©2015 L3 Farm Rabbitry


    L3DAN4 Dana - Show Doe
    Our herd is a seriously spoiled bunch of rabbits, but they deserve to be. One of the best things about this breed is their tendency toward a gentle and tame demeanor. Even American Chinchillas we've bought as adults, who have not been handled, soon learn to enjoy a good head scratching. Most of our rabbits bound up to the doors of their hutches when we come into the barn to feed them... and when the food is put in their bowls, they ignore it, still waiting at the door, waiting for what they really want... for us to open it and pet them. They want their noses rubbed, their heads stroked, their ears petted flat and then lifted out of the way so their neck and shoulders can be scritched, then a good ruffle all the way down their back, down and back up so their fur fluffs. They're just big love-bugs.

    And big they are! A fully-grown buck weighs around 9-10 pounds, and a doe 10-12. Every two weeks, it's a weigh-in party in the barn, and everyone is invited! The "fluffy" does always complain, but no one's exempt. It's one of the ways we keep a close eye on the health of the herd.


    LFR43 Obisbo - Brood Doe

    NF47 Olen - Show Doe [Retired]
    The herd is always changing, mostly due to the regular arrival of bouncing baby kits! Sometimes, however, an adult will go to someone else's rabbitry, or a new adult will join our herd, in the interest of bettering the genetics within the barn.

    The genetics, which are managed through a responsible breeding program, are at the core of a successful pedigreed rabbitry. They are the difference between mediocre (or worse, sickly) rabbits and Grand Champions. A rabbitry who employs a quality breeding program does so by taking into account the "Standard of Perfection" as defined for the breed, and sets an ultimate long-term goal to end up with a herd of rabbits that all meet that standard. This standard is defined by the largest rabbit organization in the world: the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA). It sets in place a description of what a "perfect" American Chinchilla would look like. Anything that isn't to that standard is considered a "fault" when a rabbit is judged at a show. There are also some faults that so strongly deviate from the standard as to be a disqualifying fault. Rabbits with a fault of this type, if genetic, should almost always be removed from a breeding program.


    BEL1 Beldin - Brood Doe

    HYB41 Eddie - Herd Buck
    When you begin, your herd may start out with several of these faults. Ours did. By taking the rabbits to shows, and receiving comments from judges, we began to learn what to look for: what traits we wanted, which we needed to avoid. We also learned what strengths our own rabbits had, and the faults that they exhibited. This didn't mean that we were to get rid of our rabbits; rather, it meant that we needed to add to our herd other rabbits whose strengths balanced out the faults of the ones we had. If one rabbit has ears that are a bit too short, you can attempt to breed that rabbit to one with nice, long ears. This does not guarantee that all of the kits will have long ears, but the chances are certainly better than if you bred that rabbit to another with the same short-ear fault.


    NF46 Trooper - Herd Buck

    L3HAM5 Hamilton
    So over time, we've brought new rabbits in, to complement our existing herd — ones whose strengths compliment the weaknesses of others. We're already making strides toward improving our herd, a little here, a little there, slow but reasonable progress. We're not alone; there's a whole community of American Chinchilla breeders doing the same thing, for the same reasons. There aren't very many compared to the Dutch breeders, or the ones with New Zealands, but we're a dedicated group. We're bringing back a rabbit from the brink of extinction. No one said it was going to be easy.

     


    L3BRO4 Bronte

    TF414 Cassandra

    Obisbo x Trooper