I got a very interesting call today. One that is worth writing of. I can’t remember the name of the caller though (sorry, I am pretty bad with names sometimes). It started out pretty weird because the caller asked, “Is this Tru-Luv Rabbitry?”. Picking up a call like that somewhere outside of where the bunnies are tickles me a little. I always ask at the back of my head, “Hmm, can I say yes to this question?” – LOL!
Not really in the mood for bunny business today, I gave a pretty reluctant, YES and asked how I could be of help. She wanted a female rabbit from me. Before I write on, I would like to assure the caller (if she is reading this) that I am not trying to embarrass her or anything of that sort but this could serve as a very good example of how inquiries are handled.
She said that I was recommended by many reputable breeders and has bought a buck from another breeder. Then I asked her what was her objective for breeding. She said she wanted her family to have a huge Holland Lop family. To be honest I was pretty furious mentally for that answer given. My mind was literally saying, “Didn’t we just read about Pet Ethics the day before yesterday?”. Then I could hear a small voice saying, “Not everyone reads your blog, you moron! You think you’re super star now?”. LOL!
I took a deep breath and I asked, “Have you been to my blog and read some of the postings that I have written because I am pretty sure you are not aware of what I do and how I work with my rabbits”. I almost ended the conversation asking her to just visit my blog and read, read, read and read more!
I felt that would be a little arrogant so I asked her another question, “Do you know that I neuter pets before sending them to pet homes and I also have a no breeding agreement?”
She then asked, “You mean the rabbits are spayed or castrated before their owners get to keep them? Why? Is there a way that I can have an intact doe?”
And that started off my long winding “lecture” on the phone. I told her I get a lot of inquiries like hers and her reason for breeding is just like any other that I have heard and what I dread most. I then asked her a very simple question, “Do you know what is the breed standard for Holland Lop?”
She said yes and have learned of “Champ Breed”. In my heart, I was like “What The HELL?”. I then told her that there is no such term called Champ Breed. I allowed her to finish her explanation and she told me that she has gone to the breeder’s farm to pick out her buck and was taught many things about the Holland Lop. The breeder apparently gave her a little guide book to go with the buck she bought. She was pretty confident and told me that she could recognize between a good/nice rabbit and set them apart from the mix bred. She uses the term “Pure BRED” pretty well.
As far as the breed standard is concerned, she could only tell me that a Holland Lop is judged by its leg muscles and short and broad ears. I told her that was far from the truth.
I then asked her if the breeder (a pretty famous one) that she got her buck from ever gave her a PEDIGREE. She said no, just a little guidebook. I then explained to her that a pedigree is a birth cert with a 4 generation ancestry listing. To a good breeder, the guidebook is good thrash material and the pedigree is utmost important. Through the pedigree we know what line or lines the rabbit in question comes from. And through that little document, we are able to determine how we should move forward breeding it if it is WORTHY of a SHOW QUALITY material.
Let’s stop a moment and think about it. Which is more of a business tactic – to neuter pets or just selling bucks? What about issuance of pedigree? If the rabbits sold are from imported stocks, they must come with 4 generations pedigree. But breeders overseas also practice the non-issuance of pedigrees to PET QUALITIES. Therefore, this lady has bought a pet quality rabbit which is a NO NO for me to be used as a breeding animal. Irresponsible breeders can also use PET QUALITY as a reason or excuse for their MIX BREDs and that is the norm here in Malaysia. For me, No PEDIGREE, NOT PUREBRED! I issue pedigrees for all my animals and because the pets are neutered, there isn’t any issue of giving new owners a copy of the pedigree. At least I am honest to let my “customers” know the ancestry to the rabbits that they own and be proud of them.
I further told her that I would appreciate if someone coming to me knows the basics really well before putting 2 rabbits together to breed. Firstly, a breeder must know his/her line very well and what other lines do they mix well with. Putting a male and female or a buck and doe together is EXTREMELY easy but what they produce do not necessarily make life easy for us.
Secondly, a breeder must know what faults do their rabbits have and how to go about fixing these faults using another rabbit that is complimentary to the one in question.
Ask anyone what quality of rabbits do they prefer and 100% would say SHOW QUALITY. So what happens to the PET QUALITY? Any answer would be correct but the one that I hate most is ABANDONMENT.
It is very challenging to breed Holland Lops but it is not uncommon for them to produce up to 6 in a litter. The question is, do we want 100% pet quality in the litter or at least have 40% of show quality? Even with 40% winning chance, there could still be 60% of abandonment. Either way, check mate aren’t we? In my opinion, we work towards 100% non-abandonment!
So, my suggestion is. We must start off working with good quality so that the PETS would not quite be PET QUALITY. Do you get what I mean? Therefore, you will sometimes see me selling what seemed to be SHOW QUALITY as NEUTERED PETS not because I do not know how to evaluate my Hollands but I strongly believe in a good home for my rabbits. That is definitely not a business tactic for repeat sales!
I then told her that I take breeding as an advanced topic. I also told her as breeders, we must work to improve and not staying at the PET level because we all know what happens to PETS at the end of the day.
I really do hope that I wasn’t being rude and she sounded appreciative of my pointers. I told her and I want to tell everyone reading my blog that I welcome all inquiries. Anyone can feel free to approach me through email for advice and I will try my level best to help all cases. I am willing to guide everyone through.
What made me wrote this is again not to slander or embarrass the caller but I found her applaud-able because I like her attitude. I like the fact that she is very WILLING to share and learn at the same time. I am not claiming that I know everything but I have a vision for a better pet industry for all. We may not get that anywhere near in our lifetime but I really do hope that our younger generations would be able to enjoy healthy and beautiful animals as pets.
So do I end up selling anything? NO! Is that business? NO! Do I even have repeat sales? NO!
Will others be willing to accept my approach to breeding? HOPEFULLY
Did I get the message of RESPONSIBLE BREEDING across to the caller? HOPEFULLY
Did I get another person to understand my objectives and cause? YES, and that is all that MATTERS!
19 responses to “Thank You Caller!”
I’m proud of u…i’m glad someone is as bold as u to tell ppl straight forward…sometimes i get to “fierce” tat’s what my boyfriend said but i’m hoping to send the msg over to tat person i’m telling
Good post Tim… but maybe she wants to raise show quality rabbits like you? I think if she were SERIOUS I’d be more than happy to help her out. We all must work from somewhere.
I don’t know if I interpreted some of this wrong and got lost. Or if the reason you cannot sell an intact doe is because her future mate lacks pedigree.
Good job though, and love the people who are willing & wanting to learn. 🙂
I did tell her I am more than willing to help guide her and have given her some pointers on where to start.
Don’t think inwas picking on you, I just thought about my past… I was not sold very many good rabbits but did have one breeder who helped me out more than you can know… My first winners were my own breedings of two rabbits I knew nothing about, one from the pet store and one from the raffle table. These rabbits won mad legs and I guess I was just a natural.. Lol!!
Point is sometimes we need our own hurt and own experiences to grow. Sometimes we do not have the best to offer, but do have fine breeding stock. As long as one is willing to understand all that is good and bad, some more and feel it, I think we have a future rabbit breeder who will succeed.
You Tim know what I am trying to say. And that is why I sell rabbits as breeding or show, with honestly and empathize understanding what are the good and bad faults. Pet rabbits sold, of course, are just pets ONLY.
As I am sure it is much different in Malaysia because purebred quality stock I am sure is limited that is of decent quality to even work with in a breeding program.
But if there’s a will there’s a way.
You rock Susie!
You are definitely a natural. I don’t believe in flukes. I am sure you knew what you were looking for (a little at least) when you bought the rabbits from the pet store.
I believe all of us start somewhere and I must admit that I have had experience buying off pet stores. Mostly are bad experiences so yeah, I am not going to ever touch livestock at pet stores here anymore.
They are good for the pet supplies though…
Great entry! I applaud you for your patience to explain and help guide through the caller, I think I would’ve snapped somewhere along the line if someone was being so persistant that they know it all already. And yes, I cannot stress more (in the case for cats as well) that No pedigree, is No pure breed. Btw, Congratulations on the arrival of your new baby girl and your appearance on HMM, TV1 🙂
thanks a lot KP! See you soon!
She is soooo funny la.. 😛
I’ve been following your blog for ages, some read forwards and a lot read backwards, so I might not remember everything in order.
Everyone has to start somewhere. When you started out you wanted to breed quality hollands correct? What if this lady wants to do the same? How do you know if her buck is any different to your first animals? Your first rabbits are a very very long way from your current ones. If your are turning her away because her buck is of lesser quality, where might she turn next? You might create that very thing you didn’t want to (someone breeding only pet quality). If someone is determined to do something it is better to help them achieve it than turn them away.
I am very curious as to whether your friends in Melbourne continued to breed? I think you have mentioned many many times that you don’t support pet breeders, but those rabbits (although lovely I’m sure) were certainly not purebred with their aeroplane ears and long noses, etc. But you didn’t comdemn their rabbit breeding.
Please understand, I am not slamming you, I am asking questions. So please don’t go slamming me. I enjoy your blog, I have learnt many things and keenly follow the development of your kittens. I wish to continue to read this blog. But I have been somewhat confused about this topic (of your thoughs about other people breeding rabbits) for a while and curiosity has gotton the better of me, I need to ask the question.
Thank you for visiting my blog. Hope the following answer your question.
Firstly, it has come to a point whereby I am doing whatever I can myself and ensure whatever I am doing is proper and right. I cannot govern what others do and it is their own free will to do whatever they want. I can only set an example. My friends in Melbourne has since stopped breeding and if I remember correctly, they even neutered their rabbits.
Yes, I started off somewhere and realizes my mistake fast. If you noticed, I stopped breeding and petted out my rabbits the moment I realized my mistake. I hope that starters do not start off like me. I want them to go for the best to begin with.
As for this caller, I am more than willing to help her on. I have requested her to obtain a pedigree from her breeder. I want her to start off the right footing by knowing her lines well and continue issuing pedigrees for her rabbits for better tracing of lineage in future.
Please remember that I am most of the time alone in this “crusade” and I am no body to govern or impose rules and regulations on others. I am just doing my part in ensuring whatever that comes from me is proper. That’s it. PERIOD.
Really appreciate your input and I hope that answers your question.
Thanks Tim! I’m really glad to hear that you are helping the lady along!
I am also super glad you didn’t get upset about my questions, because I really do want to keep reading your blog! I am probably about where you were with the Rabbit H*** (is that the name?) rabbits, progressed a little bit, but a loooong way from where I want them to be. I have been finding it extremely difficult to obtain quality minilops (I’m australian) and to find advice, there are a million and one people breeding minilops, but sorting through to find the worthy information and breeders, can be veru difficult. You site it definitely up there on my regular read list!
I appreciate questions. I am not perfect and sometimes I may overlook certain things.
If I remember correctly, Australia has banned importation of rabbits? I believe that is a huge problem that is causing breeders like you to move forward in a faster pace. Did you attend the Easter Rabbit Show held recently? I have seen some pictures and there were some very awesome Miniature Lops!
You can find fellow breeders who are willing to share their stocks with you so that you can move forward with your herd.
Thanks for reading my blog. Hope we can keep in touch and continue learning from each other.
I guess Tim’s way is just sharing his own mistake and experience.. it’s good that someone points out the mistake and share out their experience…what’s better than learning from your own mistakes is learning from other people’s mistakes…wish u manage to set up your mini lop breed hope to see a good breeder up and about.^_^
Hey, I read about u in The Star paper the other day. I am really glad that there’s responsible people like u that is not just into money. I am a bunny lover and once had a white lop ear bunny for 3 years but he died 2 weeks ago. Though I took him to the vet and the vet said he was fine, he died 2 days after. Cried like crazy and am still sad about it. Somehow knowing there’s people like u out there seems to cheer me up a little 🙂 Keep up the good work!
Sorry for your loss and thank you so much for the encouragement. It is getting harder each day being the target of slanders and ridicule.
Don’t be discourage. When we work on things we are passionate about, there always will be people out there who just don’t seem to understand or care. But, I am sure that knowing your bunnies are with responsible owners and they are well taken care of definitely pays off 🙂 And I am sure, pet lovers out there will appreciate your efforts!
Thank you very much.
You should ask the caller Who the hack is the ‘famous holland lop breeder’! and list here BIG BIG.
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