Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Trials and Errors of Posing

I re-evaluated my selected 11-week rabbits today.

I was also looking forward to weighing everyone again, but alas, it seems my scale has finally died for good (I wonder if it had anything to do with a toddler snatching it and throwing it on the floor...)

Posing an active rabbit is not easy - as you will see in the following series of photos. You will also see how much their foot placement affects their overall appearance.

Backed away from my hand at the last minute
Backed away, turned

Back legs pushed too far back, elbow too far back

Not ideal, but still the best pose I was able to get out of him. He has a decent arch in his topline.

Meh. Back legs not lined up right. Looks really wonky.

I love this shot! Lined up  perfect, and really showing off his strong points! Nice and meaty and rounded.

I have ultimately decided to keep Big Boy and sell Ichigo. I have already found a good potential buyer for him: another homestead looking for a good meat stud.

The more I look at him, the more I feel I've made the right choice. Even though his rufus isn't as deep as his sire's, I feel that body type is more important at this point.

Now for the doeling I am retaining from my solid New Zealand red, Acer:

While she isn't as meaty as Big Boy, she still has better type than Acer - nice topline!

I always have a hard time getting the hind legs lined up right. She's a little hollow in the loin area, but has decent shoulders.
Just to re-hash: this doeling (still haven't named her) is a New Zealand Red/Creme d'Argent cross. The reason I did that was because Acer and Ichigo are direct siblings (not sure how many generations they've been in-bred), and they both tend to have warm weather allergies. I really wanted to mix up the genetics a little bit, and keep Acer's nice, deep rufus in the gene pool (and the friendliness of the Cremes) . I'll continue breeding back to the NZ's for 3 generations until they are considered pure again.

I wanted to get out and weigh/evaluate my 6-wk Creme litter, but just didn't have the time (well, or a working scale). I really need to weigh those little does.

As for Cardamom's litter, they are looking good at 2 weeks old....

I'll be eager to know their genders in a couple of weeks, and may replace Cardamom with a broken red daughter. Cardamom has been a great mother, but I'd really like to get away from the chestnut color. 

The other thing that annoys me about her (besides her unfriendly attitude) is her tendency to produce excess cecotropes anytime I feed her anything but pellets and hay. It's nice to take advantage of the health and cost-saving benefits of feeding foraged greens, but it always messes up her digestion. I can't even give her black-oil sunflower seeds without her getting a poopy butt. So far her kits haven't shown that tendency, so hopefully I can breed that out of my herd.

It feels good to be moving ahead with my breeding project! 

It also feels good to make good use of a bad situation - ergo, Babette's recent trip to freezer camp.

She produced wonderful stock and a pile of meat that went into a glorious pot pie!

.... if I may say so myself.....

(I followed this recipe, only I substituted crock pot shredded rabbit and leftover oven roasted veggies for the filling. I also forgot to add the milk to the gravy, but it still turned out great.)

Nourishment from misfortune. Nothing wasted.

I like raising rabbits. :)

Big Boy posing for the camera


  1. I have a huge crush on Big Boy! Everyone looks really great overall though. Glad you were able to turn a negative situation into a lovely dinner, too! Side question, but have you had any problems with your rabbits getting into anything toxic while out? I want to start freeranging mine more, but I know we have some poisonous things in with the grass and I wonder if they would have any instincts to avoid it.

    1. They don't spend very much time on the ground, but we really don't have many toxic plants growing in the yard. I would THINK that a rabbit in a range feeding situation would be able to know by smell/taste which foods aren't good to eat, but I really don't know. What poisonous plants do you have?