Tuesday, November 16, 2010

An email to local breeders of pure breed rabbit

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.

Our purpose is to establish a link among all local breeders to share expertise and experiences in raising rabbits in order to bring this hobby to higher levels as all of us are liken to a lone ranger at present. We work to breed quality rabbits in our own “secret lab”, trying to surpass each and other in offering nice rabbits to the local market. Some have taken the extra mile to import rabbits from overseas while a few have joined ARBA and have their rabbitry registered. This is a positive sign. Local breeders are now more educated about rabbits and are going for quality over quantity by breeding according to ARBA standard of perfection. Bravo!
We could foresee in the near future, there would be many nice and pure breed rabbits of good bloodline in Malaysia. Besides, we could keep our fingers crossed for more rabbit shows and events on our shore. Now isn’t that something?

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.com/ you will be able to see some of our rabbits and some information sharing there.

Thank you

Brandon & Grace

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Sneak Peek Preview

The importation of Holland Lop (US bloodline) is now confirmed. We can't wait to pick them up when the time comes. Oh by the way, they all come with 3 generations pedigree.

Holland Lop Opal Proven Doe

Holland Lop Tort Proven Doe

Holland Lop Broken Tort Jr Buck

Holland Lop Black Jr Doe

Holland Lop Lynx Jr Buck
Photo unavailable

Holland Lop Broken Opal Jr Doe
Photo unavailable

Thursday, November 4, 2010

At The Crossroad

Where are we heading?

We believe many breeders like us would have this question in mind of late. More so, a number of home-based breeder are starting to import rabbits from the US or neighboring countries.

So, we are now at a crossroad. We asked ourselves how should we bring up our humble rabbitry? Should we remain as we are or to bring it a notch higher? To take the right route or the left? Decisions. Decisions. Then finally, after much thoughts (and nights), we have decided to settle for breeding pedigree rabbits.

Now, there are two types of pure breeds in the market. Some come with a pedigree certificate and some without. As mentioned in our previous post, the purpose of a certificate is to show the lineage of the rabbit and prove the pureness of the rabbit. Pure breeds with certificate are pricey. As a breeder, having rabbits with pedigree certificate in your herd adds credibility to your herd. On the other hand, "pure breeds" without certificate are not priced as high but the purity is questionable.

We have decided that if we are going to share this hobby with others, we should share the best. Therefore we have stopped breeding normal bunny (some may call it color rabbit) and mix breeds. We intend to import Holland lops of US bloodline with pedigree certificate. Pedigree Holland lop in Malaysia is priced way too high than the US. According to what we have surveyed so far, there is no control over the prices of rabbits sold in Malaysia. As such, some rabbits are sold at sky high price and some at rock bottom price. Sometimes the cost is justifiable with reasons such as high shipping cost and the risk of bringing in the bunnies from a country of a different climate. Other times, the agents are just trying to make a quick buck out of the deal when there is a demand for such in the local rabbit market. Anyway, we hope with our upcoming imports, others would have the opportunity to own a quality Holland Lop at affordable price.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hello Skipper! Hello Dot!

We present you...

The blue otter Netherland Dwarf Jr Buck- Skipper. We like this little guy - especially the color of his coat!

Breed: Netherland Dwarf
Sex: Jr Buck
Colour: Blue otter
DOB: 29 August 2010

Now, Dot, A hestnut Netherland Dwarf Jr Doe. Being 9 days older than Skipper, she is slightly bigger than him.

Breed: Netherland Dwarf
Sex: Jr Doe
Colour: Chestnut
DOB: 20 August 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Considering Netherland Dwarf?

We never had a Netherland Dwarf before. Although we always wish to own a nice pair, we must admit, we were quite disappointed with the quality of most Netherland Dwarf which we came across. There were just too many of the so called "Pure Netherland Dwarf", most of which are mix breed. It is also a challenge to find a nice buck at affordable price $$ in Malaysia let alone a doe.

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.

This is a sample of a quality Netherland Dwarf

Photo adapted from Lots-a-Hop's Rabbitry

Some informations above were adapted from "judging the Netherland Dwarf" written by Donelle Bomben. Special thanks to Donelle for sharing such priceless information