Category Archives: Does
It’s another wonderful Saturday in sunny Klang Valley, Malaysia and what are the Tru-Luv rabbits up to? Nothing unusual just “basking” in the sun soaking in all the wonderful sun rays while munching away on hay and fresh vegetables. As of late, we have seen a number of deaths in the bunny circle and our deepest condolences for all who have lost their beloved bunnies. Seven years sure felt like a very long journey thus far and one by one, our favorites are leaving us. Each time a favorite passes here at Tru-Luv Rabbitry, we count our blessings not because we have one less to feed but more so of being able to journey with each individual from birth to death. We are glad to see each going through the entire life cycle. I guess we’re one of the species to be able to observe and be intrigued with the shorter life cycles of our pets – hamsters, birds, fishes, cats, dogs, and rabbits alike.
For every death, there is a birth and that is the hope we hold on to. Just like the first ray of sunlight every morning gives birth to a new day.
Until the day comes when our own life cycle comes to an end, I am sure we’ll have another bunny until our last breath. Simply because, we love to have (at least) a bunny in our lives.
NKOTB (New Kit On The Block) says HELLO!
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.
“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!
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!
Here wishing all my beloved readers The Merriest & Jolliest of Christmas filled with LOVE and PEACE in the presence of friends and family!
In a couple more weeks, we shall be bidding farewell to year 2011 and on 18th June 2012, Tru-Luv Rabbitry blog will be celebrating its 5th year anniversary. I cannot believe that I have been in this Holland Lop journey and blogging about it for 5 years already!
My all time favourite comment that I have received so far is – “You’ve come a long way, Baby! – Laurie Stroupe (9/3/2010)”. I do not think I will be here without the support from all the hardcore defenders/warriors/enthusiasts/hobbyists/partisans/true breeder of the Holland Lop breed.
I never fail to admire the many different styles that breeders distinctively breed into their Holland Lops in the USA and like them, I too have an idea of a distinctive style that I would like to have in the Tru-Luv line. Even in the USA, the Holland Lop lines goes way back to a few pioneers in the breed and what we have today are derived from those lines.
This year, although I have not been breeding my rabbits as much comparing to previous years, it has been quite a successful year for me as far as my goals and objectives are concern. Despite my busy schedule, my rabbits were able to produce a few litters and most of the kits has been pass along to fellow breeders and good pet owners.
What is left of all the litters produced in 2011 are only 2 that has the distinctive style that I would like to keep for the Tru-Luv line. They are not perfect but as time goes by, there will be improvements. The style that I like in my Hollands starts at the head. My emphasis for my perfect Holland Lop would be a huge/massive head and I like the “fierce” and “Don’t-mess-with-me-kinda” look. I like to see stumpy front legs and they must not be crooked/ski-boot style. I hate looking at a Holland Lop from the side and see its front legs folded like an “L” and my preference will be the same if I happen to keep Netherland Dwarfs. I would prefer to see a Holland Lop with straight front legs that firmly touches the surface of where it poses just like the huge legs on an elephant. I would love to see very prominent crown that starts right above the head just like how the SOP suggests but I believe there is still much work for me in this department. The overall body type for me should of course be as per the SOP and the hindquarters must always be “bootylicious”. I would like to produce a Holland Lop that looks massive even when it is bald – “sheer bone”.
I must admit that there is still much work to be done in order to satisfy the SOP entirely and at the same time establishing the style in my Holland Lops. The question is, did I achieve anything that is align with my goals in year 2011?
And as Frank Sinatra puts it, “I DID IT MY WAY”