Monday, August 24, 2009

Show Season Starts

Alex Stepnoski won Best 6 Class Youth with her Giant Angora.
BOB English Angora Shepherds Sweetpea.

BOB Jersey Woolie CR White Excitement.

Mid-Jersey Showroom during judging.
Show season started off for me with shock and awe. This show was one of the few time showing Jersey Woolies and I was looking at it as a learning experience. Much to my surprise, the white senior buck and the white senior doe were put in coops behind the table. When some of the breeders said "Dru, you won BOB!" I thought they were joking. He is a handsome buck from CR rabbitry but I still am in shock. Not expecting to do well but hoping for some judging knowledge to help improve my Jersey woolies, you could have knocked me over with a feather. I had high hopes for Shepherds Sweetpea as I thought she looked really nice (don't judge by my bad photo just when the wind started to blow). She went on to win BOB. It was a learning experience trying to chase around two breeds up for BIS at the same time.
The Mid-Jersey group always put on a great show, in the middle of the hustle and bustle of a large local fair, with people from all over attending. Many people had questions about the Angora rabbits and it gives all the rabbit breeders a chance to promote their favorite breeds.
Alex Stepnoski went ahead and represented the Angoras by winning Best 6 Class Youth with a beautiful Giant Angora. She does such a great job with her bunnies, she really deserved to win. Alex is major competition to the Open breeders and gives us all a run for the money. We all better watch out as she is 18 this year and soon will be no longer able to show in youth. We will all be trouble then. Congrats Alex.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Dog Days of Summer

Boy, it is hot.
I still like to sunbathe though.

Am I tan yet?

Just had to put this one in for cuteness sake.
This has been a really miserable summer weather wise. It has rained or been cloudy almost every other day and now is really, really hot. The Jack Russells seem to enjoy it as they are always cold. But the rabbits are another story. They do not enjoy morning temps that start out at 80*. I have tried a variety of cooling methods this year including frozen bottles, frozen ceramic tiles and a misting system plus the usual fans going non-stop. Yesterday, I pulled out a bunch of large ceramic feed dishes, filled them with ice and sat them in some of the cages. These were enjoyed by all and when they were done laying by them, playing in them, then they drank out of them. Mind you, I only gave these to bunnies who were clipped down for the summer otherwise we would have a a big felted mess. They also enjoyed a light spray of cool water from a spray bottle during the heat of the day. I don't often use air conditioning in my house but the bunnies in full coat are in cold storage with the a.c. running full blast. They share a room with two very old house cats that have been flat out all summer. Monday we are supposed to have a break in the weather, so here is hoping.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bunny Beauty Parlor

Shepherds Hailstone, broken blue junior buck.
Shepherds Fern, broken black junior doe.

Shepherds Hydrangea, blue junior doe.

Shepherds Flores, black junior doe.

Shepherds Thumbelina, broken blue junior doe.
Woolie grooming day at the Bunny Beauty Parlor. They are so different from grooming an English Angora. Being so small with very easy care wool, I can groom 21 of them in 2 hours. They are not so cooperative though and spend alot of time climbing up the bamboo curtain, sitting on my shoulder for kisses or spinning around standing on their hind legs like a monkey. They will sometimes try to leap off the grooming table for no reason or try to put themselves into my apron pocket. I try to keep a hand and my eye on them at all times. Jersey woolies are much faster and more inquisitive that the angoras.
Many of my blue and broken blues come from GC PP's Tom Thumb, the "King of All" and they look so much like him. Many have his startlingly blue eyes. I used a variety of blue does with him to see who would turn out best and so far all of his litters have been very nice. The funny thing is that all of this babies have been does except one. That is Hailstone, above. He looks just like his dad. They are still a work in progress for me but I think they are starting to show some promise. There may be some of my juniors showing up on the show table this season. I hear one of my junior buck that went to a lovely new home in Maryland won BOS at the fair for his new owner. Congratulations!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Summer Ear

After taping.
Fluffy ear fountain.

Are you looking at me?

Some supplies.
There are many temperature related problems with English Angoras and Summer Ear is one of the most disappointing. After raising a beautiful litter of bunnies all the way through 6 to 7 weeks of childhood, you look at them one day and find one ear is lopped down. The day before it was perfectly fine standing up in a perfect "V" shape and today it looks like it was broken during the night by a mob of bad bunnies. If left alone, the bunny will never be able to show and it can cause other ear related problems. The bunny cools itself through it's ears and if it is hanging down this makes that more difficult plus a bunny growing long ear furnishing can find them dragging along the ground.
The heavy furnishing growing out on a young bunnies ears in warm weather causes this problem. The weight of the new wool and sometimes bigger ears developing in the heat, puts stress on the ear cartilage. A solution that has worked for me is to gently give support to the ear base with tape. I have used 1" cloth surgical tape loosely wrapped around the base of the ears a few times making a tube to support the ear base but lately I have found plastic postage tape to give better support. I take this off once a week to check for improvement and re-apply. Or the bunny removes it for me. Sometimes it needs to be on for up to month or until the weather gets cooler. Most times the ears carriage will develop normally. The bunnies don't seem to even mind it after an initial scratch at it.