Wow 2014 already, and this year has gone by super fast... I thought i'd start by reviewing the goals I set myself at the beginning of last year and see how I've done (goals are in grey, current comments are in black :) )
- Improve my rabbit housing - somthing thats always an on going project I suppose, specific aims for this year is to, connect the outside hutches to provide a larger base for my group, add a roof to the outside area (cleaning out in the rain is no fun and it will give them longer run time), to refurbish and paint the indoor hutches (i want to try and test some out with lino on the floor and some themed hutches) and if i'm really ambitious to replace my buck block with hutches of a better height.
Well I did so-so on this one, the outside area setup has worked brilliantly (although I never got around to putting a roof on it), I trialed the lino and it didn't really work out in my current setups so that's on the back burner for a while, and I've kept my buck block which will become my baby block as the boys get upgraded to better sized housing. So all in all i'm really pleased with my progress in this area.
- Breed some siamese smokes out - I'm a little concerned that I havent had any siamese in this generation and i'm worried that i've bred the gene out, I have one visuale and a couple of known carriers, so I need to actively consider this and deliberatly pair to produce siameses in litters this year.
I did really well here... in fact pretty much everything I bred this year was a Siamese lol, I've kept back a doe (and my only marten doe) and a Siamese satin buck, so I don't need to worry about the Siamese gene anymore as I now know pretty much everybody in my breeding program is a carrier.
- Produce a normal squirrel - a project that i've had in the pipe line for a few years now and I feel that 2013 is the year to get this project going.
Sadly the genetic dice was against me and I didn't get a squirrel...
- Be more selective over what I show - I would really like to have a large enough team so that (with the exception of stock shows) I can be really selective over who goes out and who stays at home, and to not show rabbits when theyre out of condition.
Yeah I did much better here only taking out my best rabbits and as a result there have been very few trips out that haven't resulted in at least one CC, and we've placed in the fur challenges pretty consistently this year.
- Get the website upto date and keep it that way - I know i'm terrible at keeping it up to date so this is something that i will work on this year.
Well I've built a lovely new layout and i'm now working on getting all the articles up to date.
And a few of my on-going aims that i'd like to work towards in 2013, I thik some of these are seriously achieveable this year, while others may take a little longer to achieve.
- Breed a rabbit with a full 'moorcroft' 5 generation pedigree - probably not this year (2 more generations), more likely next years aim.
Not yet, but I now have 2 4th generation does, so in theory I could get one next year, depending on who I decide to breed
- Register a BRC Silver Star Diploma on a homebred smoke - very possibly achieveable this year, just need one more CC under a pannel judge on Thor to achieve this.
Yep Thor now has his Silver star Certificate
- Register a BRC Championship on a homebred smoke - A really tough one on a smoke, no idea if this will even be feasable and will require much more careful thought on which shows to attend than i currently give it.
And yess :) Thor finished his championship and is well on his way to achieving a double.
- Register a NSPRC Championship on a homebred smoke - Could be possible this year, but more likely next year.
Yes again :) but twice, both Thor and his son Atova gained their NSPRC championships this year and another of our bred boys 'Jedidiah' owned by a Junior also finished his championship...
- Gain a Best in Show in an open show with a smoke pearl - I dont believe my breeding program is currently in a position to produce BIS winners, I deffinatly need some more time to produce my 'ideal smoke'
Yeah defiantly still a pipeline dream at the moment...
So onto 2014 what do I want to achieve this year...
Well first of all a few things have changed, i'm moving into my own home in a couple of months and there's a new arrival due in the spring....
so rabbity things may be on the back burner for a little while....
my main aim for the start of the year is to get the new house fixed up and ready to move :) and then try and adjust to running a house and raising a baby (surely that's enough...)
but i'm still going to have a few rabbit targets as well
- my main aim is to set up some lovely large colony/group pens and further improve my housing, i'll now have more space (just less money) so the rabbits should benefit from this, i'd also really like to set up a rabbit garden to help provide forage feed for the rabbits.
- get the website info section complete, I've been working towards it for years its about time I got my finger out and finished it off.
- i'm not sure how showing will go next year or if i'll get out much so i'm going to focus my breeding plans on my projects... i'd really like to produce a squirrel next year so that's my main target but i'd also like to get out a couple of carriers for my other projects (pointed Siamese and satin rex).
Longer term rabbitry goals (probably not this year but in the future) are still to:
- produce a full 5gen Moorcroft rabbit pedigree
- produce a BIS winner at open shows
- set up a small scale hamstery to operate alongside the rabbits (I already have 3 just need to think about the setup and finding a boy)
- add English to the rabbitry (I really miss those spotty fellas)