Black Diamond Kits

Black Diamond Kits
Sage's Kits, Nine Weeks Old

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

What I Learned at the Cal State Convention (Turlock)

At every show I attend, I always learn something new.  This year at the Cal State Convention in Turlock, I learned about various grooming techniques and some more pointers on how to better my breeding stock. 

I am thankful for every bit of new information I  can learn so that I may soon be breeding the most beautiful show quality French angoras.  I so appreciate all the knowledge my angora friends freely share with me.

Judges have said in the past that Cookie, Becky's chocolate broken buck, is pinched, but we didn't know what that meant.  Well, at the Turlock show I learned what "pinched" means and how to look out for it.  (I do not think any of Cookie's offspring acquired the pinched bottom.)  "Pinched" means that the hips are narrower than the judge thinks is acceptable.  "Wide" means, you guessed it, the hips are wide.  Now, how do you assess for this on a fluffy French angora?    First, pick the rabbit's hindquarters up by the skin and wool on the hips, an inch or two above the tail.  Look at the alignment of the back feet.  If the feet turn substantially outward, the rabbit will have pinched hindquarters.  If the feet turn inward, then the rabbit is probably wide in the hindquarters.  If the feet turn just the slightest bit outward, that is ideal.

Feet turn outward, so hindquarters will be "pinched."

Feet are almost parallel, making for an ideal bunny hind section.

If a rabbit is "undercut," it means the rabbit is a little off balance.  You test for this in the following manner.  Simply pick the rabbit up and then set it down on the table.  If it scoots a little bit backwards, then it is undercut. 

(Sorry for no picture.  We really need a video to show this, and that is beyond my mom's capabilities at this time.)

I had never considered this, and Julie said it took her a while to understand herself, but she eventually figured it out and shared her learning with me.  The technique is to use your left hand to hold just below a small tangle and then remove the tangle with the thumb and index figure of your right hand.  That lets you keep more wool in the rabbit so that you don't lose points for an uneven coat.  It may not seem important at first, but it is important to keep the rabbit well groomed around the legs, neck and chest.  It will give the rabbit a better balance of coat and a beautiful finishing touch.  Julie said that after she started doing this, her rabbits became a whole lot more competitive.  Maintaining the wool in these areas helps support the wool around the back and sides better and gives the rabbit a better shape.

Hold the hair of the rabbit firmly in one hand while pinching off the tiny tangles that develop at the ends with the other hand.

Try these grooming tips out and see if your rabbits become better competitors, too.  And let us know how it works for you!

No comments:

Post a Comment