Friday, April 29, 2005

...and then there were 5...

We lost a wee one today. He must have clung to his mother too tightly and been dragged out of the nestbox, because his little belly was absolutely full. Banjo, our Springer, discovered him when I went to feed the bunns. I thought I saw the little tail move, so I tried in vain to warm him up and resussitate him, to no avail.

Such is the world of bunnies. I have better nursery cages outside, I thought keeping Mom and babies inside would help prevent this, but baby bunnies are very delicate, and it doesn't take much to kill them, unfortunately.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Babies!

So far, 6 little wigglies have come into the world for me tonight. They've been much anticipated, their grandfather was only with me for a short time, and he was easily the best angora I've ever owned - and may ever have. This was the first litter for his daughter - Brat. I usually name my animals according to their personality, and this is no exception. Brat built a nest - kind of - in the corner of the cage instead of in the box I supplied for the purpose. I fixed that. She also pulled very little wool from her belly for them. As warm as it is, it isn't that big of a concern, but pulling wool also exposes the teats for nursing, so I fixed that, too.

babies

spinning

I plied the two spools and wound them into a ball. Quite a difference!

Example

I can't wait to figure out what I'm going to do with it! The bulky white I'll probably make into something to wear while out hunting in the REALLY cold weather - like hunting mittens, and/or socks. The gray will make a nice hat and scarf, I think.

Monday, April 25, 2005

spinning

Last night I started on a bag of angora I had carded. For the last couple of years, I have just stashed the wool in bags and left it sit. I tried spinning it just as it was, and boy, was it ugly! So I tried out my new hand carders and viola! I started spinning last night and could not stop until I'd spun all of it, then I carded some more. :) Then I grabbed a couple more bags and carded them. I spun up an entire spool, and will do another tonight. Even DH said how good it looks! Still a bit chunky, but much finer and more consistent than my previous efforts. Some people card angora, some don't. Eventually I probably won't, either, but for now it works. I also want to buy some cashmere and silk fiber to blend with angora. I have expensive tastes, LOL!


getting better

Sunday, April 24, 2005

breeding program

So I am developing a new color in Giant Angoras, can you guess what it is? I had two nice, if small, F2s, but they became victims of a mishap. Since I no longer have my F1 bucks, I no longer have any bucks of the color I am working towards. So I am debating as to the best way to get to where I need to be. I could purchase another short-haired buck of the variety I want, but I would have all short-haired babies again, since short hair is dominant over angora. However, I would also have all the genes I need and no unwanted recessive genes. But I would also have to work more on wool length and texture, and size, body type, and temperament. Or, I could purchase an angora buck who has some of the color genes I want - and some I don't. But size, body type, and temperament should improve.

Essentially, I want to bring rufous modifiers and wideband genes in, without other recessives like satinizing and color extension. Satin Angoras currently are the easiest breed to find rufous and wideband in, but that would be primarily in the reds and coppers, so not only would the recessive satin gene pop up, likely the ee would, as well. What to do, what to do...?

Meanwhile, I carded a bag of Angel's wool yesterday, and I'm going to have a whirl at spinning it today. :)

Saturday, April 23, 2005

New stuff!

Today a lightly used pair of hand-carders arrived at my doorstep courtesy of my friend Terri Robertson of Living Water Farm. I can't wait to use them, I have a lot of angora that I just tossed in bags that needs sorted and carded into a more usable consistency.

Also, now that I have a logo for my rabbitry, I need to design business cards and get some printed up. I'm going to print some up on the inkjet to get started, but want more professionally done so the ink doesn't run if they get wet. Accidents do happen!

Meanwhile, a doe I've been waiting to get babies from has built a beautiful nest and will deliver any day now, assuming she really is pregnant and isn't just faking it. Rabbits do have false pregnancies, and it would be just my luck that this is one of them, only time will tell. I've bred this doe so many times, I forgot to write it down last time. I do believe it as been a full month since she was bred, though, so it's looking good at this point. Keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, April 22, 2005

Blogging?

So many people I know have their own blog, I guess it is about time I had one - although I wonder if I will have time to keep up with it. I breed Giant and German Angora rabbits, I am learning to spin their fiber, I edit the NARBC newsletter (seldom get it out on time, but I do get it out), and I hunt, as well as working a full-time job, hosting a political debate website, and Moderating on a hunting website. One good thing about a blog, I doubt I'll get into too many arguments with people as to how it is run. ;)

I'll post pictures of bunnies and get into my goals for the rabbitry in later posts, right now I have an overdue newsletter to get out. It's done, just needs some minor touches before being emailed to the printer. Bye for now!