Friday, May 25, 2012

Kits Move Into The Bunny Room

Sleepy kits during
kitchen demolition
Hershey and Cimmerian's kits are now 6 weeks old and have lived with us in our living room all their life. They are all doing really well.  My daughter and I weigh them every afternoon and all are gaining weight and growing.  So....since Hershey joined the rest of the herd earlier in the week (the kits were making her cuckoo), we decided that it was time to have all the rabbits centrally located in the bunny room. 

You guys again!
I have mixed feelings because I so enjoy having them in the house with us, even though I could live without the stray hay bits everywhere. But, these little guys will definitely be bomb proof kits because they have been through everything! 

Relaxing in their new room
They've survived car rides, moving to a new house, rambunctious kids, yappy dogs, and a kitchen demolition...complete with miter saws, high powered drills, and hammering that would have drove most humans nuts.  They took it all in stride as they spread out on their pen floor, quietly munching hay through it all.  They are all happily social and come running up the to anyone who dares pass by the pen...begging for attention.  Of course, I always stop to visit which means that I am always behind in my daily duties. Oops!   
Oops! Me getting caught in the
rabbit room...again. Maybe we should have
left everyone in the living room haha :)

This morning was definitely weird.  I get up at 5am every day and peck on the computer while listening to the wake up ping of cage wire against that morning's bouncy bunny feet.  Today it was so quiet.  Sure, I got up and went to check on everyone tucked in the bunny room.  They were all just fine and I can't resist visiting everyone for a quick pat on the head before heading back out and waking up the rest of the house.  Still, it was different...empty nest syndrome, I'm sure :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Will Work For Bunny

Kiki's Satin Angora Fund Jar filling up!
My lovely daughter has been working hard.  Why?....She wants a Satin Angora. Like a lot of new Angora enthusiasts, my daughter was a bit intimidated by all that lovely wool.  But after months of Angora envy, she's figured that if I can do it...she can do it too! At this year's TRBA State Show, Kiki finally got up the nerve to ask my bunny friend Dana about her lovely Satin Angoras.  They struck a deal for a beautiful SA Dana planned on taking to convention.  What a fortunate find!  Thanks, Dana!

Using her fingers to separate the wool.

Of course, nothing in life is free so we had to ask how she planned on raising funds for this rabbit and its housing.  She laid out a plan that started with a money jar, a request for cash gifts for birthdays, and extra help for around the house.  She'll utilize a spare cage that needs only minor tweaking. She used her math skills to see how much money she'd need to raise monthly to stay on track for her goals.  So far, she's right on track.  I've very proud of her for making a plan and sticking to it!

Little Sun loves to be groomed
This weekend Kiki was out in the bunny room honing her Angora skills.  She helped me groom the rabbits and organize the room. I was so happy to have her join me for an activity that I usually do all on my own.  We had a great time chatting about rabbits, spinning, boys (eek!) and shows.  I am looking forward to going to the shows with her this fall.  I think we're going to have a great time. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Program Guidelines

One of my juniors...5 months ago.  
I love the spring shows.  There is so much promise with the young juniors.  Everyone is prepping his or her representatives for Convention in October.  

All this excitement of new beginnings reminded me to readdress my personal rabbit breeding philosophy and where I’m trying to go with my breed.

Before I even bred my first rabbit, I wrote a set of notes…things I would not compromise on. It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, but I am a firm believer in drawing the blueprints before you build the house.  

I consider these my own personal guidelines, mostly based on my personal experiences and what I've learned from others... pulled from out of one of the many rabbit notebooks I have laying around. 

Now my guidelines may be different from other people's (or the same)...and that's OK. I just felt that I needed something put out there for myself because I'm someone who needs guidelines... something written to keep me focused.  

Just to share…here are a few of the things I wrote down in the beginning:
·      I will not breed a rabbit that exhibits a genetic condition undesirable for my breed, regardless of other redeeming qualities.
·      I will not release a rabbit with pedigree that exhibits a disqualification of the breed per ARBA's Standard of Perfection.
·      I will be a positive force for my breed…kind and encouraging to others, a good sport when competing, and a fine steward for my herd.
·      I will focus on the recognized varieties of my breed and remain a purist in breeding activities (just like I'm a purist in baseball). Originally, this meant that I wouldn't mess with hybrid Angoras. 

These seem pretty easy and straightforward, but I've been surprised about how easily things can become muttled in the rabbit world. Angoras a few and far between around my parts. That makes my simple guidelines sometimes not so simple.  But, even so, I came across those guidelines this weekend (emptying boxes). I was happy to pull them out and notice that I have hopefully not strayed too far from those guidelines. 

Temptation remains, though, and I have to admit…I am completely enamored with broken English Angoras…and I have this cute little broken buck with a great body.  However, my guidelines say that I only focus on recognized varieties. One day, they'll be recognized...but right now there are big guns working on that so I must leave it be for now...or that's what I tell myself. 

Geez…I think I need those notes poster-sized and hanging on my bunny room wall.    

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Rapunxel ,Rapunxel...let down your long hair

Rapunxel is doing just that....letting her hair wool down around PetSmart...around the house...around the yard! 

Here's some new pictures from our favorite chocolate fiber girl, Rapunxel!  Her bunny mom was kind enough to send some new pics so we could see how she is doing!  I just love how silky her wool looks in the sun.  She's a beautiful bunny...and living the good life in her mama's music room! Rapunxel has the run of the house most of the day now.  She has learned her litterbox manners...much to her mom's relief, I'm sure.   

When Rapunxel is not lounging around the house, she is a busy girl. She has visited the library for a children's demo and she even got to go to PetSmart! Rapunxel is an amazing bunny ambassador and draws adoring fans where ever she goes.  I am so happy Rapunxel's mom gets to spread the Angora love.  These rabbits are so wonderful.  I always tell people...Don't hold one.  You'll never want to let it go! 

My favorite pic is the one I call "The Three Musketeers" where Rapunxel, Rapunxel's best buddy Jinx and kitty are all hanging out on the lawn...or maybe it should be called "The Three Amigos"...either way, it's pretty cute.   

Of course, I always have to add a disclaimer that Angora rabbits require a lot of extra maintenance.  They are not for everyone.  Rapunxel's mom is a very experienced bunny mom and she is able to do a lot with her bunny because she knows bunny body language.  I am so happy she shares Rapunxel's life with I can share with you :) 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Central Texas RC Show Wrap Up

Kiera grooming pretty Chrissy
Boy was it hot on Saturday, but our Angoras had a fun filled day nevertheless! The Central Texas Rabbit Club show in Austin, TX was well-run as usual.  I got to see a lot of my Angora friends...  Danielle and her always beautiful children, Ricardo, Sasha, and Dana. Sasha's lovely English Angoras stayed home this time, but she and her mom brought their Satin Angoras.  There were plenty of Angoras represented ...10 English Angoras, 15 Satin Angoras, and 4 French Angoras. 

Here are the results:
 Show A (Judge Scott Weibensohn)
English Angora BOB - Brian Flading (Defiance's 3rd leg!)
English Angora BOS - Ricardo Gonzalez
French Angora BOB - Michael/Linda Franke
French Angora BOS - Michael/Linda Franke
Satin Angora BOB - Dana Faber
Satin Angora BOS - Dana Faber
Show B (Judge Gail Krall)
English Angora BOB - Brian Flading (Defiance again!)
English Angora BOS - Ricardo Gonzalez
French Angora BOB - Michael/Linda Franke
French Angora BOS - Michael/Linda Franke
Satin Angora BOB - Sasha McPherson
Satin Angora BOS - Sasha McPherson

Little Sun & Defiance in the coop
 I felt bad for Defiance's mama, Little Sun.  She came to the show as well and was quite pretty, but was unable to outshine her little girl.  Little Sun got some great comments for wool texture, density, and furnishings.  Her body type just doesn't quite measure up to Defiance, though.  Little Sun is a little long in the shoulder and ever so slightly pinched.  This was the first time they both were shown in a full coat and I could feel good about my decision to breed her to Cimmerian.  Defiance is an improvement over her parents and that is, after all, what it's all about.  I felt fortunate that Defiance got her mother's lovely wool and her father's nicer body type. 

Ricardo cooping his REWs
Other notes from the show included a lesson in using the blower from Ricardo. He has an amazing little Metro QuickDraw blower. I like it much better than my bulkier Metro AF Commander.  Ricardo also helped me learn how to deal with accidental show bunny spayings from cage neighbors and how to clean up your bun (without clipping the wool) if this ever happens...such useful info!  I also practiced feeling body type by putting my hands on almost every one of Ricardo's rabbits.  Thanks, Ricardo!

I also got to see a rabbit's teeth get clipped.  I had never seen that before and I have to say that my friend, Susan, is most skillful.  I hope she made that beautiful bunny a little more comfortable and her human mom's day a little brighter.  
Dana, Sasha, and Judge Scott
I must also note that all the judges this weekend gave interesting comments, but as an Angora breeder, Judge Scott was full of some extra useful information.  It was a pleasure to hear his comments and I can't say enough how much I learn every time I show my, if you don't show your rabbits, you don't know what you're missing!         
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