Sunday, November 17, 2013

Not All Rare Breed Rabbits Should Be Saved

In promoting rare breed rabbits, selling all the rabbits in the litters is not always the best thing. I know this is reverse of what we would think intuitively.

Just because they are rare doesn't mean all of the rabbits have to be sold. Only the best rabbits should be kept or sold for breeding. Very rarely are all the kits suitable for breeding. Litters usually contain differing percentages of strong body, weak body, good color, poor color and so on. Occasionally there is one outstanding kit in the litter. Usually there are kits in a litter that are not as good in type and color as the parents. Those should be culled, preferably by going to the processor for food. Should not be used for breeding.

Breeding selections should be done to improve the breed and bring the overall condition of the breed up to the Standard Of Perfection. This SOP is a goal. Rarely will there be a rabbit with all the traits as outlined. There will be better rabbits and worse rabbits.

Buyers will discover when they put the rabbits on the show table which breeder is selling rabbits that are worse. I know because when I bought my first American Blues they were very narrow, boney, and underweight. They were descended from a trio sold at ARBA Convention in San Diego 2001. When I put then on the show tables most judges were sympathetic saying "That's the state of the Americans right now."

Undeterred, I kept at it. Over the next couple of years I bred them and culled them and saved the best for breeding and selling. I improved what we had and was able to develop a home grown Grand Champion on the show table.

I bought a few more from the breeder as they were getting out of the breed. I was getting the last of their rabbits. When I compared pedigrees I realized this person was not culling anything. They had saved all of them hoping to sell them and promote the breed. Out of about 8 rabbits I bought, I was able to get one to Grand Champion on the show table.

While I was fortunate this breeder had some for sale, it could have gone either way for me. I could have been discouraged and given up on the breed right there. But I decided to work with what I had. When I chose rabbits for sale, my first goal was "NO DQs" or no disqualifications in show. No color errors, no mismatched toenails, no underweight rabbits. NO DQs was the motto for MFO Rabbitry. It was a goal, not a brag.

Whether it is meat rabbits, angora rabbits, lop rabbits, or any other kind, not all of the rabbits in the litters should be kept. Not all of them should be sold. Only the best should be kept or sold.
Just my opinion based on observations.

Your mileage may vary. Void where taxed or prohibited.

Have a good day!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Poorboy Vacuum Pack

Poorboy vacuum pack: I used ziplock freezer bags. I tried to exclude as much air as possible. I would put meat into bag, cut pieces or whole, then holding the opening up, I would submerge the bag in water and let water pressure push sides of bag against the meat.  When water was almost to the bag opening, I would zip it closed. It seems to work well enough. I would chill it in a single layer in the fridge overnight before freezing. If warm carcass is piled into freezer the core might start to spoil before it gets frozen.

Have a good day!