Thursday, September 27, 2007

When & How To Choose Your Keepers

This blog will be devoted to how I 'cull' from my litters. I use the term cull loosely. Some people refer to cull as kill, while I simply mean selling that animal ;)

I normally start looking at babies once they hit around 3 weeks. With just about ANY 3 week-old baby, it's going to look perfect, lol. So don't judge there. I just start trying to get them to pose willingly, without me having to fight with them.

I normally go through litters at 5-6 weeks, giving myself mental notes on the animal. I'm looking for nice, short little ears, with a huge, broad head. Body is to be as deep as it is wide, with it being as short as possible. I also want to see a FULL hindquarter. I also cull any that have too much length in their shoulder or midsection, as well as low shoulders or a flat body. I should really start taking pictures of my keepers at 6 weeks, 10 weeks, 14 weeks, 20 weeks, 25 weeks, & 30 weeks. I will try to do that with my next litter ;)

Say I have 3 babies out of a litter of 8 that I just adore. I have a limited number of holes, so I can only keep two from this litter. Then I go to what I'm looking for in my herd. Say my herd lacks shoulder width, I'd want to keep the two babies with the widest shoulders. Say they ALL have wide shoulders. Then I say, what do I want, not what do I *absolutely* need. I'm always working with color, so color gets my preference. Say out of the three, one is a blue chinchilla, one a lilac steel, and the other a chocolate chesnut. The chocolate chesnut & lilac steel are more important to me, since they hold more of the 'rare' genes that I want in my herd. That's not to say that I'll pick a 'color' over a steel just for it's color ;)

There's my ramblings. . . . I hope you enjoyed them at least a little bit!

Silent Springs Rabbitry

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