Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Holidays?

Is your shopping done? Are the cookies baked? Have you nestled the packages under the tree? Have you shoved aside anyone to get that last Ninentendo Wii at Target yet? Is it me or are people turning into cranky mean old Scooges this year? Last week, I let someone in the checkout line ahead of me. I thought that was a nice thing to do, and while I was in a big hurry, I could wait 2 more minutes. Well the lady in line behind me, didn't seem to agree. When I was a bit slow to respond to the clerk beckoning me to take my turn, she said "Hey!" and whacked me too hard with her armload of books! Huh? I started to say something, like "well Merry Christmas to you too.", but thought better of it.

I saw more of the same behavior this weekend. Yesterday my daughter and I had to go to the mall, oh terror of terrors, to get a few last minute things (actually I have to go today without Kendall for the last minute things but that is a different story). We tried to stay happy and Christmasy but when we couldn't find anything "healthy" to eat at the mall (yeah, I don't know why this surprised us either), and a little old man shoved us away from the mall directory so he could get a look, we decided it was time to go home. We baked cookies, wrapped our presents and watched some quality holiday television and our moods changed for the better.
Moral of this story: Please don't smack me with books at Keplers bookstore in Menlo Park. And shopping and all the other activities that take our time is necessary, but reserve most of your time to spend with your family and friends during the holiday.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and may you have a wonderful holiday season!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fuzzy Lops on the Show Table

Fuzzies were successful at shows all over the world last weekend.  I attended a show in Yuba City, CA on Saturday, Dec 6.  We had about 25 Fuzzies and overall a good show.  But when I got home my email was loaded with really good news from other places.  Yumiko wrote to me from Japan to report that her Fuzzy Lop doe, AK's Ireland won Reserve Best in Show at the Nippon Rabbit Club show.  Ruth and Anna Dapper, judges, pose below with Yumiko and her beautiful rabbit.
But that wasn't all.  At the Southern Pride Rabbit show on Saturday, Jennifer Burns also won Reserve Best in Show with a solid senior buck in open and Rose Garrison won Reserve Best in Show with a broken senior doe in youth.  Wow!  Congratulations to all of you.  Now let's see if we can all do it again this weekend.  Good luck at the shows to everyone.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Longest Day of the Year

I bet you think the longest day of the year is the first day of summer. Well for 2008 you are wrong! This year the longest day was Monday, October 27, first day of judging at the ARBA Convention in Louisville.

Fuzzy Lops were scheduled to start judging, both open and youth, at 8 am. So the show room was buzzing by 6 am when it opened. At least those of us with wool breeds were there early. I got up at 5 am because I had so many rabbits to groom before starting to judge. But it was a case of hurry up and wait, when we learned that no judging tables had been assigned to Fuzzies. We had to wait until 500+ Jersey Woolys were done. Yikes!

It wasn't long until we all felt like this guy--let us get on the show table! We came here to show rabbits! Around 2 pm we located an empty judging table with 12 coops and no holding coops for youth Fuzzies. Far from ideal but the kids, rabbits, parents, helpers and judge were all ready to go. Around 4 pm, judging tables were available to start judging of the open Fuzzy Lops.

Some gorgeous broken senior bucks have been placed in the holding coops. These guys ended up in the top 5 of the class. Lookin' good guys!

Melissa M (CA) and Scott W (CO) are comparing the class winners to select variety and then BOB and BOS. By this time it was past midnight. The judges are looking pretty happy considering the hour, aren't they?

The youth winners pose with their judge. Pictured: Jamie F and her solid junior doe (BOSB), Carol G (judge), and Jenny H with her broken senior buck (BOB).

Open winners pictured with smiles (are they happy to win or glad that the day is finally over?). Pictured: Dawn G with her broken senior doe (BOSB), Melissa M (judge), Scott W (judge), and Brian H with his broken senior buck (BOB).
Show day was long and tiring but it was still a fantastic experience. I have never seen such a hard working, even tempered group of exhibitors. Everyone pitched in and worked hard to keep the rabbits carried to the table and the show running smoothly. Thank you to everyone! Great get some rest!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Convention Day 2

OK, so I admit the title to this post lacks creativity. Well the second day (Sunday) that I was at Convention was a day for re-grouping. We reconnected with old friends. Below is Amy Arata and her son Jake, along with Marilyn Kohler. They are sitting in the AFLRC booth which was fabulous! Jennifer Burns planned and put it together, along with help collecting old photos from Ginger Mendat and Helen Moore. Wow! What a great job!

It was a day for selling rabbits and talking to Fuzzy Lop fans from all over the country and world. Yumiko from Japan bought the cute sable point buck and they both pose with me for a photo.

It was a day for getting the rabbits settled, getting all our entries fed, watered and groomed. Brian brought his second group of rabbits to Convention on Sunday and starting grooming as soon as they were all cooped. No one can claim he doesn't work hard on his rabbits. More coming tomorrow. If you have photos from Convention, please send them to me by email. I would love more pictures of week to share.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Off to the Races

This is the story of traveling from California to the ARBA Convention in Louisville, KY. I doubt that a major military invasion requires more planning than this trip. Months ago we started checking flights and airfares looking for the best deal. Tickets were purchased and crate space for rabbits was reserved and paid in March. That turned out to be a brilliant move because the price per crate increased from March to October when we flew from $150/crate to $275/crate each way!

Several of us left San Francisco on the same flight to Atlanta. In total we had the rabbits for at least 6 exhibitors on our flight. You can imagine how happy the Delta staff were to see us when we showed up at the airport ~3:30 - 4 am. Now you know why Jenny, Susie, and Katie look so sleepy in the photo below (plus there was some story about noisy traffic that kept them awake but I bet they were just excited!).

Our flight was scheduled to leave at 6 am (and it did by the way. Yeah Delta!), but we knew we needed to be at the airport extra early to be sure everything was done on time. When you fly with rabbits as excess baggage, there are extra forms to complete and lots of stickers to go on the crates. The agents at the Delta desk are nearly always pleasant, but still hassled. Some of them know what to do with the rabbits and some don't. Plus it is necessary to get those rabbits through security and they don't just hop through the scanner. There is just no way to predict exactly what will happen and how long it will take. When you fly with your rabbits to a show, everything works out in the end 99% of the time. But when you fly with your rabbits, something you didn't expect happens 99% of the time!
The punch line to this story is that we made it to Louisville on time with all the rabbits. Some of the rabbits were heat stressed when we arrived which hasn't happened before in my experience (that is the thing that fell in the 99% unexpected). We are talking to Delta about that. All of the rabbits recovered and there was no permanent effect (remember 99% of the time all ends well).
More on Convention tomorrow.....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Congratulations America!

Please humor me. This post has nothing to do with American Fuzzy Lop rabbits. It has everything to do with the national election we held yesterday.

Whether your candidate won or not, whether you agreed with the propositions that passed or failed, you have to feel a huge swell of pride to be a citizen of the United States this morning. It has been a long time, too long really, since we have seen such enthusiasm and excitement about our country. We had a Presidential election that brought the younger generations out to vote. Old timers like me voted with passion also. "Diversity" wasn't just a catch phrase that was applied to our serious candidates; it was a fact. The campaign itself was long and hard fought, but we saw Senator McCain give a gracious speech admitting defeat and offering to support our new President's administration. (Make some notes about that speech in your good sportsmanship/loser notebook for future reference.)

I'm not so naive to imagine the problems facing America--terrorism, economic decline, environmental damage, international stability--have vanished simply because we elected a new President who is charismatic and intelligent. But I do buy into President-elect Obama's mantra of "Yes we can". The exciting thing is that so many other American also believe that we can make a difference. I grew up being told that this is a nation that holds out possibility for success to everyone, no matter what their race, social or economic status. Thanks so much fellow Americans for voting yesterday to support that premise.

Come back tomorrow for photos and reports on the ARBA Convention in Louisville.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

You will want these rabbits!

Convention raffle trio is donated this year by three "pairs" of exhibitors who all live in the west. These three Fuzzy Lops should work together very well for someone who wants to get a start in Fuzzies, take their lines in a new direction, or just bump their game up a notch.

First this pretty girl is from Muriel Keyes and Diana Keefe from Oregon. The doe has one junior leg, very nice body and head.

Next up is a solid doe donated by Nate Burbidge and Lou Towne of Utah. This is Burb's Karma. She also has one junior leg and her sire is from the Greens so she is definitely a good match to the buck.

And here is the man of the house, AK's Cody from Adam and Carol Green. He is a really gorgeous solid sable point buck. This photo is a couple of weeks old and he has bloomed since it was taken. Wow the wool on this guy is beautiful!
Be sure to look up our trio at Convention and buy plenty of tickets, at $2/each or 15 tickets for $20. The winner will be selected at the AFLRC Awards Banquet to be held next Wednesday in Louisville.
See ya soon!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Start 'em young

If you have read the Autumn issue of Fuzzy Tales, then you know I am on a mission to get more youth involved in our club and to keep them interested in rabbits in general and Fuzzies in particular. Well young Mr. Burbidge is on the right track! At 2 yr old he is wielding the hose and helping his dad clean cages. Hey Parker, I could use some of that kind of help at my house. And the pay is good too. How about a fresh chocolate chip cookie?

Thanks Nate and Lisa for the photo. You made our day!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sold! To the woman with blobs of wool on her shirt!

Its time to show your colors this year at Convention (and I don't mean "red" or "blue"). Your club, AFLRC, is only as good as the members, and that is you! We need your support at our Convention fundraisers.

First, we are raffling a gorgeous hand sewn quilt to start a scholarship fund honoring Lois Trump. We are probably a few thousand dollars away from awarding a scholarship, so please buy tickets to help us get this worthy cause off the ground.

Next we will be holding a rabbit auction, proceeds split 50/50 between AFLRC and seller, although you can certainly decide to donate the entire amount to the club. These auctions have been enormously successful for other breed clubs. Last year, I watched the Jersey Wooly club have a great time with their Convention auction. Dawn Guth told me that she donated a lionhead to their club auction once that sold for more than $1000. Whooeee!

Deb Levisay generously volunteered to organize our silent rabbit auction. She has planned the procedures which are briefly outlined below, but if you have other questions, please contact her and ask.

If you want to donate a rabbit:
  • Come to the AFLRC booth at Convention and complete an Auction Seller's Sheet, which asks for information on the rabbit and its care, coop number, and the starting bid ($50 is recommended but the seller may specify higher or lower)
  • Turn in the seller's form, completed sales slip and the rabbit's pedigree, which will be placed in a binder at the booth for buyers to peruse.
  • Pick up a auction tag and place it on the rabbit's cage.
  • Rabbits may be entered in the auction from the start of Convention to end of the day Tuesday.
  • A bid sheet will be prepared for each rabbit entered in the auction and these will also be kept at the AFLRC booth.
  • Seller must transfer the rabbit to and from the examination area for the actual auction on Wednesday afternoon.

If you want to buy a rabbit:

  • Review the pedigrees and Seller's Sheets at the AFLRC booth
  • Do not remove a rabbit entered in the auction from its coop without the owners permission prior to the completion of judging on Monday. Open examination time will be held Wednesday afternoon.
  • Wednesday, immediately following the Awards Banquet, the auction rabbits will be moved to judging coops by the seller and will be available for examination. We expect the time for this will be ~3 to 4 pm, but check the club booth for up-to-date information. Bidding will close at 4 pm.
  • Winning bidder must pay AFLRC treasurer, Paula Grady, immediately at the close of bidding. Paula will be available at rabbit auction area to collect. Sellers will receive their money within one week of the auction by mail.

Doesn't this sound like fun! Please be sure to donate a nice rabbit. Also do your part to help the youth of AFLRC--Bid high and bid often!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ready Set Go to Louisville

Two weeks from today, the ARBA Convention will be underway, with judging starting Monday morning. Fuzzies will be one of the starting breeds. There are many other activities in addition to showing our animals so here are a few things to remember as you are packing to attend the Louisville convention. Details on the membership meeting and Awards banquet are on the AFLRC website Fuzzy Tales, Autumn 2008 is also in the mail and you should receive your copy this week.

Meetings and Banquet
  • General membership meeting on Tuesday, 10:30 am, followed by meeting of Youth and their supporters
  • Awards Banquet, Wednesday, 11 am. Tickets are $20/person. Send payment to Paula Grady. See club website or Autumn 2008 Fuzzy Tales for details

Auctions and Raffles--Not Rabbits

  • Raffle at AFLRC booth--plan to bring a donation for the raffle
  • Quilt raffle. This beautiful quilt was made to start a youth scholarship fund in memory of Lois Trump, who was a great supporter of youth participation in the rabbit hobby. Tickets can be purchased at Convention or by mailing entry to Paula Grady.
  • Auction at the Awards Banquet. This event is always a huge amount of fun, if only to watch Brian H perform as auctioneer! The moneys from this raffle are used to buy awards for the spring AFLRC National show. Please bring a donation for the auction.

Auction and Raffle--Rabbits!

  • Raffle trio. We have a fabulous trio donated. Early next week, I'll post photos of all three rabbits--there is a broken doe from Keyes/Keefe, solid doe from Burbidge/Towne and a buck from the Greens. This looks like an amazing trio. So far both does have won GC legs. The buck is still busy trying to grow wool so hasn't attended a show yet.
  • Rabbit Auction. This year we are holding a silent auction for rabbits with sales price split 50:50 with AFLRC and the seller. Sign up to sell a Fuzzy at the AFLRC booth. Bids will be accepted throughout the week with the final viewing of the rabbits immediately following the Banquet on Wednesday. Bidding will close mid-afternoon on Wednesday. This is a great opportunity for you to take home some wonderful rabbits if you don't win the trio!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Back to our regularly scheduled program

The boys have been busy growing their coats here at Casa Verde. Look at Camden! Its a big improvement. His wool is even, though short. Still it was good enough to attend a show last weekend without causing huge embarrassment for his owner (that's me).

Look at his wool when I blow into his coat, dense fresh wool! Its looking very nice.

Cadet has also made big improvements. His wool still looks uneven from the side. You can see new wool still needs to be longer especially over his flanks. There is time still (says Ever Hopeful Exhibitor).
Cadet does have a very nice looking head. It sure makes a difference in the width of the head when it has wool on it.

I'll post one more update on our boys Cadet and Camden just before Convention and photos of them at Convention. Remember we started watching them grow wool (yes it is very similar to watching paint dry) in late August. Patience patience patience is the key.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Just a brief break from our feature story

Can you believe it? Some of our members are interested in something besides American Fuzzy Lops? At least its another critter with wool! Here are photos of the Eureka Mohair Team at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival last weekend showing mohair goats, Muriel K, Allen M, and Eric Stewart.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Its a Numbers Game

The numbers of Fuzzies entered at this year's ARBA Convention in Louisville have been posted. I love numbers (sorry if you don't share my enthusiasm for math), so I started wondering how this years entry numbers compare to past years. Remember this is the 20th Convention at which Fuzzies have been shown as a recognized breed. So below are the numbers (unofficial because they were collected from old Fuzzy Tales and the Guidebook.).

20 Years of AFL Shown at ARBA Conventions

You can see that the number entered in open is up at the top with Indianapolis in 2005. That makes since since Louisville and Indianapolis are only ~100 mi apart so similar numbers of exhibitors should make it to the show. The peak in numbers for youth in the past has been around 200 Fuzzies and has occurred at the Conventions held in Indianapolis (2005), Louisville (1999), and Columbus (2000). I'm surprised and disappointed to see the low youth entries for this year as a result.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Gotta Love a Best in Show Fuzzy Lop

Someone was just a little excited when I received an email yesterday. Deb Levisay wrote the report on her show in Yankton, South Dakota on Sept 27th. In Show A, her broken senior buck, Tim won BOB and then was reserve best 4 class. Well Tim thought he could do better than that! So in show B, he pulled out the stops and was best 4 class, then was selected Best in Show.

Keefe/Keyes Timothy is owned by Deb Levisay and was bred by Diana Keefe and Muriel Keyes. Tim is registered and currently has 11 grand champion legs earned under 9 different judges. Deb writes that he is not only a good looking little guy, but very personable too!

Congratulations to Deb, Diana, and Muriel!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Age is just a number

Pet rabbit owners often ask "How long do rabbits live?" Well there's a wide range of life spans in humans and the same is true of rabbits. Some are old at 4 and others live to be 12. I remember a rabbit that lived in a 1st grade school room; he was 13 when he died. I guess all that attention from busy curious 6 year old kids kept him young.

When it comes to show rabbits, the question is often how long can a rabbit be successfully shown. Well that depends also! In general bucks have a longer show career than does, partly because we need the does to be producing the next generation, but also because American Fuzzy Lop bucks need some maturity to get the best head development. Senior bucks are typically at their show prime from 1.5 - 4 yr of age.

Look at this guy below. Its AK's Buckeye. This picture was taken about 2 weeks ago when I pulled him out of his cage and discovered he had found the fountain of youth. Buckeye is 6 years old! Buckeye looks good, feels good, and is doing all the things a young American Fuzzy Lop should be doing.

So Buckeye and I went to a rabbit show last weekend. He placed in the top 5 of his class and just generally stood up for old guys everywhere.

So don't forget to check those cages of your old favorites. They may be ready to make you proud on the show table one more time.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Its Karma!

This lovely girl is Doe # 2 of the trio that will be raffled at Convention. She's donated by Nate Burbidge and Lou Towne. Her name is Burb's Karma. Her mother is a grand champion American Fuzzy Lop, Burb's Hattie Mae and her sire is AK's Cruzer. The other doe in the trio, donated by Muriel Keyes and Diana Keefe, was pictured a couple of weeks ago on this blog,

Sherry Callen sent an email describing her experience last weekend as she traveled to a show in northern Indiana. Did anyone tell her that's is a bad idea to show rabbits during a hurricane?

Sher says: Went to a show yesterday and what a of those like Muriel has shared with us. I left and it was raining, but not bad. I hit the highway and down came the monsoon or should I say hurricane Ike's leftovers. Couldn't see anything and of course the exit I wanted was closed and one had to drive a circle which led me to the detour exit behind a truck in the rain and I missed it. Th good luck was that I was still near enough home to know an alternate route. Kept going but beginning to wonder why, especially as my old rabbit wagon started to hydroplane every so often. Now I like a good slide in a parking lot on snow and ice when no one is around, but not at 45-50 MPH on the highway usually behind a semi. And it didn't get better as Ike just kept raining. Really wondering if I was making a mistake. Finally, made it to South Bend but not before missing another exit and getting lost making the usually easy 1 1/2 hr drive considerably longer and it just kept raining. Got there in time to enter and was very pleased to see Cindy Decker as I had missed seeing all my friends at the last show...couldn't make that one. Now it was time to move bunnies into the barn...yeah right. Since I was late I had to park in the grass which was now getting soft and 6" of mud and a large pond had developed behind my van, because it just kept raining. No way I could use the cart so I started swimming the carriers across and into the barn. Even entering got interesting as the doorway was flooding and they had to drop two wooden stall gates for us to walk on to cross over the 5 " deep puddle. And, you got just kept raining! Finally, got everything in and guess what ...then it finally stopped raining...wouldn't you figure. Well, I decided to run to the rest room and as I was walking out the door, Ron Riddle laughed and pointed out that the water behind the barn was so deep the kids were swimming in it. I turned to look and sure enough a little girl was actually SWIMMING in the water caught behind the barn. Now granted she was only about four years old, but she was on her belly doing the crawl in the water! As the day proceeded the show went on without much trouble and we all had a good time. Then as we were loading started raining!

Well at least Sherry made it home safe. I guess its just "Karma".

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Lady Benedict has a GOOD Weekend

A great show weekend that District 8 folks always look forward to was held last weekend in Ionia, MI. There were open and youth shows on Saturday and Sunday including a Lop-O-Rama on Sunday. Here are a bunch of friendly faces, those open Fuzzy Lop exhibitors having fun with the judge.

Cindy D and Dawn G pose with their winners from one show. (The showroom looks awesome by the way)

Jamie F also had a great weekend and is posing with one of her winning Fuzzy Lops.

Show A, Doug Covert, judge

Open: BOB, SSD, Dawn G; BOSB, SSB, Laura G.; Youth: BOB & BOSB, Jamie F.

Show B, Thomas Green, judge

Open: BOB, SSD, Dawn G; BOSB, BSB, Kathi C

Youth: BOB & BOSB, Jamie F

Sunday show, Theres Kristen, judge

Open: BOB, SSD, Dawn G; BOSB, SSB, Cindy D

Youth: BOB & BOSB, Jamie F

Lop-O-Rama, Gene Johnson, judge

Open: SSD, Dawn G; BOSB, Laura G, SSB

Youth: BOB & BOSB, Jamie F

Below is the photo of the "lady" of the weekend. Dawn's solid senior doe, Lady Benedict won BOB in all four shows. She also Best Four Class in show A by Molly Covert, Open Top Lop (Terry Fender, judge) and Overall Top Lop (Willis Plank). Jamie F had a great weekend with her Fuzzies also, winning BOB and BOSB in all four youth shows. Congratulations!

Now its almost time to hop on the Lop Bus and head south for the ARBA Convention. Bring those beautiful Fuzzies to Louisville in October.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Crescent City, CA is on the coast in the northern most corner of the state. That puts it about half way between Portland, OR and the San Francisco, CA, or 400 mi from each of these cities. On Labor Day weekend, the California Rabbit Shows holds 5 shows there. These shows are the perfect meeting grounds for District 1 and 2 friends, so Muriel and I have gone for the past two years. Typically the shows are small but that's alright, because we can show rabbits and then finish early to enjoy the beauty of the coast and the redwood trees.

This is the Crescent City coastline and light house. In 1964, a tsunami hit Crescent City. I kept watching the ocean to make sure no extra large waves were coming my way.

The pretty girl won BOB in Show A. She is owned, for now, by Muriel K and Diana K, but they are donating her to the trio that will be raffled at Convention. Be sure to buy your tickets!

Marian S is one of our newer exhibitors in District 2 and she braved the traffic to come to CC. We had a great time chatting and looking at bunnies, but it was also well worth the drive to Marian when her senior broken buck took BOSB in one show and her junior broken buck was BOSB in another.

Carol & Adam G's broken doe won BOB three times, and she was selected RBIS once and BIS once.

It was a great weekend. If you live in District 1 or 2, consider a drive to the CA coast next year.

Monday, September 8, 2008

More lack of wool

When I posted the photos of my molting bucks, I got more responses than I ever have to a blog post. The typical email read "oh thank you thank you thank you for posting those pictures. I thought my rabbits were the only ones that looked so bad." Uh, glad to help, I guess. As they say misery loves company. Everyone is wondering what to do and when the rabbits will look good again. One suggestion came from an experienced Fuzzy Lop breeder, who says she is singing "grow grow grow you wool" (to the tune of Row your Boat) daily. Other suggestions included putting the bunnies in a dark corner and not looking at them, feeding them less, feeding them more, and regular grooming sessions. Although I have been tempted by the "close my eyes while feeding so I can't see the rabbits" option, I found that I was spilling too much food on the floor. Instead, we are going to look at these rabbits and decide, has there been any improvement?

So here is Camden. When last we left him, he had a bit of the unicorn look on his head and a lovely skirt of wool around the base. I think this is a thumbs up for improvement. He now has new wool, growing more or less evenly on the head, and nearly all the old wool has been plucked out.

Cadet is looking better too, although his wool is very uneven (see his sides). Both bucks were groomed with a blower today to get rid of loose wool, and a few spots of dead wool were plucked. Cadet also got another dose of Ivomec. Both are eating very well, so there is hope!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Not that Convention

Many of you are probably focused on the upcoming ARBA Convention. Afterall entries are due in a couple of weeks and the show itself is less than 2 month away. Well in case you have been living in a cave, there have been a couple of other Conventions held during the past couple weeks, and neither of them had anything do with rabbits.
Photo 1 was taken at the Democratic Convention in Denver and shows Barack Obama making his acceptance speech. The photos were taken by Marc (Photo 2), son of our club secretary, Muriel. And Marc was at the DNC because his wife, Hope (Photo 3) works for James Clyburn of SC, the majority whip of the House of Representative. The last picture shows the hoopla that followed Obama's speech.
I don't mean to be favoring one candidate over the other, so if anyone has pictures of the Republicans, senf 'em on!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Oh where has the wool gone?

I was grooming rabbits today, trying to decide what to enter in next week endend's show. Photo #1 shows one of my bucks, Camden. Oh my, I am so proud! Are your rabbits doing the same thing? I touched him and handfuls of wool came out. Photo #2 shows Camden when grooming was complete (no I did't enter him in the show). His head is particularly attractive, isn't it? Camden isn't alone is his "beauty". Check out, Cadet, in Photo #3. He isn't quite as bare, although his head is similar, and his wool is terribly uneven.

I have always wondered how long it takes to get wool from that awful state to a fresh, even, lovely coat of wool (see Purdue in Photo #4. Now that is more like it!). I will take pictures of these three bucks and post them to the blog every 1 to 2 weeks, and we will watch them change together. All three were groomed using a blower and comb today. All three bucks were also treated with ivermectin this weekend. What do you think? How long will be required for Camden and Cadet get good wool? And in that time will Purdue's wool go down hill?

If you want to take part in this experiment, then get our your camera and start recording. Let me know what you discover, since I expect the time to primed coat to be different, depending on genetics, as well as the environment.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Stuffed with animals

If you like animals, then Alaska is the place for you. Below is a musk ox. These are some odd looking critters. They are raised now in farms in Alaska. The musk ox are combed to collect the underwool which is spun into yarn that is softer than cashmere (and more expensive too).

We saw a bear who was busy eating berries. Alaska in the summer is bear paradise. Not only are there wild berries everywhere, the salmon fill the streams. I read that bears may catch and eat 8 or more salmon per hour!
Not to be outdone, the bays are full of animals too. This is a Stellar sea lion. While on a cruise of Prince William Sound we saw an area with more than 100 young males, just hanging out, sort of a fraternity house for sea lions.
Don't forget the whales. I saw a mother and her calf in Prince William Sound (mom's fluke is below). While Jim was kayaking, he had a whale come within 10 ft of his boat, then dive and swim underneath. In case, you don't realize, a humpback whale is more than 40 ft in length, and Jim is quite a bit shorter than that.
I love this shot of Prince William Sound from the salmon hatchery. There are so many gorgeous mountains and water views in Alaska!
Hope you enjoyed my summer vacation.