Tuesday, September 29, 2009

2008-2009 Final Sweeps Results

The final sweeps results for the AFLRC last year are in. I was #30 Overall in the Nation. I have to say... that's pretty decent for me hardly showing at all last year. It includes my big win in Kentucky and only a few other weekends of shows. Last year wasn't my big show year, but I'm still proud of how I did anyways! :)

Congrats to all the other placers!

A busy next year

I was sitting down today thinking about upcoming shows and how busy I will be. Living in Sacramento we have a huge resource of rabbit shows practically every weekend. Plus, I have become quite addicted to National Shows.

Monday, September 28, 2009

NC to CA shipment available

There is a shipment of rabbits coming from North Carolina to California in a couple weeks. Out of a 12 hole shipment there are 3 holes available.

Interested parties please shoot me an E-Mail and I will send your information over to the party. It's a good opportunity to get rabbits from that area sent over in a quick shipment trip for a lot less money than paying for an entire shipment.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Hobby

I get so much joy and passion from raising my bunnies. They provide me so much love and pride. I have so many fond memories from my life going out into the barn to check on brand new litters, grabbing my BOB winning bunny out from the coop on the show table with a smile, smelling the large Convention halls full of thousands of rabbits...and more. These are the things that make this hobby so worth while to me. I have made my best friends through all of this. I have made friendships across the country, and visited so many odd and wonderful places because of rabbits. I am so so so thankful for everything the rabbit show hobby has done for me over these years.

There are others who feel the need to be negative in the hobby. No let me rephrase that, be down right mean. Sometimes I don't understand why people get so uptight about things. These are rabbits, right? Is everyone so passionate and competitive that they feel the need to be angry, negative, aggressive, or hateful? Is that it? Is there really a reason to talk about others? I know people have angered me and I am guilty just like anyone of thinking things I shouldn't, but I have never made it a point go spread lies or hate about anyone. It's not my desire. I see far too many people do that and it's a shame they really want to waste their time doing it.

I guess, the hobby is full of good and bad points. Because the good overpower the bad I stick with it and stay strong and let everything negative swirl around me do just that- stay away.

Keep the faith, hug your bunnies, and fill those nestboxes with winners.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hello Fall!

It's hard to believe it's Fall in the Northern California valley. We've had triple digits for close to two weeks now. Although it's going to slow down the re-start of my breedings I will be very thankful for the lower tempeartures (and so will the rabbits!). I'm crossing my fingers this is the last real week of a heat wave (expecting 80's by Monday, thankfully).

San Diego is going to be warm in of itself. Usually it's a maintained 80's in that area most of the year. I'm betting there will be a chance for a quick swim in the ocean while we're there. I'm going with my partner in crime Susie and her family. We'll be right at the beach in a cottage. I'm SO excited!! What a nice week long vacation.

Above I have pictured Lil'Bit Farms Tulsa. I am so thankful that I still have him as part of my herd post sell down. I really need to work on getting some babies out of him. Doesn't he have such a presence about him?

Chestnut Jr Buck

I'm really happy I had kept at least one junior that I bred for Convention before my sell down. He is a chestnut junior buck (THF Saynora King Kong x Starlite's Gucci). His body is shorter than his mom's, which is what I was going for in the cross. He should have some decent length to his coat for an agouti, which is a gooooood thing! I'm very proud of his head/ear/crown combo. He has an AWESOME crown and perfect shape and size on his ears. He looks like he is going to be a total chunk. I would like to see him a bit shorter in shoulder length and maybe a bit wider, but I'm so happy that he was an improvement on both parents. He is absolutely naked right now.. but maybe he will end up with enough coat length to show at San Diego?? Hmmmm now the thought is definitely there....

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Starting a Line

How do you create a Nationally known line, with consistent typed rabbits that win at the show table and are easily recognizable as "oh that's a ____ rabbitry rabbit...." ? Skill? Experience? Money? Time?

I did what many do when they aren't sure how to get the type that want in their rabbitry. Buy too many rabbits, and not the right quality. Actually, a good percentage of people end up selling their first set of "starter stock" because they find it's not what they want (or they bought cheapy bad quality stuff to start with). When you're new you're not sure exactly what you want your herd to look like, nor do you have the experience to know what to do with the rabbits you have.

Think of your very favorite rabbitry. I'm sure the rabbits they have all look a certain way, right? Some consistent type? Maybe a very characteristic bold head and thick chunky bone? These rabbits probably do some big winning at National and Convention shows don't they? Many of these breeders use a breeding system geared towards "setting" the type in their line. Their line keeps consistent characteristics that are expected generation after generation. So how do you start your line off right?

Start with a trio. A trio usually consists of 1 buck and 2 does. Many breeders use a trio with a line-breeding system. For example, breed both does to the buck, breed those babies back to the original buck and doe, etc.etc. You can actually do three generations worth of breedings starting with just the original trio of rabbits. Your end result? Rabbits that are going to be VERY similiar looking in type. The 4th generation will include an introduced animal to outcross into the line. Check out a linebreeding chart and informaton sheet Pam Nock put together. Great information for further research.

Buy the best you can afford. Always follow this rule. Buy the best quality rabbits that are within your budget. If you have to, save as much money as you can before purchasing your initial stock.

Search for your ideal "type". For example, holland lops have many different types, and hundreds of different breeders. Some have lines with heads or bodies that look a certain way. Sometimes the different styles are all within the breed standard, just geared towards a look to that breeder's preferences. Look for the type that you admire because that is what you're going to be working with generation after generation. You better make sure you can look at it every day!

Be willing to ship, if you're serious. I was the person always looking "outside the box". I did start with a couple local rabbits when I initially got into fuzzy lops to learn about the breed and maintaining them, but being the research fiend that I am.... I discovered some amazing fuzzies that were not local to me. They had the type I desired. I have had several shipments over the years. They require some extra work and negotiations, but the results can be fantastic. In some cases, the type is far superior to what you can find in your area and you can sweep the show tables! Or, there are some pockets of areas across the country that are very inbred (all the local breeders basically using the same animals/pedigrees over and over), and they would do well with some new blood. Obviously if you only plan on having a few rabbits, breeding a short time, or not being too serious in the hobby, shipping is probably not right for you. And it's definitely not worth it unless you can ship in 4+ rabbits as a one-way shipment runs usually around $250 (though sometimes Frontier has a $100 deal under 50lb.).

There are many ways to start a new herd off positively. If you're serious and willing to go the extra mile, all the efforts will be worth some tremendous rewards!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Stockton Results

Congrats to all the winners at the Stockton, CA show on Saturday. It was a nice show.. big as all the Stockton shows are.. but BOY was it HOT!!! It was well over 100 degrees and the rabbits were not doing well. I know there were exhibitors who left early. Lots of bunnies showed symptoms of beginning heat stress. I had one rabbit who was practically skin and bones the next morning after all the stress from the show. He's been chowing down on oatmeal and pellets, and his body is slowly coming back. Poor guy!

I showed one rabbit, but we flunked. It figured, as her wool was done and dead. I plucked about 50% of her wool last night and will probably finish the rest today. I'm hoping to have most of her coat in for Convention... but we shall see!

Congrats to my good buddy Susie (Wooly World Rabbitry) for taking BOB in both Youth shows with two different rabbits, and she also took BOS in Show A. BOS in Show B was won by a new youth exhibitor I believe? (someone correct me if I'm wrong).

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Happy B-Day to me!

Happy Birthday To me! The big 24!

I'm off to the Stockton, CA rabbit show to show one rabbit, and see all my friends I haven't seen since the Spring shows! It will be nice to be in the scene again. Good luck to all going to shows this weekend, especially the big Greensboro, NC show!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Oh molty wool cap!

Of course the only rabbit I entered in the Stockton show tomorrow is going to blow her coat! She started to get soft in the wool around the bottom half of her body, but still looking decent. Yesterday after work I checked on everyone and I have no clue how but she has a nice big hole in her wool cap. There's at least some wool left to swoop forward and hide it a little bit.. but of course this had to happen right? And she was my only hopeful entry for Convention. Saturday after we're done showing I'm going to pluck her all the way out. Hmmm 1 and a half months to grow a new coat of wool. Unlikely, but we'll try!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rabbit Fever Movie

Official Rabbit Fever (2009) Poster by Jeffrey Brown.
Rabbit Fever is a documentary movie all about rabbit shows, specifically ARBA Convention. Here is an except off their website:

You’ve heard of dog and horse shows, but are you familiar with the fascinating
world of rabbit showing? For the first time ever, this 100-year-old society is
Rabbit Fever follows a colorful collection of competitors as they
strive to win the top title at the National American Rabbit Convention – an
event that draws more than 20,000 rabbits in one building, the largest mass of
rabbits in the world. While adult members of the rabbit habit compete for BEST
IN SHOW, the teenage enthusiasts quest for an even more coveted honor in the
rabbit community – RABBIT KING and QUEEN!

Those going to the 2009 ARBA National Convention in San Diego this year have a lucky treat- a sneak preview screening of the movie!! I am SO excited to see it. This a must attend event for me!

For more information, be sure to check out http://www.rabbitfever.com/, the film's official website.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

45 Days!

45 days until we leave for Convention.

Even through all the drama, 2 two month "break" from the rabbits, and all that was involved.. I am going to Convention. How could I miss Convention being SO close to home? Besides, after my first one last year in Louisville, KY I AM HOOKED! I am way excited to take the drive (8 hours) down to San Diego with some wonderful friends, enjoy the rabbit scene, the beach, maybe some amusement parks, and hopefully a great local Mexican food find!

I'm planning on taking at least one fuzzy lop. Probably only one.. but hey, we all know what can happen even if you only take one rabbit (cough, my BOSV fuzzy lop win last year, or cough, the BIS winning Belgian Hare last year an exhibitor sent with another exhibitor for her).

45 days, 6 1/2 weeks, whatever you want to lay it out like.. Convention is coming up quick!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

New Blog

After a long.. delay... a new blog for you to follow with the new changes of the rabbitry. This blog will stay up for reference/history :)


Kagee and it's significance

Why the rabbitry name change?

Starlite Rabbitry was a name I held for at least 3-4 years. Maybe more! It's registered with ARBA, and became a name I was recognized by. Some people even just called me "Starlite"! I love stars, and that's why I originally chose the name. The problem is that there are SO many variations of Starlite out there. Starlight, Star Lite, Shooting Star, etc. I had several young and/or new breeders e-mailing me demanding I change my rabbitry name because "they had it first". Is it right for someone like me who has had the name for 4 years, show Nationally, and breed multiple litters a month to change my name for someone who doesn't even show in ARBA but maybe once or twice a year, and only has bred 2 or so litters? Who is in the right? In what way does it matter? I felt that I was also being confused with other Starlite variation people. Fanciers were getting me confused with other people. On a forum I'm on I even have two people with name variations of mine just in that little space on the web!

Besides all the confusion, I have been showing/raising dogs under the kennel name Kagee for well over 10 years. The word Kagee has even been part of my e-mail address for over 11 or 12 years!! When I first got my surprise black lab puppy (my first dog, my Aunt was the breeder), until I got her they called her "KG" meaning "Katie Girl'. It was a way to give her a name without me guessing she was meant for me. Once I received her it all made sense and I started associating myself with the word Kagee so much. I felt like with a new change in my rabbits/rabbitry, and the fact I already use it with my dogs, that it would be a good rabbitry name too. Besides, it's clever, one word, short, and unique... and nobody else will have something similar!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The old blog

This blog is a continuation of the blog I had before. I will keep the old blog up probably forever, or at least a few years. I have tons of pictures and writings in there (a couple years worth!) and I would love people to be able to access it.


Please change all your bookmarks. Or if you follow my old blog, please follow the new one! Thanks!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Here we go...

With new times bring new changes. I have been involved in show rabbits (breeding off and on) for an upwards of 10+ years. Heartbreaks, amazing National wins, and success in the nest boxes are all part of the beloved hobby. Recently I sold about 90% of my herd. I have had a lot going on in my life, and felt it was time to nearly sell out. I sold most of my best, but I do have a couple of my best left in the barn. I currently have 10 Fuzzy Lops, down from over 50. During this 2 month stint of being practically out of the show scene I have done a lot of reflecting. I wanted to see where I am and what I felt was important to me. Once raising rabbits is in your blood, it's almost impossible to get rid of "the bug". I've made mistakes, like so many have before me. I've made successes, that those could only dream of. I've made some of the most important friends in my whole entire life.. in the rabbit hobby. They are what makes me who I am. I have finally figured out some of the reasons that "things went wrong" whether just raising rabbits themselves, or in how I was selecting/culling breeding stock.

Starlite was my rabbitry name. I bred quite a few litters, and you will see quite a few fuzzies out there with the Starlite prefix. I have been showing dogs for 10 years under the kennel name Kagee (pronounced kay-gee). This word means a lot to me and it's sort of the word I have associated myself with for what seems like forever! Shoot, I've had the word kagee in my e-mail address for over 11 years! I decided with new goals and aspirations, and new directions to go towards in my rabbitry that I needed a name change. A name change to show the changes in myself, and my herd. I think it will make for a great new beginning and help me keep a steady flow of recognition between the rabbits and the dogs.

I feel so much better. I'm back.