I would like to report a very successful ARBA National Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota compliments of many years of dedicated breeding and breeding to one feed, Purina National Advantage Show.
I won Best of Breed in Open Rhinelanders for a 4th time in 10 years with a very young Junior Doe. To top the week off, the Blue variety of Rhinelander successfully passed their 2nd presentation before the ARBA Standard Committee and now move onto their 3rd and final presentation in Indianapolis in 2011. Now just before Christmas 2010, this year's litters are hitting the nestboxes, 4 out of 5 does bred have kindled. Blue Rhinelanders are already on their way to becoming presentation Srs in Indy!
Just some of my thoughts on successful herd management...Breeding to 1 feed, and at that, a feed with no supplements needing to be added; a complete feed. My Rhinelanders have been fed Purina Show (now Natural Advantage Show) for 7-8 generations. Those rabbits that do well on this complete show feed stay to reproduce. Kits right out of the nestbox start on this feed. Those that make it stay to do well and compete. This concept is called breeding to your feed.
In essence, I have developed several of my own lines that all do well on this feed with no added supplements or additives including hay. The advantage of developing lines of a breed that can perform in such a manner is that results of growth are very predictable. I know at any given age what my rabbits should look like. If I have a rabbit either above or below the standard deviation, I know at a very early age if I have the next ARBA Convention winner or one that will not be acceptable in my program. Another advantage now that I am away from the barn more hours than I am home, is that I can feed measured amount of feed, or have someone else feed that measured amount and I know it will be correct for that rabbit. this measured amount of feed will not compromise the condition of the rabbit and I can come home from work the night before a show and roll out in the morning knowing they will be competitive.
The next 4 months will be entirely focused on producing senior rabbits for the 2011 convention in Indy , this coupled with a busy show season for the Black variety of Rhinelander will make this year go by very quickly.