projects Dec 21, 2021

This is a bit of a diversion from my normal content. I have a few things in the works, but I just finished my last final exam of the semester and I want to take a little break from my more substantial content.

For those who knew me when I started high school, first off: I'm very sorry I put you through that! At the tender age of 15, I was just becoming aware that there is a whole world beyond the small town of Sonora, TX (mostly thanks to my powerful internet-searching abilities). I was also learning how to make my mark on the world.

I grew up participating in the stock show. I raised pigs for most of my time, but it took up more space and time than I really wanted to deal with. I wanted something I could breed and manage entirely on my own.

After a lot of research and thought, I found that the most manageable animal allowed in youth stock shows that would still let me show my face amongst the old ranchers was rabbits. Being me, however, I wanted my rabbits to integrate smoothly with multiple aspects of my life. Since I'm an avid knitter, I picked a rabbit breed that would let me indulge that hobby: English Angoras.

These rabbits produce what might be the second finest wool of any animal (with the finest probably being that of the Vicuña), though even within a species the fineness of the wool produced varies widely.

Here are my original rabbits after they had their first haircut:

Normally, people don't shear Angora rabbits because they molt naturally, but since I lived in Texas I did it to help them keep cool!

Here's what some of their wool looked like after a shearing:

My favorite part about the rabbits was the breeding project. It was my first attemp at animal husbandry. Here's Shirley, my first momma rabbit, preparing her nest:

And here's a glimpse at her first litter:

Rabbits come in all different colors. Here's Obi-Wan Kenobi, one of my personal favorite rabbits of all time. When you blow on their wool, you can see rings of color throughout his coat:

Here's another littler of babies! These came from Poison Ivy, my least favorite rabbit of all time. Notice how they have splotches of color (not like Obi-Wan's nice bands of color)? Well, that's a disqualification for rabbit shows, so these babies along with their mother were quickly removed from my breeding program:

Here they are a little older:

And here they are on the way to the local show! (They made an exception for my multicolored rabbits that year):

And here's why their mother is my least favorite rabbit:

Here we are at the show!

Here's a half-shaved Shirley:

I hope you enjoyed this post! It was a nice walk down memory lane for me. I had lots of fun times with these rabbits and I hope to have rabbits (or something else!) at some point again. It'll be a fun lifelong project!

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