Friday, December 21, 2012

Mark Your Calendars January 4 & 5, 2013, Waxahachie, Texas

Blacklands Prairie RBA will host a show on January 4 & 5, 2013, in Waxahachie, Texas.

Contact Julie Carter at for information or click on the Flyer.

Show information taken from show schedule


Friday, December 14, 2012

About breeding rabbits...

I have recently been asked by some people how I determine which bucks and does to breed and how do I go about it. I decided to write a quick post to my blog and discuss it a bit.

When I choose to breed rabbits I look at the overall picture. I ask myself questions then evaluate the rabbits. For example: 1) What qualities does a Doe and Buck have? 2) What am I looking to improve? 3) Are these rabbits compatible 4) What specific body type do I want and will this cross give me at least one good rabbit? 5) Do I have space for the litter? 6) How soon will I have to cull and do I have time to do it? 7) How busy is my work and family life schedule at this time.

These are just some of the questions I ask myself when breeding my rabbits. My goal is to breed a show rabbit to the ARBA Standard Of Perfection, and in order to achieve that, I have to thoroughly evaluate my rabbits, my time, and what I want, overall.

Due to a major past event in our family I had to re-build our rabbitry from scratch. Therefore, I have bred slowly, but culling heavily. Many people shy from culling, but I realized that this is imperative if I seek a great show rabbit. I cannot see it in my heart to sell a substandard rabbit. Some people love to sell “pets”, thus breed indiscriminately for novelty colors, and to sell. Others sell “pets” because they cannot find it in themselves to cull a rabbit, which is understandable, but the problem there lies, they end up selling their substandard rabbits to people who end up breeding them, thus promulgating substandard rabbits.

For me, I learned from many great breeders that breeding rabbits is a private matter. Breeding requires concentration; focus, attention and overall, a goal.

If one chooses to breed without showing, one cannot fully evaluate what they have by an “impartial person”, thus, never fully know the potential, or lack of it in their efforts to breed a Best In Show rabbit.

It has taken my family 3 long years to re-build and I finally believe I have some good high quality rabbits. However, the road to it has been tough by having to make serious decisions. However, the joy of showing a rabbit in the hopes to getting that ever elusive Best In Show, is worth all the hard work we have gone through.

To summarize, I just breed selectively, carefully, and only the best I have. My rabbit breeding is reserved to a few as I do not believe breeding extensively as that is not the road to acquire the Best In Show rabbit that every true breeder covets dearly.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My comments on showing rabbits

I was talking to a new person about showing rabbits. She asked me if I “granded” (3 Grand Champion Legs) my rabbits and then retired them, as she was told that was the “standard practice” by some breeders. My response to her was that I show my rabbits until they cannot show no more, unless they do not do well at shows, at which time they are retired, but not bred. Mostly, they either become a fiber animal in my rabbitry if the wool is great, or simply get culled. If they are chosen to be bred due to excellent qualities and they have out grown their showing stage, then the breeding is carefully planned.

My experience and believe is that a true show person is not one that just takes rabbits to a show to get a “leg”. The way I see it is if a breeder focuses on “granding” a rabbit, meaning acquiring 3 legs, and just retires them afterwards, is not truly looking at the full picture. I believe that a true show person breeds a rabbit to the ARBA Standard of Perfection. That being said, one breeds a rabbit striving to get a Best In Show (BIS) rabbit, not just a Best Of Breed (BOB). Granted, one needs BOB to compete in BIS, but just simply being satisfied with a Grand Champion Certificate (3 legs), is not truly reflecting the importance of showing to the ARBA Standard Of Perfection.

Ever since I began showing rabbits, I researched the breed and worked on my goals. My belief and philosophy is to show a high quality rabbit as much as it can be shown, regardless if it has 3 grand champion legs or not. If a rabbit continuously wins BOB, that is the making a of good rabbit capable of winning BIS. If the winning is sporadically, then that is a different story.

I have heard numerous times of some breeders using the rationale of granding a rabbit and “give others a chance to win”. I ask, “chance for what?” If the other breeder has a superb rabbit, it will beat all the rabbits in the breed. There is no “chance” in this situation. The way I see it is, a rabbit will win if it has what it takes, if not, then it won’t. True, there might be some times a judge might not pick the best, overall, but then we have to look at whether this rabbit will win consistently or sporadically.

Overall, I told this person, if you are truly in it for the breed and showing, focus your goal in breeding a Best In Show rabbit, not a simple three grand champion leg rabbit.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Rabbit Show in Cleburne, Texaas

The Johnson County Rabbit Club hosted a Single Open & Youth Show on Friday, December 7, 2012, and a Double Open & Youth Shows on Saturday, December 8, 2012, in Cleburne, Texas.

I was SO excited to attend this show since it is the last for the year. I had not been able to attend previous shows and even Convention, due to work and other issues. Being at the show was awesome. I got to see and visit with my "rabbit friends" and even made new ones!

I truly enjoyed the Judging of our Angoras. Both Judges, Addison & McCraken, were very thorough and appreciative of our Angoras. They took their time appreciating the rabbits and giving us comments.

Judge Conall Addison was extra helpful with the youth. In a picture below, he is giving excellent feedback to youth, Kiki, about her Satin Angora doe. He truly took time to look Kiki in the eye, move close and give her his undevided attention as he gave feedback. I was very impressed with this type of conduct at it is imperative to make our youth as welcome as possible so they can continue showing and learning.

Overall, the whole show experience was very nice, fun, and exciting as always. Of course, I wanted my angora to win BIS, but then again, everyone there coveted that prestigious award. For my angoras, there is always next year. :)

Judge Conall Addison

Judge Ken McCraken

Saturday, December 1, 2012

My Show Herd

Today, Southern Angora Rabbit Club hosted a Webinar with Presenter Linda Cassella, 2012 ARBA Convention BIS winner!
The webinar was awesome. Linda graciously gave extensive information on establishing a successful breeding program. I felt re-energized since I missed Convention and several shows this year due to many personal and work related issues.

Hours after the Webinar, I went to my rabbit shed and took pictures of my rabbits, which have not been shown. I decided to post a picture of my "show herd" that will, hopefully, make it to the Cleburne Show next weekend.

Here they are after a quick blow of their coats and arguing about being taken pictures:

 Road To Angora "SAYURI"

Road To Angora "JACK DEUCE" 

Road To Angora "EL GUAPO" 

Road To Angora "LA CHULA" 

Road To Angora "COQUETA"