I was so sleepy last night I knocked out without writing a post. Was dozing off reading the reports from Zone Directors on Hollander. Don’t get me wrong, they wrote great stuff. I really love this issue of Hollander. Some of the articles written mentioned about the possible change in the way of judging Holland Lops. Some indicated that the poll for the change may put more weight in promoting color hollands.
As you can see, the current TLR herd is made up of chocolate, lilac & perhaps black/white. Black & white is not a neutral color mind you. LOL! So yes, TLR has been working with color Holland Lops. To be very honest, color is not what I wanted to start off initially. I have (and will) always wanted the typey Holland Lop. Getting into the color was more of a convenience in getting my foundation stock. In my opinion, the development of color Holland Lops are still at its initial stages and the gene pool that we have here is rather inconsistent to be very frank. A typey Holland Lop should have a very massive look and if you have been following, I always used the term BULLDOG-ISH. Yes, a real Holland Lop looks like a bulldog.
Another thing that I have learned and would like to share is that, Holland Lops tend to look better after 6 months when they turn Senior. These intriguing creatures really defies the popular beliefs that rabbits are cute only when they are young. Yes, they are super cute as kits but cuter as adults. But, there is a catch to this. I must also say that not every Holland Lop in a litter will turn out a “BULLDOG”. This is the reason why many breeders are still breeding in a massive scale just to look for that one pearl in their herd. A pearl will be hard to find especially for those who are just starting off in this hobby.
You see, it is quite logical as not many breeders will be willing to share their best with you. And you always start off a level lower than you expect. This could be worst if you are working with an unethical breeder. It will be far worst if you are working with an unethical breeder that thinks he/she has the full rights to send culls overseas. Be very careful with whom you are dealing with. Honestly, there are many breeders awaiting for the opportunity to send their worst at their “best” prices. And when this happens, it will take longer or even impossible for you to find that pearl in your herd. So far, I am quite lucky in the sense that I am smacked right in between getting a pearl & working with the worst. LOL…
Even Laurie has advised in one of her blog postings that aspiring breeders should start off with the best that they can get their hands on. This is very true in my experience. When you start off with the best, more pearls will be produced and that will help lower the chances of rabbits getting culled. But it also depends on how big the rabbit market is. If there is no appreciation for the breed, it is quite impossible to even pet them out.
Alright, guess I went off topic a little there. Back to the proposal of judging Holland Lops in groups. There is a poll for all HLRSC members to fill and for us to express our opinions on this issue. If the change is to take place, the new standards for judging will be updated in ARBA Standard of Perfection 2016 to 2020 onwards. At the moment we know that Holland Lops are judged based on Solid or Broken regardless of the color (but mostly are torts and they always win due to their strong type). A broken blue will still be judged under the broken group. Some are proposing that they should be judged based on color groups instead.
It is quite obvious that this could mean that even if a colored Holland Lop is not that strongly typed but is the best among its group, it could get GCs and be at par with other rabbits with better type (which is usually a TORT). So we could see that the real quality is not being justified here.
On the other hand, this change could also be seen as an encouragement for color Holland Lop breeder to continue working on them. I understand people in general like to have varieties.
In my own humble opinion, based on what I have seen thus far, I believe that the colored Holland Lops are not yet ready for a group judging, buy they could be come 2016/2020 if breeders of typey TORTS start producing colors with their rabbits with strong genetic makeups. I could see that some top breeders has since started their color projects.
As for TLR, I will go for overall type, anytime!