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.    
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