Sunday, December 10, 2006

Christmas break

Since I have a ton of things to do - finish a newsletter, pick up and deliver rabbits, shop, clean, decorate, cook, spin, knit, wrap, and then there's my j-o-b, of course... I'm going to take a break from the blog for a bit. When I come back, I'll have updated the Jan's Giants website to reflect the comings and goings of everyone and hopefully have more color pics, too. I'm excited about a new addition, and one of the best bunns I've ever bred is coming home to stay. :)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Some things just aren't meant to be...

Many of you know I hunt. I started seriously hunting in 2000, in order to have a reliable source of venison. Bob's penchant has changed from shooting deer to getting his friends their first buck. We do get a share, but a whole deer is better yet! So I threw myself into it, read everything I could, spent time in target practice, got a feel for what guns I like, scouted the 68 acres we own up near Clarion, PA, and learned everything I could. But no deer. Usually just never saw one - in season! I also took up archery, and in fact am even a little better shot with an arrow than with a gun.

In 2003, I became the first woman to score a bull tag in the PA Elk license lottery, and subsequently the first woman to bag a bull elk in the modern hunt, maybe the first ever.

But all these years, I have yet to bag a PA whitetail - unless you count the one I got with my Exploder out on Rt 228...

So I was convinced that this year was my year. I took a week's vacation for archery season, had my treestand up, bow tuned, was making every shot at every distance, had all sorts of stuff to eliminate my scent, went out that first morning, un-scented, fully camouflaged, KNOWING that if that big 10 point I saw last year came anywhere near me, he was MINE.

I went out before dawn to where my stand was. I looked and looked, and could not find it. "Well Jan," I said to myself, "Some mighty hunter YOU are, you can't even find your own stand, you moron!" So I went back to the house, waited for light, then came back to find...

It was stolen. I couldn't find it because IT WASN'T THERE! Someone had come on our property, seen it, left, come back with bolt cutters and an ATV, and cut the chain (we had it padlocked to the tree) and took it away. Now archery hunting from the ground is not impossible, but I had estrus scent planted, and you don't want to be on the ground when a buck in the rut comes near. So between that and the rain, my week of hunting was pretty much ruined.

Oh well, there's always gun season. Unbeknownst to me, my dear, sweet honey bought me another tree stand. So I had one day left of vacation, and I took it on opening day. There was my new stand, right where my old one was! Yippee! That morning, I saw lots of deer, but nothing I could put antlers on for sure, and I only had an antlered license. I went up to the house, Bob and I did some walking, he flushed some deer out of the briars where they were hiding, and I headed back to the stand to wait for them to come down my way. As I settled in, something just didn't feel quite right. I looked down to see the ladder bowed out at a bad angle. OK, I'm getting out of here! So I slung my rifle across my back and started down the ladder. I got down about 2 rungs (so really still up there at 16 feet), and the one strap holding the stand to the tree let loose and the stand swung around in an arc and crashed to the ground, along with me. :)

I landed on my back (and my gun!) and stared up at the sky. Well, I'm still conscious, that's encouraging! Slowly I took inventory - fingers and toes, arms and legs, back OK - let's try to stand up. Did that, felt OK. Not good, I could definitely tell I fell hard, you know that feeling - not pain exactly, but not nice, either.

"BOB!!!!!!!" I yelled at the top of my lungs. He was already on his way, having heard the crash from the porch. "I guess you're OK?" he asked. "From now on," I told him, "I will supervise the setup of the treestand!"

So I am battered, bruised, and sore, but OK. And I have decided someone is trying to tell me something, having one stand stolen and the other fallen - I'm done hunting for this year. Some things are just not meant to be, lol!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The disappearing blogs

I've noticed lately a trend lately... certain blogs I enjoyed, or referred back to, have disappeared. Good thing Google takes a snapshot, and good thing I know how to save them for posterity... I've been forced lately to re-evaluate who my friends are, or ever were, and these saved blogs come in handy. Pity people try to hide who they are/were. Pity people can't come right out and say what their agenda is/was, and allow the rest of us to make a decision and stick with it. Pity that politics have to come into play at all.

I am enjoying this time off from showing, and plan to come back in the Spring with some awesome bunnies. Not yet quite what I am striving for, but on my way. More and more I realise that the breed of bunns I deal with takes time to evaluate with certain characteristics. Weight and shoulders need time. Wool I have a pretty good handle on right away - as in, from 3-6 months. Other faults show up right away, and do not improve with time. I hope that, if my observations and notes hold true, in 2 years or so I will have some truly awesome Giants.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Shearing party report

Well, I think it was a success. We still haven't figured out quite the best way to use electric clippers, but Cheryl and I were able to help Michelle, Heather, and Sherri with the shearing questions they had. We also had a visit from Cheryl's friend Julie. I sold Mopsie to Cheryl, and Pewter, my wooly French Lop, got a badly needed hair cut. I used her to show the ladies a technique I have developed to get those matted-to-the-skin areas safely shorn. Pewter is the perfect demo animal for this, as her wool mats no matter what, but she is patient and sweet while I fuss over her.

We also worked on spinning with a wheel and with drop spindle. I forgot to bring my new mini combs, so they'll have to wait for next time.

Next time? Yep, we had such a great time, we want to do it again! We're thinking after the holidays sometime. Let me know if you're interested!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Lame Duck Congress Passes Animal Terrorism Bill - Senate Calls Needed to Stop Horse Slaughter Bill

A SAOVA message for sportsmen, pet owners and farmers concerned about protecting their traditions, avocations and livelihoods from anti-hunting, anti-breeding, animal guardianship advocates. Forwarding and cross posting, with attribution, encouraged.

Dear SAOVA Friends,

Some form of the anti-pet breeder Santorum-Durbin Pet Animal Welfare Statute (PAWS) will be introduced next year, but we have one more task to finish *right now*. The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (S3880) passed the House yesterday afternoon, to the dismay of many animal activists and dangerous zealots. The remaining piece of work for us in this Congress is to insist the Senate bury HR503, HSUS's ill-named "Horse Protection Act" amendment.

HR503 places emotion ahead of animal welfare and public health, sets dangerous precedents of Federal interference in animal owners' end-of-life decisions and establishes a special, quasi-human status for a livestock species. It also results in less, not more, protection for unwanted equines and places significant financial burdens on state and local governments. That's why the American Veterinary Medical Association, most horse groups and the National Association of Counties oppose this bill.

Please *CALL or FAX* your two Senators *TODAY* and urge that they reject HR503. Contact phones numbers may be found at http://www.congress.org/


House OKs bill aimed at animal activists
Associated Press

WASHINGTON- Animal rights advocates who threaten scientists conducting animal research or companies funding or affiliated with it could be fined and imprisoned under a bill the House passed Monday and sent to President Bush.
Current federal law makes it illegal for activists to damage animal research organizations, farms, zoos, pet stores and other similar operations.
The legislation extends those prohibitions to interfering with third-party organizations such as insurance companies, law firms and investment houses that do business with so-called animal enterprises. Supporters said the bill is aimed at protecting people and companies from animal rights terrorists.
Violators could be sentenced up to a year in jail for economic damages of less than $10,000, and up to five years in prison if a threat produced a "reasonable fear" of bodily harm. Prison sentences of up to 10 years could result if someone is actually injured.
Although the bill specifically condones peaceful animal rights protests, critics said it comes close to infringing on advocates' constitutional rights.
"I am not for anyone abusing their ... rights by damaging another person's property or person," said Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio. "But I am for protecting the First Amendment and not creating a special class of violations for a specific type of protest."
The bill passed the House on a voice vote. The Senate passed it in September
Thank you.
Sincerely,
Bob Kane Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance -Working to identify and elect supportive legislatorshttp://saova.orgFrustrate the Anti's - Take your children to the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus and a Rodeo

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Tattoo day

I moved all but one of Antje's 8 babies into new digs today, bucks in one 48x30 cage, does in another. I had 5 bucks and 3 does, so the littlest buck got to stay behind with Mom. I also weighed, tattooed, and evaluated them. One fault I really need to work on is pinched lower hindquarters. Ironically, the runt of the litter has the best body so far, and nice wool, too. That big doe I've had my eye on since birth has not disappointed me, either. So I am going to hold onto these 2 for awhile. There was another buck I liked alot, the biggest fellow, whom I've also had my eye on since birth, but he's a bit pinched you-know-where - in that lower HQ. :(

I took Betsy out today to tattoo her, as well. At 6 months of age she weighs 8 lbs. I was hoping for more, I'm toying with the idea of shearing her. Being in short coat stimulates the appetite. She is so gorgeous right now, she is in full, prime coat. I went to take a picture of her for the website only to find my batteries are dead. :(

Well, I'll get new batteries and use her for my grooming demo bunny at the shearing party next Saturday. I'll probably use her for my shearing demo, too, as she is so laid back and cooperative. Of course, now that I've said that, she'll probably behave like a holy terror, lol!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Have you noticed...

... the golden silence since the election? No screams of voter fraud or intimidation, no recounts other than those required by law. Just mature acceptance of the results.

Do you think if the other side had lost, they would have had the same reaction? History says "NO". Apparently, when our parents taught us how to win and lose gracefully, only some of us paid attention.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

What have we done right?

So someone asked me today, via email, has the NARBC ever done anything right, in my opinion?

The NARBC has done a lot of things right! But so has any worthwhile organization, does that mean there is no room for improvement? ARBA has done a lot of good things, but does that mean it should just keep plugging away and not look for ways to improve its service to its members? In my opinion, ARBA was caught with its pants down as far as Animal Rights activists and their actions are concerned. Thankfully, we have people there in influential positions who care about the impact ARs are trying to make on us and related industries, and I think (at least, I hope) we'll be on top of things in the future.

The NARBC has been caught with its pants down regarding the impact some members have had on others, and regarding the power and best use of the Internet. I understand that we don't want to neglect those members who either do not have access, or who have only limited access to the Internet, but *not neglecting* them does not therefore mean we *do neglect* those who do, and who want more from the club in that regard. One does not preclude the other.

It also does not mean dissemnating false information about the use of the internet, specifically, trying to install fear of your email being sold to those evil spammers because somebody sent a file in Excel format instead of .pdf... but I digress... besides, that file doesn't include email addresses... cough, cough...

At any rate, I have to ask, what are you so afraid of? Seriously, those of you who so bitterly opposed Amy and the changes she tried to make, what were you so freaking afraid of? Losing influence? Learning something new? Seeing others profit from better access to information?

Please don't try to tell me you were afraid the new officers would make mistakes and "ruin" the club. You all, each and every single one of you, made PLENTY of mistakes in earlier years, yet the club goes on, and few people even remember such stuff. Those who do most likely remember those events fondly. Heaven knows I made a lot of mistakes with the newsletter early on , yet it and the club go on, in fact I think it is pretty darn good. I have people I don't even know submitting articles and offering to help out, and I learn something new from each one of them.

I guess what it boils down to is, you can either embrace or resist change. On that note, I'll leave you with this thought:

Eric Hoffer:
In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.

Monday, October 30, 2006

The United Angora Rabbit Club

To All Fellow Angora breeders :),

I would like to announce the formation of a new Angora RabbitClub. As of October 29, 2006, a new club entitled the 'United AngoraRabbit Club' is officially open and will be accepting newmemberships. This club will be National/International in scope and will actively seek members from both the show and fiber communities, with benefits offered to everyone at every phase of Angora rabbit production. Our club is now officially chartered with ARBA and will be included in the next Domestic Rabbit Magazine, and we will be hosting our first Specialty show at the PA State Convention in Lebanon, PA, in February of 2007.

We are overflowing with plans to enhance and promote the appeal ofthe Angora rabbit, and we will be taking a special interest in education on behalf of the new breeder and fiber enthusiast alongside long term breeders and showpeople. Below are listed several of the benefits currently being discussed for inclusion into the membership packages, in addition to many others:

-a National Angora show
- a National Fiber show
-Local specialty shows and fiber events
- Online Classifieds and Ads on the club Website
- Newsletter containing Rabbit and Fiber info.
- Advanced online discussion forum
-Workshops, Lectures, and Classes on the various aspects of Angora ownership and fiber use
-Extensive collection of online articles and subject references
- Member contests
- Mentorship programs

- and much, much more.

A BOD in currently in place for our organization as well as a working Constitution which can be viewed directly on the website at http://www.unitedangoras.com . The mission of our club is to provide positive support and educational opportunity to Angora owners everywhere, and we will be relying heavily on the input of our members in order to supply them with the tools they need to raise better rabbits and larger quantities of wool.

The founding members of UARC consist of several long term Angora breeders as well as experienced fiber people who are working to construct a strong foundation for the Angora rabbit breeds and their products in our country. You may view the club's new website at http://www.unitedangoras.com , a continually updated reference which will serve as an ever-expanding resource for it's members.

If you have any questions about this newly formed club please contact myself, Amy Spang, at amy@spangangoras.com, or any of the Officers listed on the website at their respective email addresses. There is a membership form included on the site as well as a copy ofthe C&BL for public viewing and reference. Prospective members will fill out a membership application which will be reviewed by the board, and then the Secretary will issue membership cards and mail them promptly. New members will be asked to contribute articles, pictures of their animals, or fiber products for the website, and suggestions that they may have about improving the club for it's members.

I look forward to meeting many of you in this club in the future as we look forward to building an organization which is unswervingly committed to one of the most unique animals in all the world, the Angora Rabbit :). Please print off a membership application and mail it in today!

Thank You, and All the Best --

Amy Spang :)
UARC President
www.unitedangoras.com

OK, my thoughts on this club:

Many, many current and former NARBC members want the things this club is offering. In fact, they elected Amy because they thought she'd get it done, and because they were fed up with the negativity and outright lies from certain officers and former officers in the NARBC. Unfortunately, between deliberate roadblocks interference of former officers, and attacks from within her own support structure, Amy was unable to get anything done. So she resigned. I wish she hadn't, and told her so, but I understand why she did. I support the new administration of the NARBC, but so far the changes we'd like to see aren't happening, I can only speculate as to why, but I feel people are intimidated from proposing any changes after the furor that happened when Amy tried to advance the club.

So Amy and other concerned and talented people are going to demonstrate that it can indeed be done, and without the back-stabbing, obstruction, bullying, and other garbage she and her officers had to put up with in the NARBC.

Well, MORE POWER TO THEM!!!!!!

I am not giving up on the NARBC, although there are some real control-freak JERKS in that club, there are also many very wonderful, sweet, loyal people who unfortunately have to deal with the others.

If you'd like to know why I feel that way, email me and I'll give details.

I am also going to join the UARC, assuming they'll have me. So I think that speaks for itself.

Monday, October 23, 2006

How are you going to vote?

A SAOVA message for sportsmen, pet owners and farmers concerned about protecting their traditions, avocations and livelihoods from anti-hunting, anti-breeding, animal guardianship advocates. Forwarding and cross posting, with attribution, encouraged.

Dear SAOVA Friends,
With only two weeks before the November 7, 2006 election, Democratic control of the House of Representatives in 2007 appears assured. Astute political observers may argue over individual House race outcomes, but most have turned to the Senate contests. Six Senate seats must change hands for the Democratic Party to gain control there. GOP losses in Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Montana are expected and widely predicted. If the Democrats can win one of three very close races in the Upper South states of Missouri, Tennessee or Virginia, a 50-50 tie will result. Power could be shared, as it was for five months in 2001, until Senator James Jeffords (I-VT) left the GOP to break that 50-50 deadlock. Two wins will leave Democrats in control of both chambers.

What would this mean for sportsmen and animal owners?

We’ll absolutely have to refight old battles that we won in the past. The PACs of the largest animal rightist (AR), anti-hunting organization, Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) and its allies (see http://saova.org/ARPACS.html) have endorsed over 600 supportive politicians at the federal and state levels. If many of these endorsed candidates are true AR believers and they take office, the anti zealots will unquestionably reintroduce anti-hunting, pet, livestock and medical research bills that previously failed to become federal law. AR activity in many states continues to intensify. Half of the endorsements are local ones.

The Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance’s (SAOVA) website at http://saova.org has been updated to include many new AR endorsements. Significant changes were made to the AZ, CA, CO, IL, MI, MN, NC, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, TN, VA and WI state pages since our last message to you. Additional resource links to supportive animal owner groups have also been added.

While every vote counts, both in polling places and on the legislative floor, there are sixteen races where *SAOVA endorsees* are in head-to-head contests with animal rightist endorsees,

MO Senate *Talent (R)* v. McCaskill (D)

CA11 *Pombo (R)* v. McNerney (D)

CT2 Simmons (R) v. *Courtney (D)*

IA5 *King (R)* v. Shulte (D)

IL17 *Zinga (R)* v. Hare (D)

KY4 Davis (R) v. *Lucas (D)*

MI7 *Walberg (R)* v. Reiner (D)

MI9 *Knollenberg (R)* v. Skinner (D)

MI15 *Dingell (D)* v. Smith (I)

OH6 *Blasdel (R)* v. Wilson (D)

NC11 *Taylor (R)* v. Shuler (D)

NJ5 *Garrett (R)* v. Aronsohn (D)

NM1 *Wilson (R)* v. Madrid (D)

TN5 *Cooper (D)* v. Welsch (I)

VA6 *Goodlatte (R)* v. Pryor (I)

WI5 *Sensenbrenner (R)* v. Kennedy (D)

If your vote, or that someone you know, can be cast to support a SAOVA endorsed candidate against the anti zealots that wish to impose their distorted beliefs on the rest of America, please be sure to vote and encourage others to do so. Take your friends and neighbors to the polls on November 7th. The stakes are huge.

Voters need to read the ballot measures very carefully this year. There are important pro and con issues to be decided. Vote for the best candidates, but also take the time to study the entire ballot and make good decisions throughout.

Arizona Voters- Vote NO on Proposition 204.This is an animal rightist effort to force changes in livestock farming that no reputable agriculture or veterinary group supports.

Colorado Voters- Vote NO on Amendment 38. Amendment 38 strips current fraud and misrepresentation safeguards from ballot measures.

Florida Voters- Vote YES on Amendment 3. Amendment 3 will increase voter requirements for laws by petition that bypass the legislature.

Georgia Voters- Vote YES on Constitutional Amendment 2. Amendment 2 will protect Georgia citizens right to hunt and fish.

Michigan Voters- Vote YES on Proposal 3. Proposal 3 will permit Michigan’s dove hunting season to continue.

SAOVA's reviews are single interest efforts. We make no pretense of evaluating candidates' positions on taxes, education, social security, medical care, national security, gun control or social issues. To the degree that hunting, fishing, livestock farming and pet ownership are important to you, we offer these election candidate analyses to be combined with other, personal considerations to determine your vote. Please register and VOTE! Thank you.

Sincerely,

Bob Kane
Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance -
Working to identify and elect supportive legislators
Visit our new website at http://saova.org

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Rhinebeck

This time I rented a room and stayed overnight so I'd have time to enjoy myself. I delivered 3 tan pattern angoras, one to Katie of Smith Family Farm, and 2 to Louise Walsh of Evergreen Farm, who is going to help me develop the color in Giant Angoras.

I was hoping to come home with an Icelandic fleece, but I didn't see any there that spoke to me, at least not enough to pay the asking price. But my friend Terry Kunst did give me some nice Rambouillet. I am going to wash it, blend it with angora and silk, and spin a lightweight yarn for socks. I'm thinking 40% wool, 40% angora (chocolate), and 20% Tussah silk for nice, strong, warm socks. I have never knitted socks yet, so I am looking forward to it!

Along the way, besides Katie, Louise, and Terry, I also ran into Chris, Susan, and Kim.

I did see a bag of Wesleydale that spoke to me, I walked away, thought about it, came back for it, and it was gone. :(

Well, I know a couple of Icelandic breeders, as well as a breeder of BFLs, which I am also very fond of, so I'll keep working on it.

I almost forgot to mention, I finally bought the set of mini-combs I've been promising myself from Janet Lynn of The Wheel Thing. I plan to demonstrate them at the shearing party. But for those of you who cannot make it, here are some pics of the procedures from Janet's website:

http://www.the-wheel-thing.com/products/combs/CombingTips.html

No, I don't get a commission, I simply LOVE these combs!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Shearing Party! Nov 18th, 10 AM!

Hi All,

Cheryl Ferrent and I are putting on a shearing party at her home (she has a nice big store building to use) outside of Punxsutawney, PA. Grooming, shearing, and other topics will be covered. Some of the other topics will likely include uses for and processing of the wool, and spinning.

This party will be geared towards newbie angora owners of all breeds, but since Cheryl and I both own Giants and Germans, well... ;) (Cheryl also has English)


Newbies and experienced breeders of all breeds are welcome to come! There will be no charge, (unless we decide to have lunch catered or something) and the goal will be to teach and to learn. I am going to bring my fuzzy French Lop doe, who always mats no matter what, to demonstrate extreme (rescue) grooming measures. For lunch, I am planning on bringing some AWESOME ground beef I have, and buns and condiments, if attendees could bring beverages, sidedishes, etc., that would be greatly appreciated. Please email me for more information. We'll firm plans up as we go along.

I can also bring weaned bunnies from Antje and Holden's litter, for those of you on the waiting list.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Truth

I had posted a rather smart-alec article last night, thinking better of it, I'm editing it somewhat, but the point still applies.

Awhile back I had been trying to get a point across to some people, mainly that just because you think something might be true, it doesn't necessarily have merit and you really should keep such thoughts private unless and until you have some kind of proof that something is going on. Groundless accusations hurt people, and create enemies, and none of us need more of those. Some people took offense at my position, and to this day I am still noticing repercussions from that time. Nothing major, essentially silly, minor irritations. But, I think we need to get over it already. You know who you are. C'mon already.

Also, for the benefit of some, I don't open unsolicited emails with attachments, no matter how benign they might sound, unless they have a purpose related to my job or my duties. Especially if a Google reveals that that particular attachment may contain a virus.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Changes

I'm going to be reducing the numbers in the rabbitry. With only 14 cages, I have too many projects going. Louise Walsh has offered to assist me in the Tan Angora project, so I will be taking bunns to her at Rhinebeck. I am going to keep Sunrise, a blue Tan doe, and Copper, a shorthaired 1/2 Angora/Thrianta buck. After much thought, I am also keeping Pewter, but I am putting her in the Tan program to add much-needed size and bone to the mixture. The REW Germans and Giants will remain pure. Nine out of ten babies in the last litter have either made weight or are darn close, so I am going to just keep doing what I've been doing.

Which means I have to make some tough decisions regarding the REWs. Snowman will be staying on at Groundhog Hares, where he is on a mission to produce a litter with JG's Little Brat. One of those babies will be coming home to take his place. Snowman will likely still be used here upon occasion, however. Definitely in a date with Evergreen's Betsy this Spring. The 10th baby is none other than my precious Jewel, who is staying at about 8 1/2 pounds. Her mother, Mopsie, did the same thing, until I sheared and bred her, then after she weaned that litter of 10 she packed on the muscle and today she weighs in at about 10 and 1/4 pounds. I am hoping Jewel will do the same. However, since her sister Antje is already there, I am keeping Antje and selling Jewel. She goes to her new home next weekend, freshly shorn and bred to Cody to get her new owner off to a good start. One of those babies will find its way back here. :)

I have also decided to part with Mopsie. I am hoping her breeding to Cody has taken, if so she will not be available until that litter is weaned. If not, then she will be available in early November. This will leave me with Antje, Cody, Betsy, and some as-yet-unnamed babies, one from Antje, and hopefully one each from Mopsie, Jewel, and Brat. Then there will be Dumpling's granddaughter as well. Plenty of a new generation to pick from!

Antje's big, huge baby I was hoping was a buck, doesn't look like one. Might be pinched in the lower hindquarter, too, time will tell. However, there is a somewhat smaller one who looks quite promising in every way. These two developed their coats faster than any of the others, they were very distinctly white while the others were still pink. I'm anxious to see how their wool develops relative to their littermates.

I am also going to start growing giant pumpkins next Spring. I always grow pumpkins, but I figured with a name like Jan's Giants, why not extend that to pumpkins as well? :)

That's all for now, I have bunns to shear. :)

Saturday, September 30, 2006

In support of Amy and Judy

For the most part, I am going to keep silent about my opinions on what has gone on before and what is going on now in the NARBC. The reasons for my choice of silence are varied, for one thing, I feel we need time for the rhetoric and outright lies on the part of some to fade.

I want to say, however, that Amy had my vote, and my full support. I wish she had not stepped down, but I understand why she did. I also believe her recent post in her blog on all of this to be 100% accurate. I know Judy does not agree with all of it, but fortunately, Judy is one of those rare people who can disagree with you and be an adult about it. Which is why I am glad she is replacing Amy as President. She is strong, and she will do what is right for the Club. And I doubt the usual characters will mess with her much, but I won't go into that.

I also want to say that when certain characters come up for re-election, I will come out with stored emails and both barrels blazing! As I said in a recent email, people have a right to know the character of those who are running for office, and thanks to mass emails and forwarded emails, I have lots and lots of character references, in their own words, to work with.

Thanks, guys!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A message from the new NARBC President

(Cross posted from the giantangoras list)

Greetings,

I would like to take a moment and introduce myself to all of you. My name is Judy Riddle and up until this morning was a District Director for the NARBC.
2 weeks ago, Amy Spang (then NARBC President) appointed me as NARBC Vice President. The BOD approved this assignment and it became 'official'.
With Amy's resignation, I have moved into her position of President.

Amy and I worked/spoke together right from the beginning of her Presidency. I did not always agree with her (and yes, she knew that!) or her ideas, but we were adult enough to discuss things in a rational way. When she had questions, she knew I was there to help and support her in any way I could. When I offered help, she was quite gracious in listening to my thoughts.

I have been involved with this club for the last 15 plus years. Believe me, I know what can and does go on in it. I am not saying I agree with a lot of it... and I am not saying Amy was wrong in the changes she tried to get thru. What I am saying is this. If you do not like the way things are being done... CHANGE THEM! Start at the bottom and work your way up. Run for an Office... Volunteer for a committee.... The only way the BOD is going to change is if NEW FACES show up and become involved!

I welcome your comments...ideas... thoughts.... anything any of you have to offer. The one thing I will not tolerate is slamming the former President or her Committee people. Let's put this in the past and move forward promoting our beautiful animals.

God Bless all of you,

Judy Riddle
President, NARBC

Please feel free to cross post this anywhere you like... JR

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Babies!

Last week, a doe I had sold and has come back home, JG's Antje, gave birth to 9 babies, 8 of them live. This doe was bred to a pure German buck with excellent density along his back. I'm anxious to see how they develop. I already have a favorite, one really big, fat baby, hopefully a buck.

Today I took Mopsie to the Washington, PA show, she did well, but didn't earn a leg. I wasn't planning on showing her at all, but she did not deliver a litter and I took her because Phill and Judy Osborn came up for the show, and I wanted to give them an opportunity for a leg. They got it! They earned BOB and BOS Giant Angora.

Tom and Charlotte Schweikart also attended, as did Angel and Autumn Filby. Charlotte took BOB and BOS French Angora, and Angel got BOB and BOS English Angora.

Meanwhile, I have located a grand-daughter of Dumpling, and will be buying her. At this point, I think I will be closing my Giant breeding program to outside lines. Including this little doe, I will have bloodlines from Linda Kolassa, the Baileys, the Osborns, and Louise Walsh. Blended with these will be old German, 2002 import, and newer German bloodlines. And also Pewter, of course. My plan is to begin with a wide genetic base of quality animals, and line breed from there to develop my own line.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A Horse's A**

Subject: RAILROADS AND ROCKET SCIENCE

Does the statement, "We've always done it that way" ring any bells?
The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet,
8.5 Inches. That's an exceedingly odd number. Why was that gauge used?
Because that's the way they built them in England, and English expatriates built the US Railroads.

Why did the English build them like that?
Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.
Why did "they" use that gauge then?
Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.
Okay! Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing?
Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that's the spacing of the wheel ruts.
So who built those old rutted roads?
Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (and England) for their legions. The roads have been used ever since.
And the ruts in the roads?
Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing.
The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. And bureaucracies live forever.
So the next time you are handed a specification and wonder what horse's ass came up with it, you may be exactly right, because the Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the back ends of two war horses.
Now the twist to the story
When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs.
The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory at Utah. The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site.

The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains. The SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses' behinds.
So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse's a**.

...and you thought being a HORSE'S A** wasn't important!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Liberty Ark Coalition - STOP NAIS!

Copied from a Liberty Ark email....

Thanks to the great work of Ray Cunio and Doreen Hannes, and many others in the Liberty Ark Coalition, Senator Jim Talent and Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson, both from Missouri, introduced companion bills yesterday which will say the "...Secretary [USDA] shall not implement or carry out, and no Federal funds shall be used to implement or carry out, a National Identification System, or similar requirement, that mandates the participation of livestock owners."
This is a great step forward, but it is just a beginning. Before the bills were introduced, we submitted to the Senator and Congresswoman a list of additional issues that should be addressed in the bill. We were assured that our input will be requested as the bills move to hearings, and through the process.
The bills have not yet been assigned a number. They will be posted on the Liberty Ark website as soon as they are available.
This is a great example of what we can do when we all work together. We were able to tell the Congressmen that we represented 72 organizations, and more than 1100 members in all 50 states. This is impressive, in view of the fact that we organized only a few months ago. But we need many more organizations, and many, many more individuals to sign up in support of this effort to eliminate the National Animal Identification System( NAIS).
Please make an effort to get your friends and neighbors to visit the website (http://libertyark.net ) and sign the pledge. We’re going to need thousands of people if we are going to be successful in this battle. The folks who are pushing this plan have tons of money and powerful, paid lobbyists.
Get a supply of the new brochure, and a CD so you can provide accurate information to all the people you know. We have reached a new stage in this fight, and we need to expand the army.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Support the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, HR 4239 and S. 1926!

http://capwiz.com/nabr/issues/alert/?alertid=8650226&type=CO

Read the letters, they have good points regarding animal activists' abilities to find and exploit weaknesses in current animal welfare legislation.

It has a link that will direct a letter (and you can write your own as well) to your representatives, based on your address.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Little birds

I just love little birds, you know the kind - as in, "a little bird told me...". I heard from a couple of my little birds this weekend. Their tips involved gossip. So I thought I'd post a couple tips of my own concerning gossip.

1. If someone tells you something derogatory about someone else, try to determine if it is true. Ask the person spreading the rumor what their proof is. If they can't provide it, well, you know what their testimony is worth.

2. One easy way to determine for yourself if something is true, is to "Google" it. For instance, someone once told me that terrible things were circulating around the Internet about someone. So I went to http://www.google.com and typed this person's name in quotes in the Google Search Bar and hit Enter. Four entries, none of which backed up the claim. Try it yourself.

3. If you get something via email that is questionable, when answering it (If you choose to at all), type the email addy of someone you trust in the "bcc" address bar. "Bcc" stands for "Blind carbon copy". It sends a copy of your email to someone without letting the other person know. I often do this if I have reason to believe that someone is going to quote me out of context or otherwise misrepresent something I've said.

Better yet, just throw it in the trash where it belongs.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Laughter is the best medicine

The Applicant

The insurance firm put a sign in the window saying "HELP WANTED. You must
be a good typist and have good computer skills. Successful applicant must
be bilingual. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer."



A short time later a lovely golden retriever dog trotted up to the window,
saw the sign and went inside. He looked at the receptionist and wagged his
tail, then walked over to the sign, looked at it, whined and pawed the
air.



The receptionist called the office manager. He was surprised, to say the
least, to see a canine applicant. However, the dog looked determined so he
led him into the office. Inside, the dog jumped up on a chair and stared
at the manager expectantly.



The manager said, "I can't hire you. The sign says you must be able to
type."



The dog jumped down, went to the typewriter and proceeded to quickly type
a perfect business letter. He took out the page with his mouth and trotted
over to the manager, gave it to him, then jumped back up on the chair
wagging his tail.



The manager was stunned, but told the dog, "That was fantastic, but I'm
sorry. The sign clearly says that whomever I hire must have computer
skills." The dog jumped down again, went to the computer and proceeded to
demonstrate his expertise with various programs. He produced a sample
Excel spreadsheet, a sample Power Point presentation, retouched a picture
with Photo shop, and then printed all of them for the manager.




The manager was dumbfounded. He said to the dog, "Listen, I realize that
you are a very intelligent applicant and have fantastic talent, but you're
a dog! There's no way I can hire you!"



The dog jumped down and went to the sign in the window and pointed his paw
at the words, "Equal Opportunity Employer."



The exasperated manager said, "Yes, I know what the sign says. But the
sign also says you have to be bilingual."



The dog looked him straight in the
eye............................................























and said, "Meow."

Saturday, August 26, 2006

That's all, folks!

The upcoming issue of the NARBC newsletter is going to be very interesting. It is going to put to rest many of the rumors that have been circulating about who caused what and why, and other concerns like membership. Without giving anything away, let me just say, don't believe everything you hear.

That's all I think I'm going to say about it for now, unless someone comes up with something totally outrageous.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Update on the previous entry

I just got off the phone with Gerald Buck. We had a long, positive conversation regarding my previous post, but he did want to straighten some things out. Gerald has a problem in that what he writes in an email or group post doesn't always come out quite the way he meant it to. He feels some communications he has had with Amy and others were misunderstood.

What happened was, when emails were flying back and forth among board and committee members, many people tended to hit the "reply to all" option when perhaps it wasn't called for. As a result, people were getting messages that they shouldn't have. While members have every right to be aware of what is being discussed by the Board and to let their officers know how they feel about issues, they should not have access to private conversations between Board members. This was the problem Gerald was trying to address and things got misunderstood.

This does not address what others have communicated to Amy. Gerald just wanted to clear the air as to his intentions. I believe him, and I want to make sure that everyone else hears his side. I also would like to stress that I was not pointing fingers at specific people in my post, simply the need for us to let our representatives know how we feel about the issues being discussed.

As Gerald and I were talking, I asked him if, before he became a District Director, he ever had a clue as to what was going on with the BOD. He admitted he pretty much never had a clue. Neither did I, for the most part. There is a need for the membership to know what is being discussed. Not necessarily the details, but there should be some kind of agenda posted in a members-only section of the website, and in the newsletter. Our DDs can't very well represent us if we don't know what is going on and therefore don't let them know what we want and how we feel. Board minutes and votes should also be posted, so we know what was decided and who decided it. Amy is pursuing these goals, and I support her in them.

So Gerald, if I missed anything, feel free to correct me. ;)

The Politics of Rabbits Pt 3: What do you want in a club?

I have been thinking hard on this subject for the last week or so. As the newsletter editor, I get a lot of emails from people concerning questions about Club business. Those I can answer directly I do, those I cannot I refer on to the appropriate person. But a lot of them are just conversational, discussing current situations in the NARBC, discussing what they think and why, asking me what I think, etc. One person whose emails I especially enjoy is Amy Spang, our President. I am not knocking anyone else, especially since I have held this post during only one other presidency, but I am impressed with the effort she makes in getting opinions on things, and not just from me but also from the other committtee members and from the general membership. I pass on what I have heard from people, and not just those I agree with, but also from those I don't, because they are members and *most* of them have legitimate concerns. Some of them don't, some just complain for the sake of making whomever is in office look bad, but I don't need to pass those on, those people make themselves heard via other venues. I do offer my opinions on their viewpoints, however. ;)

Recently Amy has been criticized for passing the concerns that committee members and general member have onto the Board of Directors. She has been told that this is "muddying" the board's ability to do it's job, and outside input from anyone else is "complicating the issues and making it more difficult for the process to work". She received several messages from a Board member telling her that this is not the way a club should be run and that she needs to stop sending "information" to the regular members.

EXCUSE ME???!!!

1) the C&BL does not explicity state that the discussions of the Board are to remain private, and
2) apparently the BOD has not had any ideas themselves.

I feel that the BOD is accountable to *US*, the membership. And who better to get ideas from than the people who are doing the work (the Committees) and the people whom the decisions will affect (the general membership)?

There is another undercurrent of opposition that Amy is facing, and that is that she is "new", she appointed people into Committee positions who are "new", and the only people have seem to have issues with some of the ways things have been done in the past are the "new" people.

First of all, what is "new"? Some of these people have been members of the Club for over 10 years, and have held positions of responsiblity in the Club previously. Some have not, but so what? Are they qualified? YES!

In any club, there are always people who oppose new things, or who don't wish to be moved out of their comfort level, or who only want new things if THEY are the ones in control. Is this the kind of club you want?

Here are some of the issues the BOD is considering:

1. Should the NARBC website be *the* source of information on Angora rabbits and Club activities? (right now it isn't)
2. Who should own the domain NARBC.org (the Club doesn't, and that's one of the reasons why the NARBC site isn't up yet)
3. Who should own the "official" Yahoo list? (the Club doesn't)
4. Should members be given free ads on the website?
5. Should people who purchase an ad in the newsletter also get an ad on the website?

*No matter how* you feel about any of the previously mentioned issues, I urge you to contact your District Director and other appropriate Board members and establish a dialog with him/her on how you feel about things. Especially regarding being informed of what the BOD is discussing. Here are the current NARBC BOD members and their contact information:

President Amy Spang <amy@spangangoras.com>
Vice President Tracy Rios <lovelyangoras@yahoo.com>
Secretary Beverly DeVone <bevsbuns1@netscape.net>
Treasurer Jacque Dumas <jdumastn@bellsouth.net>
District 1 Director : WA, OR, ID, MT, MT, Canada (Saskatchewan-West) Judy Pinks <pinkhollands@yahoo.com>
District 2 Director : CA, NV, UT, AZ, HI, Mexico Lindsay Logan <lindsayl@aol.com>
District 3 Director : ND, NE, SD, MN, IA, WI Cindy Stelloh <arba600@aol.com>
District 4 Director : CO, NM, TX, OK, AR Carol Joy Collins <caroljoycollins@aol.com>
District 5 Director : KS, MS, IL Holly George <holleegee@yahoo.com>
District 6 Director : LA, MS, GA, FL, TN, AL, Puerto Rico Gerald Buck <shaggywonders@yahoo.com>
District 7 Director : NY, VT, NH, ME, MA, CT, RI, Canada (Quebec-West) Joan Hastings <hopjh1@aol.com>
District 8 Director : MI, IN, OH, KY, Canada (Manitoba, Ontario) Judy Riddle <fantasylandangoras@yahoo.com>
District 9 Director : PA, WV, VA, NJ, DE, MD, NC, SC, Washington D.C. and all foreign other than Canada Sally Campbell <sally@moonstar.com>
Youth Director : Kelsey Schultz <bunniesandcavies@aol.com>

Please make yourselves heard! Tell them what YOU want in a club.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Feed

I took Equine Nutrition in college, and have often compared the experiences of others, conventional wisdom, and what my studies taught me about feedstuffs. I have investigated what really goes into different feeds, been disappointed, and sometimes pleasantly surprised.

The most reliable feed I have come across so far, for freshness, uniformity, palatability (at least as far as the rabbits are concerned), and price is Blue Seal Bunny 16. But I *might* have found a new favorite in a product of Blue Seal's parent company, Kent Feeds. Kent's fixed formulas are very similar to Blue Seal's, but they add Vit C and rosemary extract. Today I bought a couple 50# bags of Kent's Top Show Family. I would have preferred the Professional formula, but the store didn't carry it. Anyway, as I'm driving home, the smell of the feed is driving me nuts. It smells SO GOOD! Almost chocolatey... yeah, I know, you probably think I'm off my rocker, I wonder myself sometimes. Anyway, I mixed some with what was left of my bag of Bunny 16, and fed. If the reactions of the bunns are any indication, they thought it smelled just as good as I did. In spite of temps in the 80s, they all dove right in. Usually, in hot weather they hang back a bit and wait 'til it cools off some. The pellets are mini pellets, which look like they would be very easy for a young bunny to eat.

So I will continue, I think, to make the trip to get this feed, and see how the wool production comes along.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Betsy

I have some pictures of Evergreen's Betsy, my new Giant doe I got from Louise Walsh. It's hard to believe this cute little bunny is going to mature over 10 pounds!



Due to the miserable, hot, humid weather Louise's area has been subjected to, Betsy's fine bunny coat had a lot of webbing and some fair-sized mats. So I decided to shear her and start over, I also wanted to evaluate her body further as well as her temperament. Betsy was pretty cooperative for a first shearing, and I had her done in about 20 minutes. Then back she went to the grooming table, and I changed my clothes. :)



Look at those ears and feet!

Louise took the time to do some coaching while we ate breakfast. According to her, you need to build a rabbit, especially a large rabbit, from the feet up. Betsy has HUGE feet, and I am going to start making that one of my selection criteria. I don't have a problem with sore hocks, but I do have a problem with size, some of mine make weight, and some don't. I want my rabbits to consistently make senior weight by ARBA standards and I don't want to have to wait a year to see if they make it. Betsy will be a key player in my breeding program to make that happen.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I went up to MA over the weekend for a couple of reasons, the first to visit Christine Oliver. She had a small fiber event at her home,and I am so glad I went! I met some new friends, got my wheel properly adjusted, and I bought a ball winder, which I have needed for some time. Yes, I have been winding balls by hand, and since I don't wish to develop carpal tunnel, a ball winder was a must-have. I also saw some mini combs demonstrated. Janet Lynn, of http://www.the-wheel-thing.com took webbed angora that I would have felted or thrown out, and in very short order made beautiful combed top out of it! Janet takes layaway orders, so guess what's on my list? I will never throw webbed wool away again! I stayed at a hotel and went to visit Louise Walsh the next morning. For those who are newer to Giant Angoras, Louise is the lady who developed them and got them approved by ARBA back in 1988. We went out for breakfast and just had a wonderful time gabbing, in no time at all it was time to leave. I also got a tour of her (now much smaller) rabbitry, and she showed me some projects she's working on. I came home with Evergreen's Betsy, a young doe who shows a lot of promise. I'll have to get a picture of her to post. I'm going to shear her, as she has some mats due to the hot, humid weather they've been having up there. I'd rather start fresh with her.So it looks as though I won't have anything to show in September. I've been keeping everyone in short coat, and I also have breedings planned soon. Most likely I might have someone ready in late October. Probably just as well, gas prices are killing me.

I bred Mopsie to Cody tonight, and tried Pewter as well. Pewter does not seem in the mood at all, so I left her in with Cody overnight. Perhaps the cooler house temps will encourage her to feel more in the mood.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Politics of Rabbits, Part 2

Just when we have an excited new administration in the NARBC doing exciting things, out come most - but not all - of the usual suspects trying to sabotage the efforts to make the NARBC friendlier and more accessible.

I have left the "official" NARBC list since the original list owner took over. Not because of that in and of itself, but because my responses to the usual suspects suddenly quit getting posted - AGAIN. And this time with no explanation whatsoever. I had actually been thinking of dropping out anyway. The list has again disintegrated into posts trying to undermine confidence in the current administration, by those who wish they were in power but aren't, and mostly because people are sick of hearing their crap.

Will I drop out of NARBC altogether? Maybe. But not just yet. Before I do that, I would like to call on those who don't belong anymore to rejoin and fight to help the new President, Amy Spang, and her administration put an end to this nonsense. The NARBC needs to dis-associate itself from the so-called NARBC list, which keeps getting abused and has driven many of you away. I'd also like to call upon those current members who are pre-judging Amy to allow her to make the improvements to the site, and THEN decide whether you like them or not. This paranoia over the proposed changes is just plain silly. For years we had a site that was never updated anywhere near on time, and had dead pages, non-functioning links, and ads that constantly popped up and annoyed everyone. Then we had a much improved site that looked great, but the changes we were interested in seeing never materialized - for whatever reason. Now we have people who are excited to be where they are, and are chomping at the bit to make our site truly useful and the envy of the specialty clubs, and they are getting fought tooth and nail over issues that do not exist.

I'm done with my rant now. Thanks for listening, and if you care about the Club, please join or re-join, and make yourself heard!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Heat

Wow, I have heard some sad stories about losing bunns to the heat! I cry every time I lose a bunn, I can't imagine what some of these poor folks have gone through! I have been lucky so far, I have lost no one to heat. I have one mom and litter inside, as well as some adults, some of which are moving on from here soon. I also have another mom and litter outside, plus an adolescent, and Pewter, my fuzzy French Lop. These outside rabbits have a layer of white PVC roofing over their cages, plus a layer of wooden decking, plus tree shade depending on the time of day, and a wooden hiding box they can go in or behind. We also stick frozen 2 ltr bottles of water in with them around noon, and replace them later in the day if necessary. They were also clipped down in June, and will be again soon.

I am hoping the weather cools down soon, as I am anxious to get started breeding for Fall. Orders for Germans and Giants are starting to accumulate, and Mopsie, Pewter, and Jewel are waiting. I can't wait to see how Pewter's babies turn out!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

For Sale

Well, Persnickety, my black otter doe, has failed to conceive once again. So, I am offering her up for sale as a wooler, no pedigree. She produces about 8 or 9 oz at a 90 day clip, so she's no slouch. And IF she ever does deliver a litter, whoever owns her can bet I'll be wanting to buy any tan pattern babies from her. She is about 75% German, her sire is 50% new import bloodlines. I am asking only $30.00 for her, but you do have to come and get her. I'll be at Christine Oliver's house in Mass. for the fiber gathering she is hosting on Aug. 6th., however, so anyone in NY or points NE from there could pick her up there. I do have a PayPal account, please contact me at jansgiants@hotmail.com for more information.


I also have a 7 week old blue tan doe for sale. I had thought I had someone lined up for her, but that person has not responded to my emails. So, unless I hear from her again, this beautiful baby is first come, first serve. She and her sister are pictured in the blog if you scroll down a bit. I am also asking $30.00 for her.

I'm also considering selling some fiber. I have a few pounds of white clipped and a few ounces of chocolate and a few ounces of black, both clipped. I'm thinking $6.00 an ounce, let me know if you are interested.

The Thrianta crosses look very promising! My favorite, a copper, looks like a buck, he is big, round, and has beautiful color. Hopefully he also carries a Tan gene. I'm definitely keeping him! Another favorite is a big, deep, dark red, round bunn who looks like a doe. These babies would be ideal for someone looking to develop red English or German hybrid Angoras, or is looking to improve the belly color in their Satins. Interested? Let me know.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

RIP Dumpling




It's taken me awhile to work up to posting this. I lost Dumpling, aka Abundant Fastnacht, recently. I came home from work one evening, and checked on Carmie's litter. They were fine. I looked down at Dumpling in the bottom cage, where I'd moved her after breeding her to Cody. She'd gone a little off her feed, but I took comfort in that, as it is typical of her when she is bred. She looked fine, lounging on her EZ rest, and even tolerated a head scritch from me. When I came back a couple hours later to feed, she was dead.

I tearfully picked her up. She wasn't my favorite doe, but it still hurts me when I lose one, especially a good one. Dumpling had the finest Giant ancestry in the country. When I could get her bred, she was a good mama. She was also my best wool producer. She was still warm, but stiffening.

I later learned that a son of hers had passed similarly. I have heard other stories of Giants and Germans passing suddenly like this. Is it an inherent weakness? I don't know. I do know that she was an excellent rabbit, and I still want her bloodlines, so I am pursuing obtaining one of her grandkids.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Looks like we made it...

... but I'm not going to relax until I'm sure this bill is really dead. And then of course, there's NAIS to fight. But...


A SAOVA message for sportsmen, pet owners and farmers concerned about protecting their traditions, avocations and livelihoods from anti-hunting, anti-breeding, animal guardianship advocates. Forwarding and cross posting, with attribution, encouraged.
Dear SAOVA Friends,

The American Kennel Club's (AKC's) homepage has dropped its "Feature" PAWS highlight graphic and hotlink, after headlining it for more than a year. The homepage deletion at this time is the equivalent of hiding an embarrassing relation or concealing a major blunder. They'll be no registry mea culpas or public acknowledgements of failure or mistake, just ongoing efforts to distort the facts about S1139. When I posted a preview of this message July 11th on a pet owner blog, AKC immediately responded with a simplistic, knee-jerk "stay the course" update on July 12th. How pathetically predictable. You decide who has been more truthful and right about PAWS, from June 4, 2005 to today. Sen. Santorum may make one last futile PAWS gesture for AKC and HSUS, but Congress isn't buying it. He's in a lose-lose politically dead situation, whatever he does. Rep. Gerlach, the HR2669 introducer, is also in the same position.

This misadventure and attack on other pet registries led by Chairman Ron Menaker cost the AKC untold $$ and loss of trust and goodwill of animal owners throughout the nation. AKC's registrations are at a 40 year low. Its financially motivated PAWS collaboration with the animal rightist Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) and parochial and inbred views have made it politically untrustworthy. No federal legislator will accept AKC's word for a very long time. Too many were whipsawed by AKC and HSUS and don't appreciate being lied to, blindsided and having their outraged constituents emailing and calling them for months. Many fellow animal owner groups and registries feel much the same. Few will consider our flagship canine registry anything but an animal rightist Quisling and disreputable competitor in the future. AKC's recent, selective responses to HSUS's anti-breeder, anti-hunter initiatives and its continuing efforts to steal coonhound registrations from the UKC and PKC reinforce these conclusions.

Dog News, the unofficial registry show newspaper, apologist and spin organ, is lobbying for director term limit by-law changes to permit Menaker and his cronies to avoid the term limits adopted in 2001 and keep control indefinitely. Nothing could be more disastrous for American purebred dog owners. All of the current AKC directors may run for at least another four years, including Walter Goodman, who first won a seat in the 1980's, where James Holt joined him as a director. Only a complete management change, true dedication to pure bred dog ownership and sportsmanship and a reversion to its abandoned mission statement will save the AKC.

You never say "never" in politics. The NO PAWS team of Kelly Wichman (Dog Federation of Wisconsin), Susan Wolf (North Carolina Responsible Animal Owners' Alliance) and myself will continue to monitor DC events through adjournment. The two of them have been wonderful partners in this fight and we want to thank each and everyone of you who contacted legislators opposing PAWS or facilitated your club joining the NO PAWS Honor Roll. http://saova.org/1139opponents.html Our Hill friends and agricultural community supporters broadened our opposition effort and assured its success. We couldn't have beaten HSUS, DDAL, PETA and AKC without you all. We're especially indebted to those whose donations made our Roll Call advertisement possible. http://www.nopaws.org/SAOVA_Ad_RollCall_Logo.pdf To those smaller parent breed clubs that didn't oppose PAWS and the many specialty club leaders that believe anything issued by AKC's PR department, pronounced from the delegate meeting podium or on the delegate's elist: You're hurting yourselves, your dogs and the fancy. Take the time to review your priorities and commitments. Get involved. Think analytically, critically and independently. Be demanding and insist on accountability. Make the needed difference.

The animal rightists are currently on a pet anti-breeder tear in California, New Mexico, Texas and the Midwest. Virgorously respond to these local threats as most did to PAWS. A very timely, important self-protection message from Missouri Federation of Animal Owners' President Karen Strange is attached. Please take the time to read it. Not only is control of the U.S. House at stake this November, state, county and city elections will decide the future of pet ownership more and more.

Two brief personal notes:
Dog Press editor Barbara Andrews recently said some very kind things about SAOVA and me. See http://www.thedogpress.com/SideEffects/06_Albeq.AA.Kane07.asp SAOVA is a small, five year old group of dedicated animal owner volunteers, not Bob Kane acting alone. I'll be assuming emeritus, senior adviser status shortly. I've also changed my email address to vhdoa@earthlink.net

Thank you again for your continuing support of this sportsmen and animal owner advocacy effort.

Sincerely,
Bob Kane Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance -Working to identify and elect supportive legislators** NO PAWS ** http://saova.org/http://www.nopaws.org

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Baby pics

I have pics of my 2 Blue Tan Angora babies, and of Carmie's litter sired by a Thrianta buck. Here are the Blue Tans, at about 5 weeks of age:


And here is Carmie's litter. I'd like to note that my intial look at the litter wasn't too accurate, there are 7 kits, not 6, and there are 5 reds and 2 coppers:


There is a runt in the litter, who I missed during my first look. I found him the night before last, and he was pretty scrawny. I gave him about 5 minutes alone with Carmie, and when I checked them all today to get this photo, she had just fed them and his little belly was absolutely full! :)

I hate to check them, when I put them back Carmie was very upset with me and stepped on one of them in her haste to "protect" them from my intrusion. Now that I see Runt is fending well for himself, I'll skip a day and see how it goes.

So what wil I do with this litter? Statistically, half of them should have inherited a Tan gene from Carmie. But which ones? Well, I need a buck with a Tan gene. So I most likely will keep all the bucks and test breed each to a different doe.

Now watch, lol, ALL of them will be bucks!

Friday, July 07, 2006

...A Story to Share... regarding ARBA elections

Cross posted with permission from the Showbunny Yahoo group:

Recently I was asked to share a story that pertains to upcoming elections.

Two years ago, I attempted to import some Blanc de Hotots to the US
from England. As you know, Hotots are some of the rarest of the ARBA
recognized breeds and the gene pool here in the US was quite limited.
These rabbits were meant to keep alive a breed that only a handful of
the truly dedicated people were willing to work with.

Although my rabbits were competely documented with health certs and
leg bands, they were stopped by an ambitious US Fish & Wildlife
officer who was convinced that these were wild rabbits. She
"informed" me that all rabbits currently in this country were born
here and these rabbits were on a list of animals to be denied importation.

Of course, Hotots had been my only breed choice for years and being
faced with a F&W officer who insisted on sending back my long sought
after rabbits was a terrifying perspective so I called ARBA and spoke
with Glenn Carr. I expained to him that the customs people wanted the
scientific name of the rabbit and if it matched the name of the
European Wild Rabbit, they would be denied entry into this country.
Mr. Carr was unable to locate the scientific name of the domestic
rabbit but he did give me the number for Dr. Hayhow, whom he was sure
would know. I frantically called Dr. Hayhow, as the Fish & Wildlife
officer was planning on sending then back on the next flight to
England and I only had a few hours to try to rectify the problem. I
explained my situtation to Dr. Hayhow whose response was summed up by
saying "Who gave you this number? This is not an emergency. Why are
you calling me?". I spent well over $1000 to import these rabbits in
to this country. Our Hotot gene pool was dangerously inbred and I
needed a two word answer. I pleaded with Dr. Hayhow. Two words.
It's all I needed and I was desperate and in tears.

He hung up on me.

My rabbits were sent back to England.

Fortunately for me Pat Lamar was able to get me in touch with someone
at the main office of Fish & Wildlife. Between the help of Vermont's
Senator Leahy; The Chief of Congressional Affairs and Mr. Jackson at
Fish and Wildlife, my rabbits were returned to me 5 days later at my
expense. One rabbit broke his back on the return trip to the US and
of course, nothing could be done for him.

To this day, I have never understood why Dr. Hayhow felt so inclined
to hang up on me. I needed his help. Dr. Hayhow wasn't there for me
or my rabbits the last time he was President.
If he is elected once as again as President, let's hope you don't need
his help either.

Sincerely,
Aimee Tanguay-Brown
BOB Hotot ARBA Convention '02-'04

Permission to cross-post granted. :)


Dr. Hayhow is a fine, extremely knowledgable man, but I don't think his actions show that helping ARBA members will be his first priority. I remember Aimee's story when she first posted it about 2 years ago, and I recall that Dr. Hayhow was upset because she called him at work. At that time, I *believe* Dr. Hayhow was Vice President of ARBA.

I support Cindy Wickizer for ARBA President. Cindy is retired, and has the time to make ARBA her priority. She has been proactive in working to prevent NAIS and PAWS from impacting rabbit breeders adversely. She is friendly, approachable, and the best choice for the job, IMO. Please vote for Cindy Wickizer for President!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Babies :)

Carmie finally gave birth last night to 6 babies - 3 reds, and 3 copper or tans. 6 is a nice number, all will be well fed, but it is the smallest number that I am happy with. I like to see 6 - 10 babies, as I expect to lose 1 or 2. But for Carmie, who is a nervous mom, smaller is better. I don't feel like I have to check that they are all fed like I do with bigger litters. And she is much happier when I don't check on them. She doesn't really relax until they are weaned, like some people I know! :)

In the future, I think she'd be much happier with a dropped nestbox like Bass sells. I have 2 of them, not installed yet. I mean to put them in my newest outdoor cages, but the floor wire is so thick on them that I can't cut it, I'm waiting for DH to " get around to it". :(

Meanwhile, Sunset's litter is a delight. Every single bunny in the litter is bright and friendly. Friendliest of all is one little Tan angora, I'd swear this one is a buck by its behavior, but it looks like a doe upon closer inspection. But, I have been wrong before! I hope I am again!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July!

I did all my picnicing over the weekend, so today I worked (at home). I sheared Mopsie because she was stressing over the heat - even tho' she is inside. An 80 day interval yielded 8 ounces of prime so far - I haven't done her belly yet. Her stress over heat concerns me, she is always the first to stress. So, even tho' she is inside and freshly shorn, I won't be breeding her just yet. Even tho' she's made it clear she's in the mood!

I left Dumpling in with Cody for a week, she'll be staying inside to see if she conceived. If not, she'll be looking for a new home. While she is my top wool producer, a doe that cannot or will not conceive when bred has no place here. I was hoping for a litter with Snowman, but it looks like that will not happen. Maybe Cody will have better luck.

Persnickety is in the same boat as Dumpling. She had a successful (as far as Cody is concerned) breeding, if it does not take this time, she'll be looking for a home, too. Considering she and Cody go back to my wonderful, dear departed Billy, I really, really want a litter from these two. However, I will only try for so long, then it's time to cut losses and go with what works - the first time.

Sunset's litter of 8 has turned up 4 angoras so far - no surprise there! 2 of the angoras are Blue & Tan, 1 REW, and 1 blue. Both tans appear to be does - of course, since I need a tan buck! However, the Magic Sex Change Fairy may pay us a visit, she's been here before, lol! If not, I will have a Blue & Tan angora doe available.

Carmie, my Choc Tan angora doe, who was bred to a Thrianta buck, started nest building today, which is when she is due. No wool pulling yet, but she is a last-minute nest builder. I expect shorthaired Coppers and Reds from this breeding, unless the buck carries Tan (I hope he does!). All these babies will be 1/2 angora, but if the buck does not carry Tan, then it will be difficult to determine which (if any) of the bucks in this litter do. In that case, only test breeding will tell.

Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

NARBC election

Congratulations to the winners! Amy Spang will be our new President, she will bring a fresh outlook to the job, as well as admirable intellect and great perception. Her blog is very informative, and IMO a "must read" for angora owners, beginners through long-time breeders.

Sally Campbell won for D9 director. Sally has provided some excellent suggestons for and an offer of help with the newsletter and I look forward to working with her!

Meanwhile, I am working to get a couple of stubborn does bred. I think I *might* have succeeded in finally getting Persnickety bred, we'll know for sure in about a month. Carmie is showing signs of being bred, she is due on the 3rd. Now if I can get Dumpling bred, all will be right with my little world. :)

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Spinning away...

Well, I finally got 2 bobbins of singles done with the Dingo fiber. I have not been getting along with Polly, my Kromski Polonaise wheel, until today. I don't know how or why, but today we finally "clicked". I have her set up as a single drive, I cannot seem to get the tension I like using her with a double drive. I also find that the faster I go, the better she seems to like it. I'm still going to use my Babe electric spinner to ply with, but at least I'm finally comfortable with this gorgeous wheel! But I'm still going to get a travel wheel, I just don't know when. Gas prices have eaten up my "disposable" income, so I am considering selling fiber to get the bunns paying for themselves. At least show season is over, and I don't have to drive all over Creation! Now if Dumpling would please produce a nice litter...

Just a note to some who, at times, have checked the blog every hour on the hour, I don't have the NARBC election results. I won't get them until they are announced on the Yahoo list, so I would check there if I were you. ;)

Friday, June 09, 2006

Zarqawi

I have never posted anything truly political here yet. But this calls for it, IMO.

Certain people have purported that there was never any Al Quaida in Iraq until the US invaded. Iraq supposedly was never a threat until we made it one. Nevermind the copious statements from various members of the Clinton Administration prior to Dubya being elected.

Now that Zarqawi has been killed, suddenly there are claims that Dubya deliberately ignored the threat posed by him just so he could get big and successful as an Al Quaida operative, justifying Dubya's war on Iraq. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4431601/

Sorry, dudes and dudettes, you can't have it both ways. Either there was no Al Quaida and/or WMDs in Iraq before we invaded, or there was. Please make up your freaking minds!

This is why I left the Democratic Party.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Nationals again!

OK, so the official results are out, so I can talk now without stealing anyone's thunder. First, I had a wonderful time at Nationals! I got to meet new people, get re-aquainted with people I'd met before but never got to spend much time with, and I also got to spend time with friends. My 2 entries did well, Jewel took a 3rd in the Nat'l show and a 3rd in the NYSAC show, while my little buck took 3rd in the Nat'l show and 2nd in the NYSAC show. Considering I was showing against the Baileys, the Osborns, and Linda Kolassa, I'm very happy with that!

The judging was very good, IMO. Mark Stewardson took a lot of time (maybe a bit too much) and care with each animal. He spent equal time and effort examining bodies and wool. His comments were well thought out and appropriate.

The banquet was excellent! I forget what all was offered, some sort of parmesan, sausage and peppers, meatballs, antipasto salad, ziti I think, all really yummy!

Here are some pics from Nationals:


Youth - Ryan Nichols-Mayer won BIS with his French White Senior Doe, and Dustin Gonzales won Best reserve with his English White Senior buck.


English - Linda Cassella won BOB and BIS with her Colored Junior Doe, Dru Shepherd won BOS with her White Junior buck. I'm sorry I didn't get a picture of Dru and her buck.


French - Sue Needle took BOB and Reserve BIS with her Colored Senior Doe, Tom & Charlotte Schweikart took BOS with their White Senior Buck.

Giants - Jack & Karin Bailey took BOB with their Junior Buck, and Linda Kolassa took BOS with her Senior Doe.

Satin - Joan Hastings took BOB with her Colored Junior Doe, and Marilyn DeMarree took BOS with her White Junior Buck.

And this is Brenda with her Broken English Senior Doe. Isn't she lovely?

That's all for now !

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Tan babies!

Sunset, my lone shorthair left in the Tan breeding program (but not for long, I am using a Thrianta buck to bring more rufus in), gave birth Friday to 8 bunnies, a quick check revealed what looks like 3 blues, 3 blue Tans, and 2 REWs. Around 1/2 the babies will be angoras, as Sunset carries it and the sire is a little blue angora buck. I am praying there is a tan angora buck in this litter! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

I will update the blog with pictures and commentary on Nationals very soon, but I have a wedding to go to, so not today. :)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Cage cleaning, part I

Outdoor cages

I love outdoor cages because there are no dropping trays. (At least, mine don't have them.) I shovel out from under them once a month or so, as the weather permits. Unfortunately, one also has to deal with heat, cold, and precipitation as well. When I see droppings and fuzz starting to build up on the floor wire, and it doesn't take long at all, it is time to blast it off. I've tried many things, like torches and wire brushes, and the best combination I have found follows:

First, I remove the rabbits from the cages. I know that seems, obvious, but you'd be surprised at stories I've heard... Then, I bring out my electric Karcher K 3.98 power washer and blast away. It has a wand that sends an oscillating spray which rips pretty much everything off the wire. I let it dry in the sun, then I take my spray bottle full of pure white vinegar and spray the wire with it and let it sit about 5 minutes, then I hit it again with the power washer. The vinegar dissolves the calcium and mineral buildup from the rabbits' urine, preventing more fiber buildup. I then take a spray bottle with generic Listerine and spray again, then replace the bunns when it is dry.

Meanwhile, after I shovel out the manure under the cage, I dust the ground liberally with hydrated lime. As manure builds up, if the weather is warm, I sprinkle Stall Dry (diatomaeceous earth and clay) over the manure to keep flies from hatching. It really works!

That's how I control buildup, odor, and flies on my outdoor cages. I'll soon post about my few indoor cages, with which I use a very similar regimen, with one notable exception.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Ain't she sweet?



The top photo is my little Jewel, by Snowman out of Mopsie. She is my pride and joy, and has earned 2 legs so far. The bottom photo is Toffee, by Vinnie out of Carmie. She was born March 9th, and she has not one mat so far. All I did for this pic was smooth her wool with my hands.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Nationals are coming up!

I'm off tomorrow to New York for Angora Nationals. I'm taking my digital camera along to capture faces and places, and to get a good picture of Jewel to put on the web page. I'll get a good photo of 5JG10 as well for the For Sale page, assuming he comes back home with us. When I get home, it will be shearing time at Jan's Giants. Everyone will get a buzz cut for summer, and I will weigh and compare wool harvests.

Snowman is off at friend Cheryl's to make babies with JG's Little Brat, the only surviving offspring of my beloved Billy. Snowman is a distant cousin of Billy's, and shares his wonderful texture and density, if not his size. I will be keeping a baby from this litter, I was thinking a doe, but then a buck would make a bigger impact on my breeding program. We'll see. A lot depends on how Cody works out. Cody is also a son of Brat, but blows his coat before it matures fully. The last time I blamed it on mites, and so have been treating him with ivermectin every 2 weeks. I'll treat everyone again when we return from Nationals, then that should be it for the summer, unless I notice any symptoms. If he does it again, and no one else does, then he'll be looking for a home as a wooler.

Friday, May 19, 2006

I give up!

First, a shameless plug:

It is election time for the NARBC again, and I, Janet Gruber, am asking for your write-in vote for NARBC District 9 Director. My sole purpose in running for this office, and hopefully winning, is to restore trust and confidence in the running of our club. There has been an effort on the part of some to undermine confidence in the administration of the NARBC. The current officers of the NARBC, for the most part, are some of the finest people I have ever worked with and I deeply resent the efforts of some to paint them otherwise, and I mean to help put an end to it.

Towards this goal, I am also recommending the folowing candidates, all write-ins:

For President:

Amy Spang

Amy is an intelligent, capable, non-nonsense person. She has no allegiances to anyone or anything apart from the smooth running of the Club. She would make a fine President.

Judy Riddle

Judy Riddle is also running for President, and her integrity, experience, and administrative skills make her an excellent choice for the position.

Both are good choices! They are the only choices I would consider. Rumor has it there is also a "stealth" candidate running. If the rumor is true, I would not consider this person.

For Treasurer:

First off let me say that Jacque Dumas has done an excellent job as our Treasurer. However, her support on the NARBC Yahoo list of those who would undermine the confidence in the administration of our club has led me to decide that she is no longer the best candidate for the job, at least not at this time. The Treasurer is an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors, and we need someone in that position who is going to work for cooperation and harmony.

Angelika Kolifrath

Angelika Kolifrath is my choice for Treasurer. She is honest, hard working, and has the knowledge, ability, and resources to do the job of NARBC Treasurer well.

I hope you will join me in voting for the best candidates for a friendly, inclusive NARBC!

Sincerely,

Janet Gruber

Meanwhile,

It never ceases to amaze me how some people refuse to see the truth. One side can post whatever they want, the other gets censored. Some of the posts that have been made to the NARBC Yahoo group are nothing but inflamatory, yet this got censored:

>> I was not ridiculing her - as you well know. I was questioning her
>> motives, as the WAY in which she asked her question was not
>> courteous or professional. It was not what I would expect of an
>> NARBC list Mod.
>>
>> Again, if all she wanted was an answer, she could have emailed the
>> person responsible instead of spreading it all over the place -
> and
>> leaving him and his wife, a Board member and Vice president, off
> the
>> TO: list.
>>
>> Janet

Here is why it was censored:
>
> Janet,
> As you know, this message is inflammatory and asks for a response
> from Kim. Kim was trying to avoid all this by posting to the group -
> instead of a personal email battle with Franco and Tracy. She did
> call me before she did this email, and I agreed with her. I sent a
> message to the Board, and she sent a message to the List - Both have
> received derogatory treatment....and mainly from the same people
> that have something to say about anything that is posted -
> regardless of what she and I post. I am not trying to get into a
> verbal battle with you. I am just trying to explain why I am
> rejecting this message. I beleive that is only fair. I have already
> rejected a message from Sally Campbell.
> Jacque
>

Actually, it was a response to an inflammatory post claiming that people were being ridiculed. I ridiculed no one. Also, where am I asking for Kim to respond? And even if I did, what would be wrong with that?

As for Kim trying to avoid a battle, here is her original email, copied from my inbox:

Message is not flagged. [ Flag for Follow Up ]
Message has been forwarded in the past.

Date: Wed May 17 12:04:02 2006
From: catnip36

Hi Margaret and everyone,
I was under the understanding we were suppose to have out ballots by NO LATER than the 15th. Here it is the 17th and as far as I know no one has the ballots! Where are they? I hope we are not going to have another messed up election. No one is keeping us informed on what is going on?
Kim

I left off the address list to protect the innocent, but I could not help but notice that Franco Rios, the person responsible for the ballots, is not included. Nor is his wife, Tracy, Vice President of NARBC, and a member of the Board of Directors.

Notice the reference to the previous "messed up" election - the lateness of which Franco had NOTHING to do with. Sound like someone who is trying to avoid a battle? Not to me! Why couldn't she have simply posted:

Hi Franco and everyone,

Will we be getting the ballots soon? I haven't gotten mine, and I don't think anyone else has, either. What's up?

Now THAT sounds like someone who just wants to know what is going on. Big difference between that and the first one, don't you agree?

Anyway, I give up. The only posts that seem to be allowed on the NARBC list are those bashing the people who are trying to fix the whole situation. So I quit. I won't post about it anymore, and if the wrong people win the election, I predict a mass exodus from positions of responsibility, which should make some people very happy.

Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Tell me what you think

Really. I want to know.

Someone posts to a couple of lists and sends an email out to everyone EXCEPT the person responsible, demanding to know something and bringing up old issues.

Please tell me, is this person "just asking a question", or is this person looking to stir the pot? Wouldn't a private email be much more effective if all this person wants is an answer?

And what about the person who defends this person, even possibly going so far as to delete responses pointing out that this is not "just asking a question"?

Tell me what you think here, because I doubt it will get posted where it really should be.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Ups, downs, and my latest aquisition

This weekend was exciting, rewarding, and disappointing. PAngora sponsored an Angora Specialty show at the OSRBA convention in Columbus, OH on Saturday. We had a nice turnout, although I had hoped for more. JG's Jens, owned by Jane Evans and bred by me, won BOB Giant Angora and BIS in the Specialty! His sister 5JG14 took BOS Giant Angora, and Jane bought her from me, too. She named her JG's Antja. She and Jens are names after a German couple that Jane and her husband know.

The following day, JG's Jewel took BOB and 5JG10 took BOS. I haven't named him yet, I am hoping to sell him. He is a nice little buck! Both 5JG10 and Jewel won legs at the show. This litter has been impressive! But then, the litter I picked their sire, Storybook Dreams Snowman, from was also remarkably consistant in quality.

When I got home, I found Dumpling's babies had died. One apparently got dragged out of the nestbox while nursing and the other could not keep warm without its littermate. So, it's back to the drawing board - er, breeding cage, for Dumpling.

I also brought home a new brood doe. Here is her picture. Now, don't laugh!


What is that? That is a Steel colored, purebred, Intermediate French Lop doe, "King's Pewter", who somehow managed to inherit 2 recessive angora genes! She weighs 11 1/2 pounds already, and is still growing. Why would I want her? My Giants don't always make senior weight, and when they do, it is after a year of age and with few if any ounces to spare. My goal is to breed more size and bone into my Giant lines without losing the commercial body type. Since normal and lop ears are co-dominants, that means the first generation will have ears in between - airplane ears, in other words! I'm already considering Cessna, Boeing, Lockheed, and Lear as potential names. How does JG's King Lear sound? LOL!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Babies!

I finally got some more babies from Abundant Fastnacht - aka Dumpling. Two babies, to be exact. The hind feet on one are awfully red, I hope they are just bruised and not hurt badly. I'll have to take a closer look today after work. Dumpling kept wanting to build her nest next to the nestbox, but I kept putting it in the box, which is where she finally decided to have them. They were both nice and warm and well tended to at this morning's feeding.

Dumpling's dam is a Grand Champion and a winner at Convention and Nationals - and more than once, I might add. The sire of the litter is Storybook Dreams Snowman, my 100% import German buck. I have been looking forward to this breeding for some time now, since Dumpling is my best wool producer and Snowman is a close second.

On a sad note, I lost Billy Goat's Gruff this morning. He had somehow gotten out of his cage the other night, and although I easily caught him the next morning, it was obvious that spending the night in the cold, wet grass had taken a toll on him. He developed pneumonia and died after struggling to hang on for 3 days, despite antibiotic treatment. Persnickety is the only offspring of his that I still have, so she is even more precious to me now. I bred her to Cody, whose dam is Gruff's sister, Brat.