Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tatooing Systems

Since yesterday I went over different styles of tattooers, I thought it would be nice if I shared my tattooing system with everyone! I find this the be the most simple way of me being able to identify who the parents of certain animals are as well as a general idea of their age without having to dig out pedigrees. Another reason I like my system is that it is very hard to look at the ear numbers and tell right away that the animal was bred by me. I think judges are very observant and will usually catch on to tattooing systems of exhibitors so I try to make things as neutral as possible.

For my tattooing system, I start with the first letter of the sire's name followed by the first letter of the dam's name finished with a number. I usually start with one and go up to however many were in the litter. For example, I had a litter of seven out of Sundance and Sidney. Arista, a doe out of the litter, has the ear number of SS6. 'S' for Sundance, 'S' for Sidney, and she was the 6th one I tattooed. I used to number them in order of quality, but then I realized all the one's I kept had '1's in their ear numbers.

Everyone's systems are different, so I am definitely not trying to say stop what your doing and listen to me! I've seen some other systems that I really like and would do but they don't really work for my needs.

Have fun with tattooing for Convention hopefuls! :D

- Michael

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tatooing. . . a necessary evil.

In order to show any rabbit at an ARBA Show, they must be legibly tattooed in their left ear. Without it your rabbit will be disqualified. Their right ear's are not to be tattooed unless it is going to be registered. But, how do they get the tattoos? Surely they don't appear out of thin air? I don't think so, even though I'm sure they disappear often enough as the ink fades. Here are several common methods that people use to tattoo rabbits.
- an electric tattooer
- a clamp tattooer
- a needle
Of course, you will also need ink. India ink is highly desirable because it is less likely to fade than the ink that sometimes comes with your tattooer.

The needle is the most crude form of tattooing on this list and I don't like it all that much. It is highly time consuming and meticulous work. You have to poke individual holes into the ear until you form a symbol and continue this until you have finished the tattoo (which is generally several symbols long).

The clamp is a step up from the needle and is popular with many breeders. They are typically metal and you slide the symbols that you want into a slot. You then position the clamp in the rabbit's ear and press down - hard. Afterwards you lather ink into the holes that you made with the clamp. Several things could go wrong, such as you hitting a vein, which would involve a large mess for you to clean up. I have also heard of stories of the rabbits breaking their backs from this. It is thus recommended that you do not try to restrain them too much while using the clamp.

My personal method of choice is an electric tattooer. There are numerous different brands available since every breeder needs one. I personally chose the Rabbitat for it's affordability and quality. For those with legible handwriting you will probably find this option the best for you. You simply dip the tattooer into ink and then 'write' the numbers in the ear. I like to place them in lap and cover them a towel with their ear sticking out. If they get freaked out them I just stop for a minute and then begin again. I just did seven juniors yesterday and it only took me a few minutes!

The photo above is of a litter I had a few years ago when I still focused on breeding chocolates. Does anyone see any familiar faces in there? (:

- Michael

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

All Sold

All of my for sale bunnies have been sold! Thanks everyone!

And to continue to the good news, the little BEW baby appears to have made a recovery! Yay, go Pearl! (: I need to get updated pictures soon.

- Michael

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Weanling Problems

These Wooly babies can be really hard to raise at times! As babies they seem to be much more fragile as a whole than my Mini Lop babies ever are. Maybe this is because they are a dwarf breed, but that's just a guess. I had to let the runt have extra feedings for the first few weeks of it's life and now one of the BEW's (my favorite!) has diarrhea . :( This is normally due to babies going from an all-milk diet to beginning to eat solids. While my Mini Lop babies hardly get this problem the wooly babies seem especially prone to it. This can disrupt their systems and cause them to get sick. This girl got sick on Tuesday and I've been feeding her yogurt to give the good bacteria in her stomach a chance to bounce back. Besides that I'm also giving her oats and hay, but she's not that interested in those. She actually did get better but for some reason she relapsed yesterday.

Normally I don't intervene this much since I feel that letting nature take it's course is the best thing to do, I really want this girl to survive since she's probably going to be the best one in the litter and I was looking forward to showing her at Convention later this year. :(

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Business Cards!

Since I changed my website I needed to make some new business cards. My original business cards were from Vistaprint and I was so pleased with my original cards I decided to go with them again! I personalized mine with the logo that Lauren Nicholas of LILBun Designs made for me that I love! Since I did customize mine I had to pay a little extra and the original price for 500 of the cards was around $40 without shipping. I did a bit of online digging though and found an awesome coupon and I managed to get all that I wanted for only $19 WITH shipping! It was a great deal! (: I can't wait to get them in a few weeks.

As far as bunny news, Sundance and Steven will be leaving for Washington and Kansas, respectively, in a few days. I'm sad that Sundance is leaving, I'm going to miss his mug! Oh well, I know he'll get lots of attention as his new place. (:

I'm also getting two new bunnies from Washington! From Tricia I'm getting Velotta's Blake, a gorgeous buck with 7 legs! He throws amazing babies so I hope he'll do the same for me! I'm also getting Velotta's Bella, a RGC doe with 3 legs, from Nicole! I can't thank either of them enough for parting with these beautiful animals, it means so much to me! I feel these bunnies will act as a catalyst for the quality of my herd.

- Michael

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Update on the BEW's

Here are some three week old pictures of my Wooly babies! (:

Here is my favorite baby of the bunch, a really cute doe!

The doe again
The whole gang.

- Michael

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Yesterday I decided I had to clean the cages since I hadn't done it in a few months and they were covered in molty bunny hair. I also cleaned all the water bottles and crocks and gave a few of the bunnies some little cat toys which they are enjoying. Anyway, I started at about 7 am and ended at 11. The high was 104* and silly me forgot to put on sun screen. Yeah, I am hurting today! Ouch. I also have a very unattractive 'sandle burn' which is annoying.

While I was cleaning cages I decided to seperate Sidney's litter. All the ones I'm selling are in a big weanling cage but my keeper's have been seperated. I still have 4 empty holes, with 1 leaving, 2 on hold, and 5 for sale? Pretty good! (: I am keeping a BJD, SJD, and SJB. The buck is a bit iffy, but I'm not showing much at Convention and figured I might as well grow him out. I absolutely LOVE the BJD, she's very promsing!

Oh, the picture at the top is of Silent Spring's Jessa, a very pretty steel doe with 2 junior legs. (: Hopefully she can get her 3rd!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

BEW Cuteness

Here are some pictures of my Wooly babies! (: Enjoy!
My favorite baby.
The whole litter! The little black is the runt.

Microscopic ears. :P
- Michael

Friday, July 10, 2009

CA Judging Team

I'm sure the local CA youth who have participated in the judging competitions this year know all about what I'm about to type, but I thought I'd share my experiences up to this point on trying to get on CA Judging Team with those who did not get a chance to participate in it.

Since I'm fairly certain a majority of my readers are active in the rabbit community, most of you know that the '09 ARBA Convention is in San Diego, CA this year! Due to this, the number of Judging and Breed ID applicants have soared, which resulted in the organizers of the team selection to make 'judge-off' competitions, where all potential applicants were seperated into our respective age groups and given 3 rabbit classes and one cavy class to go over and place. The classes had previously been judged by a licensed ARBA judge and our placements were compared to theirs, with a maximum possible score of 200. There were multiple judge-offs at shows throughout the year, though if you were planning to apply to get on a team you were required to participate in at least two. If you participated in more than two you would keep your two highest scores. The last competition was at the San Bernadino show this past month. I personally participated in the March Hanford and April Bakersfield judge-offs.

If you had done the minimum of two competitions, then you had to fill out a questionare in which you described why you thought you were qualified to be on the judging team. This was the last requirement and was due at the end of June.

From this, several people will go over our scores and answers to questionare and pick 4 people from each age group to represent California at Convention this year. We should be hearing back from them in the next one to two weeks.

Anyway, I thought that some might find this interesting. (: This is just a very rought overview, I could have went into much more detail about the judge-offs themselves. I'd like to personally thank Jennifer Munoz, who was kind enough to answer all of my questions and organizing the judge-offs. This would have not been possible without her! I'm crossing my fingers and toes that I scored well enough to make the team! Lots of worthy youth applied and it's a shame that some will have to be turned away.

- Michael

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

100th Post!

This is a huge accomplishment for me, considering my posting record has been sporadic at best. :D

Jinger's litter is finally opening their eyes. I can't wait until they get to their cute stage in another week or so! (: They still need a bit more fluff before they become adorable, and then I'll post some pictures.

Jonah, a broken blue buck out of Faith, left with Rachael and Karen today! Jonah is a really cute buck that I was going to keep, but the buck I'm getting is broken and I didn't think Jonah is going to be as nice as him.

Who is this mystery buck? I'll let you all know in due time!

- Michael

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Summer Shows

The first reason I dislike summer is because the bunnies don't handle the heat well, which stresses me out trying to keep them alive! The second reason is that I don't go to any shows, because heat + traveling = stressed out bunnies! This year another reason I'm not showing it because with my herd reduction I don't have many bunnies to show. I think I have two newly turned senior does, which will take a few months to mature anyway until they get more competitive.

Besides those does, I won't have much to show for another 3-4 months. :( I guess this is a blessing in disguise though, because I really do need to be saving up for Convention! I think the only show for me before Convention will be the Santa Maria show on 9/20, so I intend to get as many comments as possible while I'm there! Then it's Convention 11/1/09 - 11/5/09! I'm so excited to finally go to a Convention! You can't even imagine how bummed I was I had to miss ML Nationals earlier this year.

- Michael

Saturday, July 4, 2009

More Bunnies Leaving Soon.

All six of the bunnies left for their new homes yesterday. It was so nice meeting Kara, Jennifer, and Jennifer's sister! They were all such great people. I'd like to thank Kara again for transporting for me, she's a lifesaver! The rabbitry is much more empty without them! I am now down to 23, including my 10 babies.

Heather is coming down on Tuesday to get the broken smoke pearl chinchilla buck. He's going through his gangly stage but I think she'll like him! I know he'll like not having to deal with this insane heat anymore!

Karen and Rachel will also be coming down on Tuesday to pick up a bunny to show at the local fair. I think they will either get the remaining steel buck from Hope's litter or my keeper from Faith's litter (a broken blue buck). With my herd reduction, I'm pretty sure the animals I'm selling are going to beat me at the fair. (: It doesn't matter though, because it feels just as good to see a friend win with a rabbit you bred than winning yourself.

Casey and Jinger are also on hold until I can wean Jinger's current litter, so they should be leaving sometime in August. Sundance will also be leaving in August! :( I'm sad I'm selling him because I've had so many babies out of him. He's such a reliable old man.

Speaking of Jinger's litter, they are getting cuter every day! The BEWs now have enough fur to look white. :D The little black baby is a runt, I've been letting him nurse individually with momma since I don't want to loose him! His sibling are much larger than him. :( I'm crossing my fingers with a little TLC he'll pull through though. I'll keep you all updated on it.

- Michael

Friday, July 3, 2009

Bunnies Leaving.

Well, I guess my herd reduction is finally coming full force. Until now I'd just sold mostly juniors but today a lot of bunnies are leaving! :( It's kind of sad since I've had some of these bunnies since they were born and kept them, sometimes for years. I just need to remember that in the end this will do improve the quality of my herd in the long run.

It's really funny when you do a herd reduction, because when it comes down to it, you are capable of getting rid of most of your bunnies. But when push comes to shove, a few of them never cross my mind. I couldn't ever let some of them go. And surprisingly, those animals are normally not the ones that show amazingly well. They are usually from your first litters, your really sweet brood does, etc. They are the ones that have some sort of sentimental value to you.

Anyway, onto who's leaving today!

I just dropped off Cody an hour or so ago to Kara. He's molting horribly which is really embarrassing, but I've been trying to keep on top of it. Heck, Casey looks part lionhead right now, lol. Darn summer!

Jennifer should be here any minute. She's going to be picking up Jim Bob, Hope, Michelle, Joy-Anna, and Gizzard. I hope she likes them! I think she will.

So, that's 6 bunnies leaving today. After this I'm only going to have about 10 seniors left! I'm super excited. (:

- Michael

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Website Is Finished!

I finally finished moving my website over to my new domain today! I still need to figure out how to make a guestbook and still add all my links to my links page. Check it out!

Nothing going on today. . . . I am going to clean cages tonight and print out some pedigrees for babies! I also need to order some new business cards, I might do that tomorrow.

- Michael

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Mini Lops Available

I'm still in the process of reducing my herd for the summer and while most of them have been sold, I still have several nice bucks for sale. Here they are.

SSR's Sundance Kid (RGC, 5 Legs) - Opal Sr Buck
(Velotta's Raymond (RGC, 6 Legs) x Hoppin's Cookiesn'Cream (2 Legs))
Sundance is a gorgeous buck that throws gorgeous babies. I have granded three of his offspring myself and one has gone on to win a BIS! Past his show prime now, he'd be best used as a herd sire.

Silent Spring's MF2 - Broken Smoke Pearl Chin Jr Buck
(DeSurra's Morgan (GC, 7 Legs) x Silent Spring's Faith (RGC, 6 Legs))
Promising buck in a gorgeous color! I love his head! Just starting his to go into his ganglies, but I'm expecting him to turn out nicely.
Hold for Heather?

Silent Spring's GH3 - Black Steel Jr Buck
(Kitsemble's Gus (Reg, 1 Leg) x Silent Spring's Hope (Reg))
Very sweet buck with amazing fur! Gus has really thrown this fantastic, plush fur to most of his offspring! Very full, would like to see a bit more depth to balance out the width.

.....I am also contemplating selling Casey, my BEW Jersey Wooly senior buck. Contact me if you'd like more information on him.
email -

I'm working on getting pictures up right now!

- Michael