a blog about everything related to youth raising French angora rabbits
Black Diamond Kits
Sage's Kits, Nine Weeks Old
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Determining Which Kits To Keep
So one of the girls' buyers has had her first litter of kits and the time is coming to decide which to keep, and which to sell. I thought she had some good questions, and so I thought I would also post my reply to her here.
First off, I would wait a
bit on making determinations about which rabbit is best for a few
reasons. 1. I'm guessing
that you are not super experienced in assessing rabbits, so you need to have other opinions; 2. Asking your 4-H counselor is a good place to start, but while s/he may be experienced in assessing rabbit bodies, the rabbit
body counts for less than 50% of the points in showing, so assessing
wool is really important, too (though it is hard to do on a junior); 3.
Some rabbit people favor the English angora body over the French angora
body, and that's just the way they assess French angoras. So someone
who favors an English angora type might diss what others would consider a
great French angora type; 4. We have seen rabbits that started out
looking like they were poor to fair turn out to be really great
rabbits. In conclusion, I think two and even three months is too
soon to make a final determination about which kits are best. If you
bring them all to the show next month, we have a few people we can ask
to give opinions on them, and that way you'll have a better idea. And
then if you have entered them in the show, you can also get the judges'
Of course, the judges' opinions are also crazy,
as you will eventually experience for yourself. Twice, in two
different triple youth shows, we have had three judges assess Phantom,
one of Charlotte's does. One judge disqualified her (overweight), one
judge hated her, and one judge gave her the leg. Two different shows,
months apart. Some judges just have bad hair days or are just weird or
something, I don't know. The one judge who hated her last month said he
didn't like her coat, and made it sound like Charlotte wasn't taking
care of her. So I told Charlotte this, and she was puzzled, but didn't
do anything about it. A few days later it was time to pluck Phantom. She
yielded over four ounces of fiber, and not a single mat or even tiny
tangle anywhere, and a staple 5-6 inches long. I can hardly wait to
Charlotte thinks there is no decision between
trying to build a good herd or trying to have the best rabbit to show.
She sees them as being the same. I think they are a little bit
different, based on what your purpose for raising them is--and my
purpose is a little different from my girls' purpose.
purpose is to have an abundant supply of the warmest, softest spinning
fiber for making clothes for my family while at the same time having a
breed of rabbit that can be used for meat if/when we have to. Now to
accomplish this, we have to have the healthiest rabbits possible, and
part of that includes having a good body. I don't know yet, or if, it
is critical for rabbits to have a good set of shoulders or proper
midsection to be healthy. I do know that hindquarters should never be
pinched. For my spinning purposes, I also don't care whether the
rabbit's coat or toenails are the right color. But that is really
important in showing. And it's somewhat important for selling. If
you're selling to spinners, color doesn't necessarily matter. But you
may have to reduce your asking price a bit for an unshowable rabbit.
There is a lot to consider here. Hope you don't get overwhelmed!