Finally some sunny days and the promise of Spring. I’ve got so many huge coats to harvest it’s a daunting task. I started today with some of the young ones
Don’s Osiris is a blue cream from the Sweetcheeks x Bleucca litter. I had ear marked him to go to a new home but in the end couldn’t part with him. He is probably the more correct coloured blue cream in the litter and has retained his blue eyes. His coat is just a lovely, easy texture. So glad I kept him. I tried him with Seaspray today, my blue from last year’s Casper x Trudy litter but she was being a total madam and wasn’t interested! I think that mating will prove interesting.
My efforts at the Bradford show, spinning on the National Angora Club stand inspired me to continue. I’ve been back on the wheel and spinning white Angora with a little White Merino. Not sure what it will be made into as yet. I’m a bit out of practice so hope it doesnt come out too lumpy bumpy 🙂 If you haven’t tried spinning your Angora ( or anything) you can easily start with a drop spindle. There are lots of videos on you tube to learn from. I took a class with my local Spinners and Weavers Guild a few years ago. Quite often they will lend you all you need to get started. I find it quite relaxing. I am planning on having a go at weaving once I’ve spun some other colours.
I have an Ashford Joy Spinning wheel.
Introducing Don’s Blue Persia. Persia Just had her first proper grown up groom with forced air. Grooming her really reminded me of a Blue Persian cat, hence the name. She is from the Caspar x LaToya litter, I have kept her and her Smoke Brother Black Caspian.
I always think it’s a bit vulgar when people advertise their wins all over the shop… anyway here’s me being vulgar 🙂
Best of Breed under five months at the 2017 Bradford show.. Don’s True Colours. Wearing her glitzy sash. Colours is a Sweetcheeks x Bleucca baby just 4 months old.
Don’s True Colours
Best of Breed at 4 months
Her future liaison hopefully the Casper son Don’s True Xception. This lad is really coming together. Very exciting.
Don’s True Xception
Well the big one has been and gone. The major small animal show in the UK. Called “The Bradford” and held this year at Doncaster Racecourse the show brings together the Rabbit, Cavy, Mice, Rat and Hamster fancies all under one huge roof. As an organiser of a local Rabbit show, how the Bradford Committee pull it off I have no idea, Bravo to them. I bet they’re exhausted 🙂
Settling in on Friday night
I had a great time meeting old and new friends, talking Angora mostly and life in general. I took True Colours and Buttermilk.. they both won their classes, were best under 5 month white and best under 5 month coloured and True Colours went on to win under 5 Best of Breed.. chuffed to bits!
Don’s True Colours..under 5 best of breed
I spent Sunday spinning on the National Angora stand, always pulls the punters in.. I’ve had some really interesting conversations whilst sat at the stand spinning 🙂
I took some babies that went to lovely new homes. Buttermilk has also gone on to pastures new as Alan Cargo fell for her, I hope Peter remembered to take her home 🙂
Petala Stud, Alan and Peter with their huge coated white Adult
Best of breed in the Adult section was a lovely white bred/ owned by Adel Wray, well done Adel, looked amazing.
Overall best in show and a very emotional end to the show was Steve and Duane Germany with a REW German Lop. Both in tears as they went up on stage to collect the trophy. Well done lads. A great show and lovely weekend of bunnying. More details here
Best in show crowds
So sad.. My beautiful Lilac doe Don’s Purple Rain littered over night but scattered babies, she made no nest. All were dead by this morning. It is something you learn to live with as a breeder, although it’s very sad of course. I am really pleased however, that she has bred for me. Maiden does can get caught out and lose their first litters, It seems to catch them by surprise. Usually for their second litter they turn into perfect Mums and raise the babies without issue. I will let her rest up a bit and then try again.
Ok I promised some photos of the Casper x LaToya Blue litter as some are being placed with friends in the breed. They really are at the gawky stage and need another week really to look anything special, hence the lack of photos. It’s a really even litter very hard to split them. I will be keeping the Smoke buck and a Blue doe .. these two Blues are the ones promised to friends, you know who you are 🙂 .
And The Smoke buck staying here
Don’s Black Caspian
Thank you for some lovely Christmas and New Year’s messages. I hope you all had a good time and are set up for a really happy 2017.
A recurring theme in my emails was people asking after one Rabbit in particular. It seems little King Tut really caught the imagination of some of you. Firstly, yes I did keep him. It was certainly a case of him being the star in the litter, then being totally left behind by his stunning Sisters Buttermilk and Colours. I have entered them for the big one! The major Rabbit show in the U.K. later this month in Doncaster. I didn’t enter Tut as he was lagging behind a bit but wow what a difference a week makes he has more than caught up with them. Really pleased with this litter, Sweetcheeks first litter. Sweetcheeks is a Tic Tac son and his Mum is Trudy, a Casper daughter so he is truly blue blooded indeed 🙂
King Tut, Don’s Tutankhamun (Blue-Cream)
Seldom seen, the wild Angora in its natural environment 🙂
Lovely mild day so had them running around whilst I mucked them out. Now they are all vaccinated I feel a bit happier about doing so.
This is Onesie a Casper x Trudy baby from the first litter…Xception is a repeat mating.
Broke off work early this year and feeling very Christmassy today so here are my Christmas wishes to you. I hope you have a lovely Christmas and a very happy Angora filled new year.. Don
Don’s True Colours and Don’s Buttermilk wish you a very happy Christmas
I am quite lucky really, most of my litters are very even in quality making it sometimes hard to choose the keepers. Often I will run them on to see how the coat develops as it can catch you out when they are young. A couple of times the one I’ve kept on straw as a future breeder has developed the best coat against his pampered show siblings. Of course the damage is already done by then so he can’t be salvaged for show.
Once in a while an odd one really stands out. In Trudy’s litter I had already ear marked Black Pearl, the black doe baby who is still looking amazing. Over the last few days however one of the whites has just developed the most amazing coat for its age, it almost looks out of place against the others. I’m probably tempting fate by putting this in print but wow it is exceptional. I’m calling him Don’s True Xception. My white line carry the “True” prefix if I think they are worthy. I’m already getting excited about breeding him to True Colours the doe from the older litter, wow, that pedigree would be amazing 🙂
Don’s True Xception
“Don’s True Colours” an exciting Sweetcheeks baby
Had one of the Blue Cream babies go at the weekend.. really lovely home with an experienced groomer of Persian Cats. Although we had talked about the new owner possibly showing her baby Angora, it was apparent that her ideas were really based on her experience of cat grooming and not of Angora show grooming.
One of the hardest things to explain to people is that if you seriously want to show your Angora Rabbit you must really keep your HANDS OFF ! Of course new owners are really excited about their new baby and want to hold and hug it and brush it and squeeze it. This will just wreck the fragile Angora coat overnight. Just getting your scent on the rabbit can make it lick itself into a macramé mess ! They can also take exception to your smell and give themselves a hair cut 🙂
Brushing also must be kept to a minimum which is why we use forced air to blow the coat open. Knots and felts are gently teased apart with clean fingers ! Really try and keep the brush to underneath if at all. It is a good idea to always use the same hand soap (for you) and the same talc, if needed, for underneath. Try not to use talc on the top coat as it will dry it eventually and make it break. Rough brushing will just strip the coat right out of the bunny.. check how much coat is in the brush… the idea is to maintain as much coat on the rabbit in as near perfect condition as possible.
If you place your hand on the tips of the coat you should be able to see the fine guard hairs veiling the coat, these are the most fragile of all and are easily lost with rough handling. When I had a grooming lesson with the late great Mrs. P ! she was horrified that I laid the bunny on its back on my jeans ! she told me to get a silk scarf to lay the rabbit on in order not to rub off the valuable tips of the coat. OK I don’t do this , but it made me aware of the damage that can be caused by rough handling.
So if you seriously want to show Angoras you must learn to keep your hands off ! Of course when they are clipped after their show careers you can cuddle them as much as you like 🙂
I’ve had lots of requests for Angoras recently, maybe Christmas coming or something. I can usually tell those that have seriously looked into owning the breed and those that have seen a beautiful Angora and must have one “now” 🙂
I will leave you with these words of wisdom 🙂
Never work with children or animals 🙂 So the scene is set for the big Christmas photo shoot 2016. Who will it be? Aha you will have to wait, unless of course you are on my Christmas card list 🙂 Fairly happy with the end result. I won’t know until I get the cards back from the printers 🙂
It always seems that the month you are waiting for your doe to have her litter drags on and on. Once they are born you blink and they are weaned already! I separated the Bleucca litter today as Bleucca had obviously had enough of them. I split them into two groups so they can keep each other warm and so don’t lose condition. The show babies aren’t ready to go on wire yet but they are staying clean which I’m happy about.
Colours, Tut and Buttermilk
Really pleased with Trudy’s litter… kits are really chunky, really cheeky and doing really well. The little black pearl in the litter has caught my attention. Something a bit special about him (actually I think it’s a doe).
Nice day in the shed catching up with chores. Had a chance to move things around and get show cages ready for the Blue Cream litter. They are still too young to separate, looking nice though with nice easy care coats.
Trudy’s litter are doing well…from birth the Smoke kit has really appealed. It was inky black from birth with no pale skin anywhere, super pigmentation. Please let it be a buck. Smoke/Black bucks are so useful when working with Sooty Fawns.
The Lilac litter turned out to be Blue! Four blues and two Smokes. Really chunky kits too and already coating up. They just have their eyes open and are motoring around. Sad that none were Lilac but I’m already smitten with them.
Awww Teddy Bear
Casper x LaToya litter