Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Why I breed ...

Certainly in the hobby of raising and breeding rabbits, I do not make money. It's just that simple. Many people breed rabbits for pets, never improving their breedings for type or quality. Some have a small 4-H project to learn all the fundamentals, food, fur and fancy. Some breed simply because the rabbit atmosphere has to be the best of all other animals. I have shown horses, dogs, goats.... have been involved in 4-H for nearly nine years. No where in those divisions did I feel more welcome or more happy than I do with the rabbits.
Most of us involved with ARBA, breed rabbits around one sole reason. To improve breed characteristics through desired breedings, to create the ultimate rabbit. With 47 recognized breeds, each having their own groups and varities, unique characteristics and personalities, every breeder has their favorite, their specialty.
I choose to breed Mini Lops. Not only were they my first breed, but to this day I am still convinced they are the best breed for me. They are small (4 1/2 - 6 1/2 lbs) have great personalites, they come in a wide variety of colors (from the common chestnut to the rarer G.Tp'd Lilac Steel) and are competitive rabbits on the show table. According to most BIS won in Domestic Rabbits, they are always in the top rankings.
Mini Lop breeders have to be the best. We always want to help each other get each others rabbits to the table when we are busy, help each other with breedings and continually improving our stock and mingling at the shows. Often we know each others rabbits so well, there is no confusion on which rabbit is which, what lines they came from or who bred them!
I could personally thank some Mini Lop breeders here, and I will. (Not just because I have to in my royalty application) And I doubt half of these would ever read this, but here goes... Jenn Rose - for selling me Venice. Karin Vail - for letting me have Venice bred to your awesome buck Ganache. Andre Von Arx - for giving me the BEST advice on raising Mini Lops, what to look for, selling me Ollie, Julie, Logan, Paul and Jenie, being at the big shows with all your best rabbits, and best of all, to be the first breeder around the table to congradualte me when I win. Nicole Velotta - for providing me with the best and upmost quality stock. I love the personalities and temperments your rabbits have. Thanks for selling me Neilson, Milly (bred to Adson!) and Dean. For giving me Boomer, Stitch, Bridget and Renee (bred to Waltor!) They have helped produce my best animals! Jenn Hibbs/Joy Ekstrom - For getting into Mini Lops! For transporting Honey, Stitch and Bridget from Monroe. Jenn, for showing my ML's while I worked under Joy for my registrar's license. Petersen Family (Mike, Leslie and kids) - For doing a great job with my animals. I would have never imagined you could grand Minnow, Dean and Alex in the tough WA competition! For showing my rabbits at Canby while I worked with Randy Shumaker.
Well I think that's it for the Mini Lops..... I could probably go indepth more of why they are my favorite....But what about those Satins? How did I ever start raising those?
Summer 2005, I found myself going through the barn at our county fair. The bkn red and copper satins really struck me. I could have boughten any one of those Satins... but why should I? I knew a better Satin breeder just an hour away that could fufill my Satin order.
March 2006 - I was given two intermediate black does from Roger Hassenpflug (I told ya there was a better Satin breeder, well there you have it). They were JS and SJ respectively, which my cousin and I named Jessica Simpson and Sarah Jessica Parker. I had them bred in May for meat pens for county fair. I was given litters of 7 and 8 black babies and I took them all to fair. I entered 4 pens, 1 in open (which took 1st!!) and 3 in 4-H, which took 3rd, Res. Champ and Champ. I also had the Champ. single fryer. I decided to keep a doe from the open pen. I named her Brittney Spears.
Brittney and Jessica had litters on Feb 14 this spring. I kept a bkn black, but it was a buck. I sold him to a local breeder who also took Jessica. That winter I had bought a bkn red buck from Melissa Magee and a red doe and copper doe from the Fentons. I had used Porky in breeding to Jessica and I got a bkn blue! I kept this beauty and she's still here currently, PJ. I then sold all my Satins except PJ. I did not want to do the reds and coppers anymore. So that is where it has taken me now. I have now decided to do black, blue and broken only. I have 2 bkn blue does, a black doe and a black buck. I got those new satins from Roger and I am ever impressed. The Satins give off a different atmosphere, mainly because I am still new to the breed and I am one of the only youth breeders in my area who have them. All the others are old farts. But I respect them, I take their advice and I love learning everything about Satins!

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