Last Chance for Rabbit Delivery

In case you haven’t heard, we’ve been selling off a few breeds here at Trickster Hares Farm as we prepare for some life transitions.

Selling off our Harlequin herd, pictures can be seen here. Japanese & Magpies on sale and discount off 3 or more.

Selling off Silver Fox from Grand Champion lines (pix below) and Lionheads, click the link for pictures.

Keeping but also paring down Beveren especially with the overabundance of litters, the best of 12 litters can be seen and for sale here. Also have senior blue & white & sport stock available. Great bloodlines – Trickster Hares and 3B’s and Calloway foundation.

Silver Fox siblings for sale. Great rabbits, wonderful type, underweight. Didn’t reach full size on the kind of food I feed here (Hunt & Behrens pellets, only). The parents were full sized, so its a case of the line not doing well with this brand of feed:

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Can bring to Petaluma tomorrow. May be able to arrange transport to Dixon for a fee the following weekend.

Moving forward we plan to continue on a smaller scale with Beveren and Belgian Hare, and are continuing at least for the present with Blanc de Hotot, with the occasional astrex or Rumple.

Bungled Show Sale – 15% off

IMG_1347Stock overflow! My car broke down on the way to the show last weekend! I’m $500 in the hole from unexpected car repairs, and couldn’t make it to the show to complete my sales. Plus out the show money!! I need to unload my extra stock in a hurry so I’m doing a sale. Bigger sale if you buy 5 or more – 20% off. Entire herd of each breed – talk to me for making a deal.

Come get Harlies, Hotot, Beveren. Also have a pair of Lionhead plus a baby. You need to pick up the rabbits from Occidental or Sebastopol within the next week, by May 17, 2016. This doesn’t apply to future show sales or animals transported that I have to drive more than 20 mins to meet transport.

Blanc de Hotot are from around the country, purebred lines, import stock from Ludivine in Canada from France, and Autumn in Washington from Germany.

Beveren are excellent lines including Calloway.

We had 25 litters this spring and no room to house growing juniors, nor even enough freezer space for all of them. We’re up to our eyeballs and are only selling off the best of the best – the rest goes you-know-where. So come get them!

We’re downsizing the number of breeds we are carrying so that we can really focus on our very favorites – Beveren and Belgian Hare. And, trying out the new Silver Fox. All of these are rare breeds and if I could, would continue with all of them but logistics of raising such a big herd have become an issue and we want to cut our permanent stock in half.

After Tuesday there are sales on multiple animals – 3 gets 10% off, and 5 gets 20% off, during this herd closeout sale, until all Harlequin and Blanc de Hotot are gone.

Hotot Stock Sale (not all rabbits are pictured, have more juniors & seniors) click here

Harlequin Stock Sale (not all rabbits pictured, have more juniors & seniors) click here

Hope to hear from you soon!

Support a rare breed with this T-shirt!

Who doesn’t love a t-shirt? Especially one with a rabbit on it? This t-shirt is perfect for any rabbit lover, if you are still looking for gifts for the holidays. The t-shirt says “Beveren Rule” on the back – promoting awareness about one of the most rare breeds in the U.S.

You do not have to raise rabbits to love this t-shirt! They’ve been popular with the non-rabbit-community as well!

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The sizes I have left on hand are as follows. If you don’t see your size I will be placing a new order so will take advance orders.

Blue: Ladies M, XL; Adult L, XL

Black: Ladies XL

White: Ladies M

Pricing: S-XL $20, XXL & up $25

Special orders: Request white, black, blue, Ladies or Adult and size.  Junior’s fitted shirts come in V-neck white or gray or crew neck light blue.

Shipping in the U.S.: $6.50, +$2 for each additional shirt

To order: drop me a note with your order request and I’ll send you an invoice

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Won Best in Fur Nationally

Well we were pretty excited here when we won Best of Fur in Beveren at National Convention in Portland 2015. Francis won – I’m impressed for his fur’s length and density as well as softness. Its a gorgeous coat. My doe Big Bertha placed second in the class. Hers is an even more lazy rollback, nearly upright. I love working on the coats of the Beveren as the bodies are already pretty solid, having started with excellent foundation stock. Since we tan our furs here I am cultivating the best I can – I am a sucker for luxurious fur, on a pelt or living animal.
Here’s a photo of our wins from Convention. We won First, Second, and Fifth in the fur class, and many different places in many classes of Beveren including first and second:

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Here’s me with Francis and the judge Bryce Poole, rabbit schmutz on my shirt and everything (check out that cool T-shirt!):

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I was pretty thrilled as most of my Beveren were out of coat condition except the youngsters. I don’t know that an early October date next year will put me in a better position with their coats.

National Convention itself was a wonderful experience, meeting and spending time with so many Beveren, Belgian Hare, and Blanc de Hotot breeders. Club meetings, dinners, all of it. Great to get to know people I only knew online and by phone. I look forward to next year!

 

 

A True American Heritage Breed

We’ve grown by one heritage breed! A true American heritage breed – developed right here in America. I didn’t really think about it until it was pointed out to me, most rabbit breeds were imported originally. The Silver Fox was developed here, a hundred years ago. Its also on the endangered list by the Livestock Conservancy.

It was bred to provide an inexpensive knockoff of Silver Fox fur (the fox). I am opposed to the fur trade – when it involves raising animals for slaughter just for their fur – like minks or foxes, intelligent wild species. On the other hand, rabbit is dual purpose fur and meat and I’d very much like to see a comeback in the rabbit fur trade in America. The fur breeds have really suffered and are on the verge of extinction due to the shifting politics around fur – and yet these breeds took many decades to develop. It is possible someday we may need them again. Perhaps when the glorification of petroleum based synthetic clothing and faux fur blows over. Now, mind you, I have nothing against faux fur but come on. People are wearing synthetic cloth and there is no comparison to natural fibers in texture, quality, breathability and warmth.

Beveren is another fur breed I focus on improving the unique qualities of the fur, and now the Silver Fox. Not at the expense of other qualities, but I do select for fur. I tan my pelts. I have no idea what I’m going to do with all these pelts but I now have an industrial sewing machine in my art studio, so that is a step in the right direction.

So, I’d been leaning towards the Champagnes for quite some time, they are just gorgeous, I love their changing fur color. However, every breeder I spoke to said not heat tolerant above the 90’s. Well its been 106 this summer in our coastal town. Hotter and hotter every year its never been this hot. If this is the way of the world, I’m going to need to invest in rabbits with good heat tolerance. (And my other breeds do fit that bill, have not lost one to heat yet). I’ll have to leave the Champagnes for those in cooler climes.

So that is how I ended up bringing home my one Silver Fox from National Convention, who is expecting, and is very gentle and inquisitive. She enjoys being rubbed and greets me in the front of the cage – more interested in rubs than food, like many of my Beveren. I am delighted to have brought home another gentle breed with personality. I don’t like a dull rabbit, and I don’t like them hard to handle. So far the Silver Fox is gentle, curious, interactive, and has dual purpose of meat and fur, so they’re pretty much on par with Beveren, although I think the weight gain on a Beveren is much faster. We’ll see. I’ll report back later after some litters!

 

Best Breeds for Colony Rearing

I get questions about colony raising all the time, frequently from people who are also interested in Beveren. Since I raise 6 different breeds of rabbits its been interesting to note which ones do well co-housed in rabbit herds.

Surprisingly, its the American. They are hands-down the most laid back and willing to get along with each other with very little scuffling. Its not to be said I haven’t had some roughed up does from a dominance struggle, I do, but they’re more willing to go along with the social order once established.

Beveren are not what I’d recommend for a beginner. Mixing a few Beveren in there like I do might work but I notice when they ovulate they get cranky and can pick on the other rabbits. Not all the Beveren, just some. Beveren can be cage territorial sometimes too – an indication they have less tolerance for lots of competition.

My Americans on the other hand seem to thrive in the social setting. Do not put your show animals into a colony and don’t ever introduce adults. In the colony there are sometimes scuffles – particularly if you take the lead doe or second in command out for breeding – the other does will quickly box each other to see who will take her place! A torn ear and mouthfuls of ripped fur do happen.

The Harlequin do ok out there too but they sure are feisty. When the pecking order is established things seem to simmer down to peaceful. A boxing Harlequin is a sight to behold – enormous leaps in the air – they are the acrobats out of all my breeds. With their splashy colors, they’re natural performers. If Harlequins were people they’d be the gymnasts, Olympic track runners, and Cirque du Soleil performers. I kid you not.

My mixed blood Belgians actually do excellent in the colony. I have not put my full blooded Belgian Hares into a colony setting. I will as my numbers recover from our crash last year. They’re pretty social and non-aggressive. My Belgian buck Jack had a particular fondness for the colony, and did really well in there. Unfortunately I didn’t PUT him in there!! He was a naughty boy.

I stopped putting Hotots into the colony pen as they kept disappearing. I do not know why. They simply may not have run from overhead predators, I am really not sure. Rabbits have to be smart to thrive in the colony. We do not put bird netting over the entire rabbit pasture, just the core home area where the babies sometimes pop out of the ground.

We have a new breed in our mix, the Silver Fox, so in the year to come will see how that breed does in the colony setting too. So far, they seem like a very laid back personality.

 

 

The Food Dance

We love the colony herd experience. Our girls seem to love it too. I wish we could raise them all this way. Note: do not put your rabbits in together like this unless they’ve been socially conditioned for warren living!!

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