Sunday, December 30, 2018

Sardona & Swift's Kits Arrive

We are excited and pleased to announce that Sardona our Broken Black New Zealand doe kindled this afternoon and delivered 8 kits.  Two look to be solid and the rest are broken.  She is off to a good start with this first time litter.  She made a beautiful nest and pulled tons of fur to help keep her winter babies nice and warm.

She was also very chatty through the whole process and chirps and chatters could be heard throughout the barn before, during and after kindling.  She has always been a talker.  I am also pleased that with this being her first litter while she was protective of the nest box, she didn't bite or get aggressive with me while I checked it.

Sardona also happens to be my only blue gene carrier in the barn, so while I don't expect any blues, it will be interesting to see how these kits look as their fur comes in.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Free Download: English Spot Evaluation Rating Sheet

Recently I started a project.  I wanted to create evaluation and rating sheets based on the 2016-2020 Standard of Perfection to help to help my kids who are just starting out with rabbits and I remember what to look for as we evaluate bucks and does for breeding pairs and for evaluating the future litters they will have.

Already I have created a New Zealand and a Mini Rex evaluation and rating sheet to help me with the process of understanding and evaluating my rabbits when it comes to deciding which rabbits I should be breeding to which and which kits and juniors are showing the best development and body type to keep for the show team and as future breeders.  And since I found them so helpful I decided that a rating sheet for my daughter to use with her English Spots would be next on the to do list.

So, I spent  a couple of afternoons combing through and pouring over the 2016-2020 Standard of Perfection and now I finally have it put together and ready to share with all of you.

Here is a sample of the first part of the markings section.  This is a 5 page printed form that covers all the general items you look for specific to English Spots as well as each specific requirements for the different color varieties.  It is also editable so that you can choose to print only the color variety you breed and show by deleting the others before you print if you wish.

Since I am hoping this will be a great tool, I am making it available to you as well.  This is a free printable resource.  Please feel free the make changes to it to suit your needs and use as many copies as you like.  I only ask that you direct people to my blog to download their own copy and do not host the file anywhere on the internet without written permission from me.  Thank you.  You can check it out and download it for free from google drive here: English Spot Evaluation & Rating Sheet Download.

As always, I would love to hear from you.  If you have comments or suggestions about how to make this form better send them my way.  Or if you have a story about how this form has helped you I would love to hear about it.  If you love the rating sheet and want to say thanks we are always accepting donations to help feed the rabbits.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

How Do You Wrap a Live Rabbit and Put It Under the Christmas Tree?

Christmas has been much anticipated by me this year.  With my three older children starting to raise rabbits with me I found it to be the perfect time to surprise them with a hutch and a rabbit to add to their breeding goals.

First came the rabbit shopping.  Contacting breeders to find out what is available and arranging time to drive out and pick them up.

Then comes the big question of where and how to hide a rabbit until Christmas.  It all started with the first rabbit to come home for Christmas back in the being of November.  I made a three hour drive round trip to pick up my son's gift.  Then brought one of my daughters gifts home from a show a couple days later.  So how do you hide a rabbit for a month and a half until Christmas time?

Well if you are me, you stack boxes and plywood in a corner of the workshop where the other bunnies live and you leave enough space behind them to tuck the rabbits.  Then you place hide and seek and try to be sneaky twice a day everyday until Christmas morning so the kids don't see you going back there for feeding times and cage cleaning.

This only mostly worked.  By the time we got to Thanksgiving I had failed to be sneaky and my kids were told to just stay out of the corner or they would ruin their Christmas.  I admit that I could have done a better job, maybe kept them in the horse trailer or something.

Then comes the challenge of how do you wrap a live rabbit in a cage to stick it under the tree?  My answer?  Well you don't of coarse.  You print a copy of the rabbits pedigree and roll it into a fancy scroll tied up with ribbon and a tag.  This fits under a tree much nicer than an entire cage and rabbit.  Plus it gives them the added bonus of having to run out to the workshop to find their rabbit.

So we have three new rabbits that have joined the herd and they all have new names:

Butterscotch and red mini rex doe

Chocolate Chip a chocolate english spot doe

Kaire a black tort holland lop buck

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Sassy's Kits are Grown Up and Weaned

Well It's happened our very first litter of rabbits has grown up and moved out of mom's hutch.

Meet Swift and Sassy's Kits:

Thunderstorm (Buck)

Born 10-27-18.  Now in a hutch with his brother.  He is headed to the show in January to see what the judges have to say about him.

Shadow (Buck)

Born 10-27-18.  Now in a hutch with his brother.  He is headed to the show in January to see what the judges have to say about him.

Rosemary (Doe)

Born 10-27-18.  Now in her very own hutch.  She is missing her nose marking and not headed for the show table.  She is now available for sale as a pet or meat rabbit.  Check her out on our sale page.

We couldn't be happier about these kits growing up and moving out of mom's hutch.  Mom gets a little bit of a rest before her next litter arrives and we get to watch and see how they grow into their potential.

Monday, December 24, 2018

A Mini-Rex That IS NOT a Mini-Rex

As you may or may not know my daughter Clarissa is starting a Mini-Rex black and orange tri-color breeding project because these are the colors of mini rex that she wants to focus on.  Well when you are breeding for tri-color that best thing to do is to start with tri-color and harlequin colored rabbits.  So we have been in the market for some show quality pedigreed rabbits of both types in black and orange.

So one afternoon I see a post on Facebook for a mini-rex harlequin buck that comes with his cage and all his supplies.  My daughter is beyond excited because she has the money saved up for just this very thing and we make arrangements to go out and pick up the rabbit.  So we drove one and a half hours together while listening to Pollyanna on Audible in the car and chit-chatting.  It was a fun mother daughter afternoon.

I had told my daughter before we rang the bell to observe and listen carefully and to everything and ask as many questions as she needed to before we ran through our buying checklist.

When we arrive we can both immediately tell that this rabbit is not mini-rex.  Then we learn that it doesn't have a pedigree.  Then we learn that she doesn't even know how old it is or anything at all about the rabbit because her uncle gave it to her as a gift.  And it desperately needs a new home because it doesn't get along with her dogs and she is worried about it getting hurt.  His name is Twix.

Her only question:  "Are you sure this is a mini-rex?"

We looked at each other and I gave Clarissa a nod and a look that said this bunny is coming home with us regardless and we went through our checklist to make sure he was healthy.  He was super mellow and friendly and looked healthy.  We definitely had a buck.  He also seemed to handle the cats she had without a second thought.

Twix's Deluxe Housing
So we paid her for him loaded him up and headed home.  He might be a mystery bunny as far as breed goes, but he fit right in at our house.  He is nestled into our front room that we use for school and living life and he loves the busy-ness of it all.  Watching our cats and dogs go by, seeing the kids working on schoolwork, playing and going in and out the back door.  He loves it all.  And everyday when the dogs go out he gets to hop around the house for his playtime.

I am writing this post not because I dislike what happened when we went to pick up our newest rabbit, but because it seems to be a common thing that happens and one I was not prepared to deal with before we arrived.  Many people get a rabbit as a gift or buy one without reading or knowing anything about rabbits.  Then the rabbit grows up and gets past the cute, little ball of fluff stage or doesn't get along with other pets and it finds itself in need of a new home.

I am hoping this story will encourage future rabbit owners to do a couple of things:
  • First if you are going to own a rabbit or if you receive one as a gift, learn about it basic things, like it's birth date, it's breed and how big it is going to get.  Learn about it's housing requirements and nutritional needs.  I do have to say that in regards to his housing needs this rabbit was spoiled.  A nice big cage with a good sized litter box, treats, toys and even a hideaway he can duck into when he wants.  As you can see from the picture of his cage above.
  • Second if you are buying a rabbit, be prepared to say no this is not what I expected or at least be aware of what you are getting into when you buy the bunny anyway.  I was completely unprepared to see a rabbit that was not the breed we had come to purchase.  I could have changed my mind right then.  So if you are set on something and the seller doesn't provide that be brave enough to stick to your guns and walk away.
  • Third recognize that sometimes you can be a sucker for a well told story.  If the rabbit in question had not been in a home with dogs.  If the owner hadn't been worried about the rabbit's safety I would have walked away.  So yes, even I am a sucker sometimes for a a well told story, whether it is true or not.
I am proud of my daughter.  She came in she watched, she listened to all the questions I asked trying to learn the rabbits history, she checked the rabbit over very carefully to make sure he was healthy and she paid the gal for a bunny that I had told her with a look we were taking home without complaint even though he didn't fit into her breeding program.  Now don't get me wrong it was my decision and I paid her back the money she spent when we got home, because of that.  And while I swore when we started with rabbits I would never have an indoor house bunny, I admit that we have all come to enjoy his company in the house.

I have my suspicions that Twix is a poorly marked Harlequin breed of rabbit.  His size and fur and coloring lead me to believe this but we will never know for sure.  I plan to give him a good 8 months to grow up before I try to narrow it down based on how big he gets when he is done growing.

It is a spoiled pet life for this little mixed mystery.  And yes if there is someone out there looking for a fantastic pet rabbit that likes to have the run of a dog free house and explore everything then he would be the bunny for you and I would be willing to consider selling him.  If not then he will be spoiled and loved all of his days by my own children.

No bunny could ask for anything more. 

Sunday, December 23, 2018

5 Weeks Old and Playing Leapfrog

Update on Baccara Rose & Swift's Kits.

They are growing well and will hit the 5 week mark on Christmas Day. 2 does and 3 bucks and one baby I am just not certain about yet.

We have also picked names for all of them:

Black Velvet
Black Pearl

We also had an unfortunate injury recently as well.  Mama caught and ripped an ear on one of the kits during nursing time.  It is healing up okay but there is going to be a scar and he won't be a show prospect unless it heals together completely and the scar is not super obvious.

Which means that I will have one buck for sale as brood or pet quality when these guys wean in mid January.

All of them are super friendly and love to explore.  They crowd the hutch door when we come out for feeding and visiting time so they can be the first out for holding and whatever else we are doing that day.  They also seem to have decided that the best game is leapfrog over the top of mama.  It is so much fun to watch their antics at this age.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

1 Sanctioned Open Show for English Spots

As those of you who follow the blog know my daughter Seriah is raising and breeding English Spot rabbits.  Well, many of you may not know that they are one of the rarer breeds in our area and aren't always sanctioned for earning show points at the shows we attend because of this.

So we at the Burton Bunny Bowery have decided to work at promoting the breed this year and have started by donating the sanction fees for one of the three shows that will be put on by the Mid-Tex Rabbit Breeders Association in Killeen, TX on January 18th-19th.

So for all you English Spot owners, breeders, and lovers out there.  Make this a show to attend and join us as we promote this beautiful breed of rabbit in January.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Christmas Gifts are Here!

Meet Clarissa's Christmas doe.  She is awaiting a name until after Christmas when Clarissa finally learns about her and gets to pick one for her.  We will see what she come up with.  She is a red mini rex doe who was born on January 11, 2018.  A big Thank you goes to Steven Mckinney from Our Wild Hares Rabbitry who sold her to us and let her join my daughters mini rex herd.  She is the sweetest thing and loves to be held and get attention.

Meet Seriah's Christmas doe.  She doesn't know it yet but we have added a wonderful young pedigreed chocolate English Spot doe to the herd.  Still a junior she was born July 28, 2018.  A big Thank you goes to my friend Ginger Reich at Elkhorn Rabbitry for getting me set up with her and helping make my daughters Christmas an exciting one.She is full of energy and loves to get attention.  I am looking for to finding out what my daughter will name her and see how she does at the shows this spring.

Meet Treysen's Christmas buck.  He is a proven pedigreed senior Black Tort Holland Lop buck.  Born May 9, 2016.  He has the funniest personality ever.  Every time I come into the rabbitry he is dancing in circles and making little noises of excitement.  He spins and chirps and simply can't wait until you pick him up and pet him.  He is such a mellow guy and I think Treysen is going to absolutely love him.  A big thank you goes to Rocky Meadow Farm for letting us add this wonderful guy to my son's holland lop herd.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Our Rabbitry Name is Official

The mail came yesterday and it is official our Rabbitry's Name is approved and we have the certificate to prove it.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Broken Mini Rex's Singleton Litter Leaves Us Sad Today

Last night when I got home from my daughter's symphony concert I found our broken black mini rex Clarilla nest building and pulling fur like she was going to make herself bald.  As you can imagine this sparked a lot of excitement and anticipation here in our home.

All of our past litters were born in the wee hours of the night while we have slept and never before have I had the opportunity to watch mama doe nest or give birth.  I was able to stay up pretty late for the event this time since it was underway much earlier in the evening.  You can watch the video I took of the her below.

It was an amazing event and I feel very blessed to have been able to witness the birth of her single kit last night.  Unfortunately it is common for first time dam's to lose whole litters and it is even more difficult for those litters when they are singleton's and don't have litter mates to help each other keep warm.  This morning during feeding time, I noticed that our singleton was plastered with fur from mom all over his face and cold.  So we brought mom and kit in warmed the baby up, cleaned the last of the birthing mess off of him and gave him a chance to nurse.  Then we took them both back out to the barn.

When checking on the kit two hours later and this tiny single kit had managed to uncover itself and get so cold it might as well have been frozen.  We are very sad here today as we announce that all attempts to revive the kit were unsuccessful.  Since we know that first litters are usually difficult while sad we are still hopeful that Clarilla's future litters will be more successful.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Meat Pen For Mid to Late January

We are starting to breed meat pens for 4H and FFA.  Currently we have one pen of black new zealands available with a breed date of 10-19-18 and a birth date of 11-20-18.  Perfect for mid to late January competitions.  $200.00 for a set of four rabbits.  They will be 10 weeks old on January 29, 2019.

Friday, December 7, 2018

O Holland Lops, O Holland Lops, Welcome to the Family

As the holiday season approaches I find myself wandering the rabbit breeders and rabbit sale groups on Facebook, looking for those bunnies that need to be re-homed because nobody has time for them anymore, or meat rabbits that people are getting rid of because they don't want to raise them anymore, and even looking for the next perfect rabbit that I just have to have for my show team for next year, that might or might not be on sale because of the holidays and people wanting or needing extra barn space or spending money.

Of coarse I found a group of Holland Lops that I couldn't resist.  Don't we always find something we want when we spend time window shopping?  The seven of these rabbits came together and I am beyond pleased to announce that we will be raising, breeding, showing and selling pedigreed Blue Eyed White Holland Lops in the very near future.  A big thank you goes to Lisa Weeks for allowing us the privledge of taking in her rabbits and adding them to the herd.

Meet Cookie a proven senior Black Tort doe from Quietcreek's lines born on May 7, 2014.  She is going to make a lovely addition to Treysen's Black Tort breeding lines.

Meet Ginger Snap a senior Blue Tort doe also from Quietcreek's lines and one of Cookie's daughters.  Born August 15, 2017 we are looking forward to seeing what she has to offer as a dam and on the show team in the spring.

Meet Vanilla N' Cream our proven senior Blue Eyed White doe.  She is from the Get Lucky Rabbitry out of Missouri.  Born May 19, 2015 we are looking forward to breeding her and seeing what her offspring have to offer.  She is being partnered with Socks and will hopefully be expecting soon.

Meet Sapphire a lovely Blue Vienna Marked senior doe.  You would almost miss the vienna markings completely except for a very small white spot on the tip of her nose.  Born October 15, 2017 she is a full sister to Socks and since her sire was blue eyed white, we are looking forward to breeding her and seeing what her children have in store for us.

Meet Mystique a senior broken blue tort doe.  She is very lightly marked and unfortunately missing her nose markings which will keep her from joining the show team.  We are going to be test breeding her to determine if she is a poorly marked broken or a vienna carrier who could be added to our blue eyed white program.

Meet Smoky a senior broken blue tort buck.  He likes to lay around and get attention and is already making himself a favorite among the children.  We are looking forward to starting a line of blue torts and he is going to be partnered with Ginger Snap in the near future.

Meet Socks a senior Black - Vienna Marked blue eyed buck.  One of Cookie's sons with a blue eyed white sire.  Born on October 15, 2017.  While his vienna markings keep him from the show table, the fact that he is a blue eyed white carrier gives us great hopes that he will help give us a strong start to our blue eyed white lines.

All of our new additions are get settled into the barn here at the bowery and we will begin working with them on posing.  What a wonderful holiday addition and the babies we will be looking forward to showing in the spring.  My son Treysen is in heaven with these new bunnies in the barn and I admit that I have caught his enthusiasm.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Swift earns his legs for Grand Champion

Our Stillwater, Oklahoma Fall Show Results from 11-10-18 are all finally here and Swift has all he needs to become a Grand Champion.

I previously posted the results from the morning show of the day and now that I have results I can share with you how the afternoon show went in Stillwater.

The second show of the day was also full of fantastic results.  Swift took Best Opposite Sex of Variety in this show and won his third leg.  This means that we can register him at the first show we attend in January of 2019 and after that we can send in the paperwork to get his Grand Champion certificate.  I can't think of a better way to end the current show year or start the next one.  We are looking forward to his future here at the bowery as he heads up our 2019 show team and sires the next round of kits for us here at the farm.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Onyx for Sale

It is with mixed feeling that we retire our good boy Onyx from the show team.  He is a doll to work with and has a wonderful personality with firm meaty loin and hindquarters and the size and width you want with new zealands, but as he approaches the two year old mark its time to give some of our up and coming bucks a chance to show what they have.  Still in his prime as far a brood buck goes and especially good for producing large litters and solid meat rabbits, we are currently using him in our breeding program but are now offering him for sale.

Meet our buck Onyx.  Born November 9, 2016; he is a (proven) pedigreed Black New Zealand.  Out of Rowbotham's line of rabbits.  He seems quite content to get attention especially if you will stroke his nose and forehead.  We are asking $50.00 for him.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Swift Missed Our Last Show of the Year

The year is winding down and so is our plans for rabbit shows for the year.  The latest show that we attended was on November 17th up in Wichita, Kansas.  This show was an unexpected show we weren't planning to attend, but when Seriah finally got arrangements settled for purchasing her English Spot rabbits she has been saving for and wanting to get it became a last minute show.

As part of my process of deciding who gets to go I start doing weight checks and verifying age groups on each of the bunnies I am considering taking.  That left me with some tough decisions on who was going.  All except one of my junior does were bred or at least I was hoping they were bred so they were staying home.  And both of the Carrots and Swift transitioned to seniors a couple of days prior to the event and Carrots was 3/4 of a pound under senior weight so he was not going.

While I was weighing and checking Swift over I found a quarter sized spot on his hip that some how he had completely skinned while in the safety and comfort of his hutch.  No way was he going to the show.  We cleaned his skinned hip although it looked good and clean already and treated it with some bag balm.

Then I put him in a show carrier while I went over his hutch with a fine tooth comb so to speak.  Looking for anything that was sharp or sticking out or bent in such a way as to allow him to get himself caught up and scraped.  Not one thing did I find.  I did remove all the older clips and replace them with brand new ones, just to make sure everything was in good working over before returning him to his hutch.  Then we started in on daily wound watch.

Over the following week I checked him daily and watched as the skin quickly healed and hair started to grow back in.  Today he has the shortest and darkest jet black patch of round fur entirely covering the area and beyond it being shorter than anything else you would never know that he hurt himself.  I still don't know how it happened but I am grateful for the weekly habit of weigh checks and rabbit handling that we do here at the bowery, because it allows me to catch things in the early stages before they can become big problems.

My daughter and I had a wonderful time at the show, and I only ended up taking Sardona, Tucker, and Onyx but we came home with two new bunnies and Seriah is now on her way towards raising English Spots here at the bowery.  And so the 2018 show season wraps up here as we take December off to raise our fall litters and help make sure all of our intermediates who are transitioning to seniors keep condition and make senior weight as we look forward to the holidays and upcoming 2019 show year.

East Texas Rabbit Breeders Association (ETRBA) Fall Extravaganza Show Results

Hot off the Presses! Or straight out of email as it were in our modern day technology we are excited to finally share the show results from the 2018 ETRBA Fall Extravaganza show we attended in Mesquite, Texas on November 3, 2018.

Our intermediate black New Zealand buck Swift won a Best of Variety and gets his first leg toward a grand championship in the morning show and took first in class in the afternoon show.

Our intermediate red New Zealand buck Carrots took first in class in the morning show and he also won a Best of Variety and his first leg toward a grand championship in the afternoon show.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Swift Wins Best of Variety

Recently I attended a double show in Stillwater, Oklahoma with my son.  He came to show his Holland Lop Kana and I brought several of our New Zealands.  Well I have the first show's reports from the day and we are pretty pleased with the results.

Treysen's Holland Lop Kana earned 1st in class for the youth show.

Our black New Zealand buck Swift has been showing quite well at the competitions we have attended this fall.  He earned 1st in class as well as Best of Variety and his second leg towards a grand championship.

Our broken red buck Tucker and our red buck Carrots both also earned 1st in class for their groups.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

10 days old and exploring the world and starting to open their eyes

Baccara Rose's kits turned 10 days old yesterday.  All six of them are growing well and have started opening their eyes.  They were so squirmy today that trying to get them to hold still for photos didn't work out very well as you can see from a definite lack of line up for cute facial shots.  So we decided a little video would be just the ticket.  So you can enjoy seeing their little squirmy antics as much as well are.