Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Babies Growing Like Weeds

Kelfla's Florida
My 2013 show herd is continuing to grow. I can hardly wait until I can show them. As I've mentioned before, this is my first litter raised entirely on the Sherwood Forest Natural Rabbit Feed.  Everyone is developing well. But I did notice a difference between this litter and the previous litters raised on my regular rabbit feed.

I always weigh my kits regularly once they hit a couple of weeks old.  I usually do this so I can catch any issues early since it is often hard for me to distinguish between small amounts of weight loss in such small animals. This practice coincidentally gives me some wonderful data to compare to my present litter.  At 6 weeks of age, this litter weighed as much as my 9 week old kits did in previous litters.  

At Convention, I spoke to an ARBA judge who feeds the Sherwood Forest NRF.  He spoke highly of it and specifically mentioned the better growth rate compared to his regular feed when he test fed his meat breeds. I wasn't so concerned with growth rate (as long as it was normal), but I do see a definite difference.  I wish I had measured wool growth at that age, although I'm not sure how I would have done that...maybe measure length, but density is important too. Anyhow, I am really pleased in their progress. 


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Kiki & Marshmallow Grow Up Nicely

Judge Teri, La Due's Marshmallow & Kiki 2nd RIS

I have to admit that often kids are finicky creatures... and mine are no different, especially my youngest. She begged to get a rabbit. We got eventually got her first Angora rabbit and she quickly became overwhelmed. 

The grooming was too much for her so I took that over. She continued feeding/cleanup duties. However before I knew it, I was completely caring for the rabbit she had spent so many months begging for 

Once I found out about rabbit shows, we let the kids pick out lower maintenance rabbits to show. Unfortunately, they lost interest in them too. We went about the business of finding them new homes and I swore that I was done with my kids and rabbits. 

 A year or so of being dragged to my rabbit show events, my daughter mentioned that she wanted to try another rabbit breed.  My show buddy, Dana raises Satin Angoras and really wanted to grow the breed in our area.  So, the daughter begins the begging. We're really not buying it this time due to her "poor credit history". But, eventually, we give in, but she must buy this one herself. She immediately gets to work and saves all her money in an old pickle jar.  I'm secretly impressed. 

An opportunity arises via a Facebook post by Amanda La Due.  She's offering a pair of Satin Angoras to a youth interested in the breed.  I enter my daughter's name, not really expecting to win, but just because she's working so hard at saving her money and I am proud of her effort.  

Luckily, Amanda picks my daughter! We're so excited!  In another fortunate twist of fate, our friend, Lara, gives Kiki a beautiful Satin Angora buck.  Later, Kiki's mentor, Dana, also chips in with another gorgeous doe.

What a difference a year has made. I've been very proud of my daughter.  She does all the grooming herself and is a good caretaker of her herd. Maybe she needed to mature a bit, or maybe her mother liked her rabbits a bit too much (as I am prone to do). I hope she forgives me for falling in love with her English Angoras. I keep hands off the Satin Angoras so she can shine with her own light...which she does.  

This past weekend, Kiki won Open 2nd RIS with her rabbit from Amanda, La Due's Marshmallow...and I'm proud to say she does it herself.  Since she has been so responsible, she can now breed for convention.  We are so thankful that the grownups around her that have been so helpful so her mother can continue to remain hands off.           


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Winter Show WrapUp

Nikon & Stonewall in Killeen TX
I have been super busy and a poor recorder of the shows I've been to this winter.  I've been to a couple and hadn't written anything :( 

Part of it is that I was in a funk. I've got growing babies too young to show. I was also down to one "always a bridesmaid" bun in coat and what I felt like was a bit of a filler.  My filler wasn't a poor quality animal at all.  He had just given himself a haircut (which meant I had to give him a haircut) a few months ago. His coat just hadn't grown out enough to be as competitive as some of the very, very nice rabbits on the table in our area.  However, lately, filler boy has been really blooming.  I'm liking him more and more each day.  I'm happy to see that he is coming into his own as he so richly deserved.

Stonewall Jackson is my hubby's rabbit.  This is per our agreement of "shadeds are named by hubby". He competed well this past weekend at the Mid-Tex RBA Show in Killeen, TX.  My friend's rabbit, Dustibunni's Nikon, and Terri's Stonewall were both looking pretty darn good. 

My hubby is always kind enough to take pictures during shows. I get so wrapped up in the event that I forget to take pictures.  He usually gets some pretty good ones.  This weekend he captured a cute shot of Stonewall and Nikon in the judging coops. I had no choice to add speech bubbles.

Here are show results from the last two shows...

Blackland Prairie RBA Show (Waxahachie, TX)
Show A (Judge Carrol Hooks)
English Angora BOB - Caylie V.   
English Angora BOS - Sasha M.
Satin Angora BOB - Kiki C.
Satin Angora BOB - Dana F.

Show B (Judge Michael Franke)
English Angora BOB - Caylie V.
English Angora BOS - Ricardo G.
Satin Angora BOB - Kiki C.
Satin Angora BOB - Dana F.

Mid-Tex RBA Show (Killeen, TX)
Friday Show (Judge Michael Franke)
English Angora BOB - Brian F.
Satin Angora BOB - Kiki C.
2nd RIS (Judge Teri Peterson) - Kiki C. **

Show A (Judge Connall Addison)
English Angora BOB - Brian F.
English Angora BOS - Jackie M.
Satin Angora BOB - Kiki C.
Satin Angora BOS - Dana F.

Show B (Judge Dave Kroenke)
English Angora BOB - Caylie V.
English Angora BOS - Jackie M.
Satin Angora BOB - Kiki C.
Satin Angora BOS - Dana F.   

**I'm really proud of Kiki and her rabbit, La Due's Marshmallow so they will get their own separate post. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New (to me) Spinning Wheel

Been waiting a long time for this, but I finally got a spinning wheel.  Yay!! I actually got a very simple model called the Honey Bee from Bluebonnet Spinning Wheel Company.  It was a good price for a beginner so I couldn't resist the Craigslist ad. 

 I spent the next day trying to get the hang of it. It didn't actually take that long, once I watched a couple of YouTube videos. But, I dragged it out for one complete day so everyone would let me spin.  I'm hooked!

Of course, I had to name her.  So I christened this spinning wheel Aretha.  She is plain and simple, but a dream to me...all she wants is a little respect.  

I will probably never touch a drop spindle again.  A wheel is just so much faster to do the same thing. I quickly spun up some fibers that I had laying around since November. Can't wait to ply what I've spun and actually finish my first yarn.    

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sherwood Forest Natural Rabbit Food Progress

It's been a while since I posted about my Sherwood Forest Natural Rabbit Food progress.  I have now converted almost all of my herd to the feed.  I've been trying to stay on their program so I can see exactly how their feed performs. 

NOTE: My main focus is show/fiber herd and smart breeding decisions. This feed experimentation is my little side project so I have not increased my breeding plans. Therefore, I may not have good numbers until much later. 
Pregnant does were on the Pregnant Rabbit Feed. I had my first SHNRF doe kindle with no problems in December. As per the program, I converted the doe to the lactating/growth formula (L/G) once the babies arrived.  I really liked that she did not loose condition like some of mine had previously done on other feeds.   Often, I added supplements to the diet to help keep weight on the lactating doe. This time, I added nothing, just free feeding the L/G formula. However, a sample set of 1 is not very conclusive. I am excited to see how the numbers develop as things progress.

This first litter is now on the L/G formula.  They are eating on their own quite well now. They had no problems transitioning from mother's milk. They will continue to be on the L/G formula until about 12 weeks.  All rabbits from this litter will be my show herd, so they will be with me for awhile for observation.

I'm very excited to see how their coat develops on this feed. The consensus is that Angoras need a 17-18% protein feed to grow a large show coat.  The Sherwood Forest Natural Rabbit Feed L/G formula is 15% crude protein and the adult rabbit formula (which they will receive after they are 12 weeks old) is 14% crude protein.  

This seems like not enough protein to grow a nice coat. However, because the protein is of better quality...My non-show/retired adult rabbits have continued to develop their dense coats. There has been no difference in wool production between my former 17% protein feeding regime and the Sherwood Forest Natural Rabbit Feed. 

These new babies will my first show litter raised entirely on the Sherwood Forest Feed. I have been very pleased with how they are doing so far. It will be interesting to see how they develop.    
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...javascript:void(0)