|Rest in peace, Sheba 1996 - 2012|
The Thriantas were really an impulse acquisition. They're a beautiful color - deep, rich, Irish-Setter red, but... they're small. They're fairly rare, but that's because they're relatively new to the US. They're not a heritage breed. I don't love them enough to devote the cage space to them any longer.
|Cinnamon rabbit - and terrific boy|
|Creme d'Argent rabbit|
Creme d'Argents are... different. They look quite a bit like the Palominos as babies, but as they mature, silver guard hairs grow in, giving them a different sheen. They're another rare and heritage breed, they're beautiful, they generally have a nice disposition, but I have had more trouble getting them to breed, and produce good-sized litters, than other breeds. I'll keep them for the sake of genetic diversity, but I just don't love them as much as....
|American Blue rabbit - see how differently it's shaped?|
...the American Blues.They are far and away my favorites here. They have an entirely different body shape than any other breed I raise - semi-arch rather than commercial. See the swooping rise behind the ears? The other breeds don't have that. When I got my first Americans, three does and a buck, there were something like 500 breeding adults in all of North America. The American Livestock Breed Conservancy had them listed as "Critical." That was in November 2009. Recently, the breed club received the fantastic news that they have been upgraded to "Threatened." You can read here about the history of this gorgeous breed. They are definitely keepers here - and will in future have more and more cage space allotted to them. I can also report that they did the best of any breed in last summer's pastured-growout trials.
|New Zealand Red rabbit|
So - that's what's going on around here. I'm a big fan of heritage breed livestock, just as I'm a fan of heirloom vegetables. Genetic diversity is soooooooooo important, and so much has been lost in the past 100 years, due to breeding for criteria other than depth of gene pool. I'm happy and honored to have a part in perpetuating some of these fantastic animals!