Tag Archives: Netherland Dwarf

Goodbye Tiramishu

Sonshine’s Goodie Two Shoes or Michum as she is fondly known, this beautiful little Netherland Dwarf came to us directly from the USA in December 2009.

Proudly owned by our dear friends Adesh and Shahfiq, she lived an amazing 10 years filled with tons of love and care.

Today we pay tribute to this amazing little doe who outlived most of her peers.

Binky free and find the rest of the herd at Rainbow Bridge. You will have Truffles waiting for you as well as all the TLR bunnies!

Rest In Peace Michum!

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Filed under Friends Of Tru-Luv, Obituary

What’s the difference?

I shall try to answer the following questions in this post:-

1) Why pedigree rabbits raised in Malaysia look different from those raised in UK or USA?

2) What is selective breeding?

3) What is natural selection?

Recently, a fellow rabbit enthusiast asked why there is a vast difference in the appearance of Netherland Dwarfs in Malaysia compared to those in the USA and UK. Even those imported tend to look different after a while living in Malaysia.

The question brought back memories when I first started raising imported Holland Lops. When shown a photo of a Holland Lop, the first question a colleague of mine (who have no interest at all in the rabbit hobby) asked was whether the climate/weather here in Malaysia is suitable. An optimistic me at that point of time confidently said yes because I am a strong believer that genetics alone governs every living being. It is a very good question simply because weather is one of the factor that governs adaptability. The topic of weather was also raised during a visit by a breeder friend a few years back. I was still very optimistic and adamant about my stand that genetic is still the main determining factor. But of course, the thought has always been lingering at the back of my mind and I have always been open to the possibilities.

Another thing that needs to be considered is the natural food chain. Rabbits fall under the lower level of the food chain as they are prey animals. That is the reason why they have higher reproduction rate to increase the chances of survival. Reproduction rate is not the only way prey animals increase their chances of survival of the species. They must also be highly adaptive to their surroundings, climate and weather included!

I would like to start off this “proof of concept” post by looking at another species in the animal kingdom. We know that dogs are one of the domesticated animals that has been around for a very long time. To date, there are more than 150 different dog breeds registered under the American Kennel Club. Why do we have so many different breed of dogs? The answer is simple. They not only come from different parts of the world but they all have different functions or usages. Some as guard dogs, gun dogs or just companion dogs. Every dog breed is said to be traced back to the wolf.

So how did we derive so many dog breeds from this…

A grey wolf. Picture taken from National Geographic (http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/wolf/).

To this…

The Dachshund. Image taken from Dog Family (http://www.dogfamily.org/dachshund-5.html)

And to this?

The Chihuahua, smallest dog in the world. Picture by Katie Mancine.

From the wolf to the Chihuahua lies many years of Selective Breeding. In my own words, Selective Breeding means choosing to propagate a certain “desired” trait. For example, if smaller animals are desired, specimens exhibiting such traits are bred in order to reproduce more of the same kind. Those exhibiting unwanted traits will not be used in the breeding program.

Now let’s take a look at the rabbit species. The hare or wild rabbit can be seen as the root of which the domesticated rabbits originated from.

A Belgian Hare.  A rare breed and closest to the hare in the wild.

In between the Hare, and along the way we specially selected this…

Gimli the Dwarf Lord. Picture taken from the internet.

We did not breed Gimli into rabbits but we chose to breed more of the DWARF gene in the breeding program and produced the like of this…

A Netherland Dwarf rabbit. Picture courtesy of Chestnut Pictures.

And of course the Holland Lop…

A Holland Lop rabbit. Another well known dwarf breed.

Comparing between the Belgian Hare and the Holland Lop, one may ask how in the world can an animal with huge, long ears and long back feet be turned into one that has a rounded body with short and lopped ears?

As much as we like to tweak nature by using selective breeding, we are of no threat to Mother Nature. The #1 opponent of selective breeding is NATURAL SELECTION. Natural selection in my own words is when a living being changes its own characteristic(s) to thrive in different (extremes) environment. Rabbits as we all know regulate their body temperature through their ears since they have no means of sweating. The ears are where the major veins are and that helps bring temperature down.

Even with the dwarf gene, most Holland Lops bred locally in Malaysia tend to have longer ears.

A Holland Lop needs longer ears to keep itself cool?

Or is it?

Part of me tells me that genetics govern how large a rabbit should grow, how long their ears and large their heads should be. And part of me also tells me that being animal of prey, they need to be highly adaptable. The difference can be seen rather clearly in the next generation itself. In fact, the changes to external appearances can already be seen in the imports as well.

Look at the above picture carefully. The first picture was taken on the day this Netherland Dwarf arrived in Malaysia. The bottom left picture was taken after a few months living in Malaysia. The picture on the right with red dotted line shows what the rabbit lost after a few months living in Malaysia. The question is, what has the rabbit lost?

The answer is obvious, nothing but its fur! Without 20% of fur on its head, the ears suddenly look much longer and the muzzle looks narrower.

Can you see how fast an animal of prey needs to adapt in order to survive?

Do you see ladies dressing up in mink coats walking down Kuala Lumpur town? NO…

Do you see Siberian Huskies in Malaysia looking like those living in the Arctic? NO…

Will you find Polar Bears in the dessert? NO…

So I can safely conclude that we can never produce Holland Lop rabbits that are better than those in the USA unless like the penguins in their special temperature controlled enclosure (at Zoo Negara), we provide a simulated environment. The question is, should we produce air-conditioned rabbits here in Malaysia? Or should we allow natural selection to take its course and love our rabbits as they are?

As for me, I submit to the fact that weather and natural selection do play its role in changing the physical appearances of our rabbits. There is no way we can avoid that happening. But instead of providing a simulated environment, the best solution we have found lies in Genesis Ultra Premium Rabbit Food.

The weather plays a great role in the rabbit’s appetite. Besides from losing fur condition, our rabbits loose their appetite and thus, loses flesh condition at the same time. We can never force our rabbits to eat more when they do not want to. As the saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”. But before I divulge the details, allow me to tell you more about squirrels. We all know that squirrels are often found collecting seeds and food during spring time. The food stuff is consumed during the cooler days.

Even for humans, we tend to have better appetite while being in a cooler location. The steamboat dinner up in the highlands taste extra good and I even found myself eating larger portions at Indianapolis (Autumn/Fall).

Without air-conditioning, what can we do when our rabbits do not have appetite? They are of course thinner/leaner than we like them to be. Can we boost the energy content in their daily ration? How do we do that when they do not have the appetite in the first place? Feeding a diet that is too rich may upset their sensitive stomach.

This is where the Genesis Ultra Premium Rabbit food play its role to help keep our rabbits in better condition here in Malaysia. The Omega 3 & 6 is to help boost the coat condition. The only rabbit food in the market containing Omega 3 & 6. Genesis promotes healthy digestion through digestive enzymes, probiotics and prebiotics.

And remember that I mentioned that rabbits eat less due to decreased appetite in warmer condition?

That can be solved with Genesis Ultra Premium Rabbit food because it is formulated to promote optimal nutrient absorption! Which means, your rabbit gets all it needs nutritionally to thrive and bloom with a small portion of the food and without supplements. Eating less is exactly what is desired here. Ever heard of the saying “Less is more”?

Well, at least this is one of my proven findings working with imported rabbits for the past 5 years.

Don’t believe what I say, try it out today!

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Filed under Rabbit Genetics, Thoughts

Netherland Dwarf for Adoption (Neutered)

Bailey

Dear readers,

Bailey is a neutered buck and litter trained. Please spread the word around and email furrybutts@hotmail.com for more information. Please find Bailey a loving home.

Thank you.

BunnyMan

 

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Filed under For Adoption

Oil Spills…

I wonder what most of my readers think about the oil spills that is happening right now. Look at all the pitiful animals affected and in fact unnecessary lost of lives.

As I write, I am truly sorry for the same that is happening to our (Malaysia) rabbit world right now. Mass breeding is like the act of draining earth off its natural resources. The lack of outlets to handle the “overproduction” is affecting all of us right now.

One very obvious sign is when Pet Shop starts to sell alleged “Purebreds”. The problem is the term Pet Quality. It is often overuse or should I say over rated. There are many levels to the quality of animals but those that end up in Pet Stores/Shops are no different from those that end up in Shelters, Animal Welfare and Rescuers.

Like oil spills, unwanted pets can spill SILENTLY as well and kills ever slowly. Many breeders are taking the easy way out and taking the fast solution of supplying their lesser stocks to pet shops/stores. Livestock has very high profit margin which is above 100% for the pet stores/shops. So imagine how much you can save going straight to the breeder. But please be prepared for some “shockers” during farm visits. Maybe it wouldn’t come across as “shockers” as I am pretty sure the cuteness can be very blinding. Whatever it is, good luck. I wouldn’t walk down that road if I were you…

Be an informed pet lover/buyer today! Demand for a pedigree with 4 generations of ancestry listing when you purchase a bunny. If we do not stand for something, we will never stand for anything! Yes, it may be a very small or petty issue but if we cannot do something as small as this the RIGHT way, what else can we look forward to?

Think logically, if the breeder is anywhere near a good one, his/her animals should not reach the pet shop. They should take the responsibility to ensure that their animals be placed in a good home and know the movements of their animals well!

Stop the SPILL today!

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Filed under Bunny Business, Ramblings

Baby Mishu

It’s been a while since we last seen this little girl. Here’s a couple of photos of her.

Mishu and Paddington

What?

That's me!

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Filed under Does, Friends Of Tru-Luv, Living Elsewhere

Moshi Mishu!

What a cutie pie!

Fiesty little girl!

Don't you just love her?

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Filed under Does

Happy Chinese New Year 2010 Everyone!

I believe that I finally have something long to write and with loads of photos. Since it is a joyous occasion, I would like to spend some extra time posting a long one. This is my birthday treat to everyone!

First up, I am sure all of you remember this post and will definitely remember this photo:

I am glad to announce that after almost 5 months and 2 litter of babies, THUNDER IS BACK!

Ohh La La!

A little more and he'll be complete!

Isn't he CUTE?

And I wonder how many of the little torts would be like him. Either way, I am pretty sure they will be good stuff!

They just can't stop moving!

Sibylla is growing up pretty too. Right now she has a little “drain” in the middle of her head where the white patch is. There is a huge crater on top of her head in between the ear cartilages.

Can't wait for her to finish her molt

Since I setup my backdrop near where the FurryButts are, I just can’t resist the temptation to snap a few photos of them too. First up was Buttons. She is so huge that she practically took up the entire platform. She is approximately 4x Sibylla’s size. If she gets any bigger, she can pass as a Flemish Giant. She is just so nice to cuddle with. So much meat!

And she can pose too!

Bailey on the other hand is a very shy boy. I think he misses Hans a lot and part of his confidence seemed to have faded away. I take time to handle him everyday for at least 10 minutes but there isn’t much improvements. He loves his little box very much.

Shy guy

Then we have little Yohji boy. It seemed like yesterday when Yohji was born. It was a very cold rainy morning. Unix had her little of 6, let me recall their names Yohji, Bandie, Adinna, Floppie, Mirrhi & Kiki! Their father was Lumix. It was Unix’ 1st litter and all of them survived.

Unix

Lumix

It was my first attempt to develop the Holland Lops using the local lop ears and I must say looking at Yohji, I was pretty close. He has nice crown and has decent bone on him. He could easily pass off as a normal or brood buck.

Yohji the vain pot!

Another cute shot of him

I should have added some mandarin oranges as props but I believe Buttons and Yohji is “orangy” enough for such a joyous occasion.

Here wishing everyone A Happy Chinese New Year, Gong Xi Fa Cai and travel safe throughout this festive season!

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Filed under Bucks, Does, Friends Of Tru-Luv, In The Nestbox, Juniors

FurryButts @ Meadow Haven

Since we are unable to get updates from http://furrybutts.wordpress.com, we brought the entire clan out and parked them at Meadow Haven – LOL!

That just doesn’t sound right at all. The truth is that SB will be away for the Chinese New Year celebration and Buttons, Yohji & Bailey just do not have anywhere else to go. Honestly, I do not normally take it boardings but I just can’t refuse the FurryButts! So here they are and boy am I glad to have them. The three of them will be so pampered and my first project with them is manicure and pedicure – LOL!

Does that mean that I am not gonna have a life come CNY? Oh well, isn’t it the year of the rabbit? LOL!!! You guessed it right, I am having a Tiger Bunny year!

I just hope that Buttons and Yohji will get used to the smaller space that I am providing for them. Here are some pics of them and I sure hope they do them justice!

Bailey getting used to the new environment

I am a house bunny you moron, why am I behind bars?

Buttons striking a pose like the usual

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Filed under Random Topics

Tiramishu’s day!

Had a great day messing with Tiramishu today. She is so darn cute and small!

Mishu all relaxed

Such a cutie!

She likes posing on my lap!

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Filed under Does