|Posted on August 20, 2016 at 5:45 PM|
Phew! After months of getting the does bred, winter & spring rabbit shows, kidding season, goat shows, ADGA Nationals, more goat shows and judging inbetween I can finally sit down and update our website!
The year started off as we finished getting the last few does bred. With the very strange weather we had difficulty catching heats and some having to be forced into heat towards the end of the season. We successfuly bred six out of seven does, including From the Ashes a almost three year old that I am really trying to get an udder on! A few short months later as we prepared for kidding season our "outside additons" arrived from the East Coast! This year we made the leap and purchased our first buck. Up until this year we had always gone off site to use live bucks, but with our herd starting to develope it's own style I finally made the plung and bought a buck specific for our needs - *B Redwood Hills Atlas Drakon. While it was late in the season to make this leap I came across a picture of a beautiful doe with what I was looking to improve on and she just happened to have a buck kid available! Drakon is doing excellent and is just stunning, saying I am excited to see his kids next spring is an understatement - I'l estatic! Not too long after our next purchase came in, Tempo Passa Ellaria a Saanen from the Tempo/des-Ruhigestelle herd in Oregon. I have admired this herd for a long time and was so glad I had the opportunity to bring this doe here. This marks the first American Saanen in the Hops N Lops herd so it's quite exciting! Just about the time our outside additions were arriving we had an unexpected suprise. Mystique who wasn't due until the end of the month kidded at 135 days due to what we believe was being butted. Sadly one kid was dead when I arrived but the other was sitting up and quite active, four months later "Herbie" is doing incredably well and is actually being retained as a companion to our herdsire.
Our "real" kidding season started a few weeks after "Herbie" surpised us in May with Luna (Blue Moon) having a single buck, then Bellatrix having buck/doe twins, Once having buck/doe twins and Wysteria having buck twins... can you say buck year? Both does were retained, Bella's buck left as a herdsire in western New York, Wysteria's bucks went as pets for a local family and Luna and Once's bucks are still available as pet wethers!
In early June we had our annual apprasial, going into it with high hopes we were not disapointed with our mature does both recieveing excellent scores (Bellatrix 91 and Luna 90) and the first fresheners all recieving 86s (Wysteria, Katerina and Once). Now that the two older girls have their permanent scores we're excited to see how the younger generation does next year.
This year we have had many ups and downs. In June we suddenly lost our two Saanen yearlings, Once Upon a Time and Just This Once. We are devistated and it has taken a huge hit to our breeding program. We we fortunate enough to have gotten a daughter out of Just This Once just a few weeks before she was apprasied with an excellent in mammary as a yearling. While Once Upon a Time was dry I has very high hopes for her as a milker, she has the general apperance her sister lacked and could of been an incredable doe. On the bright side, we have a few ways of bringing these genetics back into the herd one including a repeat breeding of their dam back to Companeros Jack JustInTime as well as her daughter being bred back to JT's maternal line in a few years but more information will come on that hopefully in 2017.
Between judging and traveling for shows I made the incredably hard dicision to cut down my rabbit numbers drastically this summer. Having to leave the animals under my family's care while I am away is hard on everyone so keeping numbers far below what I can manage was a choice I had to make. While hard choices had to be made, I am excited about what we have left. With a few hard losses in the rabbits as well I am hopeful the juniors I have left from our spring juniors will do well. I plan on having a few more available this September to keep numbers down to potencially bring in some new stock from Convention in San Diego this fall and for more juniors this winter. With this all said, I hope our potencial buyers will understand my already limited availability just became much, much more limited. I try my best to fulfill inquires I recieve but we are a very small rabbit and goat herd so please keep this in mind.
In July we attended the 2016 ADGA National Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvannia. This was our first National Show and our girls still a bit rough from the loss of their two herd mates we didn't expect anything except some time with our new and old goat friends. We were shocked when every doe we brough made the cut - Ellaria was 22nd Saanen Int Kid, Cold Open was 4th Recorded Grade Junior Kid (at two months old), Bellona was 16th Nubian Junior Kid (at two months old), Imperatrix Mundi was 9th Senior Yearling (of 52 including the National Junior Champion and Reserve Champion), Bellatrix was 20th Nubian 5-6 Year Old Milker (out of 30-something), Wysteria was 12th Nubian 2 Year Old (of 47) and Katerina was the 1st Place and Udder Nubian Milking Yearling! I am at a loss for words after this but am excited to see how they do next year in Madison, WI!
After some other shows we found ourselves in the last weekend of July at the Litchfield County 4-H Fair. This is my last year being able to compete so it was a little bittersweet but we did very well with the highlights being 1st place senior showmanship, Best Senior Doe in Show and Best Udder in Show with Wysteria and Best Junior Doe in Show with Imperatrix Mundi. All of the other girls did very well and we also won Produce of Dam, Best Three Does and Dam and Daughter! While my 4-H experience has been a rocky road I am grateful for the many experience and handful of very special people I have met and am now able to call my friends. I am excited to announce I will be starting my own 4-H Goat Club this fall specializing in dairy goats! Feel free to send me an email for more information, I hope to have many kids who just want to leave more about GOATS!
Now that we are in August we have decided to not do several shows this summer and fall that we usually do, between the heat and Nationals our does are not milking as well and with the heat just starting to let up (very slightly...) I don't want to push them too much. So this could be the end of our 2016 show season, we'll have to see how the fall progresses. I won't be too upset since we can hope for some Febuary and March kids if we do cut the show season short!
So I guess we had a few updates even though we're only just over half-way done with the year we have some exciting things coming up including AI's, future herdsires and new additions the rest of the year and 2017 are looking bright!