Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Dear rabbit breeders,
You must be surprised to receive this email from us. Firstly, allow us to introduce ourselves. Golden Pines Rabbitry is a small home-based rabbitry. We practice and support ethical rabbit breeding programs and also promote and educate others on responsible rabbit ownership. Of course, we breed rabbits as domestic pets and NOT to be ended up on a plate or a hot pot of yummy rabbit stew as someone else’s meal.
Now, everyone has worked so hard and invested so much to bring in quality pure breeds to our shore. Surely we hope our efforts and investments would not go in vain. But to be able to produce quality rabbits and maintaining certain standards in the herd, bloodline itself cannot do the entire job. We need to have the knowledge and experiences to achieve such. Anyone could start a rabbitry but a lonely quest has its limit.
We consider Pines Rabbit a newbie. There are so many things about rabbit that dumbfound us at times. But if we have a platform to share our knowledge and experience, this would definitely benefit everyone. Besides, we could increase the market share by having more hobbyists and a larger pool of stocks to share or exchange in improving our herd. On top of that, we could abolish the present monopolized market. That hampers the emergence of a healthy competition. So we shall see how things progress. Or perhaps someone can take the first move to suggest how to proceed to the next step?
Last but not least, we hope you breeders could respond to this by providing a brief introduction of yourself and some information about your rabbitry.
Since we initiated this, so let us be the first to start.
As mentioned at the start, we are a small home-based rabbitry. We started with mix breeds and after gaining some experiences we now aim to focus on pure breeds and, for the time being, it would be raising pure Holland Lops. At present, we are upgrading our barn. Hopefully some nice Holland Lops will come our way. Then we can start trading with others to widen the Holland lop gene pool. By the way, we also blog about rabbit. So if you have time, please visit http://pines-rabbit.blogspot.
Brandon & Grace
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
At this point, we would like to make a note. Bunny that comes with pedigree certificate or is from a Grand Champion bloodline does not guarantee the quality of the rabbit and its offspring. Pedigree is just a paper to show the bloodline of the bunny or to show the pureness of the bunny. If there is Grand Champion in the bloodline, it simply means that there are some good quality genes in such bloodline. But whether or not the genes would be passed down to the offspring is another matter. That is why all breeders cannot guarantee how the kits would develop as they grow. No one would guarantee the kits would be Grand Champion if they are produced from the Grand Champion line. The bunny however, would most probably place well on the table.
Below are some tips for those who want to purchase a quality Netherland Dwarf. We hope people are well informed, least they end up spending on mix breed or worst if the so called "Netherland Dwarf" purchased turns up to be a normal bunny. So start acting like an ARBA judge :)
There are 4 areas one should judge a Netherland Dwarf, Body, Head, Ears and Eyes. Sounds easy. But please go through the information that we are going to share below. You will realize that one needs a set of skills to judge. Don't worry, we are also learning ^_^
So let's start with the body.
A quality Netherland Dwarf should have compact body. Body of the Netherland Dwarf must cover everything from medium bone, wide chest, short neck, short and deep shoulder that is equal in width to the hip and nice hip with no protrusion of the point of the hip. Ideally, the hindquarters of a Netherland Dwarf should be well filled.
What about the head?
The head of a Netherland Dwarf must be large, but well balanced with the body. Nice head is propotionate to the body. Generally a buck will have a bigger head than the doe, so propotionate and balance of the head and body is the key. Surely you don't want your Netherland Dwarf to look like a big-headed doll! From the side view, the head should be rounded.
Now the ears.
This is quite easy. For an adult Netherland Dwarf, ears should be 2 inches max in length (there is no need to use a ruler or measuring tape to do this. Just estimate); wide in the base at the skull; pionted upward and not sloped back over the shoulder; open out to the side; not folded at the tip; rounded at the tip; extremely well furred; thick in substance, and not bowed when viewed from the front. If the bunny is still young, request to see the parents. If the parents have good ears, most prabably the kits would have the same.
Lastly, the eyes
This is the easiest. Just make sure that it has large, round and bold eyes. The width between the eyes should be equal to or wider than the length of nose from front of eye to tip of nose.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
This is one overdue post - but better late than never.
Since the 4th of the month, we have started weaning the young rabbits. These rabbits at 7-8 weeks old are ready to be separated from the mother and are already feeding on their own. In fact, some baby rabbits start feeding on pellets from the 11th day onwards. At this point, we would like to highlight that there are some unscrupulous breeders who would wean the baby rabbits as early as 3 weeks old or as soon as the rabbits are eating and drinking on their own in order to maximize turnover or productivity. The rabbits at this stage are at its cutest and is just the size of an adult's palm. Now, who wouldn’t say NO to a cute fur ball? But, hold your horses and hold that bank note in your pocket. Buying a baby rabbit like that means being weaned before its time and chances of the rabbit making to adolescent is slim and may develop other health complications such as being weak or having diarrhoea. Worse is, they may not be strong enough to overcome such weaknesses. Besides, you wouldn't be able to tell if "what you pay is what you get". Many paid for an Angora Rabbit but a few months later realized they had bought a normal bunny with long face and pointy ears instead!
Baby rabbits would depend on the mother’s milk for nutrients as they are still developing and their digestive or immune system is not strong enough to fend them even though they may be eating or drinking on their own.
Question: When to wean?
It is subjective. Based on our experience, 7 weeks is ideal though there may be times when a rabbit is ready to be separated from its mother at 6 weeks old while some may require more time with the mother.
Question: How to wean?
Take one at a time from the mother. Start by taking the biggest or the strongest. Alternatively, you may take all of them away except for one, which you could separate it from the mother a week later.
It is advisable not to wait past 12 as certain sources claimed that rabbits may get pregnant as early as 13 weeks. We don’t know how true it is for we would have separated the baby rabbits from the mother by then.
You may also determine the sex of the rabbit and separate the males and females into their own cages.
Do check their teeth for any signs of "wolf-teeth" or malocclusion. Make sure the upper teeth do NOT meet the lower teeth or the lower teeth do NOT overlap the top teeth. The teeth will dig into the gums and the rabbit will not be able to eat. This would require clipping by a vet on a regular basis.
Question: How can I tell if I am being offered with a rabbit which is barely a month old?
Sizes of the rabbit vary according to its breed. Know the standard size of the specific breed of rabbit you intend to buy or find out more about the rabbit's parents from the seller.
Question: What to look out for when purchasing or adopting a young rabbit?
Observe the characteristics and physical attributes of the rabbit. A healthy one has shiny eyes, clean ears, nice coat, is active, inquisitive and eats well. Also, check on the feces and make sure no signs of diarrhea or other health problem. Oh yea...free of fur mites!
Question: What to feed a young rabbit?
It is not advisable to feed a young rabbit below the age of 6 months with any fresh veggie or fruits. This is because their digestive system may reject and can have diarrhea. Best is stick with pellets, hay (timothy) and clean water.