Black Diamond Kits

Black Diamond Kits
Sage's Kits, Nine Weeks Old

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Kits Are Here!

Snowball’s kits started arriving on Sunday, May 25, at dinnertime.  Unfortunately, we had the missionaries over, and we couldn’t run in and out to check the kits without being rude to the elders.  Snowball produced a total of nine kits, and three died.  We gave one of the kits to Tootsie to foster, so Snowball is now nursing five kits.  At four days old, the kits are now little rolly pollies.  Snowball is doing fine.  We have learned a lot. 

Snowball, as you may recall, is a ruby-eyed white (REW).  We bred her with Cookie, who is a broken chocolate.  We believe her kits to be the following colors:  three self chocolates, one self lilac, one broken chocolate, and one broken lilac or blue.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Why we chose to raise angora rabbits

By Charlotte

People ask why we raise angora rabbits.  Like, we’re nuts.  So this is how it all began (part 1).
I wanted another animal.  I have an extreme love for animals and love to care for them.  I have chickens, but it is kind of hard to cuddle them.  The dogs belong to Luke and Becky.  The cats belong to Lydia.  And the hamster, well, he’s in the ground in a shoe box on our hill under a pile of rocks so the coyotes won’t eat him.  So I really needed another animal.

Mom said all new pets/animals must be of practical value.  Dogs provide protection from scary people with pointy teeth.  Sure, they’re good friends, but they smell and have no business cuddling with me.  Cats catch mice and snakes (yes, ours caught at least two last year).  Chickens provide eggs, which I love, and manure.  No comment on the manure.  We tried meat chickens once, so I knew how that went.  Meat rabbits were out of the question. 

So I chose wool rabbits.  Double the cuteness and cuddliness factor of meat rabbits.  The process of how we settled on French angora is a whole other blog post.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

West Coast Classic

Indiana--"Indy"--proud recipient of his first leg
(Note:  This should have been posted two weeks ago, right after the show.  Unfortunately, while my sister brought home a new blue pearl doe, I very foolishly brought home a flu bug that knocked me out for two weeks.)
The West Coast Classic held at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno May 2-4, 2014, is the 2nd largest rabbit show in the country.  Next year’s show will be in Las Vegas.

All of the angora breeders usually stay together and close to the doors so that they can use their blowers on the bunnies.  And it helps keep the rabbits cooler.  It was quieter where we sat, which I liked.

We were the only French angora breeders in the youth contests.  Pretty amazing considering that this is one of the largest rabbit shows.  Because there was only one all-breed show on Saturday, we also entered the open specialty shows for angoras. 

The first angora specialty show was held Friday night.  Cookies and Cream was placed the highest of our rabbits in that show.  Indy was stressed and had a dirty bottom.  Judges don’t look favorably on such a sight.  And the judge for that show very condescendingly said he was giving a gift in not DQing Becky’s newly acquired blue pearl doe for being a “sable point” which he asserted was an unshowable color.  Which is apparently the case with satin angoras, but not with French angoras, as the rest of the show judges and French angora exhibitors confirmed. 

The second and third angora specialty shows on Saturday went much better, if your name is Indy, as both judges favored him over Cookie.  And the youth all-breed show was the best, because Indy won that as well, and got his first leg.

Pregnant Does Can Have Cravings, Too

Lydia writes....

My one and only, very dearest, rabbit, Snowball, was bred with Cookie, my sister Becky's broken chocolate.  For the first few days, everything was fine.  At the West Coast Classic, everything was fine.  Then Charlotte and I got the flu, so the rest of the family was caring for our rabbits.  Snowball suddenly stopped eating her pellets, but she continued to eat her hay and coconut oil oats.  I asked everybody if they had fed her the wrong food.  They replied that they hadn't fed her any pellets at all, since her feeder was still full.  The next morning I asked my mom whether Snowball had eaten.

Again, the answer was no.  So I asked Jared to research the problem.  He found that when rabbits get pregnant, they can start getting picky.  So we fed her some strawberry leaves and bananas.  She did not want any strawberries.  A few days later, she began eating her pellets again.  And sometimes I even find that her bowl is empty by dinnertime.

Tootsie, my sister Charlotte's self chocolate doe who was bred at the same time, did not have the same cravings.  She just ate like normal.  So you never know what will happen.  

By the way, the does are due to kindle in three days.