Dedicating today to all the rabbits that have graced Tru-Luv Rabbitry both in the past and present. Creating this collage reminded me how diverse the herd has been and not two rabbits are the same. There will never (ever) be and that is a fact!
Category Archives: Bucks
When we attended school, the one thing that we are most afraid of is examination. We go through all the topics for a particular subject and at the end of the semester, we are tested through an examination or perhaps an assignment based on the topics covered. There is always fear surrounding the examinations that I believe can be attributed to the fact that it is natural for us humans to shun or avoid defeat. The peer pressure does not make it any better because our pride will be greatly damaged if we fail a particular subject.
I guess the entire ecosystem is taking examination the wrong way because now that I have gone through most of the “theoretical” examinations, I am indeed going through all the “practical” examinations life is throwing at me. Do I succeed in all so far? Of course not but I get to learn from mistakes! I believe whether it is a theoretical or a practical exam, the main objective of an examination is to gauge how well you know a certain subject or how well you are equipped for a particular skill. Each failure provides us with a new opportunity to sharpen the knowledge and skill needed to pass.
Like an examination, I look at rabbit shows as a time of examination or a platform to gauge how well one has harnessed the skill of breeding show rabbits. Technically, your rabbit is not competing with the rabbits in the judging coops beside it. It is judged against the Standard Of Perfection or at least that is how it should be. The closest to the Standard Of Perfection, the higher it places in the entire group. But of course it is not as mechanical as it seemed since there is human factor involved in the judging process. So perhaps a little dent or bald spot on your rabbit become the one factor it was placed 2nd.
Placing high or low is besides the point here. Again, it is an examination if you are going the correct direction in achieving what the Standard of Perfection is asking for. For show breeders, their rabbits are critically judged in many levels. The rabbits musts be first judged by the breeder himself or herself before deemed “showable”. They are then placed on the official show to be judged by the qualified judges. This can be seen as one sitting for the A Levels Examination as foundation and moving on to his or her Diploma examinations.
Whatever it is, examinations or rabbit shows are there for us to gauge our progress in the certain knowledge or skill we are trying to obtain.
Truth be told, my observation (and others as well) tells me that is not the case when it comes to rabbit shows in Malaysia or perhaps in other countries as well. Someone I know even shared his observation on rabbits being imported before shows. It is happening so rampantly that so much so, importation news can be taken as indication of a rabbit show coming soon. I do not have anything against importation since we need imports to improve our herd. Most imports if not all are very good breeding materials of course but I was hoping that breeders have a little more faith in their rabbits.
I like over analyze things so just to make sense out of it all, I would like to rationalize and put into writing the reason for this phenomenon. No one have to agree with me and I do not expect that. Just my thoughts thrown into my own writing space.
Using the same examination theory that I have put forth earlier. Placing imported rabbits on the show table seemed a little weird for me because one seemed to be yearning for affirmation if he or she imported the correct stock. Knowing well that different judges seemed to have inconsistent opinions, what if your imported rabbits are placed at the bottom? That is such a hard blow to the resources spent. But the point really is, what would you like to gauge showing imported rabbits? I can only think of the following:
- Did I import good rabbits worthy as breeding stock? Isn’t that too late now that the rabbits have arrived?
- Are my imports winning materials? If I am spending that amount of money, I better be sure to win but there are just too many variables to fulfill in order for someone crown your rabbit a winner.
- Are my imports better than his/her imports? There is no point competing on the human level. You will soon be outplayed by millionaires who have money to burn.
There is a misconception surrounding rabbit shows as of late. Winning seemed to determine everything for a breeder. More rabbits and rabbit products sold just because the breeders are in the business and ride on the win to promote certain products they carry. More than meets the eye in my opinion.
The real reason in my humble opinion for any new acquisition of rabbits be it purchasing locally bred or import is to improve whatever traits that are lacking in the current herd.
And to conclude, it makes sense to me that to show my home grown rabbits to gauge of my progress and if I am happy with the placement, I am confident that is an affirmation telling me that I am on the right track and I should continue doing what I am doing to improve my rabbits further.
Two good examples I have in my rabbits that I have harnessed the skill and am now ready to move forward with life.
The first is Murdoch the broken tort buck that was placed 1st and last by two different judges. That proves that there tend to be inconsistencies between judges. I am indeed happy with how Murdoch turned out to be and as his 1st level judge, I passed him with flying colors.
The second is Blaze the solid tort buck that was placed top 5 by two different judges. Extremely happy with his development and as his 1st level judge, I also passed him with flying colors.
Am I praising myself? Sure and of course. This hobby can get really self glorying at times and who better to praise you other than yourself, right? You need that much confidence to be able to be courageous enough to put your own rabbits on the show table most of the time.
Beyond the technicalities of the standards, and above all, rabbits like Murdoch and Blaze are first and foremost my pets. I treat them like my little children and they deserve all the care an owner can provide.
And what does all the ribbons and trophies mean to me? Rightly so, they belong here…
Ribbons and trophies will never match the worth of joy, friendships and companionship these rabbits have provided to my family and I.
Just before I begin, I would like to inform everyone that another article has been published over at PetFinder.my’s Wagazine. Click here to read. I would like to invite all readers to provide me with some feedback (if possible) or even some questions regarding rabbits that you would like to be addressed. If I find these questions interesting, I will be writing an article on the topic asked. I am indeed a pet lover first and I started off like any other. In fact, the disappointment brought about by irresponsible breeders was what inspired me to be a breeder myself. I am inspired to be a reputable breeder and be a testimony that it is possible to uphold ethical breeding (forget about profitability). This article highlights some of the ways in which new comers can avoid bad breeders. I hope everyone will enjoy and pass the link around to friends who are considering getting a rabbit as pet.
On the other hand, I cannot remember when was the last time I took photos of the rabbits but since Christmas is approximately 2 months away, I thought of testing out some sort of Christmas scene with the bunnies. I enjoyed the photo session very much and it gave me some time to groom every bunny. I am sure they enjoyed the little pampering with me giving them a good brushing, pedicure and manicure (ROFL!).
Here are some pictures that I took today. Hope you like what you see!
I just heard another song that uses the words “True Love” and this time around it is from one of my favorite recording artiste – Ne-Yo. I’ll end this post by leaving you with the music video entitled Let Me Love You.
Over the past year, I have been breeding and passing some of my rabbits to fellow enthusiasts who are serious about the hobby. I have also passed on many beautiful and handsome rabbits to pet owners who have approached me. Knowing the fact that the hobby must grow, I am glad to see some of the other breeders are doing very well with rabbits that I have shared with them. I am very proud of each and everyone of them for producing very good rabbits through applying their knowledge.
As for me, it boils down to only a few that I have selected to move forward in this hobby. I am so glad that my rabbits are fed with Genesis Ultra Premium Rabbit Food because the results are spectacular. In the past and even now, I often hear breeders echoing the statement “Quality, not quantity” and with such a wonderful feed, my rabbits have much better condition. And with such beautiful rabbits, I do not need to have many but instead just a handful will be able to help me move forward.
Aren’t they so darn cute!?
And I am proud to say that they are my home growns!
Biology is the word given to the study of living things and very often, we are unaware that throughout our lives, we have engaged in some form of biology work. I just realized that I have been working on Rabbit Biology since I more than 20 years ago. I believe getting to know the rabbit’s proper diet and other needs in itself can be considered a study of the animal.
Sometimes we study our pets alone and other times, we exchange notes with a fellow enthusiast as well. There is just so much to learn about rabbits that we all are unable to experience everything alone.
During one of our discussions and knowledge sharing sessions, a bunny friend told me that he was able to see “promising rabbits” on the day it is born. I have come across this statement from the past but I was still surprised by his statement. It was indeed a revelation hearing such comments. Later did I find out that it is not difficult to identify the “X-Factor” in newborn bunnies. I learned that you only need to spend enough time observing, just like any other studies done on other animals. Observation remain a large part of conservation efforts throughout the world. We must first gather as much information as we can through observation.
With all the resources I have at hand, I embarked on a journey to proof this concept. I also hope that this post will act as a proof of concept regarding the matter of Genetics (not Genesis but FYI, they are all on Genesis feed).
We are often told that a good Buck makes a lot of difference in a breeding program. My observation actually tells me that a good Doe is also an important part of the equation.
My journey started with breeding the same buck to two different does. When they share the same due date, I will be able to get kits of the same age to perform an apple to apple observation.
I chose Tru-Luv’s Miracle to be the buck in question and the does are Tru-Luv’s Sibylla & Tru-Luv’s Byss. The good thing about this combination is that, Miracle is related to Sibylla on his sire side and is related to Byss on his dam side. In other words, they are compatible based on papers.
In case you do not know how they look like, here are their pictures:
The outcome of the breedings are 2 kits from each of the does. I have chosen one from each litter for the comparison.
At this moment, it is quite obvious that Sibylla’s kit is a little narrow compared to Byss’ kit. Byss’ kit look slightly chunkier than Sibylla’s kit.
Then I proceeded to take the head shots of both of these kits.
Looking at the shapes drawn in red and blue, we can see that Sibylla’s kit has a narrower muzzle compared to Byss’ kit. And there is a slight difference in the head shapes on both of them as well.
Honestly, there are still young and I will not make a concrete conclusion out of my observation so far. Their physical appearance will change drastically as time goes by. There are just so many factors to consider before we make a final conclusion. Genetics are so diverse and tricky in nature.
We shall continue with this observation from time to time. I shall keep everyone posted with pictures as well.
Whenever I was faced with the challenges of raising Holland Lops, I was tempted to start raising another breed to take my mind off the difficulties. Many Holland Lop breeders are known to raise at least another breed to minimize the frustration. I have always held back my intention until recently when I saw the cutest little broken blue mini rex. It was in fact love at first sight.
I have been working on a rabbit breed that looks so much like a dog (short muzzle) and that made me wanted to raise another breed that actually looks like a rabbit. I not only found that in the mini rex but I also like the soft plush rex fur in the breed.
I do not claim to be an expert but there will be more to learn about this breed and today, I start my journey with the Mini Rex breed by welcoming R.O.B.’s Khal Drogo. For those who have watched Game of Thrones on HBO will find this name familiar. I like this TV series and wanted a macho name to go with my little new buck. I found it fitting to name him after the vicious warrior character.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my friend Khairul of Republic Of Bunnies (R.O.B.) for allowing me to have this beautiful little buck.
If you like to own a beautiful Mini Rex, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posting a blog post takes quite a bit of effort these days. I believe that I am slowly, slowing down – ROFL. I finally had the time and was in the right shade of mood to update my blog today. Sorry for the long hiatus (a week or two is a long time by my standard).
Once in a while, a little kit pops up and steals my heart from day 1. I guess like many breeders out there who has been breeding rabbits long enough can roughly tell which baby is going to grow up to be competitive on the show table or not. I had my eyes on Blaze right from the start and looking back at his development, it is pretty consistent. Many people thinks that I am rather crazy taking photos of kits and young baby rabbits. To be honest, that is just how I keep track visually how my Hollands develop through time. I believe that photos have helped me identify promising babies as well.
On the other hand, my little Murdoch is maturing into a very nice little buck. He just turned 6 months not too long ago and I am expecting him to have a huge head when he matures more in the next few months.
I also have the opportunity to snap a photo of my oldest favourite home grown – Tru-Luv’s Balian! Holding up his huge head has always been a problem for Balian and now that he is 2 years 8 months, it gets even harder just like how I myself is slowing down. Nonetheless, he is still the cute little boy that I know. I cannot believe that it is almost 3 years now and I hope that he lives for many more years for his little owner.
On a very happy note, I have been invited to be a featured writer for an online pet magazine that will be launched soon. I shall keep everyone updated as soon as I am allowed to. I am very happy to be able to continue educating, sharing and building awareness using another effective channel. Stay tuned…
“Be careful what you wish for…”
I remember vividly about 4 years ago when I started embarking in this hobby, a friend of mine asked me what is the point of keeping Show Rabbits when there is no Rabbit Shows in Malaysia. It was back then when I look forward to hearing news of how rabbit breeders in the USA fair in Rabbit Shows weekend after weekend and yearning to have the experience back home here in Malaysia. The naive me also dreamed not only that Malaysia have rabbits shows but also being able to produce competitive rabbits of my own. A Tru-Luv rabbit that places well in shows that is. Today, that little dream has become a reality and the best part is, I get to enjoy every bit of the Rabbit Show as an exhibitor. With a busy schedule, I cannot imagine myself putting up such an event and it is definitely an enjoyable day hanging out with fellow breeders and friends. God really works in His own mysterious ways to answer prayers and the silent desire of the heart I must say.
Kudos to the Malaysia Rabbit Club for again putting up a spectacular show held in a very comfortable venue for both rabbits and owners. The venue was setup exclusively for the rabbit show and even children were enjoying themselves while their parents paid full attention to the rabbit show.
Because it was a conducive environment, exhibitors were able to hear the judges clearly when they explain while judging the rabbits. I learned quite a few things throughout the judging.
“Any given day, given judge & given rabbit”
Just like last year, I attended the show with an open mind wanting to know how well my rabbits will do in the show. It is good to remind oneself that we are all the receiving end of the judges’ opinions. Their opinions will only help us in moving forward with our herd. At the same time, I am also aware that judges’ opinions may differ from one to the other. Nonetheless there are always good points to take away from each show. At some point during the show, I got a little disillusioned because of all the input and immense knowledge I received listening and looking at how the judges evaluate the rabbits.
Seeing so many beautiful rabbits that win over mine can be quite a daunting experience and the thought of revamping my entire herd did cross my mind. Then I took a step backwards and thought to myself. If I would to follow the different judges’ opinion, I might as well be revamping my herd every time a new judge comes to town. It was at that moment, something happened and affirmed that this hobby is not about getting new stocks just for the win. The hobby is made to be prolonged when we work towards breeding our own show worthy animals.
I remembered Chris Zemny’s words pretty clearly when she said that the Juniors are the ones she is excited about because competitive juniors that are bred locally shows how well the breed is doing here in Malaysia (or something along those lines). She then goes on to pick Tru-Luv’s Murdoch, my 2nd generation home grown Broken Junior Buck as the #1 for the BJB class in SHOW A. Allen Mesick also gave Murdoch the same placing in SHOW B.
The win is not mine alone. I only have my rabbit friends in the USA to thank for it. I am grateful to those who have sent me very good foundation stocks and have entrusted me to work with their rabbits. I am very grateful for all of their mentoring and encouragements. Sometimes it is amazing how rabbit friends place their warm embrace around me when I face both bunny issues and life’s struggles alike. We have grown out of the “just rabbit friends” into a big family.
Not forgetting the few bunny family I have here. We share so much when we meet – talking and laughing our hearts out with the little events that happened throughout the show. We share the joys of winnings and pick each other up whenever the results were undesirable. The good thing that I see throughout today is that parents in the hobby is now exposing the next generation (their children) at the rabbit show. I would love to see the younger generation picking up this hobby. My wife told me that she rather see young people spending their time at rabbit shows than to wander around shopping malls aimlessly. I couldn’t agree more and that should be our aim moving forward.
Last but not least, congratulations to all winners!
For those who have worked with Holland Lops long enough, they will concur that the older the bucks are, the more handsome they become. So it is with the case of Balian. I absolutely love this little “massive” buck. He has the “don’t mess with me” look. Don’t be fooled, underneath that “meanie” look, he is actually a very sweet little buck always looking for some head rubs.
I am glad that I started this weblog 4 years ago because I am able to recollect the past. It was an “IN” thing back then but the real reason I started this blog was because I like to keep a journal of my journey. I tend to forget things easily and keeping a journal helps me recall important things in life. To demonstrate how wonderful this weblog is, I would like to take you back 2 years ago when Tru-Luv Balian was born (17th October 2009)…
Who would have thought that little Balian will grow into such a beautiful little buck by just looking at these photo? The moral of the story is, never be too quick to judge a little bunny especially a buck because they look better as they age!
And how wonderful it is for me to grow as well in my photography skills and looking back at all these pictures, I must admit that I take the worst photographs – ROFL!
It would not do the wonderful year 2011 justice leaving this site with a slight negative note in yesterday’s post. Besides, it is the Christmas weekend and we should all be jolly and happy. Perhaps I might have generalized a little too much and that might have placed my own countrymen under an undesirable light. I believe the problems that I have highlighted in yesterday’s post are not isolated and exclusive to where I am only but it happens everywhere and in everything (not just in the bunny hobby).
As much as there are undesirable situations, there are also much hope and good in this world. In year 2011, I have found a couple of good breeders to work with and I am happy that most of them have grown in both experience and knowledge. I thank them for placing their trust in me and allowing me to share with them the real reason behind this wonderful hobby. I am happy to see them doing well now on their own and we are on the journey to producing very nice Holland Lops!
Year 2011 have been a blast and the reason for the season remains as (plainly) LUV!