Sometimes I wonder where did all my time go and 24 hours just do not seemed to be enough. At times I felt that I might be slowing down for whatever reason. During the initial days of this weblog, I can be juggling with so many things and yet was able to spend some time taking photos and post them. I really enjoy posting photos because I know there are many people out there who appreciate and enjoy looking at them. I spent a little time today taking photographs and promised myself to write a good article today.
In the past weeks, there has been some discussions and at times heated arguments about rabbit breeds. The discussions got heated up maybe because of some wrong choices of words on my part or perhaps it was some misunderstandings and misinterpretations on the intent of my status posted on Facebook. One of the discussions was about a hybrid rabbit called the Teddy Bear. My opinion is, it could possibly be a rabbit that can be categorized under the Lionhead breed as some are with manes. There is no working standard for this breed of course but the point really is, there is no doubt anyone can start creating their own breed. The question really is who or which body/organization/association will govern and scrutinize the breed standard or if there is a standard in the first place. Either way, I agree that it is just a hobby and we need not get too serious about pedigree breeds. I must also admit that at times, I am very particular and adamant in my cause for purebreed/pedigree breeds.
The reason for this excessive compulsive behaviour over pure breeds is because a lot of hard work and time (years) that has been used to develop each different breed. So when someone toys with the idea of mixing 2 different breeds (to produce a hybrid), the argument is why are we starting from scratch again? If one is not serious in developing a new breed or improving a certain breed, I am totally against it. My view is, every litter of rabbits born will require a certain amount of resources. It is a waste of resources to just “experiment” or to help a rabbit fulfil its circle of life. When we breed, we should ensure it is a good decision crossing 2 different rabbits. It is a game of chance with genetics but we should make good “judgment”.
No doubt even the Holland Lop was first developed by crossing 2 different breeds – French Lop and Netherland Dwarf. It is also mentioned that to improve its coat and fur texture, wool has been bred into the Holland Lop as well in the history of development of this breed. That is the reason why we have the “FUZZY HOLLAND LOPS” produced once in a while and they never fails to surprise or disappoint a Holland Lop breeder. Even after more than 20 years, we are still being haunted by the genes introduced during the hybrid days.
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I am totally against crossing a Fuzzy Holland & a Holland Lop deliberately on the pretence of producing “better” Fuzzy Hollands. There is no such thing as a “better” Fuzzy Holland Lop. The right thing to do is to breed a “Typey” Fuzzy Holland Lop to an American Fuzzy Lop to improve the American Fuzzy Lop. Bearing in mind that this process is also producing hybrids that does not have a full 3 generation American Fuzzy Lop pedigree. In any development, the fundamental is to use as much information possible to make the right decision in breeding. One of the most important document that can help in such decision is still the PEDIGREE. That is how important the pedigree is for without it, we are unable to know the possibilities of our breeding decision. Ask any seasoned breeder, and he or she will tell you to obtain the best specimen you can afford. I have the opportunity to work with a couple of breeders here in Malaysia that believes in that advise. They have the patience and right frame of mind to accept the fact that it is possible to produce good rabbits and only time will tell. They demanded no short cuts and enjoy the process of producing their own show stoppers. I myself is still working towards the same goal to be honest just like any other breeder out there. The carrot at the end of the stick is always ahead of us I must say.
There has been too many “School Of Thoughts” in this hobby and it really depends on what cause each “Guru” is sorting after and if the cause is a righteous one. And it also boils down to the objectives their “Followers” strive to achieve. We are indeed at a juncture where there is still a lot of education needs to be done and it is as though we’re going back to “NURSERY TIME”.
We must ask ourselves the following questions:
1. What is my objective of breeding?
2. What do I seek to produce?
3. Is it worth starting from SCRATCH (Hybrid)? If yes, am I committed to work towards a long term goal of 5 years and more to materialize a new standard?
4. Why am I starting from SCRATCH (Hybrid)? If yes, am I committed to work towards a long term goal of 5 years and more to materialize a new standard?
My advice is consistent with any seasoned breeder out there which is, get a couple of decent stocks and work towards a GOAL – Standard of Perfection and beyond…