Saturday, November 19, 2011

In for the long run!

School!

Research started on November 11th, we're now at 23 calves, with a few more coming after the holiday. All has been well and just starting to work on my thesis. (what I can write for now).

Been doing the grad school search... so far there are 3 schools still in the running, with Michigan State, Kansas State & New Mexico State. Personal statement is being re-written & resume being edited.... then once I have that complete, I can get my Forms & Letters of Recommendation! yikes! I then have to send in Applications & GRE scores...

All seems like so much work, but I know by March or April I will be happy that this has been worth it. I'm currently in contact with NMSU that has a pretty good sounding project available!

Applied Reproduction is going well. AI'ing session was stressful (for many reasons, not related to school), but now that we're in Embryo Collection & Transfer, things have gone very well!

I have a midterm on Monday (I know, week NINE!), and two days of school. Then a break for a few days to pull it out for Dead & Finals week!

Wednesday when I get off work, I'll head north to pick up my carriers. And then leave and head all the way home (weather permitting) to spend the holiday with my family!!

I missed the Enumclaw show, and will be out of town for Monroe. I doubt I'll be able to head to Red Bluff, since getting additional hours at work is more important... I picked up 3 shifts today, so very excited about that :)

Not really sure where the rabbits sit at this point :/ I will definitely be letting go of some senior stock, just need to go through what I have and see what I can live without! I will be doing some breedings to keep these does active & working, probably just the Silver Martens for now. Though a ML might make the list.

We'll see. I'll know more on the 27th :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

A few Mini Lops for sale

I have 4 Mini Lops --possibly 5 for sale. Priced to sell!

One is a senior doe (Pickles) and a 2 or 3 junior bucks & a junior doe -- from the Milkhouse's Sneakin (brother to Smackin) and LHHR's Tomato (Twitch x Brianna) litter. Sneakin' is out of Harmon's Murphy, the BOS ARBA conv winner. The type was complementary and looks to have worked out well; the lineage is a complete outcross.

The litter of 4 was VERY consistent and look great, and where I tried to find one to cull -- I couldn't; so I retained them to try to place them in great show homes! Short, deep & wides with excellent heads coming! Due to their current transition period, they are a bit soft; but hopefully by the December shows they will be ready to hit the tables (~4.5 months).

The website & facebook has been updated with some photos; though better ones are to come.


They can be delivered to Enumclaw & Monroe (possible transport fee req'd), or to Red Bluff, CA. Also a trip to Ft Collins, Colorado is in order in December as well. Please e-mail me for any of these transport opportunities and/or about the juniors. :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Busy!

I can't believe it's been over a month since I last blogged!
Simple answer, I've just been crazy busy!

RVRF show on 9/24. Nicole came down & she kicked butt. I gave her back Lincoln and she went home with Sergio and Kaylee. I received Nell, haven't decided who I will breed her to yet, but time will tell.
Bacardi won Best of Breed for his 3rd & granding leg! My first GC marten!
Also at that show, I came home with my Silver Marten Satin doe, CC.


Kennewick was on 10/15. The only bright things at the show were Sara & her family, Lisa & Diane to talk to. Talk about being glared at all around the show room, what a creepy feeling. Certainly other breeders must get lives! I met up with Maryann Preston and picked up my Martens. 4 does, 2 bucks. There are 4 GC's and the other 2 are registered. Very nice animals. I took them home on Thursday.

Dropped off my convention rabbits on Saturday morning; all 12 of them.


I will get back to breeding hopefully next week. Since their are a lack of shows soon, I will have to get these does into production! With feed now costing $19.50 a bag... there will certainly be some changes involved. Raising a meat breed is so much more promising than a fancy breed with prices this high.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Life!

Life is getting back to normal. I think going to work Sunday night really "snapped" that into me, as all of the new students were moving in on campus. It was a long night; our boss even had to help us out! LOTS of new students, as usual.

Work is going great! I got my schedule fixed finally so now I'm the happiest kid on the block. I have tomorrow off, to spend with the roomates. And then I work all day Wednesday, and head home on Thursday. I have a lot to get done at home, such as cleaning the barn and getting every single convention rabbit ready! This means cleaning ears, giving tattoos, cleaning vents, grooming, trimming nails & marking cages. At this point I don't know if either I or my mom will be dropping off the rabbits, but either way it needs to be clearly marked!

So that's Thursday & Friday ... Saturday I will be at a rabbit show :) I haven't attended the RVRF show (my HOME show) in 3 years because of college, but this year -- I'ma going. :) I entered Hank Williams, Hades' Houdini (just for comments, they are young!) and Bacardi. I'm just going to the show to hang out & chill!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Working shows

While talking with an aspiring rabbit registrar today, I realized that I never discussed my working of shows for my judges licenses, like I did when I went for my registrar's license. So here goes, months later :)

Obviously the first thing you do is STUDY and then take your exam [This concept is much harder said than done]. You then PASS your exam. While you are waiting to hear back about your results, you should come up with a list of judges you would like to work with.

I honestly think that selecting judges to work with, was THE hardest part. I ended up with a list of about 25 judges I had relatively easy access to, were the best of the best (where I would learn A LOT), and people that I knew I would feel comfortable working with. Working judges should not be picked because you know that they will pass you, or that they are easy to work under. There should be a level of difficulty involved.

Once you have your list established, the next thing is to Plan your shows. This will vary upon your location, and the time of year you take your test. For me, I had to take my test in late June, and by the time I had figured out my test results, paid my dues, and had my envelopes to work with, it was already late July. There are no shows in August for me, so I had to wait until the first weekend in September to start working.

When you go to work a show, you HAVE to e-mail/call the Show Superintendent FIRST. They tell you IF you can work, and their rules. Some can require you to work with a certain judge. Some will require you to work on a certain day (sat/sunday). Some shows only allow one applicant to work a show (either reg or judge). And some, can say no. The club has the final call! THEN, you contact the judge, gain their permission, and report back to the Superintendent.

Before the show, review your standard. Wash your apron. Pick out a clean, long sleeve shirt to wear. Bring your lop stick & hand sanitizer. Put your hair up & get ready to learn!

The shows:

1 & 2) Crescent City,CA. On Saturday I worked with Allen Mesick of California. It was a triple open, and I worked with 21 breeds! Here I worked with all of the Angora breeds, and learned about how to comment on the Thrianta red color differences. Sunday, I worked with Randy Shumaker of California. It was a double open, and I worked with 16 breeds. I think the most important thing I learned here was about the Dutch, in that if you have to spend time determining if it's a marking DQ, then to give it the benefit of the doubt.

3) Albany, OR. I worked with Jeff Jewett of Washington. It was a double open, and I worked with 9 breeds (larger breeds). I learned a lot about Britannia Petites from exhibitors, on how to pose & handle them correctly.

4 & 5) Red Bluff, CA. On Saturday I worked with Melissa Magee of California. I worked with 7 breeds (larger show). One breed we did do, were Holland Lops. All 150+ of them. There were 25 SSB's. I also learned a lot from judge Chris Zemny, even though I couldn't work with her, she assisted in my learning while working. On Sunday, I worked with Carol Green of California. I think the biggest thing I took home from this show, is make the show work for you. Carol is a very short lady, and YOU as the judge, have to accommodate yourself. If the table is too high (or too low!), don't wreck your back! Get ahold of the superintendent and have them fix it ASAP. A good show should have the ability of adjustable tables. If the coops are still too far away, bring them closer to you! Also at this show, I had an experience where an exhibitor made an attempt to influence the judge. And when questioned by the superintendent, I had to be honest; even though the exhibitor meant no harm. Also to end this show, I was bit by a HUGE Black New Zealand doe in her 5th show of the weekend. I always thought the little rabbit bites were the worst, but this one gave me a two week bruise!

In between shows 5 & 6, I realized that I would have to actually work with a judge that I didn't know. Preparing yourself for this is mentally exhausting. In the end, it all works out great. So DON'T stress ... about working with the ARBA President!

6) Couer D'Alene, Idaho. I worked with ARBA President, Mike Avesing from Iowa. I got to work with 10 rare breeds (I had made this request), plus Meat Pens and Fryers. I got to judge American Sables, Belgian Hares (which I learned how to pose!) and a really nice quality Silver! This was also my first show, ever, where an Unworthy of an Award was given. I felt, that this was very necessary. I will not name the breed, but it was very ragged, hutch stained -- it simply looked hideous... and the owner admitted to only entering him as a class filler to win a leg. This was also a "confidence booster" show for me, as Mike told me about how I passed, and how well I did. A lot of Holland breeders, and the show committee itself told me how well I had done, and my good handling skills. As an aspiring judge, these are comments that you want to hear!

By the time you've worked your 6th show, you get a lot of repeat breeds. And a lot of breeds you haven't worked with. By the end of my 6th show, I had just 13 breeds I hadn't worked with. E-mail your superintendents to see if you can get breeds you haven't worked with, and they will help you out!

7) St Helens, OR - I worked with ARBA Vice President Erik Bengston from Minnestoa. I was pretty nervous to work with him, as I had heard some stories ... and the first breed out was definately nerve wracking! But you suck it in, you work through it. And in the end it turns out fine. Here I learned about posing the animals both ways, (not just to the left!) and that I had good delivery in a loud show room.

and the final one -- the hardest!

Well I had a hard time, because it was my biggest gap -- January to April. There are no shows in February and in March, I had to fight for a position and gave up because the show committee was not welcoming. So number 8!

8) Central Point, OR. I worked with Ted Deloyola. I worked with 11 larger breeds, and completed nearly every breed to work with (I missed out on Checkers and the Chin breeds). It was a very nice show to end on, and I did learn a lot... Like how to measure a million English lop ears! :)

Basic concept to keep in mind. You can study all you want, have all the experience in the world. The idea to working 8 shows is to mold you into yourself, the judge. You learn A LOT. What TO DO, what NOT TO DO. You learn things you never knew before, and then it's also a chance to prove what you do know. I passed all 8 of my judges, all GREAT judges, in which I learned a lot. I had a lot of FUN doing it -- and If I could do it again, I wouldn't do it any differently. Pick your judges wisely... and make sure you learn in the process! :)

If you ever have any questions on how to study, or how the process works -- just feel free to e-mail me!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Herd Update

Keeping:
1) Rylee
2) Hank
3) Houdini *BJD
4) Gustavo *BJB
5) Kirby *SJD
6) Granite *SJD
7) RR2 *JD

FOR SALE:
Sergio
Tito
Pickles

Martens:
8) Bacardi
9) Pendleton
10) Marten - Silver Marten Satin Buck

Pending Sale/for Convention:
Lincoln/Kaylee
RR1
Summer
Wall E
Nigel
Hank Williams
Tomato
Sneakin
Amie
HZ5
RZ2
HZ2
Maddy
Badger


It's so sad to only be keeping 7 ML's. But I am replacing them with beautiful black & blue Silver Martens (and a Silver Marten Satin doe!) No regrets!

:) Website is completely updated!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Change is good

Finally looking forward to the future with my head up. School should start well & work is going good!

I decided to sell an additional 8 rabbits, which will leave me with a handful of Mini Lops. The number is undetermined at this time, but it will be under 10, most definately.

Why the switch up? To sell off nearly the whole ML herd? Well it started with selling big for convention. And once you start selling you get in this 'mode -- of anything can go'.

It could be that a fellow SM breeder was selling out... and I decided to buy up her herd. This was a very quick decsion, but its the best one I've made in a long time. 15+ rabbits will leave in October, and I'll be filling 8 of those holes.

I am VERY excited & looking forward to my Silver Marten future. It will be sad to lose such a great breeder, but I would only want her wonderful herd to go to someone who needs/deserves these awesome animals --- which is me! :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Babies!

Pendleton kindled early.

About nine hours of delivery, 8 kits total in 3 separate deliveries. She ended up with 4 healthy kits!

Maddy kindled late.
Last Tuesday she went on a "barn adventure" and I thought for sure she would abort, but instead she just kept them in for a couple extra days. But, she kindled 5 healthy kits!


No more babies for a while. I do have a few breedings I'd like to do next month before bucks leave for convention, but we'll see.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Say one thing; do another

August 1st I posted on my website that I would pre-sell & hold 6 animals for Convention. When I put up more than 6 animals for sale, I should have known what would occur.

First and foremost, I sell on a first come-first serve basis. Whoever puts the $ down first gets the rabbit. Tragedies happen, people don't get the rabbits they want. And when you sell good rabbits, a dozen people want them. It's always a hard task determining who sent you an e-mail first and who's actually serious about purchasing the rabbit.

I've sold 10 for Convention, and holding 2 more in the meantime. I've officially put my foot down; decided to keep the remaining Jr buck who didn't sell. (I'm really not devastated about that, Sergio is a nice junior! :))

All juniors have been photographed and all cages labeled. Got to get the barn "mom-ready", which means bringing in feed & hay and stacking & organizing my equipment that is now scattered all over the barn. With the current break in weather, I will take advantage of it and get that done today :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bring on the school year!

I just have 11 days left at home & then it's back to Corvallis to start the new job and prepare for the school year.

I am VERY excited for the new changes and mindset... Graduating and getting into graduate school will be my main focus for these upcoming months, so there won't be many rabbit thoughts. I will attend a couple shows and send off stock to Convention. I am reducing my herd as much as possible just to be fair on them. I simply won't have large chunks of time to dedicate to this hobby. My research project will consume me. I'm just so happy to move forward! As far as judging requests, I have accepted a few, but a lot I have turned down simply because I know they will already conflict with school. I knew this would be a problem when I got my license because I knew school would always be my #1 concern.

I DO have a life outside of rabbits. A lot of breeders seem not to understand this concept. For many breeders this hobby is all that they have. School, family and friends will always come before the livestock, and with the livestock my cattle, horses and dogs still rate over the rabbits. My research project this fall deals with cattle, so if I have an overload of cattle information, forgive me now!!!

The website is getting minorly updated, I don't have good internet here so I mark animals on hold or make minor changes, but it needs to be overhauled soon; a lot of the information is outdated. Not like I have intentionally left out animals like other breeders I know, but I just haven't had the time to sit down long enough to work on it.

The best option is to e-mail me on my convention sales list. I'm willing to sell most of anything at a reasonable offer. My goal is to get down to 12-15 by November & so far I'm doing a relatively good job at achieving that number :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Babies!

Well, of 4 bred does -- 2 missed, 1 had 1 large DOA kit, and Tomato (the doe I was worried about), kindled her 2nd litter, 7 of 8 babies. Her first litter/kit of 1 of 7 babies, had to be fostered because her milk never let down. This time it appears to be different, as she is feeding them so far. Tomato's babies are sired by Sneakin, and type wise, we think it was very complementary. Lineage wise, we'll see if they cross well. :)

So I have 3 open does now, and 2 juniors that turned senior that I have no intentions on showing for a total of 5 does that need to be bred pending cage space and numbers. We have currently decided to put them on hold for a while, or may end up parting with them for convention. We'll see with time.


Speaking of Convention. I can't attend this year -- I have my research project plus in an advanced repro class, so it's simply out of the question. I will hold and send up to 6 rabbits through the transporter I used last year. E-mail me for more details, or my website will be updated soon.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A rabbit show!

A lot of people don't know this, but I actually attended my first ARBA show before I ever became a member in 4-H. The show was one of our local double open's...Pear Blossom. I just celebrated my 11th year attending this show and hope to never miss it.

I didn't bring any rabbits to show. Rather I brought two rabbits for showmanship. There was a "Rabbit Rally" (where I later ended up running and even judging at) and at the last moment I decided to use my Dutch rabbit, Annie. I didn't know anything about rabbit showmanship, or even the questions I was being asked!

My cousin entered her Mini Lop in the open show, while I just watched and absorbed. Little did I know it would lead to so many great things! My cousin knew a lady that would answer our every question and show us around the room. It was so cool that we "knew someone".

Growing up as a youth, I always entered open shows. Until about 2005 (when I brought down good stock from Canada), quite frankly I got my butt kicked at every show. I always knew that I could never "keep up" with the open breeders because at this time, I was allowed 1-3 litters a year. (I now have this any given week!).

However, despite all of that open competition, there was never a breeder who was rude, disrespectful or downright slanderous at shows. You didn't hear of things that you see today.

2006 was really the turning year, where I got the "bug". I wanted to attend more shows, and got the notion to go for my registrar's license. I'm really not sure why I wanted it... other than reading articles in the DM magazine, but when Allen Mesick himself told me to go for my license, I ended up doing it.

2007 was the last year of the big wins, as I was a senior now and my rabbits further existence was up in the air. Before I went to state convention and Royalty for ARBA Convention, my parents had wanted me to sell out. When I sold 10 rabbits for convention that year and won 2nd place Judging, they knew in their hearts that making me sell out was not the right option. They sure were right!

It's so hard to look back, knowing that these past years have been excellent -- the climb to a peak, with the peak being college and my herd and the rabbit hobby going down the other side of the mountain, with little bumps and obstacles occurring every month it seems.

Rabbit Show Etiquette

Easily forgotten these days. When I first started in rabbits, I always heard of "rabbit drama" and whatnot, I even knew a lady who sold out because of it. She won every show, won everything in sweepstakes but people couldn't stand it. She had some of the nicest Mini Rex in the nation.
I never understood it then, but I do now, I suppose.

So what is rabbit show etiquette? Are there any set "rules" or standards?

Obviously, you have to follow the Rules & Guidelines set in stone that are established by the ARBA. I would link them here, but ARBA's website is getting re-done at this point.

There are MANY rules in this section, and not a lot of people know about them unless you've studied for a registrar or judges exam. They are also printed in the ARBA guidebook, that used to be given out free when you joined the club. But what about if you're not a ARBA member? They are listed online, but how many people take the time out to go and read them, and then to read them fully & understand them? Long pause... So with that in mind, with many breeders not knowing that such rules exist, or have taken the time to read through them thoroughly, leads to a bit of confusion at shows.

When to make a complaint about (or to) an exhibitor, a judge, a secretary or superintendent (per ARBA rules), is something we all stray from. One, it has to be done quickly (sometimes day of show), and two, it requires people willing to step up to the problem. Sometimes these complaints require money. Who has that these days? So a lot of the "bigger" moral problems, get swept under the carpet.

Aside ARBA's set rules, there are many unsaid "standards" that of course are going to range from breeder to breeder and state to state. It's basically what you believe in combined with, what show scene your're exposed to.

Saving spots for friends - How many times have you arrived the next morning to find your rabbits in the middle of a big square of people you don't know? The key to this solution is not to arrive too early, but to find a 'left-over' spot that is not taken. Now we all know that people like to save spots for their friends, but this is one of the most common complaints. That and not saving enough isle space, or creating enough isle space to begin with. It's not an ARBA rule, but its a Fire Safety rule, and when that club rents the building they agree to a code. The only way to solve this problem, is put up your chairs last, don't put up chairs saving spots for friends, ask the people around you if they have more people coming and what not. Just communicate! The person next to you isn't your enemy, or competitor, they are your fellow breeders.

The table crowd - Rabbit showrooms are getting smaller and smaller, or is it the shows are getting bigger and bigger. Either way, there's never enough room at the show table. For large breeds, lots of exhibitors crowd around their breed table, making no pathways for other exhibitors trying to get through with a rabbit. The rabbit is making a fuss after the fourth show it's been in and is kicking and scratching and all you want to do is get back to your carrier, but there's a brick wall of people in the way. Say excuse me in a snotty way? Yes, many people do it and many people understand the frustration. No one can really fix this problem, but if you see a person coming through the way with a rabbit tucked, try to help clear a pathway. This is a part of being multi-observant. You're eyes aren't only on your rabbit or the judge, keep a look out for exhibitors too.

So that's on the exhibitor side of the table, what about the judge's side? In reality, it should be the judge, the clerk and a ramrod. Sometimes at shows that are strained for help, you have 1 person doing the job. At shows with lots of help, sometimes you'll get a clerk, a writer, and a ramrod. When you have these three people who know what they're doing and can work in unison, the show sweeps by like a dream. This never happens, that's only in rabbit reality world.
Usually at shows, you'll have a person writing/clerking, with a new person learning. It's at upmost important that you know how to clerk and write for a judge. It's the best seat in the show honestly, you can see how the rabbit judges them, hear what he says and you don't have to deal with a dozen people on the other side. However, a lot of people crowd around the backsides of tables because of lack of room. Being a person who's been on the judges side of the table for the past year, I have come to experience this. It becomes crowded really and makes a judges work even harder.

Fellow breeders - Your fellow breeder and exhibitors are often the next best thing to making a rabbit show what it is. When breeders can stop the talking behind the back, back stabbing, selling cull rabbits as pets at shows, and abiding to rules and standards, putting a smile on their face and making the show what it is for everyone (not just yourself and your breeder friends), then you have a show. Many people head to rabbit shows after a stressful week of work or school, but don't unload this anxiety and stress AT the show. Work together! Offer to help out older breeders, by stacking their carriers or helping them load rabbits. Being a younger generation, I just don't know how my elders do it. It's hard work on a kid! See if there's any help you can offer to the secretary, raffle organizer, or offer up your work to the superintendent.

Congratulate the winners - Back to that rabbit show table, the person wins BOB/BOS or even a variety win. Heck it could be a class win with a youth exhibitor -- tell them good job, especially if they grew the animal up themselves. I always experienced and practiced this because it is what I was exposed to as a youth. Most importantly, its the right thing to do. Just recently I had a judge (Tex Thomas) find me after the breed was completed to tell me how he almost gave my buck BOB and how I had done an excellent job raising him as a junior and to keep up the good work. This advice doesn't have to come from a stellar judge, but rather a fellow exhibitor would do just the job!

Have fun - This used to be a requirement on the PBRBA's printed catalogs. I remember it because I always thought it was funny. I thought this was a "NO DUH" rule. Well after many "NO DUH" shows and years later, I now understand this concept. If an exhibitor doesn't comes/leaves to the show without a hurry, has a bad attitude, or doesn't bring their A-Game - they aren't going to have a good time, and won't make it pleasant for the others around them either. Come to the show on Friday night. Have dinner with breeder friends, or new people even. Get a good night's rest. Arrive to the show early with coffee in hand, water/feed your rabbits and find where you're going to be showing at long before the judges arrive and start calling rabbits. Go out to lunch, or support the local club's 4-H group by buying their food. Yes it's expensive, but if its a 4-H group, most definitely support them!!!!! Even if it's "not what you're in the mood to eat". Repeat these steps for show B, and.....

Stay until the show ends - So your rabbit didn't win BOB in the 2nd show and you have an hour drive home. SO WHAT?! So many people are just in a hurry hurry to get to the show, get it over with and HURRY back home. That is what ARBA shows are these days. I grew up with clubs with older exhibitors (the ones who tell stories about shows "back in the old days"), so especially for my local clubs, I always stay to the end of the show & help clean up. Who in the world wants to clean up after you've been showing or judging on your feet all day, especially after a two day show? Me? Yes. Picking up trash, sweeping, mopping up sticky areas, making sure there are no left over rabbits, making sure the secretary got all her paperwork, making sure judges didn't forget standards or aprons at the tables before you tare them down, emptying the coop trays and loading the coops and tables onto a trailer. There's more... but when you lock those doors and it's well past dark, then you can say ... shower then dinner? Dinner than shower?
If you are going to a show that's under an hour away from home, take the time to help clean up. If you have other obligations at home, see what you can do before you leave! Make sure your spot is clean when you leave, throw away your trash, etc.

Show a new exhibitor around the show room, offer to breed chair your breed (esp important at larger shows), offer your writing/clerking skills to the superintendent before you head to the show and of course follow all of the above.

There are many more "unsaid" standards to etiquette at shows -- perhaps shows are different in your area/state & I'd be more than happy to hear them :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I won't give up!

I won't give up. Mini Lops. They're staying -- through thick and thin.

The Silver Martens -- they're staying. Through loads of frustration.

Maddy missed again, but I re-bred her to Badger this morning and if she doesn't take this time -- she'll be leaving the barn for good. Either way, I'm looking forward to these two litters.

In 30 days, wishing to celebrate 4 Marten litters in one year.

Above pictured is Pendleton. She's a really nice doe from Badger and Maddy :) I got all new pics, and will upload them to the website next time I am able to.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Home is where the heart is

According to my Google Chrome "auto-type-in, I've already had the topic title "Home is where the heart is" but it is fitting, yet again.

After a week in Corvallis, I couldn't handle it much longer so I prematurely submitted my research, packed up some stuff, grabbed my rabbits at the barn and headed home on Monday afternoon. This might prove to be difficult when school rolls around and I can't stand to be around the city that I live in!

The truth is -- nothing compares to home & no college student should ever underestimate it's comfort. FAMILY, friends, good home-cooked meals, plenty of chores, beautiful landscape, peace and clean air will never amaze me. After a week of staying up late and sleeping all morning, Tuesday's 6:30 alarm was ever painful. But it's pain lasted a mere minute.

At home I can work on research, ride my horses, scoop manure, play with dozens of rabbits, adventure with family and friends, read a book in the sun and play frisbee with my dog for hours. Home does have it's disadvantages as well. Atop daily chores arise limited internet access and no cell phone service. When you go months on end with these luxuries, being "out in the middle of no where" is somewhat discouraging.

It's nice being home. On the rabbit side of things, the Martens settled in well in their new cages. Since I moved up there, I haven't had all my rabbits home at once, but then again I haven't been home for an extended period of time. I have 2 open cages. Hopefully next week I'll open up 3 and in September I should open up 2 or 3 more. The more holes I open up, the more juniors I can keep.

When I mention empty holes, I also have 4 does due tomorrow and I bred one this morning.

What's an empty hole? ;)

It feels good to be home!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Pictures!

LHHR's Easy Summer Breeze - enjoying being home.
LHHR's Pickles - a cute doe from Snowball & LHHR's Brianna
Sneakin' - A small typey buck from Lisa :)
LHHR's Nigel - a very promsing jr buck from LHHR's Rylee & Zeus
Smoke Pearl doe from Hillary & Zeus. A litter of color!
Bkn Choco Chestnut doe from Wall E & Seed
Houdini ! a very nice little doe from Isabella (Smoke Pearl) & LHHR's Hank Tank
Amie - from the Poseys. She'll probably be bred to Hank (for similar lineage) when we go home.

College & Rabbits -- Hand in hand

A lot of "retiring youth" are forced to sell out of rabbits when they graduate from high school and/or go off to college. During my senior year I tried to downsize as much as possible, but when my family noticed it was taking a toll on me -- my mother decided I could keep a small herd at home. The rabbits (and animals) were the only thing that kept me out of trouble, kept me driven and without the hobby & 4-H I most certainly wouldn't be the young individual I am today. To take care of the rabbits was nothing new to my mom; she's been SO great throughout my youth taking care of the farm while I am off on travels or busy with school & sports. As a youth her and I traveled to so many shows together people practically considered a breeder. We worked it out to keep 10-12 holes open as long as I got Auto-water and came home every few weeks to check up on them.

Going to college was a preposterous idea for youth in my area. Back when I was a high school junior, I always had goals of attending college. I didn’t attend your regular urban college prep school or even a decent high school. The idea of going to college was outrageous, and not many in my graduating class did. As a senior, I worked my ass off and it paid. I received a lot of scholarships, including two repeating ones for all four years. It is that work that has kept me in college, otherwise – simply put, it’s too dang expensive!

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.

Monthly costs:

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

Books: $50

Additional expenses:

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

Rabbit feed: $80-100

Seasonal costs include: hay/grain, horse & dog medications etc

=$1097/month

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

The Challenging Silver Marten *edited

After reading the SMRC's version of The Challenging Silver Marten, I decided I had my own version to write.

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

A break in weather

These rains sure make doing chores a lot harder. Right now the ground isn't muddy, but that slippery texture where it makes everything you need to do a lot more difficult. So trays and rearranging cages will have to wait another day.

So today I am just catching up on rabbit records, doing pedigrees and cleaning my auto water system. My parts from KW finally arrived for the new cages and I am determined to get it back up in working order.

I guess if I have any regrets in the rabbit world, is buying this KW auto water system. If I could rewind time, I'd definately go with another company. KW tops all other equipment hands down, but there is much work to be done with their nivek watering system.

On a positive note, I sold 5 juniors yesterday. This leaves me with only a couple brood does for sale after the completion of their litters.

When I get back up to Corvallis on Sunday I will have lots of picture and website updates.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Summer time Bliss

Summer has always been a time to relax between work days and accomplish all of those projects you've been meaning to do during the school year. This summer is no different. The hay has been put up, work is the same as usual & the rabbit barn is staying cool. We've had a summer rain and very few days over 100*. On the rabbit front... weaned litters are doing well. I've had the chance to go through them:

*Rylee x Zeus: I sold 1 of the 4 bucks to a youth breeder. I will go through the remaining 5 sometime next month and decide who to keep & sell.

*Wintergreen x Hank: 6 of 6 solid bucks. 4 chestnuts & 2 chinchillas. The best one in the litter has a chewed ear. It's very minimal, but the other chin in the litter is very similar. So we kept 1.

*Isabella x Hank: 3 does, 2 bucks. They were weaned today, and we will go through them next month. From what I can gather, I like this litter and nothing was worthy of a first cull.

Wintergreen leaves today for CA. I will be selling the extra Silver Marten buck (now a senior), and the rest of WG's litter. That will open up 2 holes.
I brought in a 3 hole stack from out behind the barn. With 6 holes empty at school, that's 6 less I have here .... so have to improvise.

Rylee is due today, with 5 litters coming around the beginning of August. I won't be home for those litters so updates will be slow on them.

No shows until September. So until then it's just going through litters and deciding what will get to stay for the winter :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Updates

Been home for a week.

New rabbits have settled in well. Lots of litters born.

Nemo x Hank Tank
9/9 -- all chestnut

Wall E x Sesame
5/6 + 1 foster. Has a bkn chocolate in the bunch.

Tomato x Hank Tank
1/7 (fostered) - chinchilla

Hillary x Zeus
6/6. Includes 4 bkn opals, 1 blue chinchilla & 1 mystery shaded

Bred 4 does on the 4th
Weaned a litter today. 6/6 bucks and 3/5 does in the 2nd litter.

Updates might be slow. Been busy since I got home.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Waiting for babies!

What's always rough about college and keeping a herd is the continual "blindness". It's literally very hard to have a herd in two locations.

Thought my does were overdue and/or missed, but I looked at my calendar and we still have a few days :)

Due:
Nemo x Hank Tank
Linebred cross. Should be a thick, consistent litter. This is Nemo's 2nd attempt at a litter.

Wall E x Sesame
Outcross. Aiming for tons of width with good head/crown.

Tomato x Hank Tank
Linebred. Typewise they match up. Could be a little too line-bred; could be positive or negative.

Hillary x Zeus
Outcross. Just did this breeding for typey color!

Maddy x PM3 (Silver Marten)
Linebred. Hoping she took; young buck so no guarantees.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Washington State Convention

Left Friday ~10AM. Loaded up the show & sale bunnies and headed towards Ellensburg. Good travel; no delays, traffic or stops. Made it there ~3pm. Unloaded the rabbits, set up my tent and attended the judges conference. Not a suberb/over-the-top conference, maybe I was just tired -- either way it was good to attend. Brushed my teeth & attempted to sleep. It was cold, and I spent the entire night just shivering to keep my body temperature up. I literally probably only rested my eyes about an hour. 2nd night wasn't as bad, because I learned and put on 3 pairs of socks, 2 pairs of pants, 3 shirts & 2 sweatshirts.

Saturday morning; started at 8am. Mini Lops were up first under Roger... again. I swear we've had him like 3 times this spring; but we didn't complain. 115 Mini Lops later with a break for lunch, Lisa won BOB with a solid buck and Becky Jones won BOSB with a broken doe.

Silver Martens were up under Tex Thomas. 47 entered! Classes of 14-15 in the Black Senior classes! WOW! My doe got buried with finish breaks, that and she was my 3rd best doe, with the passing of Zinfandel & Del Rio, I had no good blacks to show. I did win 1st Blue Sr Buck and 1st Blue Jr Buck. Tex raved about Bacardi, saying he almost picked him for breed & afterwards found me to congratulate me and what a good job I have done growing him up. Perhaps with a few months of maturity Bacardi will be a Breed winner. Either way he won 2 BOV legs this weekend. Show B in Mini Lops, dropped in numbers at 67... Twitch won his 36th leg for Nicole and Lisa won some classes too, BOSB as well.


Picked up my Silver Marten Satin from Scott, Amie from the Posey's and Lisa let me take home Sneakin' so I sold 4 but came home with 3. Oh dear! Full cages this summer !

Just going to take it easy this summer; no showing -- just judging and enjoying my summer. We'll pick up a bunch of shows this fall... I'm sure.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

RIP Del Rio

LHHR's Del Rio
Del Rio was the 2nd best doe out of the Maddy x Badger triplets. She was never shown until Oregon State Convention, Zinfandel had finish breaks and I decided to scratch her and enter Del Rio day of show. She won 1st in the A show, under Cathy S, Best of Breed in the B show under Allen Barr, and Best of Breed in the C show under Tracy Gouette. I had her entered as a Senior doe for WA State and had high hopes for her doing just as well.

Life happens. I've haven't lost an animal that I adored in a long time and it has taken me a bit to get over DR's passing. However; she was submitted to science and taken to the vet hospital for necropsy.

I am down to just 4 Silver Martens :( Hopefully Maddy was re-bred.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

New Rabbits?

Yes, the bottom line of a breeder is continual genetic advancement. Even when you have a good, well-established line, you are forced to add in an animal here or there. With a small herd, this happens often, as it's easy to have many animals closely related to one another.


Last weekend I picked up Velotta's Lincoln from Nicole. He was a buck I've always liked the looks of, and with her needing cage space she generously offered him to me. He is out of two beautiful rabbits, and contains a Gold star pedigree registration with all animals being Grand Champions, and all of those being Velotta bred animals. Now that's an accomplishment ;)

Yesterday I picked up a doe who was "disposed" of on Craigslist. A couple good breeders contacted me asking if I would want her back, and of course I did :) The previous owners kept her GC certificate, registration paper and legs won. Even though all of that work was rightfully done by (ME!), they decided they wanted to keep it for whatever reason. Pedigree forgery... jealousy. You name it, there's no other reason to keep it! :) She will likely be retired as a loving pet with one of my neices or someone who truly deserves her.

Next weekend I'm picking up Posey's Amie from Canada. The Poseys had to sell out, and where Nicole & Lisa grabbed up a lot of the very best animals, I had the wonderful opportunity to grab Amie. I've never had a Posey rabbit, but I do know that they use a lot of Milkhouse/Velotta in their stock, so I'm sure someway it will relate back to the herd to offer us something new to work with. Pictures will come when I get her home :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

OR State Day 3, + Home

Show C went just as well, Del Rio won BOB again.

Twitch won BOB again, congrats Nicole. I registered a few rabbits and I was leaving the show room at 11:40 AM! WOW!

Went directly home. Was good to see baby bunnies and palpated does. Looks like mostly everybody took.

Bred Rylee, separated some juniors.

Zinfandel passed yesterday. She will was one beautiful Marten & will be missed.

Loaded up the 4 pre-sold rabbits and will head to Washington State after I get back from Montana. So you likely won't hear from me until then.

Website is updated.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Oregon State Convention - Day 1 & 2

Friday afternoon I packed up my rabbits, plus some Dutch and such and headed on down to Albany for the OR State Convention. I easily found a spot by friends and was able to relax before the Judges conference. I've been to many judges conferences, this wasn't the best one I've been to, but certainly a good one!! :) It was also my first official conference as a judge!

This morning started off well under Cathy S. She did Mini Lops first. I didn't have any entered but supported Nicole who brought down some excellent rabbits! Twitch won BOB!
Next were Silver Martens. Bacardi was BOSB!

A VERY deserving award was given out to Tom & Muriel Keyes just before BIS A, they are now Hall of Famer's. Tom is a great judge (esp with the youth!), and Muriel! Bless her heart all the work she has done with the Forestler fund and getting kids sent to Convention every year!

Show B started, Martens first this time under Allen Barr. He seemed to be a more structural judge and gave my juniors the benefit of the doubt even though their prime coats aren't there yet!
Bacardi won BOSB & Del Rio won BOB!
Mini Lops up under Cliff Dick & Twitch won BOB again!

I didn't attend the banquet this year. Feel bad, just too much going on and needed to get home. Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings! :)


Thursday, June 9, 2011

I have babies!!!

After some rough months, I finally have live babies!

Milkhouse's Issabella (Broken Smoke Pearl) had 5 of 6 babies by LHHR's Hank Tank *GC 4 legs on June 6th, 2011.

MW Wintergreen (Ruby Eyed White) had 6 of 6 babies, also sired by Hank Tank

Also have a LOT of litters coming up in the next month:

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

School year.... COMPLETE!

I never thought I would be SO excited to taste summer! I finished out this morning as my last final was at 9:30 AM! Even though I don't have quizzes/midterms or papers to write, I am still studying for AQ and my GRE exam.

Tomorrow I am headed over to the barn to pick up my rabbits and head on over to Albany for the Oregon State Convention. I will also attend the judges conference. I entered 4 Silver Martens; I sure hope they look good! I'm also dropping off 3 pre-sold rabbits and will probably bring one to advertise for sale.

After the show, Monday, I am headed home for a couple of days. Gotta get some stuff done there and pick up some rabbits before I leave for more travels.

Tomorrow night I will decide who to enter for WSRBA Convention.

Monday, May 23, 2011

OR State here we come!

Canby was a great time! Nicole came down to show her Lops & Dutch, and I had 4 Silver Martens to show. Nicole won a double BOB with Remus (a Stitch grandson), and I did okay with my Martens. I didn't win breed, but I did win BOSB with Pendleton both shows, and Bacardi beat out Badger for BOV both shows. Bacardi got a LOT of great comments so he just needs to mature more. My does are also noted as structurally correct, just need fur & flesh. So we will be working on that. Well run show, I was surprised by the size and organization. Great judges this year! And never a dull moment.

Next show is OR State Convention. I highly doubt I have any Mini Lops to show, I will look this weekend but it doesn't sound promising. So I will likely show 4 or 5 Martens depending on what they look like by entry deadline. I am registering one of the days, and will just be hanging out the majority of the time. I live about 15 miles from the show, so it's an easy weekend for me!

Tomato is due today/tomorrow. I'm not sure if she took because I never palpated her, and even if she did she hasnt started nesting yet. I will try to breed a few more does when I go home this weekend.

Website is updated. I also emailed webmasters of the state, district and ARBA to get my info updated. I will likely also post a Facebook album from this weekend. So just look for updates.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Show time!

Housing 6 Martens currently for the spring shows. I will likely be making some changes Memorial Day weekend but for now thats where it stands.

I was able to get Issabella & Wintergreen bred to Hank. Crossing fingers for success this time.
Tomato is due next week -- pretty exciting.

Entered 4 Silver Martens for Canby -- we're just hoping for some good placements/comments & to go for fun -- to hang out with friends I haven't seen in a while :)


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Baby Makin' Time

Milkhouse's Monroe of Milkhouse Lops Rabbitry
LHHR's Tomato - Reg. 1 leg + ?
Mater' was bred to Monroe on 4/23.

Also upcoming:

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)

Call me Crazy

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's 3rd litter is here :)


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).

We're pretty excited -- I am not sure what my plans are for the 6 kits... I certainly can't keep all of them so they will likely them through the summer and then start selling them. If you are interested in this litter, send me an e-mail message. mymorgan928@hotmail.com

Last Free Weekend

This weekend is my last "free" weekend in a while. Granted I still have to study and do my barn duties, but I am home.

  • 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

So I pretty much don't get home until June. No complaints, it will be a fun-filled 2 months :)

I go home next weekend. I need to bring a couple Mini Lops home (one is bred, one is done showing), and bring a Marten doe home to compare her to my other litters. I can only come back with 3, so that means one of the juniors is staying home. I'll also look at a few juniors to see the likelihood of them competing at the state shows.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bremerton, WA 4/23/11

Saying "Good-Bye" to Brianna! Long road-trip ahead.
Replacing Brianna with her beautiful daughter Tomato!


Probably the greatest rabbit show of the season so far. I decided to go on Monday, entered my rabbits on Tuesday & found out Lisa was going on Friday. Upon waiting until 7:45am, I was surprised to see that Lisa had invited Sara to come along last minute -- great idea! Show A my two does were 2nd to Lisa's does. Show B my does were 1st to Lisa's does. Brianna won BOV in B. I handed her off to Tiffany and they will head to South Carolina next week! I decided to keep Zinfandel around another month & watch her mature. Bred Tomato to Monroe :) Oh & Lisa won BOB/BOS both shows & Reserve in Show B! How awesome is that?!

Monday, April 18, 2011

I'm a Judge!

I finished & passed my ARBA licensing requirements :) Endorsed by Allen Mesick, Randy Shumaker, Jeff Jewitt, Melissa Magee/Chris Zemny, Carol Green, Mike Avesing, Erik Bengston & Ted Deloyola.

I visited some really awesome shows in OR/WA/CA & ID, got to judge nearly every breed (minus the Chinchillas) and met & learned from some of the greatest exhibitors. If I could list you all, I would :)

Just waiting to get my card back from ARBA and I can start judging shows :D It will probably take a few shows for the news to sink in. Especially since school pre-occupies most of my time!

Friday, April 8, 2011

2 weeks down!

2 weeks of school down & I am already so drained. But in 8 weeks I will be able to "somewhat" relax, meaning I will be out of school, but still studying for AQ and my GRE test.

Yakima, WA show is tomorrow, as is Mini Lop Nationals. Too bad I couldn't go this year, but next year for sure. I want to wish Nicole & Lisa good luck, as well as to other regions and breeders as well. :)

Next weekend is Reno. I can't personally be there this year, and not sending any rabbits to show. So highlights from last year's BIS simply lurk in my mind, but I wish all my good friends good luck! I am sending 6 pre-sold. 2 Mini Lop does to Michelle Wojick of Wisconsin, 2 Mini Lop juniors to Roxanne Shumate of CA, a Rylee daughter to Karen of Arizona and a Silver Marten buck going to a breeder/judge down in CA.

In two weeks I will pick up the 2 Mini Lop does being transported to Ohio, to their ideal end location being South Carolina to go live with Deb Dolph. I am VERY sad to let Brianna go, but I feel as if I have many good replacements out of her. Her daughter Tomato is a spitting image, if not looking better :) I will also bring up 4 show rabbits, likely 1 Mini Lop & 3 of my Silver
Martens to show in May.

The barn clean last weekend was entirely stressful and painful after 4-H judging on friday night and finishing my last show for my judges license on Saturday ... but I got it done. Above are pictured the 9 new holes from KW cages. I also purchased new feeders (since my other feeders were misc. sizes and brands). I now am using 24 holes at home, with 6 at school, to make it an even 30 working holes. Hope to plan to move some rabbits out in the mean-time to open up a few holes since I do have 4 litters upcoming:

Rylee x Zeus
Nemo x Zeus
Wall E x Zeus
Isabella x Hank

No marten breedings until July or so. I just don't have the space, nor the feed to be pouring into those juniors. They eat a lot! And keeping 6 will be a chore, so I will likely end up selling a junior doe later on.


And just to re-emphasize, I worked the last show for my judges license on the 2nd. Now just the long wait to hear back from ARBA.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Busy!!!

Finals ended! Kennewick show was GREAT! Definitely one I'd go back to. Tomato took 2nd in B and 1st in A of good sized competition (the 1st place in A was the BOB winner), so I am excited to have debuted her. The Martens took BOSB in both shows.

Spring break was NOT long enough. I did order my cages from KW and bred 4 does: Rylee, Wall E, Nemo and Isabella.

17 pending sales for the month of April, so lots of details lining up money and transports for WCC and Ohio Mini Convention.

Website is completely updated, and will likely remain where it is now, because I wont have much time on my hands as I start spring term tomorrow!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Since I have some down time ...

Week 9 ended on Friday. Tomorrow starts dead week and then a week of finals. I only have three, but they will all be painful. Plus, I have lots of projects and papers due on top of that in combination with everything else.

Saturday I went to a horse show instead of one of the 3 rabbit shows I could have gone to. It was a nice relaxing event but probably not good on my cold that I currently have.
Friday I picked up a little junior buck from Amy. The timing was perfect as Scott was coming down for Myrtle Point so I didn't even have to stress about finding transport or driving up there. He is out of Angel Dreams, a broken chocolate, who is out of Angel Wings, who was a LHHR Buster Blue daughter. I never kept anything from Buster, so I saw this opportunity to bring those lines back that I truly missed. This guy is a cutie, I decided to name him Ruben.
Matt, Tango and I checking on the heifers.
Our bull was sent back to the ranch this last week... That means breeding season is here :)
Our steers enjoying the "white stuff" during our city snowstorm.
Andd...... Denver. Was a great trip with three of the best people ever. We had so many great memories :)


Back to rabbits?

When I go home, I will try breeding Nemo to Zeus and Lettuce to Hank. Been meaning to get litters out of them.

Pyro, Maddy and Wintergreen get their boxes this week. I am hoping the Martens re-bred off their litters, because their first litters weren't all that impressive. I culled out a lot due to some early nest box problems, but I am left with some does to work with. I will be culling those litters and Brianna's litter of 8 when I head home for spring break...

which may not start till Monday, the 21st, possibly later. I also have to Powerwash and spring clean the barn, since I wont get to go home spring term, and it sounds like I may not be home for the summer.


so... look for some updates at the end of the month :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I'm still alive

Busy. An underestimated word of my life, currently.

The rabbits --

I am getting Zeus back on Friday. :) Also on Friday I am picking up a junior buck from WA.

Got 2 Martens and a ML due next week.

Decided to head to the Kennewick show the Saturday after spring break. So I'm currently excited for that :)

Got a lot for sale to send to Ohio Mini Convention or West Coast Classic in Reno, Nevada.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Travel here, travel there

Seriously, this term is FULL of traveling. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy it ... but sometimes being gone every weekend is stressful, especially after a long week of busy school. Not to mention, calving starts soon, as well as lambing -- so my weeks will be stressful with lack of sleep!

My calendar:
1/14-15 - Coeur D'Alene, Idaho - rabbit show
1/20-22 - Pendleton, La Grande, Baker City, OR - cattle conference
1/28-29 - Saint Helens, OR - rabbit show
2/1-6 - Denver, Colorado - cattle conference
2/11-13 - Home :)
2/18-20 - Scottsdale, Arizona - rabbit show
2/25-26 - AQ competition
3/5 - WA - rabbit show
3/12 - dead week; studying for finals
3/19 - WA - rabbit show

So hard to imagine that I am only on the first weekend of the term, and that I have many more to go before I can relax for spring break!

This weekend I am showing Wall E & Badger... There will be some Silver Marten competition, which I am excited for, even if Badger is still young. Wall E, I am somewhat not sure, because I feel judges see her differently than I do -- however she is in great condition. 2BT2 is going to Sara, I am getting a chocolate chestnut and a REW daughter from Melinda x Stitch breeding. I also have 2 of Jill's Dutch and 2 of her Thrianta's... so I have a full load :)

So if I don't post much...I'm just busy -- however I hope to keep up to date with my travels :)


Friday, January 7, 2011

Getting back to "normal"

One week of school has kickstarted me back into gear. Thoroughly enjoying this new term, I am just so happy!

Probably does help that I dropped the Holland project, and I sold my Checkered Giant pair. I was searching through my "spam box" and read an e-mail that shouldn't have been sent there. It worked out the lady's friend was up in OR at the time and was willing to bring them back for her. So I lost a cage and a carrier in the mix, but i have my two big cages back and now I am down to just the Mini Lops and my small Silver Marten project. It feels so good to be back to normal!

I am down to just 14 rabbits:
Stitch
Hank
Brianna
Lila
Montana + 6
Lettuce
Rylee
Nemo
Wall E
2BT1

Badger
MGD
Maddy + 7
Pyro + 8

Certainly a more manageable number for these busy times!

Coeur D'Alene, Idaho show next weekend! I'm showing 2 rabbits... making the 16+ hr RT trip just to work with an out-of-state judge :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 Goals

I said I would post them... so here goes:

*Obtain my judges license
*Start showing & raising Silver Martens actively.
*Attend atleast 5 shows
*Reduce on numbers, getting back down to the bare minimum

*Apply for graduation
*Raise my GPA (I have a set number in mind)
*Pass Repro & Advanced Repro with atleast a B
*Payoff the loan I'm taking out
*Get a good summer job/internship
*Find a career goal by June

annnnnd that's it for now. All of them are pretty obtainable I suppose :)