It has been a very long year, and with lots of things going on from showing, breedwork, and new facilities/expansion of not only the space but also colors and breeds! The show awards this year are absolutely amazing, with so many of our rabbits winning big awards time and time again all year in their respective varieties and breeds! Although there's still a month or so to go in 2019, the number of awards are by far a record number, with the rabbitry claiming 32 Grand Champion classifications during the 2019 Show Season in Netherland Dwarf and Himalayan! So proud of all the rabbits, they have done a fantastic job! Some were stellar rabbits, with a couple individually leading the way with over 20 wins this year, and we hope that the trend will continue into 2020! With what's up and coming, the sky is the limit...with so many gorgeous youngsters that will all be competing for the top spots!
2020 has many new varieties of Netherland Dwarf making the showtables to include Lilac, Lynx, Opal, Chocolate Otter, Blue, Smoke Pearl Marten, Orange, and Ruby Eyed Whites. There's lots of new Himalayans in all 4 varieties, however blue and lilac are going to be presented this upcoming year! Holland Lops in chocolate tort, lilac tort, chocolate, lilac, and with some luck Black and Blue Otter will make it by fall. These are the few colors that we are focusing on in Holland Lop given the volume of time that is being spent to expand Netherland Dwarf which is and has become our anchor breed.
French Lop was added loosely this year, as we continue to move forward in the largest breed in the rabbitry. French Lop are in the same body type as Silver Fox. They are gorgeous gentle giants, and they have an amazing personality that we look forward to competing with in 2020. The breed is larger than most small dogs, so they can be wonderful companions as pets, and they are certainly the right fit to our rabbit family with most all colors showable.
Silver Fox made a couple new additions to the breed to help improve overall type and competitiveness over the next year. The breed is classified as a rare breed, and it's certainly not an easy one to find with the quality type that is needed. We look forward to continuing to work on expanding this breed and the opportunity for them on the showtable this next year or two. It is also likely we will have many available this year available for youth wanting to show them, as well as, new breeders that want to take on the challenge of this very fun and loving breed in helping to continue bringing them back from the threatened list of breeds in the world!
Years we have been utilizing a waitlist, but as we have grown, many colors, many breeds, and new things, we have also seen in most waitlist items the very hard, rare, difficult to recreate colors are what are being desired. Other things such as very particular to age or sex also being another difficult part to match. Waitlist items in some cases of 6 months or more for some of the hardest colors were common, and by the time we did have the rabbit someone was looking for, they were not. So as of Jan 1, 2019, we no longer operate a running wait list. We offer the website for posting of bunnies available as well as on our facebook page. This first come, first serve mentality is far easier to manage. We do still require a 50% deposit to hold any rabbit over the age of 8 weeks. If no deposit has been recieved, it will be available to the next person. We no longer hold rabbits without deposit for more than 24 hours.
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, kale, yougurt chips 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.
We are starting the Rabbit Spotlight series this week! Each video will
showcase a rabbit that we have as one of our pets, brood stock, and
rescues that have been rehabilitated for adoption, or specific breeding
releases that we will have available. Each of the video's will showcase
a little about each one including information specific to the breed,
age, and personality! We are excited about this new series and look
forward to sharing with you the world of rabbits that we fully enjoy and
work with daily! You can visit them on our youtube channel