance as long as we’re raising animals with good body type and wool texture/density.   

That statement was what really got me thinking…whom are we competing against?    

The SOP may be the #1 seed, but I root for the underdogs.
Maybe the correct question is…WHAT are we competing against?  ARBA’s Standard of Perfection.  

At least that’s how I look at it.  Every breeding decision, every feeding regime, and every animal purchase is geared to a single goal:  Beating the Standard.   

I take what I have, try to make smart decisions and make my herd better so I can come closer and closer to beating that SOP.  Sure, there are other folks there with rabbits on the judge’s table.  But the competition is a group effort of like-minded people with the same adversary ...sounds like a team to me!  

That Standard needs a major butt whoopin’ and I LOVE to see it get it. I am happy whenever I see a fine animal…if it's mine, that's awesome. If it's someone else's, that's awesome too.  It just means a teammate has made a good play. Someone scored a buzzer beater...blocked a shot.  Good for them.  High five! When they do it, we all win. Go team! 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Thumbs Up for SARBA Show!

Thumbs up for Defiance, too! 
My husband doesn't like rabbits so much, but even he was excited at this weekend's SARBA Show in Seguin.  

Our girl, Defiance, won BOB in Show A!  We were so proud that she was able to win her first leg.  She's our first homegrown rabbit so that made it extra sweet. 

There were Angoras everywhere this weekend and it was so great to see that.  There were 8 English Angoras, 17 Satin Angoras, and 5 French Angoras...Wow! 

Here's the results:
Show A (Judge Mike Withrow)
English Angora BOB: Brian and Kelly F. (Defiance's first leg!)
English Angora BOS: Danielle N.
French Angora BOB: Michael and Linda F.
French Angora BOS: Michael and Linda F. 
Satin Angora BOB: Dana F.
Satin Angora BOS: Dana F.

Show B (Judge Loyd Morgan, Jr.)
English Angora BOB: Sasha M.
English Angora BOS: Danielle N.
French Angora BOB: Michael and Linda F.
French Angora BOS: Michael and Linda F.
Satin Angora BOB: Dana F.
Satin Angora BOB: Dana F.

Dana and Sasha showing how to make yarn.
Sasha and Dana gave a wonderful spinning demonstration.  They gathered quite a crowd and gained a few new Angora fans.  Their demonstration was just a little bit of what the Texas Angora Rabbit Club has planned.  It was exciting to see so many people interested. I got to see Ricardo again who gave me some great feeding tips to help my Angoras grow better.  I practiced pencil drafting with Sasha and Dana brought her Ashford spinning wheel. This was the first time I actually saw one in person.  I have to get one of those!..super cool. 

Danielle and her two pretty English Angoras
I also got to visit with Danielle and her girls again. It was good to see them and how nice their rabbits are developing. Everyone is so friendly and cooperative...a real fellowship of friends working for one goal.  Beat the Standard! What an awesome group of people and...we had a great representation of Angora rabbits.    

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Kelfla Project Web Site

I fought it for a long time, but I finally gave in and set up a Web site.  My blog was getting so crowded and it was evident that I would soon max out the number of pages anyhow.  

I must say that I just LOVE  Wow, do they know how to make things easy!  I might never go back to Flux (a sort of Dreamweaver for Mac users).  Although I love the creativity factor with Flux, you can't beat for easy of set up. Web site is  I have slimmed down and migrated most information to the Web site.  I will still continue the blog.  I'm having too much fun to stop that.  I just think the Web site will work much better to keep things organized.  I can always use more organization in my life :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Photos from Rapunxel's Mom

Rapunxel meets her neighbor...who is not
sure what she is. But don't worry...Rapunxel is
accustomed to dogs and is well supervised. 
I was absolutely tickled to get these pics from Rapunxel's Mom, Jerrilyn. It is obvious that our pretty little chocolate girl is super lucky. She's got a dazzling personality and makes friends everywhere she, she has the most awesome name ever! 

Rapunxel relaxing in her favorite garden spot. 
Rapunxel's mom tells me was a big hit at the local vendor market and has a best friend pug to keep her company. I was so happy to see her frolicking in the garden of her new home and learn that pretty girl lives in the music room of her artist mom...such a perfect home for a bunny.

Running the Bunny 500 in the spiral herb garden...
Go, Rapunxel, Go!
Anyhow, thank you so much for sending pictures, Jerrilyn. I love seeing happy rabbits. I knew she'd be a perfect fit for you. 

 Jerrilyn wanted me to let everyone know that Angora bunnies must be supervised and brushed down (or blown out with a pet blower) when playing outdoors. Their cute little fluffy bodies act as dust mops...picking up all kinds of debris. She's absolutely right...but they're sooo cute hopping around the yard, that it's totally worth the extra work.  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hoppin' Circle February Wrap Up

Oak Ridge Rabbitry shows us the imporatance of being transparent in our rabbitry.

At Home Pets tells us how she breeds for health in her rabbitry.

The Kelfla Project shows us how they stay organized with a animal management application.

Fisher Farms Rabbitry shows us their set up for taking sassy pictures of their adorable buns.

Hendricks Hearth tackles a very important topic in The Hay Post.

Rabbit Smarties introduces us to the breed; Silver.

October Grace Rabbitry shares with us some of their dreams for their barn.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Grit's Guide to Backyard Rabbits

by the publisher of
Mother Earth News
I was in my favorite store the other day...Tractor Supply, and picked up a copy of Grit's Guide to Backyard Rabbits.  This edition was chalked full with good info about rabbits.  I particularly liked that they addressed most aspects of raising rabbits...pets, meat, fur, and show.   They forgot the fiber aspect this time, but I won't be too hard on 'em...still lots of good stuff.      

Some highlights from the magazine were:

  • Raising rabbits for meat and breeding stock...lots of reasons why rabbits are a viable meat source, breeding tips, and a historical look at changes in our agriculture and food systems.
  • Some scrumptious looking rabbit dishes with recipes.
  • A look at meat rabbits on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy's  Rare Breeds List.
  • Separating pets from meat...eating the animals you raise as a solution to today's food source concerns.
  • Raising rabbits as livestock...a primer on rabbit care. 
  • DYI Rabbit Home and Equipment...nice housing plans for a wire cage, stand alone covered hutch, wire nestboxes, and a plan for stacking cages. 

  • How to make hay the old-fashioned way.
  • The Rabbit House...rabbit colony living as a housing alternative.
  • Bunny Love...a primer on pet rabbit care and a list of popular pet and show breeds.   
  • Handling garden pests...not just wild rabbits.  This section includes plans for a humane trap.
  • Professional rabbitry advice from a conservation breeder...this one focuses on meat rabbit production. 
  • How to tan rabbit hides, sew the fur, and find a market.
  • An excerpt from Storey's Guide to Raising Rabbits gives information about showing your rabbits. 
  • A review on classic rabbit literature...and an interesting story about President Jimmy Carter and a marsh rabbit.  

The magazine ends with a list of resources for everything you need to raise the best bunnies for whatever reason you choose....available at a Tractor Supply near you.  Good read!  

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

TRBA State Show Deadline Extended!

Texas Rabbit Breeders Association
In case you haven't heard, the Texas Rabbit Breeders Association State Show deadline has been extended to March 12th!  So if you're like me and was all talk, no action...there is still time to send in your entry forms.  I completely forgot (although I continually reminded others) to mail in my entries and had to email TRBA on Monday begging for mercy.

Yes! We have a logo.  Thanks, Sasha!
I can't wait to see every one at the show!  Our first Texas Angora Rabbit Club meeting is show weekend (Saturday, March 31st @ 12:30pm).  Ricardo Gonzalez (Road to Angora), Sasha McPherson (Sasha's Haven), Dana Faber (Gray Haven Farms) and I have been working behind the scenes making sure our first meeting is a success.  I love my Angoras, but I have to say that Constitution & By-Laws are the most yucky things EVER lol! We'll have the C&BLs and meeting agenda posted on Facebook around mid-March...also, resumes for officers and director positions.  

If you are around for the State Show, please stop by our TARC booth and say Hi!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Welcome, Defiance!

Defiance...named after one of my son's fave punk bands.
Our little chocolate doe went to her new home a week ago Friday.  After all my years of pet foster care, I'd think it would not be so bittersweet, but it was and always is. I really liked her, but I think she will be quite happy and well taken care of in her new home.
Defiance in the clover
(another good rock band name)

Defiance, well....being defiant.  

So that left me with one thing to do...welcome Defiance to the herd.  

She was my little mystery she's a pretty lilac pearl.  She's a sweet girl and very people focused.  I've been a little disappointed in her density, though.  When she was next to her sister, it was super obvious. I have noticed that she has been showing some improvement in this area so maybe she is just a late bloomer. Both of her parents are very dense.  She has a nice head and ear set.  Furnishings look good, too.  Overall, I am pleased with how she is developing.  Welcome, little one! 

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