Saturday, November 19, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Friday, September 9, 2011
Monday, September 5, 2011
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
My first year, I lived in the dorms and was sheltered from a lot of costs and expenses. After fall tuition was paid, I truly realized how expensive it was to live in the dorms and the only thing it boiled down to was convenience and security. From there I moved into a house with other roommates and we split costs as much as possible.
Basic Living expenses :
Rent $300 ($900 split 3 ways)
Electricity $10-20 ($30-60 per month, depending on season)
Internet/Cable $12 ($35 for the basic package)
Groceries; milk/bread/meats/common items $~50 (ranges from month to month)
Parking permit: $15
Random: $50 – shampoo, soap, etc.
Car payment $200
Car insurance $75
Phone bill $50
Gas $40 ( average city driving; no trips home)
1 rabbit show per month: $150
Note I do not pay tuition because I’m basically on a full ride because of multiple scholarships; otherwise add in about $7K per term. I did not include any other rabbit expenses, such as purchases of animals or equipment. Working 12 hours a week (university limits 20) brings you $400/month. So with that and refunds from scholarships, I basically live off of nothing. There isn’t a lot of wiggle room for accidents or unforeseen costs.
One could easily claim that I would be better off without the rabbits, and in reality I would have a little more money to spend on ... what? The rabbits make me happy, is a nice side project and through thick and thin, years of college later -- they're still here. :)
Saturday, July 23, 2011
One year ago I discovered that my breeder friends Sarah Cleavenger & Nicole Velotta were dispersing their herd of Silver Martens. I had always admired their gorgeous Martens and it’s has always been on my list of breeds “I’d raise”. I took the news to heart, and with arising Mini Lop problems and passing my judges test, I decided to take on an additional breed.
I purchased 2 does and picked them up in September 2010. I had asked Sarah if she would breed them to their super buck Arson, before they left. A month went by and no babies. I was not able to purchase a senior buck until October 2010. I took MGD (purchased from Scott Rudolph) home and bred my does. Again, a failure. During that time I had taken the opportunity to purchase a Blue buck from Tex Thomas at convention. It was my first real sight unseen sale, I purchased a “name”, but I received a wonderful buck, Badger. Finally when I went home for Thanksgiving holiday, I bred the does again and they both took, giving me 15 Christmas babies. Of the 15, I narrowed it down to 4 by Spring break. I decided to keep a Black doe & Blue buck from Pyro, and two does from Maddy.
While Marten breeders were battling enteropathies, I was having troubles getting does bred. This has never been an issue for me with Mini Lops, so the concept is alarming. A doe has a certain place in my barn, she’s either a growing junior, being shown, bred, or on a litter. If a doe is none of those options in my herd she does not last long. Additionally, during the spring I was having troubles conditioning the Martens. Where my Mini Lop feed worked wonders on them, it was not suitable to the Martens. Not willing to run two different feeds, I will have to learn how to condition these muscular, firm fleshed rabbits on my feed and learn how to cull to it. Since I have no juniors to practice on, this concept is on hold.
In October I started showing the Martens & have exhibited 1-4 per show since. I have done pretty well, holding my own weight. In June I had my most well deserved wins at the State conventions; but some heartbreaks came as well. At Oregon State, Del Rio won BOB in shows B & C. I also won BOSB in two shows with Bacardi. After Oregon State, I felt the Marten pains as I lost Zinfandel. A week later I lost Del Rio. At Washington state, I scratched two black does. Pendleton was buried in a class of 15 with finish breaks. Badger was 1st of 4 each show & Bacardi, he was my little star. He won BOV both shows with comments from both Tex Thomas and the Sunday show judge that he was an inch away from winning BOB, he just needed more maturity. It was especially nice to hear Tex rave about Bacardi. He even found me afterwards to tell me what a great job I had done growing him up. Marten breeders at the table surely thought he would win, but those shiny blacks are hard to beat!With two does & two bucks, plus a Silver Marten colored Satin purchased at state, I am at a road block with the small herd. Maddy is hopefully bred. As soon as Pendleton gets home, I will be breeding her. I would really like to breed her to Bacardi, but my feelings are I should breed her to Badger and sell him & Maddy and move on with my line. I have molded what I want so far and only to move forward makes sense right now. Purchasing more Martens doesn’t seem pliable. After seeing what other breeders raise & offer to sell – breeding my own and achieving my own does to breed is the only way up. Unfortunately, that means getting litters from my does. Until this action happens, the Martens are currently less than frustrating. A good kind of frustration, I enjoy the challenge as long as I can overcome it :) The Silver Marten breeders in the pacific northwest (and nationwide) are some of the downright nicest breeders I've ever encountered and am happy to have the incentive to continue into the next year.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Wall E x Sesame
Tomato x Hank Tank
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Wall E x Sesame
Tomato x Hank Tank
Hillary x Zeus
Maddy x PM3 (Silver Marten)
Monday, June 27, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Thursday, June 9, 2011
LHHR's Nemo x LHHR's Hank Tank (GC 4 legs) - Bred on 5/29
LHHR's Wall E (3 legs) x LHHR's Sesame - Bred on 5/29
LHHR's Tomato (1 leg) x LHHR's Hank Tank - Bred on 5/29
Hillary x Zeus (GC 4 legs) - Bred on 5/30
Silver Streak's Maddy (GC 6 legs) x LHHR's Call Me Ugly - Bred 5/27-5/30
Monday, May 23, 2011
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Sunday, May 1, 2011
1) LHHR's Lettuce x LHHR's Hank Tank - Bred: 4/10 (Wisconsin)
2) MW Hazel x Jones's Zeus - Bred: 4/10 (Wisconsin)
3) LHHR's/Velotta's Brianna x Jones's Zeus - Bred on: 4/19 (South Carolina)
To be bred: (5/7)
EE/MW Wintergreen x LHHR's Hank Tank (GC 4 legs)
LHHR's Nemo x Jones's Zeus
Milkhouse's Isabella x LHHR's Hank Tank (GC 4 legs)
LHHR's Wall E (3 legs) x Jones's Zeus (GC 4 legs)
With any hobby, contains individuals with different views, upbringings and social groups. Unfortunately, when dealing with others, these ideas are often lost. There is always drama in any species. I have raised and exhibited many species over the years, and have obviously strayed from them for various reasons. Whether it be the people, the ethics involved in the industry, or monetary issues, there always are some barriers you encounter. After 12 years of horse showing, I retired the idea with going to college. I left my childhood mare at home to rest an easy life surrounded by children and other people who love her just as much as I do. Will I ever get into showing again? Perhaps, maybe when I'm older. I however will never forget the realm of youth and even open exhibitors I experienced over my 4-H, high school equestrian team and open showing years. But rabbits? seriously?
Pre 2010 era of raising rabbits, I had grown up through the hobby as a youth, a respected youth at that. I was highly active in 4-H, (actually started ARBA before even joining 4-H!), and participated in ARBA royalty for the last few years that I was able to. Due to my location, I hardly ever exhibited in youth shows (they are rare in our area), so I grew up competition against adults. Never in my 11 years did I encounter, or even hear of the stories that happen today in our hobby. I suppose one could say that I had a "blind eye" to it, or I am now just getting older to finally understand it all, either way ... it's not right!
If you have to ask yourself if this is "not right", there's a high probability that it's not. We were given a conscience for a reason, to recognize it and use it! What’s most easily lost is sportsmanship. People obviously show rabbits to get judges opinions, to hang out with friends, but for the small group of people who are ‘in it to win it’ never get the best out of the hobby. Buying up stock to try to win on the tables? Have we forgotten what “Breeding” is all about? Making your own winners feels a lot more rewarding in the end than animals you have purchased. In the meantime, culling effectively will make sure those inferior animals don’t make it in the hands of a youth or prospective ARBA member. To do well on the tables is a two way street. Perhaps examine what the winners are doing (right), rather than cringing at them every time they beat you at a show. It’s only common courtesy to congratulate a winner, shake their hand (or rabbit hugs these days) to let them know that you’re just as happy for them as they are that they won.
Not everyone at that show table is "in it to win it", whether it be for Club points or winnings. I'm not a part of my breed association. I don't see the point & I never have. I don't care who can gain the most points under sanctioned shows, or who can get the most quality points for a single rabbit. What does that tell you? Nothing. One person can show 1 rabbit who wins a few nice shows, or one person can show 20 rabbits at a dozen shows and get the same amount of points. It tells you nothing, it's just a title you can display.
There is a rare group that is in it for fun. We go to shows with good judges, have good locations (fun stuff to do outside of the show), have fun time with friends & chat with breeders you haven't seen in a while. Who’s the crazy goon that will travel 13 hrs one way to head to a show with 2 rabbits entered just to see her friends? Call me crazy.
That’s just the “physical” side of the rabbit hobby. With hotmail, facebook, twitter and other social networks – comes the “non-physical” rabbit drama that creates even as much drama. Don’t get me wrong, networking is great. I sell a lot of animals because of my website & Facebook & am in constant contact with other breeders in breeds that I don’t raise. I do it for a learning experience – I enjoy seeing baby Tans, beautiful winning Mini Rex and the proposed Lionheads – they’ve come a long way!
However some breeders take the ‘non-physical’ communication a little too far. It’s VERY hard to read expressions or meanings through type. They can easily take a comment way too far. To be regarded to slanderous, slime ball, toxic, backstabber, having a miserable life … I’ve even seen & heard worse. They’re pretty low terms if you ask me. Disagreeing with a judge’s placement or comments is very common. We all do it. However if you brush it off your shoulder and respect that ‘it’s their opinion’, then that’s the best that you can do. To trash talk about breeders behind their back (especially when you don’t even know them) is the lowest things I think a person can do. It makes it worse if they don’t even know the correct version of the story. It’s these people, who continue to make deadly mistakes that will cost them in the end. Even if they have nice rabbits, their ethics about the hobby won’t take them very far. Usually these breeders eventually give up hope & sell out. In the meantime they make the rabbit hobby an uncomfortable place to be in. Remember, they only talk about you because they’re jealous – and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Rewinding back to my youth days, as I mentioned before I only met GOOD breeders and people that were willing to help. I continue to withhold that idea; I cull inferior animals and sell only the best stock. I offer youth discounts and am willing to sell bred does in either breed (Mini Lops or Martens). I hold true to attending shows for fun (Note: I do not show rabbits to win – how can I make that clear?), I stay until the show is over with, even if I don’t have a BOB winner on the table. If my friend has a contender, I stay to see the show through & will be right there when she wins. Call me crazy, but it’s the RIGHT thing to do. J
Rylee blessed us with 6 kits on April 25th. There are 4 Brokens & 2 Solids, they are likely all chestnuts -- but they will carry dilute & chocolate! Ry is doing a GREAT job with them & being the great mom that she always has been. Just a little over a year ago she won back to back Best in Shows, completing her showing in July - so her short motherhood so far has been devoted to breeding to ONLY the best bucks. This litter she was bred to Jones's Zeus, a GC with 4 legs I picked up from Becky (Jones) Gandy last fall. Zeus was sold earlier this year because I couldn't get him to breed a single doe, but when the breeders sold out of Mini Lops he returned a "buck" and got him bred to 3 does this spring. (Plus 2 others for other barns).
- 5/7 - Southern Oregon Junior Classic
- 5/14 - LBCC/OSU Classic
- 5/21 - Canby - Crazy 8 RBA
- 5/28 - Portland? / Memorial Day weekend with the family
- 6/4 - Finals weekend
- 6/10-12 - OLCRB Convention
- 6/18 - Moving
- 6/19-22 - AQ in Montana
- 6/24-26 - WSRBA Convention