Category Archives: silver fox

Arizona State Convention 2017 Show Report

One of the door prizes handed out at the banquet. It's missing it's movie theater gift card in this pic!

One of the door prizes handed out at the banquet. An Arizona coffee mug, theater candy, and a movie gift card. (It’s missing it’s movie theater gift card in this pic!)

Last weekend we attended Arizona State Convention. The state convention is a wonderful time to meet new breeders, see friends, and compete against a wider pool of exhibitors. Many breeders who aren’t able to attend shows regularly will attend the state show, which is a wonderful treat.

 

We took a full carload of rabbits in six breeds: Cinnamon, Champagne d’Argent, Blanc de Hotot, Silver Fox, New Zealand and mini satin. Many bunnies. Much fur. My body is still telling me we were busy shifting those carriers around! A carton of approximately 30 lbs. is not so bad when you first move it… but when you move it over and over… yikes! Oh my achin’ bones!

 

It’s really exciting to report that we came home with a Best of Breed or Best Opposite of Breed in all the ones that we took except mini satin. (We only took one mini satin and he just couldn’t compete against the animals there. Arizona has some phenomenal animals! But we listened, took notes, and know where to work for the future!) What an encouragement that we’re doing something right!

 

I think that encouragement is pretty huge. It’s very, very easy to get consumed with the hard things of raising rabbits – the litters that don’t work out, the poop that needs to be scooped, the grumpy intermediates who scratch you and make your hands look like they’ve been through a blender… there are plenty of things about rabbit raising that aren’t at the top of the “fun” list! For us, while receiving the recognition of having a top animal is great, I’ve learned that listening carefully to the judges will help encourage me about the strongest attributes of even our worst rabbits! Encouragement is awesome!

 

The thing is, very few rabbits have nothing to commend them. If may be that this rabbit has a great head or strong shoulder or wider hindquarters. Maybe they don’t compete with the top animal, but there is always some thing encouraging to work with in the future if you’re able to see them all lined up together on a judging table. Even if it’s just validation that the rabbit I think it pretty awful is actually awful, going to a show is a great encouragement!

 

I also really can’t talk up the folks who put on the Arizona State Convention enough. They know what they’re doing and they’re kind. There’s always a bit of drama (people being people) but the show committee isn’t the start of it or spreading it. Whether it’s addressing difficult decisions or making sure the judges are able to maintain a constant flow of rabbits on their table, these people are amazing. If you’re looking for a great show to add to your routine, consider Arizona!

ARBA Nationals 2016 Show Report

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Sunset in Del Mar

We are back from Nationals and ready to give a report of the fun and excitement!

 

First and foremost, we had a wonderful time. The national show is really something. You look out along rows and rows of beautiful animals and can’t help but feel connected to other breeders. There was a sign posted on the outside of the building that said, “For five days you don’t have to explain to anyone why you show rabbits” and it’s true. You’re there with a whole bunch of other people who love this quirky hobby and it’s… community. It’s great!

 

We were able to drive this year, which was wonderful. We did not anticipate the traffic getting into Del Mar and were running a little late. So, first lesson learned – don’t push it when it comes to timing! Whoops! I could have saved myself a few grey hairs and sweaty armpits by adding extra time into our schedule!

 

Unloading the rabbits took some time because there were three buildings, Open, Youth, and Exhibition. We had rabbits in each building. Isaiah’s fitbit said we walked 10+ miles on Saturday getting everyone checked in! Whew!

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We got a few extra passengers on the cart after the rabbits were unloaded!

One all the cage risers were in, food and water cups filled, labels attached, we were good to go for the night and man, were we tired. We found a yummy seafood place for dinner, then collapsed at our hotel room.

 

The show committee had placed a schedule with approximate times and tables for breed judging on the doors of the barns, so we had a vague idea of when our breeds would show. The reality of the schedule, however, is that some breeds will move quicker than anticipated and others take longer, so everything is just a general suggestion.

Our preliminary Show Schedule

Our preliminary Show Schedule

As it turned out, all of our breeds showed on day one with one exception! So we had a very, very long day (and actually completely missed the Silver Fox showing) on Sunday and an easy day on Monday. Still it was wonderful to talk with other breeders as we waited for the judge to look over rabbits, and wander the aisles of coops to admire breeds!

 

We were thrilled to see our daughter’s Cinnamon win Best Opposite Sex of Breed in the Youth show!

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Mad Hatter’s Politico wins Best Opposite of Breed, Cinnamon Youth.

Sunday night we went to Fletcher’s Cove for dinner and enjoyed the most amazing sunset. The kids played in the ocean and we relaxed and let the salt water soothe our aching feet.

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Playing in the waves at sunset at Fletcher’s Cove will be one of our favorite memories!

 

On Tuesday night we went down to Seaport Village. The girls were thrilled to discover Frost Me Gourmet Cupcakes because, well, theres a Food Network/Cupcake Wars obsession in our house!

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Frost Me from Food Network’s Cupcake Wars at Seaport Village.

Overall I can’t say enjoy good about the National Show. Next year is Indianapolis, so I’m not sure how that will work out (although both Isaiah and I went to college in Indiana and a campus visit for old times sake wouldn’t be the end of the world to either of us… hm…) but we are going to prioritize the National show as much as possible!

Now, back to the breeding drawing board for next year’s entry!

 

Our show report from 2016 ARBA National Convention:

Cinnamon:

Best Opposite of Breed, Youth, Mad Hatter’s Politico

3rd Senior Buck, Open,Mad Hatter’s Impudence

Blanc de Hotot:

1st Senior Buck, Open,Mad Hatter’s King Fergus

Silver Fox:

1st Senior Doe, Open,Mad Hatter’s Ovation

1st Intermediate Doe, Youth,Mad Hatter’s Idryl Celebrindil

2nd Senior Buck,Mad Hatter’s Samwise Gamgee

Mini Satin:

Best of Variety, Youth,Mad Hatter’s Lucky

 

Forget Free Willy, Free Bunnies!

It’s confession time.

For all we talk a good game of eating our uglies and realizing that everything has a purpose and sometimes that purpose is to be edible… Well, sometimes we just can’t pull the trigger.

Case in point: this is Eclipse.

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She is a fantastic Silver Fox doe who has given us a ridiculous amount of joy during her life. It has become evident that she is past her child bearing prime but we struggled with wanting to use every cage, every hole to it’s greatest impact.

So… Eclipse was turned loose in the back yard. She has been set free to hide underneath the saw horses supporting the Timothy hay bales and eat our lettuce sprouts. She loves it!

It’s been a few months since we got a freely roaming lagomorph and we weren’t sure it would suit us. But it has! Since then we’ve retired two more of our older does who have earned a special spot. There are a few more holes being dug in our back yard but it’s been working wonderfully.

The rabbits are living peaceably with our Great Dane and miniature poodle and it’s being done! They have not destroyed our feeble attempt at a garden and, as long as we keep them away from the bucks, I believe we have a winning combination.

A 10-lbs rabbit (or two… Or three) does tend to startle the uninformed, however. We had a friend over and when he saw the rabbit resting a few feet away from him he visibly startled. We all got a chuckle out of his reaction and the rabbits ended up coming over for scratches!

Newest Rare Breeds List Released!

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We are pleased to be raising the #1 rare breed in the U.S.! Glad to be doing our part to keep Blanc de Hotot going!

Every three years a “rare breed” list is released. We’ve been raising three of the 15 rare breeds until now… And with the release of this list we now have two! Cinnamon and Silver Fox are making a come back!

What is the Rare Breeds List?
Here is the short version
#1 is most rare, #16 is less rare

2014 Rare Breed Rabbit Rank
(with 2010 rank on right)
1 Blanc de Hotot (1)
2 Giant Angora (2)
3 American (5)
4 Beveren (4)
5 Giant Chinchilla (7)
6 Creme d’Argent (14)
7 Belgian Hare (11)
8 American Sable (10)
9 Satin Angora (6)
10 Cinnamon (3)
11 Lilac (8)
12 Silver (9)
13 American Chinchilla (12)
14 Palomino (16)
15 Standard Chinchilla
16 Rhinelander (15)

Note: Silver Fox was #15, is now #17 and is off the list, but remains as a Watch status. Standard Chinchilla has joined the Rare Breed List as #15

 

Our Silver Fox Friends

We’ve decided to put our trampoline to another purpose lately – the large space and netted enclosure has been perfect for doubling as a rabbit run.

The rabbits are on a rotation and it’s fair to say they love their time in the trampoline, bounding, hopping and generally frolicking about.

Because I was tired of holding the baby I did some analysis and decided to pop our 10 month old son, who’s a very able crawler, into the tent with the rabbit. Within minutes he’d located Fennel, our white Silver Fox, and was giving him loves.

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This is why I love our Silver Fox rabbits! They are laid back to the extreme. It’s a little bit like what I see in Saint Bernard or Great Dane dogs – they’re huge, they have nothing to prove, and they can just be cuddle bugs!

We have black, blue, and white Silver Fox at our house. The only recognized color for showing right now is black – although blue is under development and will likely be showable in the next year. They are all sweet, but our white SF have really stolen my heart. Their fur is amazing and their personalities are gentle.