Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Just a series of pics that remind us all of Spring around here (and Easter!!:-)). I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday with many, many bunny babies this spring.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Rhinebeck, NY Show

I just got home from the Rhinebeck show a couple of hours ago and I am still shivering even as I write (ugh!) due to the miserable weather and pouring rain we all endured. I am really glad to be home and even more glad to be taking the coats off the three remaining does I brought so everyone can finally be bred:).

There were very few Angoras present at Rhinebeck this year, but perhaps better weather next year will encourage more to attend. I brought three does to show since I was also working as Registrar, but two of them managed to earn BOB in both shows----Spang's Midori in Show A, and Spang's Bijou in Show B. I did not end up bringing my camera for pictures since I accidentally left it in my son's backpack yesterday (LOL!), but I will try to get a picture up later of Bijou in particular, who is in super, duper full coat right now.

Right now every single doe (and I mean every SINGLE one!) of breeding age with the exception of the above three rabbits are bred right now. Most are pure French litters, but others are French/Giant and a few others are Satin, so it is going to be a busy, BUSY spring:). I have realized also lately that my FA herd needs to be beefed up, so I'll be breeding lots of those through the spring and summer too. All this breeding will mean that there will be little if anything left to show this spring, but occasionally it is necessary to skip a show season or two in order to stabilize the herd and redefine one's direction:). I have always considered myself to be a breeder before anything else (including showing), so it is important to stop every once in awhile to examine plans and make adjustments accordingly.

Anyway, more again next time as I post some pictures and get on track with different subjects. Hopefully everyone out there is experiencing a HUGE surge in litters with the warmer spring weather, so have a great week!:-)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Rabbitry Planning

Well, it looks like the miserable winter has come to an end and spring has finally sprung:-). I have been spending most of my time this past week opening up the rabbitry, cleaning things out, moving bunnies around, and replacing dirty dishes, footboards, and water bottles, etc. One evening last week I made up this drawing in which I designated certain parts of my rabbitry for different breeds:

The most spacious part of the plan (that is, the inside of the barn) will always be used to house the FAs. There are approx. 40 cages in there which give me enough space (most of the time, haha:)) to fit all my babies and adults every year as long as I stagger litters instead of breeding every doe at once.

Since my Giant program is growing now, too, I am going to need more space for babies. I moved all the GAs to the outside of the barn in which there is a long row of large size cages. Opposite these cages, and up against the back of my house, there will eventually be a third row (with a walkway in between) in which I will raise a few Satin Angoras.

I may not have mentioned it before, but I recently picked up two new SA bucks at the PaSRBA show in February. I never thought of myself as owning Satins in the past, but my mother Lesa absolutely LOVES Satin fiber and spins it whenever she gets the chance:). Since she has graciously accompanied me to shows now for years and has been a constant source of help and support, I thought the least I could do was get her a couple of rabbits, LOL!

I don't know if I will ever show Satins or raise them for the long term, but they are certainly interesting to observe and contrast with the other angora breeds, and it is always good to have the experience of raising several different kinds of rabbits. Having said this though, I doubt I will ever own an English Angora because the maintenance requirement is just too high and I would never be able to cope with that many furnishings, LOL.

Anyway, lots of clipping and breeding happening tomorrow. My five most recent litters are now growing like weeds and will be in the barn soon permanently. The next wave of babies appears soon after that:).

More again next time as the spring bunny chores really take off. Most important of all there is the annual pull-the-whole-barn-apart-and-clean-every-square-inch-of-the-walls-floors-and-ceilings weekend to think about, but since that is one of the biggest jobs of the year around here, I try not to stress myself about it before I have to (*grin*).

Have a great week!