It’s been a week since our return from the OSRBA Mini Convention. It was a big show with about 8000 rabbits total. Probably about 70-80 velveteen lops. It was nice to finally meet everyone from the velveteen lop community instead of just talking through email or Facebook. Overall I did well falling in mid range with the bunnies and got lots of great feedback. The judge for the second show was Sue Rice who was an original breeder of VLops back with Mary Crawford (inventor of the breed) so it was great to hear her comments. Che (my stud buck) did the best out of Tracy, Rose and Kinsley. I brought Mr. Cleo too. He did ok but he had some great competition so no big win there. I was showing against some long-time well known breeders in both velveteen and English lops so I was definitely out-classed! But it’s fun to compete at that level. There were some English lop ladies there that I had originally met at the PaSRBA and it was nice to see them again as well! Check out the pictures below from the weekend. They include some overall pics of the show, some random bunnies, some of our rabbits and also a picture of a new black English lop buck we brought home from Lops Unlimited by breeder Hannah Foster (who is a star in the youth show world). His name is Buck and I think he will bring better ear and size into our future stock.
What do you think of the updated site?! Mr. Cleo will be attending a show this weekend in Rhinebeck, hope he does well. Memphis was going to go as well but he is just misses the weight requirement for a senior buck at 9.3 lbs. (he needs to be at least 9.5). I’ll just have to beef him up alittle so he makes it for the next show which will be Ohio convention. All the babies are doing well, the rest of them all got their tattoos on tonight (which they weren’t that happy about). Hope y’all are enjoying the nice weather!
Babies are doing well. Been little cold lately but it’s still been a refreshing change of weather. Been working on the barn some to spruce it up and make it fancy! Penny kindled 10 babies (1 doa), a big litter for a young momma. She did lose them all the next day…so she was rebred to Mr. Cleo and will be due again in May. This is typical usually for a first time mom to lose 1 or 2 litters. Hopefully she will grow up some and nature will kick in. So far we are still planning on making the trip to Ohio for the Velveteen Lop specialty show! I talked to Lorrie, the COD holder, and she said to expect around 50-70 Velveteens to show. So exciting!!!! The most I’ve ever shown against was 5! Can’t wait for some REAL competition And to meet all the movers and shakers of the Velveteen Lop world. The end of the month we will be going to the Rhinebeck show too down near Poughkeepsie. I still have a young Velveteen Lop buck that is available for sale. He would be good for breeding or pet and he has no showing disqualifications. He will be going to the Ohio show so transport will be available on the way out to anywhere on the way. If anyone is looking for transport out to that show let me know.
Everything is good in the rabbitry. Enjoying some warmer weather finally. Still expecting one more litter of English Lops next week. Currently, there are only going to be English Lops available in the future as all the Velveteen Lop babies are spoken for currently. I only have a young buck for sale (Tracy). I will be sending a few English Lops to the Rhinebeck show at the end of the month and the big plan is to go the Velveteen Lop Specialty Show in Ohio. I’ll be competing against the COD holder herself (the working standard for Velveteen Lops until they get officially recognized as an ARBA breed) as well as some other great breeders. I need to put my babies up against some well-developed lines!!! That show is the beginning of May. I will be offering transport from NY to Ohio (or back) to anyone that may need it. Everyone got wormed (except for the pregnant/nursing does) and their nails trimmed today. Here are some pictures of RBB’s Collins (broken black) x Darabella’s Domino (tri) litter. They were born on St. Patty’s Day if you were wondering about their names. I’m still debating on one whether it is a boy or girl!!!
- My 6 Valentines (bellasbunnies.com)
If you follow Bella’s Bunnies Rabbitry on Facebook you are aware that we were raffling off a copy of the Rabbit Fever DVD! Congrats to our winner Jamie! I hope you enjoy it!
On another note the show season has started off well with the Pennsylvania State Rabbits Breeders Association show. This show is 2nd only to the National Convention with its size and number of entries so it was awesome to be there! My next show will probably be a local show in March or (fingers-crossed) the Lop Nationals in Ohio! Click on the picture below to buy your own copy of the DVD if you haven’t seen it.
- Rabbits: the ideal pets for working families (savingaddict.com)
Even though the recent cold snap had nothing to do with it we are down to zero English Lop babies. On a lighter note, I should be overrun with youngsters in February through March. Two Velveteens and three English ladies are/will be bred. I still have my reserves from the waiting lists from these past litters that were unfulfilled who will get first choice with these next litters. I’m getting more and more excited each day for the PA state rabbit convention! Should be great fun and lots of competition. I’ve itched to get some of my youngsters on the tables. Bella’s Bunnies River (from my last English litter) will also be there at her first competition! I’m leaning towards going to very big shows instead of small ones this year. I would love to attend Lop Nationals and the Velveteen Lop Specialty show (which are both in Ohio). A distance for sure, but definitely doable. We will be checking in after the show to let you all know how we fared and as always to keep you updated on the coming litters.
If you follow us on facebook you will see that I lost a English Lop baby this morning…looks like he wasn’t getting enough to eat. So we are down to 3 opals and 1 chestnut for babies. I currently have 2 of them spoken for as of now. Collins, the velveteen lop, was rebred to Domino (tri-color) since she faked her pregnancy and no babies were to be had. We should see them born around Valentine’s Day. I only have 1 velveteen lop buck left currently from the previous litter and at this point I’m going to hold onto him. If I decide to keep him then his father, Che, will be for sale. Right now my main focus is preparing for the Pennsylvania State Rabbit Breeders Association State Convention which is the first weekend in February It should be a very big show with lots of competition! The picture below is of the English Lop litter who are currently about a week old!
Been alittle since our last post but if you’ve been keeping up with us on Facebook then you know that Tiger kindled 6 babies on the 25th. She had 5 chestnut’s and 1 orange! I included a pic below of the little guys. She is a great mom and everyone is doing well so far even despite some colder temperatures. I will be saving a doe for myself from this litter. This litter is going to be named after people born on the same date (or within a day) as it seems September is a popular birthday month. I already have 3 names picked out!!! Make sure to leave a comment below of the first name of anyone you know that was born on September 25th and they might get a baby named after them!
On another note, I ‘sprang’ for some professionally done pedigrees. Ellyn from The Nature Trail so expertly (and quickly) designed up the pedigree below. I had to fill out a simple form and within a week she had this tweaked and designed to just my liking. I highly recommend her services for your webpage, facebook page or other designs such as business cards or your very own unique pedigree! Click on the graphic below to see more examples! Very reasonably priced!
Pokerface, the English Lop, is now nesting and should pop out some more buns I’m hoping today and at the latest tomorrow. She is being stubborn about it. Collins also has been rebred and will be due mid June with Velveteen babies. If this litter isn’t successful like her last 2 she will be kept as a pet. The little black velvet I had managed to hand-feed for a few days has since passed He was doing so well. But that’s how it is with baby rabbits, they are very sensitive and most of the time its easier to just foster them to another mother if available.
In major news Bella’s Bunnies has moved across a few states. We are no longer in Kansas and instead are in Upstate NY about an hour from Binghamton and 40 min from Oneonta if you know the area. I’m sad to leave Wichita and all my rabbit friends there. Everyone was so helpful and nice as I got involved again in breeding and showing and I will miss seeing them at shows. The good news is I still plan to attend National Convention in October with or without rabbits and I will see everyone again in a few months! The rabbits have all made the trip just fine so far, they truly are pros at this point, and I’m sure they won’t be missing the 90+ degree weather in the midwest.
I also apologize to anyone who has contacted me through phone and has not received or has gotten a delayed response. I have lost my voice due to a head cold and it is hard to understand me on the phone. If you have left me a message on my phone please send me an email instead.
It may be a few weeks before I get involved in some shows in NY but I will keep you updated. I at least have my 4 baby boys to show on top of the velvets as of now.
My thoughts to those who suffered damages from the storms yesterday and early this morning. Luckily Bella’s Bunnies and all of my immediate bunny friends made it through just fine. I hunkered down with everyone in the basement if in case it got really bad.
The Salt City RBA show yesterday which for being a double show was over by mid afternoon (nice!). It didn’t go so well overall for me but that’s okay, progress is slow. I’m just starting out and I know how long many of the breeders have been in this and the time and dedication they put into it. Good news is Dwight & Marion of Kammalops (one of the big breeders of English & French in KS) had 2 Best in Shows with their french lop! Wow!!! I love to see the big lops win and congrats to them! I also ran into Mallory, the owner of Eva, which is one of the velveteen babies from Tiger’s litter! She was just hanging around the show seeing what it was all about and it’s really great to see her getting involved in 4-H!
I also experienced my first negativity from a judge with the velveteen lops. Usually judges don’t mind getting their hands on a new breed or just checking them out. But one judge didn’t even try to appear interested in giving any constructive criticism (which is actually what I love to hear). He did give me his opinion though. Unrecognized breeds always go last so I made sure when he was finishing up with the second to last group I went and got the rabbits so they would be there and ready for him to just breeze through. But he took off his show jacket as apparently he thought he was done for the morning. My mistake I guess was asking him if he had time to do them even though I could already tell he had checked out. First he got into comments about how they lowered their ear length standard from 17″ to 14″ because they couldn’t get any to pass the judging, followed by questioning why I would even be interested in this breed anyway (ummm, long ears + rex fur, is there a question? and who doesn’t love a challenge?!) and then when the writer asked him about what to mark for their coats he didn’t even bother to compare them and said ‘they’re velvets, of course its poor, never going to get the density of a rex.’ I found that last remark exceptionally condescending as rex breeders spend careers questing for the perfect density of fur. This is a rare breed in many parts of the US still and still has a long way to go…of course their density isn’t going to be like the rexes. Obviously its bothered me enough where I’m writing about it (thanks for letting me vent) but at the same time there are always the negative nancy’s in life. I don’t take it personally but they are my fur babies and you don’t get between a mom and her cub Guess I’ll just have to breed more and bring a whole slew of them to shows just to annoy certain judges, lol.
Someday, the velvets will pass just like every other breed that is a current ARBA approved. It takes years of polish and careful selection to make a breed what it is (and much shorter of a time span to undo that perfection). It takes years of dedication and hard work to breed rabbits that meet that level. There are many bigger players that are responsible for the fate of this breed. The current COD holder (who is the next in line to present rabbits at National Convention to pass the breed as a standard) is Lorrie Stillo of Canton, OH from Journey Home Rabbitry. There is another group who has a COD to present as well. They will be presented again in 2014 (keep your fingers crossed!). You can read more about velveteen lop news here. There is alot I still don’t know about the inner happenings of the breed since I’m pretty detached but hopefully if there is a velveteen lop convention somewhere this year I vowed I would try my hardest to attend so I can meet some of these velvet experts.
On a side note, Octoberfest is not filling out like I would like to see him do as a senior so he is going to be retired (and neutered) and be kept as a pet. By June, his litter will be able to be shown as juniors and I’ll have lots of stock for Nationals this year. Lincoln is going to be retired as well to the ‘breeding barn’ since his ears aren’t competing as well against the others in overall appearance. Lincoln’s sister did well and they liked her good bone and hips (which is what I really liked). She was bred to Pokerface’s brother, Monster, and will be hopefully having a litter around 5/15/12. Should be more orange and blue tort babies! Hats off to Caryn for letting me borrow her and for taking care of her through her (hopefully successful) motherhood. If you’ve been waiting for a doe between Pokerface’s second litter coming up at the end of the month and Maggie’s litter most likely we will have a few available so keep watch on the site for updates. Think we should name them after tornado storm categories?! Or better yet maybe some Wizard of Oz names.
p.s. Once again I failed and didn’t get any pictures of the show. Bad Katie! Here is a video of a tornado instead that went across Salina.
- US Midwest braces for more tornadoes (terradaily.com)