Category Archives: Ramblings

A Lesson For The Greedy

Cuteness is a double edge sword – it is either a blessing or a curse. For the Holland Lop rabbit, it is a curse when the breed falls into the hands of greedy people. By greedy I mean people who only have money on their minds. They think they can capitalize on the cuteness and make a quick buck. That is the reason that there has been a long hiatus in updating this blog. On one hand, I felt sorry for so many rabbits being used as commodities while on the other, I jump for joy because the assumption of it being a lucrative business has since made a few idiots lost a lot of money. Yippie Dee Dee Doo DaaaAaa…..

You see, after all said and done, it is a fact that it is very challenging to even produce one decent Holland Lop that is comparatively similar in quality of those in better climate compared to ours. I have wrote about this a few times over the years since 2007 and no one seemed to pay attention or perhaps they just do not understand English all that well. We are dealing with highly adaptable prey animals that are right at the bottom of the food chain. How do you think rats survive in the most hostile environment?

Whatever it is, I am happy that the hype is finally dying down and more rabbits will be spared from suffering in the hands of these “make-shift” and “trading” breeders.

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Temperament

Breeding for sound temperament should always be one of the objectives any breeder should strive for. Temperament is not only imprinted genetically but can also be achieved through proper handling and interaction with your pet rabbits.

So here’s joining the bandwagon for this week’s hottest/trending incident. I dedicate this one to Uncle Sim – kudos for keeping your cool!

SoundQuality

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No More Pet Expo For Me

Since the longest time, there is a yearly and much ado hype around this Pet Expo that takes place in one of Malaysia’s largest shopping malls. It boast to be “the” place for all pet lovers and it is the largest gathering of anything related to pets – product suppliers and breeders from all over Malaysia. My last visit was 3 years ago and it was about time I revisit this “big” event now that my children have taken a keen interest in animals.

The only good thing that I can take away from this event is the vast variety of good animal products from a wide range of raw, holistic to organic offerings. Conventional kibbles are still selling like hot cakes. Whatever product a supplier is carrying, there is a subtle message that says, “mine is the best”. I can only sympathize misinformed pet owners that may be sucked into the whirlwind of “which is the best” tornado.

Yes, the wide range of good animal products is the only observation I appreciated during the entire visit. The huge amount of dislike will be discussed throughout the rest of this blog entry.

Three years on, looks like nothing have change as far is animal welfare is concerned. I had the “privilege” to see under aged puppies, cats, hamsters, sugar gliders, rabbits, guinea pigs, raccoons, prairie dogs and everything in between. There is this little booth that was bursting with large number of small animals caged up and another with puppies caged up – all up for sale. Whatever that can have a value on its head, is up for sale.

The most heart wrenching and appalling thing for me was that a few steps away from all these booths, you will find the likes of SPCA, PAWS and MDDB booths. Welfare organization looks like a very lucrative business to me in because all I see is a few sad looking puppies/dogs and a huge donation box filled with cold hard CASH!

How do I look at it?

If you have ever played the game called “CATCHING” or “POLICE AND THIEVES” back in school days, that’s exactly how I see the entire situation. HYPOCRISY at its best. My mind literally formed an image of the pet sellers going, “Nay, Nay, Nay, Nay, Nay – You cannot catch me” in the face of all these welfare societies and associations. It is utterly shameful.

The amount of effort to form and run such welfare societies should really be used to form task forces that targets and solve the “root” cause rather than being at the end of the “life cycle” of the problem. Animal welfare societies that concentrate too much of their effort in rescue is really breeding and encouraging pet sellers to sell more. Why should they worry because you will always be there to clean up the mess and after sales. What we need is a society that goes around shutting down bad/deplorable breeding facilities, put animal abusers behind bars and much more!

I guess all these are but for the idealistic minds because looking at how the nation is plagued with human welfare issues, we should not expect anything less or more when it comes to animals. But do not be surprised how the priority has changed for pet owners. We have humans living in deplorable condition but a lucky pooch eats holistic organic dog food which I myself cannot afford.

We rather splurge on a creature that loves us unconditionally but failed to love a fellow human unconditionally. That is just how ludicrous the situation is.

So now that I have written on my views, what action am I taking or what I am going to do about it? As for this nay sayer, I will never ever buy a ticket for such an expo and definitely will not ever buy a pet from such an expo/establishment that sells under age animals. It is of course easy for me to type my grievances behind the keyboard but, I (and all of us for the matter) is far more powerful than we think. We are the consumers that have the full power to make a change. After what I have seen today, I am reclaiming back that power. The power to stop buying.

When the buying really stops, then the killings can (truly be stopped) too….

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Why I So Like That?

Twenty days has passed since my last post. Time just flies when you are having fun or when you are busiest. Honestly, it is very difficult to find inspiration to write about bunnies these days or should I say how much can one write about rabbits?
I feel that I have came to a very comfortable position with my rabbits because (touch wood) they are all in good health and I am not facing as much challenges with the way I am raising them at the moment. I count that as a success for a hobbyist of seven years.
Besides from getting a few inquiries every other day, it is (bunny) business as usual in the ravbitry these days. Quite mundane sometimes just to do bunny chores in between the busy work schedule. Age is also catching up and every move seemed to be slowing down.
Every once in a while I take a peek at what is going on in the local rabbit world and things are still the same. Same old habits, same old problems and same old dramas.
When you are too involved and in the know of all the happenings in the rabbit world, human behaviors can often be the most draining factor in the hobby. That is the reason why I have taken a step back and refocus my attention on my rabbits.
It is not something new that people will undercut you and cheat you outright but I must say that all these experiences will mould you into a different person from when you start off in the hobby.
The funniest incident that stood out among the rest that I can recall clearly is how a young teenager was trying to be a broker by advertising my rabbits for a higher price. His intention was to strike a deal double my listed price and obtain the rabbit from me. I thought that was a very smart move coming from a young kid.
I am glad that I no longer need to advertise any rabbits for sale because of many reasons and one of which is that I have a long list of prospective adopters.
So if you ask why some breeders behave the way they do, it is because of all the bad experiences they have gone through dealing with people who take advantage of them and I for one have no time to deal with all the bullshit some of these people dish out.
And yes, it is only rabbits and our rabbits’ welfare should be our top priority and focus.
Have a good Bun-day!

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Culling Most Foul

I am not sure if you have watched the video of Marius being “dissected” in front of a group of zoo goers. I regret watching it because it is really disturbing and is beyond my imagination how a giraffe can be slaughtered and “sliced apart” like your regular live stock. I do consume beef, mutton and chicken just as long as I do not see how they are killed. But a giraffe?!

Taken from the World Wide Web through Google Search.

Taken from the World Wide Web through Google Search.

How can someone possibly kill (without remorse) such an innocent face and have it sliced to pieces before feeding lions with one of the pieces?

This is beyond my imagination, and that my friends, is a form of culling!

Culling a sick animal to relief it from all that it is suffering can be considered humane but to kill a poor little helpless, healthy giraffe bred in captivity is too cruel in my opinion. Killing it to avoid narrowing the gene pool is unacceptable in my opinion. He should be transferred to another zoo if they are really sincere and genuine in conservation of this otherwise majestic animals.

How I wish the world is a little more compassionate…

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Over Sensitivity

Just wanted to pen down my thoughts today about character assassination and marriage of convenience.

For most of you who have been following this blog, you will notice that I often write about my thoughts and some of which agreable while others may irk you. At the end of the day, whatever I write remains as my observations and plainly put, opinions. There is a saying that goes, “Opinions are like assholes. Everybody’s got one and everyone thinks everyone else’s stinks.” And I cannot agree more. But notice that the saying is not calling someone else an asshole but instead, it is referring to the opinions. See how different it is between the issue versus the person?

As of late I feel that there has been fanaticism surrounding the hobby here. I believe that over idolizing something can bring much harm to humanity. To be passionate about rabbits is very different from wishing harm upon someone else because of rabbits or any objects that inspire the action. I do not think any person with the right frame of mind would slander someone else just because of rabbits. For one to go to that extreme, it is quite apparent that it must be motivated by something else perhaps money, fame or some sort of sadistic fetish. It makes me wonder what can be so bad to make people who are supposedly educated, hold position in religious establishment and public office or even the educators can go to he extent of defaming and slandering someone else. It speaks a lot about their character and upbringing even. No one can ever blame the religion because humans tend to work around the religion to suit themselves.

I count my blessings because of the many oppotunities to work with successful people and how they discuss issues and not people. For me, I take special interest in wanting to know the psychology and motivation behind the actions. Again, I am interested to know about issues.

I do not remember at any point of time publicly naming names of people who have wronged me. I leave that to the politicians during their pitch for office speech.

We are all matured enough or should be matured enough to utilize our reasoning skills to differentiate between issues and people. That’s if we do have a brain of our own. I cannot deny the fact that there are more followers than leaders in this world and that brings me to the topic of how followers leverage on each other to gain strength – marriage of convenience.

If you have ever deal with bullies in school, you should know that individually, they are cowards. Cowards gain strength from each other because they do not have the courage to act alone.

Wikipedia defines marriage of convenience as follows:-
A marriage of convenience (plural marriages of convenience) is a marriage contracted for reasons other than the reasons of relationship, family, or love. Instead, such a marriage is orchestrated for personal gain or some other sort of strategic purpose, such as political marriage. In the cases when it represents a fraud, it is called sham marriage.

Based on the definition, you can see where “hypocriticism” comes from. Well, why is it not hypocritic? I don’t really enjoy being in your company but heck, you have got what I want.

Birds of the same feather flock together and let me tell you, it really is a snake pit waiting to explode into a huge brawl when someone snaps.

After all that has been said and done, what has it got to do with rabbits? It has the world to do with rabbits because we will not be able to resolve the issues without first recognizing them.

So what is your focus?
1) Satisfaction of owning a pet/companion
2) Feeding your ego knowing that you own a “branded” living creature
3) The trophy which may promise a fortune with the right marketing gimmick (not applicable to hobbyist seeking to break even)
4) Enjoying the stages of development of a pet
5) Socializing with people of similar interest
6) Just to fit in
7) Just to prove someone right
8) Just to annoy someone
9) Give other people something to copy and paste
10) Just doing something until you figure out what to do

Is it your rabbit’s needs or simply your enormous expectation, aspiration, motivation or simply infatuation?

To each his own and did I tickle your tiny little over sensitive nerve? If yes, that is your problem not mine because someone I adore once told me, you can never offend anyone but it is one that chooses to be offended or not.

I have a brain of my own with its own preferences and making them known is by no means trying to indoctrinate or impress upon others what I believe.

I only wish that you have a brain of your own that functions well in the department of reasoning and do not be influenced by my thoughts.

Happy Bunday!
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How Far Will You Take This Craze?

I am very grateful to have many amazing mentors in this bunny hobby throughout the years and I will never forget what one of my mentors told me about Holland Lop rabbits living against the odds in the warmer climate here in Malaysia and the high humidity level that do have adverse effect on them as well. This mentor of mine illustrated verbally exactly how imported rabbits will “transform” in their next generations.

Over the years I can clearly see the toll it (the weather) has taken on many imported rabbits. One issue clearly stands out among the many issues raising “show quality” rabbits here in Malaysia. Of course it does not take a genius to question such issues but the most prominent problem faced by seasoned breeders here is BREEDING.

There are many theories that has been derived through experiences and observations but tonight I would like to share my opinions on some of the problems that I have observed throughout the years.

We all know that breeding is an act by living creatures to increase the numbers of the species and I strongly believe that it will be successful only if the environment is conducive. There should be a certain level of comfort before any living organism can thrive.

Even if the environment is conducive, prey animals like rabbits tend to “adapt” faster compared to animals higher in the food chain. The need to survive can quickly affect the physical traits of prey animals.

In order to conform to the “breed standards”, physical traits make up almost 90% of the judging criteria for fancy rabbits like the Holland Lop and Netherland Dwarf breeds. And this is where Malaysian bred rabbits fair poorly against the imports. And for the imports, it depends on how fresh they are from the “import oven” and how close they are between landing in the airport and on the show tables.

Ear Length

I have seen pictures taken of Netherland Dwarfs with perfect short ears prior to importation and after 6 months, the same show winning Netherland Dwarfs can look like any regular “mongrel” rabbits here in Malaysia.

I realized that it is not because the ears have grown much longer since arrival but in fact, have lost so much fur that the base of the ears are exposed making them look longer than desired. And because physical traits are judged based on how they look to the naked eye, such “length” can be deemed as a fault.

Flesh Condition

I can safely say that it is summer all year round for Malaysia and rabbits tend to eat less in warmer climate. Feeding less nutritious pellets can make matters worst as far as flesh condition is concerned because less food intake will only make rabbits look scrawny. I have found that Genesis Ultra Premium pellets helped a lot as compared to all other brands that I have tried so far. The nutrition needed to maintain a reasonable amount of flesh condition can be achieve because of the wholesome nutrition offered by the pellets. But the fact remains the same that rabbits will not be as massive compared to those living in cooler condition where they eat more and put on more mass thus making them look massive.

Breeding

As for breeding, I have many observations and there are many reasons that I can see affecting the rabbits in this area. I believe cooler temperature does help to a certain extend and bucks can go sterile easily in the heat.

Solutions?

I have learned that if you are going to complain about something, the least you can do is offer solution but it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out the solution. If heat is the problem, then deal with it. Duh! I am just stating the obvious. If breeding is the problem, then deal with it. There are many alternatives to infertility. You can really do Artificial Insemination and they really have a lot of success with the Pandas. You can also do In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) but that is really an insult to the human community because it is such an expensive procedure to be done on RABBITS! And the latest craze is of course hormone injections. OMG, it is just like administering BOTOX!

But do you really want to do that?

My stand with unnatural intervention is very clear. If a rabbit have problems, it only means that the environment is not conducive and unsuitable. Don’t you think that there is something wrong with the picture? “Breed Like Rabbits” is a very valid statement but why don’t certain rabbits breed like rabbits?

And the desperation for fancy breeders to get their rabbits to reproduce is absolutely unbelievable because of the distance they will go to “squeeze” babies out of these imported rabbits. It has come to a point that this hobby is fast becoming questionable. “Passion vs. Greed”, “Return On Investment”, or even “Do They Really Belong Here?”

I think we all really have to pause a little moment to think about life and what is really important here. If you want any animal to thrive naturally, it must be adaptable even if it means losing certain “desired” physical traits.

Can’t we settle for how a rabbit look, naturally?

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Marble & Pocket

Due to recent events and life’s experiences, I would love to write a little story to brighten up everyone’s day. Here goes…

Once upon a time, there lived Marble and Pocket.

Marble is a very special thing because it can multiply itself and there is never an end to the number of Marble to be found. In short, you can almost not run out of Marble.

On the other hand, Pocket is a very lonely thing. It always feel empty since whatever that is placed in Pocket, will always leave Pocket. They never stay permanently.

One fine day, Pocket met Marble and soon Pocket realized that Marble multiplies. Each time Pocket felt hungry, Pocket would complain to Marble and seeing how pitiful Pocket was, Marble voluntarily sell some of itself to get Pocket some food. Then, Pocket thought of a fantastic idea because Marble cannot stop multiplying in Pocket that space was running out.

Pocket started selling all except one Marble and soon Marble felt used and abused.

To cut the story short, Marble left Pocket and Pocket felt all alone again.

And the moral of the story is…

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Faking It

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I have seen a great deal of interesting behavior when competition gets rough. It happens when people prefer to act selfish for self gain. I remember clearly in the past how competition brings out the “best behavior” when my father joined a fishing competition. Feeling impressed by another angler’s good fortune, my father humbly approached the “lucky guy” and asked what ingredients did he use as part of the bait. That guy just blurted out some nonsense which did not make sense and my father took that as a queue to stop asking. Of course in the business world there are many trade secrets that cannot be revealed in fear of losing out in the fierce competition.

As of late, I am seeing this selfish trend in the rabbit world. One in particular is when breeders snap photos of their rabbits with packaging of certain brand of rabbit food as background in hope of “promoting” the brand in question.

Unfortunately, there are many cases where the breeders do not actually feed that brand as depicted but the beautiful rabbit is the product of another brand instead.

There are many reasons however why people resort to such behavior and below are just some that I can think of:-

The Need For Acceptance

Being social being we humans tend to seek acceptance to gain a sense of belonging within a certain group of people we think might be beneficial to us. They know that their rabbits do not thrive on the depicted brand but just want to “kiss the ass” of certain people to be accepted within the group or it is a diplomatic way to be “in good terms”. I call that HYPOCRITIC

Competition Elimination

So that no one else have nice rabbits, showing others to the way to a product that does not work well can be used as an option to get rid of the competition.

So what are the implications of these tactics?

#1 – Misinformed Newbies
Those suffer the most are the new people starting off in the hobby. Their rabbits are not given the good diet and since they are misguided, they will eventually give up the hobby.

#2 – Good Products Made Unavailable
With the misconception, due credit is not given to the good product which slowly affect the availability of such product. In the long run the selfish people themselves not being able to have access to the product their rabbits thrive on.

So what can we do?

Simply, give credit where credit is due!

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One Hit Wonders

As the year 2011 draws to a close, I would like to just take a step back and share my observation of the “bunny situation” here in Malaysia. We all know that 2011 is the year of the rabbit. Due to that reason, there has been an influx of rabbit experts that has mushroomed right before the Chinese New Year. Seeing how disposable pet rabbits are, many has taken it as an opportunity to make some quick bucks (money not rabbit gender). We can even read in one of the local dailies that Malaysia has more than 50 breeds of rabbits but at the end of the day, I could only see one – mixed breed. I mean we do have pure breeds that comes with pedigrees but many do not even know what a pedigree is.

I am sure most of you have heard of the term “One Hit Wonder” before. One Hit Wonders often cause euphoria when they appear in the market out of a sudden with something catchy but as fast as they appeared, they usually disappear leaving behind a trail of havoc and huge mess! There are a few like that in the rabbit market and I believe many has fallen victim. Examples are those who issue fake pedigrees just to increase the prices of rabbits, using a different stud rabbit from the initial agreement, selling average rabbits for top dollar stocks and much, much more! It is a huge mess I tell ya!

These One Hit Wonders also became expert overnight claiming to know much just because they are good at using the bunny lingo (they actually do not even understand themselves). Suddenly we have experts started using terms like DQ and slip crown and the best part is, every rabbit has a slip crown according to them! Lucky for me, I can sniff a wannabe from miles away!

Not only they leave a huge mess in terms of rabbits, they also have a cult following of misinformed bunny owners. These blind leaders not only lead the blinds but, they poke out the eyes of those with perfect eye sight. I guess those with perfect eye sight deserve to be blind anyway for easily fooled by all the sweet “rubbish” talk.

Then out of a sudden, everyone started looking for “Show Quality” rabbits. I just feel like as if, this whole bunny world is filled with parrots instead of real human who love rabbits. When asked about the definition of Show Quality, the answers came in all sorts. Show Quality according to them are “imports”, “they look fat and chubby”, “pedigree rabbit”, “they look like bulldog” (super parrot) and “they are very cute”.

Honestly, I have no patience to deal with One Hit Wonders and their cult followers because I found that many will not be in the hobby long enough to have an objective with all the “Show Quality” rabbits that they have acquired. Why would I want to waste my time and rabbit on someone who will not be in it for long term? I do not like to deal with potential abandonment cases.

So as the Year of the Rabbit comes to a close and now that we are awaiting for the Year of the Dragon, what happens to all these One Hit Wonders?

As I was having dinner with my family, an image came to my mind and since my father is a good artist, I told him of the image I had in mind. After dinner, we spent 2 hours in his little art studio and we came out with the following painting.

Enter The Dragon

Ouch!

As a conclusion, I hope all these One Hit Wonders will now start playing with the Dragon and get flamed on the BUTT!

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