Sunday, September 26, 2010

Franco's Plucking Adventure

*from rabbit geek notes*
Franco's Plucking Adventure
originally posted on French Angoras Group
August 28 2004

Hi all, I just plucked our FA senior blue buck who has been
over due for clipping. My lovely wife Tracy groomed him for
me with the blower so the wool would be nice and free from
tangles. I was going to clip him with scissors, but he kept
jumping off the coffee table and running down the hall.
I noticed the wool was pretty loose, so I tugged at little
locks of it and it came off in my fingers, leaving the new
coat intact. We sat for about an hour and a half. I would
let him loose every 15 or 20 minutes to take a little walk
on the sofa.

He looks great. He looks blue again! His new coat is about
1 1/2 inch long and is a nice blue color, not faded looking
like his old coat. And I have a brown grocery sack full of
blue angora to practice my drop spindle with!

Have a good day!
Franco Rios
MFO Rabbitry, Sacramento, Calif.

August 29 2004
Hi, I think at least half of the breeders I've met clip the
bunnies. My goal the other night was to practice clipping a
bunny. But the bunny did not cooperate by sitting still.

So that's how I came to sit down and pluck it. It was helpful
that the bunny was in a complete molt and ready for plucking.
All in all the evening turned out well for me and for the bunny.

Have a good day!
Franco Rios
MFO Rabbitry, Sacramento, Calif.

August 30 2004

Hi, Thanks for your reply. Yes, the buck was ready to be plucked.
And the new coat is really 1 1/2 inch, I took a measurement with a
steel pocket ruler, being the industrial geek type that I am.

I had a little pair of hair trimming scissors at the ready. I brought
the rabbit in the house because it's 90F degrees outside lately and I
didn't want to stand out there in the heat. So I haven't given up
the idea of clipping. I just wasn't successful on my first try.

Have a good day!
Franco Rios
MFO Rabbitry

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Line Breeding and Inbreeding

*ramblings from the rabbitgeek*
A lot of people use Linebreeding to improve consistency in their bloodlines. That would be breeding father/daughter or mother/son, saving the best from those litters to breed back to the parent.

Inbreeding would be breeding brother/sister, which is another strategy that can be used sparingly to emphasize desired genetic traits like body type or color or markings. It can also emphasize negative traits so it must be used with a lot of caution and be prepared to remove any undesirable results immediately. Sometimes entire litters have to be culled.

Linebreeding can improve overall characteristics very quickly when careful selection of breeding stock is used. It can also bring a bloodline to a dead stop if one only focuses on looks and color. Selection for raising kits, fathering large litters, and having good survival rates of litters are also important production factors.

Linebreeding is also the way to establish a bloodline. By the third generation the rabbits are pretty much the result of the breeders selections and can be called their own bloodline, even if several breeders have their bloodline descended from the same source trio originally. Sometimes it is called a "closed herd" or closed bloodline because outside blood is rarely brought in.

Genetics is a lot like the dice game Yahtzee. You try to get sets of numbers to fill your scorecard. Sometimes you can "hold" or "fix" some of the variables by holding some dice before the next roll.

It can be amazing how many unseen genetic factors can be found when one keeps bringing in "outside blood" to avoid inbreeding.

Genetics can be like dealing poker hands. You take out (cull) the cards (genes) you don't want, shuffle the deck and deal again and soon you get the kind of combinations you want on a consistent basis.

Adding outside blood is like adding another deck of cards and trying to predict what combinations will occur. Then spend the next generations taking out the cards that are not wanted (selection). Trying to juggle the combinations from 5 or 6 different decks (bloodlines) can bring you to your knees, especially if something like white spots, bad teeth, or mismarked toenails become fixed in your herd.

Have a good day!
Franco Rios

Thursday, September 2, 2010

2010 Angora Count

2010 Angora Rabbit Count & Survey!

From Sept 1 2010 to to Sept 30 2010 I will be accepting reports on Angora

We are conducting a count of English Angora, French Angora, Giant Angora, Satin
Angora, and German Angora rabbits.

The purpose is to assess the current populations of Angoras. We want to spot any
trends in population increases or declines and the collection of population
counts is important to monitor.

Please send me a count of your rabbits by breed.
Also tell me what state/province you are in.

Different from previous counts, we are asking for counts of males and females by
breed as suggested by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.

Please count rabbits that are no longer nursing from their mother. A doe with a
litter under her is counted as 1 female rabbit, don't count the litter.

Send your count only once this year. The count is intended to be a snapshot of
the population for the year.

If you have some cross breeds, you decide what breed they are and report them
accordingly or do not report them. We are trying to determine the population of
specific distinct breeds and we rely completely on your reporting.

Please tell us your count of rabbits:

English Angora: Male / Female
French Angora: Male / Female
Giant Angora: Male / Female
Satin Angora: Male / Female

German Angora: Male / Female


NARBC member yes/no:
IAGARB member yes/no:

The final survey report will NOT include anybody's name, only a state or
province. This is not connected with any government program and information
collected will not be sent to any such agencies. When complete, the survey data
will be made available for download on the rabbitgeek website.

You can see previous surveys at

Looking forward to your rabbit count!

Please send your count by email to:
francorios2000@ yahoo. com <- remove space for email


Have a good day!
Franco Rios
email: francorios2000 @yahoo .com <-remove spaces for email