I had several litters born yesterday, and boy did I hit the color jackpot in one of my polish litters. LDR’s Rihanna (black) finally had her first litter, sired by GC LDR’s Kryptonite (broken black).
It might a little hard to see, so let me tell you there is a chocolate, a broken blue and a broken lilac! Both the brokens have heavy pattern, which I LOVE!! Anyone who has seen my brokens knows I like the blanket pattern. But I have yet to get a broken blue with this kind of pattern, and lets hope the lilacs breeze trough their presentations this time. Cause I’d love to put the broken lilac on the table once its recognized. Let’s hope they are typed as nice as they are colored because I’m pretty excited about these babies, more so than in a long time. Lol. I’ll be really heart broken if they all turn out to be pets. There were also two blue peanuts in the litter. Here’s a pic to show the size difference.
People claim Polish don’t have peanuts. Wrong! If you are breeding the smaller, typier animals you will get peanuts. In the past dwarfs were used to decrease size, so being a recessive gene it’s darn near impossible to bred out, and we’re stuck with the consequences. We’re also having trouble with rollback coats in Polish due to the dwarf influence.
I did have two other litters yesterday as well. GC LDR’s Pandora (broken black) had 3 brokens and a chocolate and my Dutch doe LDR’s Lilo had 5 blacks. All of them are marked pretty well, so fingers crossed I’ve got some winners coming up!
Both the American Dutch Rabbit Club and the American Polish Rabbit Club have posted their final standings for the 2012 Sweepstakes year. It wasn’t my best year but I’m happy to say we finished 38th overall in Dutch out of 350 exhibitors. I show about 90% torts so that is the variety that means the most to me standings wise and I’m happy to say we finished 4th out of 137 exhibitors. I was surprised to see the placings on blacks and steels. I showed only one of each variety at limited shows, but still managed to be 57th out of 280 in blacks and 57th out of 147 in steels.
Don’t tell anyone, but I think I may have done better with the Polish last year. I finished 21st overall out of 171 exhibitors. In blacks, I was 22nd out of 140 and 21st out of 99 in blues. My brokens are my strongest variety and my main focus, so I’m happy to be 12th out of 148! On the other hand my chocs are my weakest and I was 42nd out of 112.
So all in all, not too bad of a year. I’d really like to step it up this year and win one of the awards that are presented.
I attended the Pot O’ Gold show yesterday in Hollister. It was a great show with great fun & friends. Unfortunately, it wasn’t so great for my dutch. I lost every single class I entered, but that’s the great part about showing two breeds. My Polish continued kicking butt! So, it was almost like being at 2 different shows.
I showed only Brokens and GC LDR’s Kryptonite won the senior buck class, while his young son LDR’s Spider-Man won the junior buck class. My hot little broken doe, LDR’s Wynona settled down and showed much better this time and won the junior doe class. She went on to win the BOV and Spider-Man was BOSV in both shows. In show A Wynona was beat out by a pretty black doe for BOSB, but in show B it flipped and Wynona won her fourth BOSB.
I was also very excited as Trinity Smith who just got started in Polish showed her first homegrown bunnies in youth. They purchased GC LDR’s Dinky, and he produced Delta Breeze’s Sweetie Pie for them, she is half sister to Wynona thru Dinky. Trin’s pretty little doe won the BOV broken in youth and was almost BOSB. I was very pleased for them!
I’m also very pleased to announce that good friends Helen & Fred Schmall won Best In Show with a blue Dutch!
I was also amused by my Havana doe that I bought for my cross breeding project. I decided to show her for giggles, and she ended up winning BOV Chocolate. Now if I could just get that doe bred! All in all it was a good day.
Pricing your sale rabbits can be tricky and can vary greatly based on your breed and location. It can also vary depending on where the rabbit is sold. Prices at the national shows are much higher, partly to cover the cost of transporting the rabbit, but also people tend to lose their head and want to buy the most expensive rabbit, thinking it must be the best. While this is not always the case, I do want to remind everyone that generally you get what you pay for, especially on the local level.
At the Cal State convention this past weekend like usual we had lots of 4-H’ers looking for their project rabbit. First, let me make a recommendation to 4-H’ers, do your research ahead of time, and contact breeders who have rabbits you are interested in before the show. This will enable you to get exactly what you are looking for, rather than settling for what’s available. Many 4-H’ers show up just looking to buy a rabbit and buy what they think is cute, which is fine but if you haven’t done your homework on that breed, how do you know you are buying a quality rabbit? Let’s go over an example from this past weekend. I had already sold the juniors I planned on selling, but this family asked if I had anymore, and so I reluctantly pulled out another junior. I told them his price was $45, but I give a $5 discount to 4-H’ers. The mother was a bit shocked and stated that was what she was planning on paying for two rabbits, as she had 2 sons and others had already offered them 4-H rabbits at that price. They left and I felt really badly for the boys as mom was going to go buy the $20 rabbits. I can’t state for sure, but I’ll bet these were someone’s culls that they were willing to sell for $20. Remember you get what you pay for most of the time. Personally, I do not think it’s right to sell culls to 4-H’ers. I don’t sell a rabbit unless I’m willing to show it myself, and therefore I’m not willing to accept “pet store” prices for rabbits I worked hard to raise and breed to higher level.
So to help you in your pricing and purchasing efforts, here’s how I price my animals. I start all show stock at $45. I add $5 for each leg the rabbit has won. As stated I also give a $5 discount to 4-H. This may not seem like a lot, but I think my rabbits are priced more than fairly. I know a breeder who prices his 8 week old rabbits for more than what I sell a grand champion for because of “his name”. Breeding stock is a little different and depends on how much breeding life the animal has left. Brood does are usually in the $30 to $50 range. Herd bucks are usually more as you can get much more offspring from a buck, even an older one. I do occasionally sell young 8 week old rabbits and I price them about $35, as they are a gamble really, as to what they will turn out to be. I feel it’s important to sell rabbits at decent, affordable prices as the more players we have in the game, the more it helps the whole hobby. But one must remember that not all rabbits are created equal and price should reflect that.
Well, 2013 Cal State Convention is in the history books and was quite the success! For the show and me personally. Lol.
Saturday wasn’t too spectacular show wise, though I did get a few polish juniors sold. Expect an article this week on pricing and 4-H rabbits. Things started picking up though, after a great dinner out with friends. And Sunday went great for me, LDR’s Skipper won another Best of Breed bring him up to 11 legs, I think. I also think my steel junior buck took a BOSV for his first leg. Sadly, I don’t remember much more than that. I didn’t have a lot of dutch to show anyways. Can’t wait for the babies to grow up! My broken Polish did really well on Sunday too. In the specialty LDR’s Wynona beat out lots of nice does to win her second leg with a BOV and a super cute new junior buck LDR’s Spiderman won the BOSV. I think they repeated these wins in both show C and D too. My Choc buck LDR’s Hershey won several BOSV’s on Sunday too. I sold a few more rabbits and got to spend lots of time catching up with friends. That’s why they say, “even a bad day at a bunny show beats a good day at the office”, ain’t that the truth.
Spring is definitely in the air here in beautiful California! We are having lovely 70 degree days, the flowers are already starting to bloom and the fur was flying this morning, lol. Love it! I had four does due, and my blue polish doe LDR’s Pixie surprised me with an early Valentine’s gift yesterday. She had 3 lovely little blues sired by Sypneski’s Grover. Both parents are granded so I have high hopes for these little guys. I’m particularly happy too, as Pixie is a tiny 2lb doe and I was worried she may not produce well.
This morning all three of my dutch does were kindling. My gray doe, Schmall’s KPL had 2 grays, 1 opal and 5 steels for a total of 8 sired by Lehmann’s Frazier. So happy with a bunch of steels, some are not show marked but may make good brood animals. Then my tort doe, Ronda’s Penny had 8 torts sired by Schmall’s Peter. I can’t see their markings yet, so we’ll see how things look in 2 days. Last but not least my black doe Nelson’s Sassafras, that I got from convention had her first litter. She had 7 blacks sired by my tort buck, GC LDR’s Maximus. I made this cross with the intention of breeding these back into my tort line to continue improving them. Well, stay tuned as I have a few more does due this weekend.
Like most experienced breeders I usually breed multiple does at the same time, so I can foster babies as needed. However, the does don’t always cooperate. So I’m very lucky that my lone steel doe, SS Cleopatra is doing a great job with her second litter.
These babies are sired by Lehmann’s Frazier, my steel buck I got from convention last fall. I’m so exicted to see 2 steels in the litter. They don’t appear to have any marking DQ’s so keep your fingers crossed they have nice type! The other two kits are a black and blue, both kits have a 50/50 chance of being double steels. A double steel carries two copies of the Es gene and this covers up the steel ticking but will cause them to throw 100% steels. So I’m really crossing my fingers and toes that the black is show marked, beautifully typed, double steel AND a buck. That’s not too much to ask right?