Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year's means new babies!

I recently had a litter of six healthy kits born to a first time mom, Trio's Sure Thing (I call her Sushi for short). She is a beautiful blue brood doe I had held onto along with her brother Trio's Ross since their sire, ELS's Royce passed away last summer. Sushi has proven her worth not only in genetics but her wonderful mothering skills. I'm eager to watch this litter since it's the first that ELS's Movado has sired in quite some time. As well, this litter goes back to GC Tommie's Rootbeer on both sides. He is the grand sire on Movado's side and the great grand sire on Sushi's side. Perhaps explaining where all the tort color is coming from.
Ironically enough, despite the large litter I have decided to cut back drastically on my already dwindling herd because of some rather exciting news I've recently learned. My husband and I are expecting a baby in late summer of this year. If I'm to continue being involved in raising Holland Lops I need to get to a more manageable number. Currently I count 23 heads in the rabbitry and sadly that is still too many. Inevitably rabbits will become available as I continue the slow process of downsizing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


ELS's Movado
So here it is more than a month later and one of the three does bred actually kindled. Trio's Oslo, a little bitty broken blue doe was a fantastic first time mama. She made a beautiful nest with enough fur pulled to keep me warm :) She had one roly poly broken blue kits by Trio's Liam. Already at 12 days old the bone on this little monster is noticeable.

Rabbit Hill's Surfer Boy

Trio's Jenna
(above and below)

Aside from the new litter I've been trying to get outside with the rabbits taking advantage of the last few days of nice weather before we're cooped up for the long haul. I've enjoyed watching them hop around the field while taking pictures. I should note that not every rabbit is cut out for freedom in "the great outdoors" as one of my junior bucks will attest to that. As most breeders know rabbits are easily spooked and once they give chase, recapturing a frightened rabbit can be dangerous to them.
Ivy Crescent Brando
(above and below)
The story with my junior buck is that he was hopping about enjoying the leaves when a curious little squirrel decided to drop in for a closer inspection. Either that or we were intruding on his nut gathering expedition. Anyway, my little guy started dashing through the field and decided to seek refuge under a small cedar bush. After allowing him ample time (or so I thought) to calm his nerves I tried to collect him only to startle him all over again. He was darting left and right until he came close enough which is when I pounced. After I had him securely in my arms I looked him over and found his only injury to be a scratched lip. Lesson learned on never bringing young hormonal juniors out to play anymore! Luckily that is the only bad case I've experienced.

Trio's Oracle
(above and below)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Moving and Tort vs Color- Round 3

I'm not a fan of websites or blogs that don't update on a semi regular basis- of course taking into consideration this is a hobby for most folks who update as spare time allows.
Shame on me as I've been the one to go months in between updates or blog posts recently. I believe the word for that is hypocrite??
Not to point fingers or make excuses but anyone who has visited my website in recent months has heard about my move to Tennessee. In preparation for what seemed to be a fast approaching move I put a halt on all things rabbit related and although I will still be moving the date is still to be determined so, GAME ON!

I bred a few does the other day- one of which I've never succeeded in getting bred even though she will allow herself to be bred, she never kindles. Another of which is a first timer who I was holding out to enter in a couple shows which never happened.

Lastly is my tort vs color challenge in which I fully intended to follow through. Instead it flopped. My intent was to show the obvious quality difference between the tort and color juniors that I had coming up. The little blue jr buck above is approximately 14 weeks old. He and his blue sister are the keepers out of that experiment. Ironically enough they happen to be the last offspring I was able to pull from Royce before he passed. This little buck is just starting to come into his own and I'm real happy with his development. His sister is more brood but just as valuable in the lineage area.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tort vs. Color -Round 2-

The kits have reached the four week mark and as promised I took photos and descriptions to use in comparing the tort to the colored kits. Approximately a month back I posted an entry regarding the statement about the quality of the tortoise hollands being superior to color in general and how that statement could not be proven within my herd. I decided since I had one of the rare torts pop up in a litter that I would use him to compare against the color kits of the same age to see if he does actually turn out nicer.

The tort is out of Trio's Olivia and ELS's Jonah. Below her is a broken cream from the same litter. I am not being too critical on them at this stage because they are just over 4 weeks old and alot can happen between now and the show table.
The tort appears to be a doe and gets a 10 across the board in the personality category. Her bone is longer and more refined than the other kits. Given the time of year the ears tend to be longer from the heat so that is disregarded at this stage but hers are nicely shaped. She is naturally upright.

This appears to be a buck who also has that incredible personality handed down from Jonah. His baby coat is more on the fuzzy side although I don't expect he will be a fuzzy. His ear is a bit more pointed than the tort and he seems longer in body. He also has the longer more refined bone. The third kit in this litter is a blue but more on the puny side and most likely headed as a pet. The two blues and blue tort (below) are out of Trio's Jolie and ELS's Royce. Interestingly enough, Jolie gave me an incredible blue brood doe (pictured on the juniors page) in her previous litter that happens to be by Jonah (the sire of the above litter). So the genetics are closely related in this comparison.

Kit #1
This kit seems to be a buck and more along the lines of what I like to see in my 4 week olds. Short chunky bone, nicely rounded ear, beautiful topline already.

Kit #2

Another buck! Another example of what I like to see in my four week olds. He is beefy all over with short bone a naturally upright pose, and a cheeky little pout. The ear is slightly more pointed than desired but that may turn out to be the worst thing about him.

Kit #3

And yet another buck. This is one color I was excited to see show up because of it's rarity in my herd. I hope to see his confidence grow because he looks promising. He has an adorable head and ear that is nicely shaped. He has a short body and decent bone. It is not quite as chunky as the blues brothers above but more so than the tort/bkn cream litter.

I would most definately give this round to the blues!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Highlights from VT

My family and I spent the July 4th weekend camping in Vermont this year. Having been camping at this particular place in the past we knew there was a vast amount of wilderness surrounding our campsite so we brought our four dogs with us this time. We did a great deal of hiking in the Green Mountain National Forest during our stay. Each day we found a new location to explore and each new place appeared as though no one had set foot there in years. We stumbled upon a countless number of fresh moose footprints. It's a wonder we didn't walk right up on one! We even came across a small pine tree blocking our path that must have been within days of being knocked down by a rather large moose. The presence of wildlife surrounded us in the form of wild turkey, ruffed grouse, whitetail deer and of course the elusive moose.

Above: The river that ran through the backside of our campsite where the dogs spent much of their time.

Everywhere I turned there was picture just waiting to be taken.

Above: In the left side of the photo you can see an old beaver dam.
Below: We stumbled into what must have been dragonfly mating season because these friendly little bugs took quite a liking to us and eachother. As I'm trying to photograph this one I had four more that had landed on my arm and head.

The only thing this fence and daisies was missing was a picture frame around it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Rabbitry

The rabbitry got an overhaul this past weekend. All the cages came out and got pressure washed. The linoleum was taken out and sprayed thoroughly. The entire area was vacuumed. The water bottles and dishes went through the dishwasher.

A majority of my does are housed in 24x24 cages but I have six enormous 36x36x24 double cages that housed some of my does. They were taking up entirely too much room so I shifted some of my smaller does into 18x24 cages. Heaving the metal trays for those large cages has gotten the better of me and they needed to go. I bought them used a few years back. They were just single holes so I bought wire dividers and double cage doors to convert them into 2 holes. When I move they cannot go so they will be for sale.

I enjoy getting a glimpse at other people's rabbitry setups and reading about how they maintain their herd so I thought someone might enjoy hearing about mine.
My setup is in my basement which is ideal for a number of reasons:

1) The temperature stays consistent throughout the year without the added expense of air conditioning or heating units. I use only a fan to circulate the air. The fact that it is located underground helps keep the rabbits from overheating during the hot summer months.

2) Having the rabbits right below our living area desensitizes them to noises that would normally startle a rabbit.

3) Location location location: Many breeders prefer to place pet rabbits in indoor only homes because they believe a rabbit is likely to receive more attention if it is right under foot. In all honesty the same can be said about a rabbitry. A convenient location makes for better quality time spent in my opinion.

The bucks each have an 18x24 hole. They are against the wall on the right side as you walk into the basement. The does (pictured above) are further down on the left side. I keep linoleum under the entire rabbitry side of the basement to protect the floor from accidents. For lighting I use just the basic fluorescent workshop lights from Home Depot.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Wild Cousins

I was outside the other evening when something out of the corner of my eye caught my attention. A wild rabbit had come out of it's burrow for some evening grazing. Like many of my own rabbits this one appeared to be in a molt. He was very tolerant of my presence allowing me to approach wihtout hesitaiton even hopping closer once I had settled into the grass.
He proceeded with his evening grooming ritual in complete relaxation that is, until the neighbors dragged their trash cans to the curb. At this point he darted for the nearest cover and I had decided to leave him be since it was getting dark.