Archive for January, 2015

If Rabbits had iPhones

January 14, 2015

If Rabbits had iphones

What if our rabbits were tech-savvy?

At my house, we sometimes joke about what rabbits would do if they used modern technology.

As for my rabbit, I’m quite sure that he would want a smartphone. Not just any old smartphone, but the iPhone 6 Plus. And he would want it NOW.

If I told my rabbit he didn’t need the iPhone 6 when I just got him the iPhone 5S for his birthday, and when I am myself still stuck with something out of the Blackberry age, he’d just say that if the 5S was good enough for me, I could have his. But next time he went to a show, all the rich Holland Lop kids would have the 6 Plus, and he’d claim the judges really do factor this in when it comes down to choosing Best of Breed. He’d say I’m so lost in the dark ages that I might not mind using a “smart” phone with an IQ of 12, but he knew I DID care about winning Best of Breed.

If none of this would convince me, he’d proceeded to bite on his cage bars until he got what he wanted.

I believe we have good reason for not wanting bunnies to get into technology. I can only imagine how much more high-maintenance that would make them. Scenarios such as these rush to mind:

1. Watches. They’d employ their stopwatches (or smartwatches?) to make sure we came out to feed them at the right time of day. Not just on our schedule, but theirs, which means 6:30 morning and night. If we were a moment late, they’d pull out item #2: Buzzers.

2. Buzzers. They’d develop buzzers that would ring an alarm system in our homes. They’d sit on those buzzers until we brought out more food. They’d also sit on them at random times throughout the day or night when they wanted a treat, petting, or to come out to play.

3. Social networking. They’d cease communicating with the rabbit in the next cage and seek all their social interaction on www.RabbitForums.org. I guess that’s a good thing, because they’d stop chewing bald patches on each other’s heads.

4. Shopping for themselves. If rabbits could use Paypal, they would go shopping for bunny toys online. Of course they don’t make incomes, so you’d have to give them an allowance. Make sure you give them as much as your other kids. Gotta be fair.

5. Shopping for you. Sometimes rabbits would use their virtual wallet to purchase things for their devoted caretaker, you. They wouldn’t approve of your cotton sweatshirt and they’d buy you an ugly nylon jacket instead so they can scratch and bite at it. (Have you ever noticed rabbits love that stuff?) They’d think your cologne is atrocious and order a replacement, then ask for reimbursement since they blew all their allowance on you.

6. You have a garage door opener. They’d have a cage door opener. Sounds fair, right?

7. Texting. Unlimited, please.

8. Data? Let’s not even go there.

9. Selfies. They’d spend all day trying to take the best selfie for your rabbitry website. This might actually save you some time.

10. Self-diagnosis. They’d log on to “Vet MD” or some medical website, convince themselves they have snuffles, warbles, and Tyzzer’s disease all at once, order expensive drugs on your card… and then let you know about it.

BONUS: And lastly, if rabbits were technologically savvy they might write a Standard of Perfection app so we don’t have to keep referring to the hard copy. That would also be nice. But problem is the SOP would turn Wiki, because each rabbit would hack in and rewrite it to precisely describe itself.

So although it doesn’t sound like a good thing at first, I guess there would be both pros and cons to our rabbits having modern technology. But since most bunnies are too young to browse the internet by themselves, make sure you visit RaisingRabbitsBlog.com for them for lots of tips on bunny care!

Buying Top Quality Show Rabbits

January 5, 2015

Five things about Buying Show Rabbits that I Learned the Hard Way

 

 

As show breeders, we have high hopes for the rabbits we buy. Sure, there are some people who seem to have unlimited funds and cage space, and can grab every rabbit that strikes their fancy, but for most of us, adding another bunny to our herd is a big deal.

We don’t want to mess up. We don’t want to spend $75 on a rabbit that’s going to place last in its class (trust me, I’ve been there), but on the other hand, we don’t want to pass on rabbits that could potentially boost our herd to the next level. Sometimes excitement clouds our judgment when we get the chance to purchase a certain color or bloodline we’ve been hoping for. It’s especially difficult when we are new to the hobby and haven’t quite mastered that Standard of Perfection yet.

The truth is that less is more when it comes to buying show rabbits. You’ll do better in the end to make fewer purchases, but really, really smart ones.   Everyone gets burned at some point, but since our goal at Premium Rabbit Supplies is to supply you with both equipment and rabbit raising wisdom, I wanted to share some of my experiences with you. Here are a few things I learned the hard way about buying show rabbits:

 

Five Top Tips for Buying Show Rabbits

1. We’ll start with my first mistake first: don’t shop alone. Join a 4-H club, or a local ARBA club, or simply mingle at shows and make friends before you go rabbit shopping. Meet people who have been in the hobby for many years and have seen success at state or national levels, then ask one of them to help you go pick out some stock. They should be able to spot health issues, attitude issues, and faults or disqualifications that you may miss when shopping by yourself. Even if you have some experience raising rabbits, it always helps to get a second opinion.

2. Don’t buy sight-unseen. Okay, so it’s a well-known breeder. Okay, so the rabbit has a great pedigree. Okay, so they e-mailed you pictures, and it’s a color you really, really, really don’t want to pass up. Still, don’t buy the rabbit until you see it in person. Great bloodlines don’t always make great rabbits. Photos can easily hide faults. There will be another chance to buy that color. In most cases, it’s not worth the risk. Even if the breeder has the best of intentions, sometimes they can miss a DQ or accidentally sex the rabbit wrongly, and you’ll want to check it yourself before you had over the cash.

3. Don’t buy too many rabbits at once.   It’s been said many times, and it’s true: winners are bred, not bought. You won’t be consistently excelling on the show table until you have established your own lineand are producing your own winners. You may start with several bucks and several does, but after a few generations, you’ll find that all your keepers tend to go back to the same handful of rabbits. This is the foundation of your line. You’ll want to sell almost everything else at this point. If you start with too many rabbits, you’ll have a lot more you need to find homes for when they don’t turn out like you wanted. Plus, if the gene pool is too broad, it will take longer to find those few crosses that “click.” It always is wise to start small and build your herd piece by piece.

4. Don’t buy on show record alone. In fact, don’t buy on show record at all. Anyone who’s been around shows for a while knows that the judging can be very inconsistent. A rabbit that won several legs in one part of the country may not place well in a different area, under a different handler, or under a different judge. More importantly, it might not be what you need to fix an issue in your herd. Don’t let anyone pressure you into a purchase by flaunting a rabbit’s achievements: I’ve seen rabbits win at the national convention that I wouldn’t buy.   Instead, shut your eyes to show records and hunt down a rabbit that has the body type you need.

5. Don’t purchase without the pedigree. The seller should have the pedigree available to you at time of sale. If they say, “I’ll mail it to you later,” insist that they at least jot down the sire’s and dam’s names, colors, and ear numbers for you. Also make sure to get the seller’s name, e-mail address, and phone number before you go. Unfortunately, many buyers have been promised a pedigree in the mail and then never received it. If we were talking about pet or meat rabbits, it wouldn’t matter as much, but a show rabbit loses almost all its value when you lose the pedigree. Ideally you should see the pedigree before agreeing to the purchase. That way you can spot problems such as color genes in the background that will clash with your existing herd. One time I paid $200 for a rabbit, only to find out, once I got the pedigree, that it was five years old. Don’t waste your money like I did.

Most importantly: be patient

Although these pointers should help, still don’t despair if your first rabbit purchases turn out to be treasured pets instead of your top show bunnies. It takes time to not only learn how to pick out a good rabbit, but also figure out what you need to improve your herd. Everyone gets there if they stick with it – I’ve seen it happen dozens of times.

If I may offer one parting tip, it would be to spend as much effort picking out your rabbit cages as you do the bunnies that live in them. Not all cages – not even all wire cages – are created equal. You could buy cheap, assembly-line type cage that might have rough corners, or you could buy heavy-duty, hand-crafted cages that are individually sanded and inspected to make sure they have no sharp edges before leaving the shop. If that’s the kind of cage you want, check out the Supreme Rabbit Home. You won’t regret it.