Even though 2020 hasn't been one of the best years on record, it has been our best year on the show table yet! With BIS wins in Netherland, and some very high finishes within the breed, Netherland Dwarf has continued to be our anchor breed, with himalayan's holding their own with BIS finishes this year! The rabbitry is still teaming with youngsters, and with that said, many of them have transitioned to a much higher level this past spring and summer, and will be nationally competitive! We look forward to this new adventure, with the latest litters delivering that national quality fur, bone, body type, head, and ear. With all varieties competing at the top of their classes! Some of the long awaited varieties have taken 2-4 years to get them ready for debut on the table...but they are by far catching up with the otters, chestnuts, ruby eyed whites, etc. Although we typically do not have any available to the public...there is plans for a short term small release in next month or so.
Himalayans for show will be available this fall! With some of the best performing animals in all Open shows in the south, with RIS and BIS wins this year! The himi herd has been extraordinary, and continues to produce high results within the breed, and against other breeds in the south, which for many years had not happened! Be watching out for these himi's in the top 3 spots in the future, they are and have been continuing to get even better!
French Lop is moving right along with some amazing prospects for fall and winter into spring! This breed as a commercial breed continues to thrive and improve! Look for these guys making a run within the breed in the next year and competitive to top 3 show animals presented in time!
Holland Lops albeit was pushed back a bit, the retooling of the show plan has made us a bit more aggressive on a couple fronts! Some of the latest youngsters have been crazy improved from bone, head, ear, crown, and body! Torts, Chestnuts, Chins, and brokens are all coming to the table this winter! To see hollands, one of our most cherished breeds, finally making a run for BOB and BOS will be exciting! We look forward to adding it to the normal show team! With Netherland Dwarf, Himalayan, French Lop, Holland Lop, and Silver Fox all being shown across multiple varieties competing at a high level has always been a dream for us, and we are nearing that completion. Years has gone into the making, ups and downs, etc...however, the stage is set, the rabbits are fancy and painted, here's to the next 20 years!
For many folks, it's an experience to purchase your first rabbit, and we do all we can to provide pictures and information about each, and in some cases can make arrangements to meet a few that are interested in. However, we do operate a "closed barn" policy. For those that do not understand what that is, it means we are not open to the public. Our facilities are all indoors, which provides for the safest environment for the rabbits from heat, cold, wild animals, dogs, etc. This environment is the rabbits "safe place" that is theirs, and it is very upsetting to them if someone that enters the rabbitry they don't know, or there is something wrong, they will tell us about it. The environment is built for them, and they are such social animals, their herd instincts allow them to communicate on so many levels. The feel no stress in this environment, and we as breeders and our staff have been "accepted" as part of their herd....rather than the other way around. Given what we have learned about the communication strategies within the herd environment, and the stress that tends to occur when new people enter the rabbitry, we have opted for this solution. Safety of the rabbits is paramount over any sale. Other considerations to the safety aspect includes potential theft/casing of property, animal rights activism, and biosecurity are all necessary in todays world. With the spread of RHD1 and RHD2, there's been an very high biosecurity element added to all rabbitry's this past couple years, with known multiple transmission routes and many more that are unknown. In either case, these diseases are fatal to rabbit herds. With that element, we have instituted many biosecurity measures to help prevent and protect our rabbit family as we continue to always find new ways to lead the hobby in a positive direction.
Q: Do I need to wash my rabbit?
A: Rabbits are intense groomers. Like cats, they do an exceptional job at maintaining their fur and cleaning themselves. However, longer haired rabbits, or rabbits going through molting should brush the rabbits with a fine soft bristle brush daily to prevent hairballs. Also, at times, a rabbit may have loose stools, and depending on the rabbit, cage, etc; there may be a need for a bunny bath.
Q: What do I do if my rabbit stops eating?
A: Any rabbit that is not eating it's normal volume, not eating or drinking is considered a pet emergency! Always have a vet available that handles rabbits, and a way to get your rabbit to the vet immediately.
Q: What is best, a female doe, or a male buck?
A: There are several factors to consider when looking for a rabbit. Female rabbits can be quite territorial. Same can go for males. Spaying or neutering can really help by calming the hormones down. Single rabbit homes will have less issues than with homes with more than one in most cases. Rabbits that are spayed or neutered can also be paired and eventually live in the same cage. Healthwise, it is better for your doe to be spayed before age 4. It's imperative to the long life of a rabbit as uterine cancer is common after this age. The rabbit can live with this for years, however, in today's world, there are solutions, and due to the quality of rabbit care available, rabbits can live to up to a dozen years, and in some cases much longer!
Q: Is there a safe treatment for fleas/ticks for my rabbit?
A: There are several products on the market, however we use Revolution kitten formula. One packet will usually cover most rabbits successfully for 30 days. It's always a good idea to do a follow up treatment 30 days after the first. Cost is about $10 a treatment from your local vet.
Q: What do I feed my rabbit?
A: Rabbits must have hay as the primary source of their diet. The main reasons for this is to maintain a high fiber diet for proper digestive tracts, and secondly rabbits teeth grow for life; it's important they have the ability to chew to help keep them worn down. Rabbits with teeth too long is not only painful for the rabbit to the point they can't eat leading to other health problems, but can cause absesses and infection.
Q: Can I let my rabbit free range in the house?
A: Yes, however, it is recommended that you have a defined room for your rabbit to play. You can certainly do the entire house, however, keep in mind rabbits are chewers by nature. All extension cords must be inaccessible, floors should be picked up and free of hazards, and care should be taken to ensure your home is suitable and safe for your rabbit.
Q: My rabbit freaks out when I pick up to put in the cage, what can I do to prevent dropping?
A: Rabbits by nature are afraid of being picked up, particularly due to the fact they are prey animals. We don't recommend picking up a rabbit that really doesn't like it. There have been cases they kick too hard and break their own backs, get dropped and get internal injuries, and also the experience reduces trust between you and the rabbit. Solutions to this are to place the cage on the floor, so that you can kind of herd the rabbit into the cage. I recommend using a couple of pieces of cardboard so that the rabbit doesn't associate this to your hands. During each time you put the rabbit up, use a calm voice, use a term such as "time for bed" and after going into cage, provide a small treat. Eventually you will be able to just say the term, and your rabbit will run to it's cage on it's own and wait for their treat!
Q: What treats can I give my rabbit?
A: Strawberry tops, pieces of strawberry, small piece of banana, and kale are all good! Stay away from sunflower seeds with the shells on them as these shells can get stuck in the GI tract. Carrot is okay, but very small pieces. Many of these are high in sugars or proteins which can upset your bunny's GI tract leading to loose stools. We recommend at the most once a day on treats, and monitoring stools for changes. If your rabbit is having loose stools from a certain treat, avoid that, and find a different one, or reduce the amount given.