Over the years I have heard how hard it is to breed Giants, but never really had a problem. I'd hit the occasional dry spell, but nothing like this. I've been trying since November to get does bred, with only one successful breeding to my most reliable doe, Sunrise, and she let them freeze. :(
I've since bred her twice, once to Nino and once to Oscar, and still no babies. The last time she built a nest right on time, even pulled wool, but no babies. This time around, she built the nest on Wednesday, was due Friday, and today, still no babies, no wool pulled, even. :(
I have more does due over the next few weeks, hopefully SOMEBODY will hatch!
This morning, after checking Sunrise's (empty) nestbox, I shot Bob a sideways look and said, "Have you been slipping these rabbits birth control?"
He laughed that yep, he had indeed done that. ;) Good thing he was joking. :)
Louis and Lizzie are clipped down and (hopefully) bred. This of course means neither will be ready to be shown at Nationals. Oh well. Maybe if the weather stays cool I'll show them at Hamburg in late May or Frankfurt in June.
I've given it a lot of thought, and I may stop taking reservations for rabbits. I'll still honor the promises I have made, of course, but when I make promises of rabbits that have yet to be born, it prevents me from making changes to my breeding program when I want to. Except for the funk that Sunrise is in, my Tan line reproduces like - well, like rabbits. I'm certain Dark took, maybe not so certain about Cadbury, but then I bred her to Nino, and my German bucks just haven't been getting the job done lately. I'm not saying the fault lies with them, a lot of breeders I talked to at the PA Convention told me they're having issues, too. Could it be the bad winter we're having? Where the heck is that darned Global Warming when you need it? Oops, I mean "Climate Change". (They've switched to Climate Change so that no matter what the weather does, they can blame it on Man.) But I digress. Crosby is a spectacular breeder, he gets the job done and it is obviously successful. No flirting and fumbling around, he is all business, and I really like that in a buck. Anyway, I'd like to use him more, but I need to produce REW babies because I have them promised to folks, and I doubt he carries albino. I know Midas doesn't. So, once I've satisfied the promises I have made, I think I'll start integrating the Tans into the Giant line and focus more on them. I'll still get REWS, of course, but I won't have many to show with or sell. Which is OK, because I'm not in this to make money, anyway. And I'll have Louis, Lizzie, and maybe even Joy to show if and when their coats are prime and there is a show worth going to at that time.
Not showing so much will also free me up to spend more time in fiber pursuits. I have a used knitting machine on the way. :) If I can figure out how to use it, I plan to have a lot of fun with it.