breed hard, cull harder
I have been swamped with kits, I'm thankful for it, indeed; but tough choices will have to be made sooner then I'd like with 18 juniors coming up!!
I will only have 2 or 3 open cages, so will not be able to grow out them all as long as I'd like :(
That being said, when thinking about the tough choices ahead of the very few juniors I will actually be able to grow out and still have room to breed in the fall, I remember my motto; "breed hard, cull harder". These may be tough choices but I'm actually kind of glad I have to make them. I run a small rabbitry, I don't have the room to keep sub-par stock, like really, I don't. This lets me work with the best animals possible, which lets me better my herd more.
There's nothing wrong with keeping parts animals, don't get me wrong, but I'm kind of glad I don't have that space.
I have to keep the nicest animals.
I can't be like
"oh well Y has a nice h/e/c and bone so Y can stay as a parts animal, I can fix up the width, body and HQ when paired to the right rabbit! And I'll also keep X, the showy animal too."
Nope, I can't do that. I have to be like
"Well, I think X has one of the best h/e/c out of what I can pick, and I really like X's body and width over Y even though they both need some work on the HQ. X will stay, Y will go"
See, the small rabbitry enables me to keep ONLY the best and not the sub-par stock, because it has 3 good parts that could be helpful to someone's herd, but not mine, when there is a better animal with the same good parts and then some. There's no perfect animal though, but we breed to the standard of perfection.
Anyways, sorry for the rambling on there.
I'll likely not be keeping bucks..well, Phoenix and Bear have stolen my heart, and Bear is blue tort, so obviously he'll be staying if he's nice. Phoenix will need to beat my other solid bucks to stay, I'm thinking he'll probably end up going as brood but I'm still growing him out past 8 weeks unless glaring faults start to pop up.
I would like to keep does, I think I'm pretty well off on the bucks in my herd, Fonzie rules, and then between TMan, Chunk (Born For This) and Duke, I do believe we've got things covered.
I do know for sure that the sallanders will all be sold, at this time I cannot assess quality clear enough to sell as brood/show, but if your interested in one as a pet feel free to contact me now! They will be grown out (if not sold as pet first) long enough to assess quality to sell. If anyone is wondering what a Sallander is, it's a self non-extension chinchilla. That means Effie or TMan carries chinchilla! Both of them will now be staying for sure ;)
Somethin' Bad (now renamed Blaze) is now my sister's pet, he was not able to sit up indicating structural issues and a low headmount, these things can normally be seen early! She really loved him so I let her have him.
I'll be keeping an eye on the remainders, Fire N Gold (broken tort doe), Centuries (broken black doe), Phoenix (black tort buck), Little Bear (blue tort buck).
The solid black buck (Colby) will likely be sold as pet due to structural issues. The other broken black was looking like a fader, but I'm away visiting family (my grandma is taking care of bunnies but some came with me!) so haven't been able to see him/her recently.
Gloria's litter consists of 3 solid black torts, 1 black tort charlie and the other 3 are either black tort brokens or charlies, I'm not sure which one they'll be considered yet. I'm wondering how these babies will turn out, and I'm just super glad Gloria had a litter and is being a good momma.
I'm trying to improve hindquarter and ear shape/crown placement in my herd, this is why I can't wait to rebreed Fonzie to Saphira and Saphira to Chunk, Fonzie x Saphira produced Chunk, who has beautiful ear shape and decent placement, like his mother, so I think mother to son will have good results!
Those are my main goals, but I'm always trying to improve all areas slowly. I would like to work on bone a bit too, but not as much as HQ and ear/crown. Those are things I'll take into consideration when choosing juniors too. Pinched HQs will likely be petted out, limbs longer then my liking will likely be petted out or brood, depending on the rest of the rabbit. Narrow heads in bucks and folded/super long ears will be faults likely to be cut also. Also non-posers are an instant pet, and false dwarf bucks are normally petted out too.
Anyways, just some thoughts and the update on all the babies/juniors :)
Also, I plan to breed Narcissa and Saphira this fall, as soon as I get the space, who knows when that'll be!
How do you guys evaluate juniors? What do you cut for at first cut? What do you want to see?
Thanks for sticking with me throughout all this rambling!