The January issue of Feminine magazine is finally out! Boy is it AWESOME!!!
Thank you very much Mr. Kenn Yeap for putting up such a wonderful 6 pagers filled with colors and lotsa Chinese characters! I have yet to understand the contents (translator needed!) but I hope all that is written are good stuff!
GO GRAB YOUR COPY TODAY!!!
Translated: The Rabbit Man with his herd of 17 Pedigreed Rabbits by Kenn Yeap
This grown up man full of love is renowned for breeding pedigreed rabbits and he loves them just like his children. Tim started this hobby 4 years ago and he has since expanded into a herd of 17 rabbits and there are now 3 generations of rabbits since then. He breeds and raises a special type of pure breed rabbit called Holland Lop. These rabbits have cute faces and droopy ears that one finds it hard to resist not touching them.
Tim treats his rabbits just like his own children by providing them with the best living environment (a special room dedicated to them alone), care, feeds them imported diet and each one have his deserving “fatherly love”. Not forgetting, each one of them has a unique name to go with. This rabbit tale is unique especially when 2011 Lunar New Year falls on the year of the Rabbit and this is a herd of the luckiest of rabbits. Getting from a small number of 4 to 17, Tim proves sceptics that it is possible to raise what is dubbed as the hardest breed to work with among rabbit enthusiasts.
This 30 year old IT Engineer transforms into a loving father the moment he steps into home caring not only for his human family but also a group of gentle rabbits through providing each and every one of them a sweet and loving home.
Led by the love for animals, Tim has kept many types of animals as pets throughout his life and still finds rabbits as his favourite. According to him, though they are small animals, they are just like human beings needing care and love. We as owners must be responsible for their lives until their last breath.
Tim’s herd of rabbit consists 3 generations of both young and old rabbits from those he initially imported from USA throughout the past 4 years.
“The Holland Lop is one of the rabbit breeds with the best temperament and they are extremely easy to care for are some of the reason why I chose to work with this breed”. Holland Lops usually come in the brownish tortoiseshell colour, small in size and the “trademark” of this breed is their small, rounded drooping ears – thus, the word “LOP”. Presently sold for RM 800 in the market, Tim first fell in love with those cute apple shaped cheeks. After years of breeding the Holland Lop, one can call Tim a professional rabbit breeder.
In the midst of bad economy, when many cannot even feed themselves, one may ask how someone can find the time and money to keep pets. For Tim, his love for his rabbits goes beyond the value of money – they are priceless.
“For me, rabbits are like my children and as a father I must give them the best”. Tim and his wife have 2 daughters who also share his passion for the rabbits. Since providing the rabbits with the most comfortable living environment is Tim’s responsibility, he has dedicated a big room in his house equipped with big cages for each rabbit and even a ventilation fan to make sure there is good air circulation. He ensures that their living quarters are always kept clean and dry.
While it is easy to keep them as pets, Holland Lops according to Tim are very difficult to breed and successes only comes in 3 to 4 babies per litter. Even with successful pregnancy and delivery, mortality rate can be quite high.
“When I first started to breed Holland Lops, my American friends used to tease me and said that it is difficult to succeed but with a lot of care, almost every pregnancy and delivery was successful and survival rate is quite high too. I am proud of that”, he expressed happily. Not long after, he started a blog and shared his experience; his American friends praised and have high regards for him.
To care for the Holland Lop seemed easy but one must be meticulous. Diet for instance, Tim insist to feed his rabbit food imported from USA especially Timothy Hay. Timothy Hay contains crucial nutrients especially fibre that help ensure motility of the gut. This important food source is available in most major pet stores which cost RM 22 a pack, a month’s supply for one rabbit.
Tim mentioned that he found locally milled rabbit pellets contain sand. He suspected that irresponsible and unethical businessmen added sand in their production to increase the weight of their product. He adds, “This will damage and give an adverse affect to the rabbit’s stomach which may lead to death. That is the reason why I chose to feed them imported feed because of the guaranteed quality”
Being a seasoned breeder after 4 years, Tim cares for pregnant rabbits personally and is able to predict the number of babies through a skill he learned from his friends in US call palpation. This will give a good estimation so that in the events of a retained baby, he is able to know. “If that happens, we must be responsible for the outcome”, he said.
Tim will send any doe with such complication to the vet so that they will be able to help expel the baby from the doe. After that, Tim will provide the doe with proper food rich in nutrients for her to recuperate and be able to nurse the surviving babies. He will ensure all babies are tucked in the “warm baby room” (nest box).
Tim will make a round of check every morning before leaving for work just to make sure that all kits are alright. Tim is very well versed with each and every one of his rabbit’s behaviour. Even judging by the looks of their poo, he is able to gauge the state of health of the rabbits. “If a rabbit stops passing motion, then I will ask my wife to help keep an eye on it”
Tim spends 1 to 2 hours daily cleaning the cage after dinner every day. “The cleaning work is pretty simple. I just need to change the bedding in the litter tray and wash their food/water bowls, that’s it. For certain, I will spend some time playing with them because you just can’t deny a cute face asking for some head rubs”. Occasionally, the rabbits will take turns to stretch themselves and have fun in the living room with the family.
According to Tim, Holland Lops is like dogs and can be quite responsive. Also, another reason that Holland Lops are easy to be kept as pets because they are very quiet animals and with proper care, they do not have repulsive odour making them popular condominium and apartment pets.
“All my rabbits are litter trained and in fact, it is their instinct to have a favourite spot to relief themselves. To litter train a new rabbit is fairly easy, look for its favourite spot and place the litter tray with wood pellets in it at its favourite spot. The litter tray must be washed everyday so that there will not be any odour”, Tim said.
“If you are prepare to do some cleaning, keeping a rabbit as pet will not be difficult for you”, Tim adds.
Tim has lots to tell about rabbits. For instance, he shared that kits must be kept warm, their eyes will only open on the 10th day and some does will stay next to the nest to ensure that her babies will not be taken away.
Tim also explains that after giving birth, the doe will leave the nest and by doing so, predators will not be able to find the nest. Raising his rabbits for the past 4 years, Tim truly understands his rabbits’ habits well. When they are happy, they will jump up high while twisting their bodies. When sleeping sideways, it means they are comfortable and feel safe. When they feel threatened, they will grunt.
Tim keeps a journal of his joys and fun in the hobby on his blog. To date, his blog has attracted 128,000 hits and many rabbit enthusiasts contacted him for advice after reading his blog.
“When I receive calls, I am very happy because I get to share the experience”. Tim loves to share. “Even though he spends a lot of time on the rabbits, he manages his time well and never short-changes our daughters and me, said Tim’s wife Mary Anne. She met him during high school days and it was his loving heart that attracted her. That is the reason why she gives him her fullest support and they care for the rabbits as a team.
Tim will only sell his rabbits to fellow rabbit lovers. But he will ensure the buyers have proper environment for his rabbits and most of the time he visits the buyers’ house before deciding to share his rabbits with them. “I only sell to sincere and genuine people. If the environment does not meet my expectations, I will refuse proceed with the sale” Unless they are really prepared, Tim will not sell his rabbits. In fact, he recently rejected a request because the environment was not conducive enough.
Since 2011 is the Rabbit year and many among the Chinese community will tend to purchase things which carry the symbol of the rabbit. Tim is worried that there will be an influx of people keeping rabbits as pets and when the hype is over, there will be too many unwanted pets.
“We have seen many stray dogs and cats. What if it happens to Rabbits? It will be a serious problem. Stray dogs and cats at least can seek out food and shelter but rabbits can’t. Death is certain if one decides to abandon his or her rabbit”, he said.
Tim also mentioned that a famous pet store chain takes in big bulk of underage rabbits just to meet the demand during Chinese New Year. He personally witnessed underage rabbits being sold in a filthy environment without proper ventilation. What’s worse is that there are many sick rabbit that dies in the cage without proper care.
“I dare no imagine how it will be if this (rabbit abandoning) happens”, Tim expressed solemnly. He hopes that those who buy rabbits to be kept as pets to keep them well and urge them to take full responsibility for them. Do not just buy for the sake of buying and later loses interest before abandoning them. “This sort of act only means that one does not have respect for life”, he said. Tim also suggests to those who are unable to care for their rabbits (with sensible reasons) to contact him so that he can help place them in good home through his blog.
Clark is son of Carmel. When I asked Tim who is his favorite, he said, "Clark" and his 3 year old daughter Bethany beside was quick to interrupt saying, "Clark went to heaven already". I was almost brought to tears when I heard that. Recently, Tim went through a rough patch. Sensing his sadness, Clark stopped eating and sadly passed away. According to Tim, rabbits can sense their owner's feeling. Since then, Tim enters the rabbit room with a smile in his heart...
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