Saturday, May 02, 2015
Friday, May 01, 2015
Rabbit Artificial Insemination at WCC - Guest Blog by Dakota Darst
First successfully achieved in 1780 in a dog artificial insemination (AI) did not truly flourish until the first calf (Frosty 1) was born from a frozen-thawed semen mating at Cornell in 1952. In the 1960’s after liquid nitrogen became the refrigerant of choice for storing bull semen AI became more widely applied among dairy cattle breeders and has grown to a near industry standard today. The technology has been applied to a vast array of species and is heavily utilized in several production livestock industries. While AI has been applied amongst laboratory rabbits and in countries where stronger meat rabbit industries exist it remains a largely untapped resource for reproductive management among American rabbit breeders.
As a sixth generation Californian dairymen the application of AI to my rabbitry’s management was an easy and almost natural step. Upon the request of several interested breeders we took a break from the excitement of the show at West Coast Classic to hold a small demonstration Sunday.
Prior to the demonstration an exciting discussion was held regarding the technique about to be preform and how ovulation is induced in the does. This is likely the most applicable part of the demonstration for everyone. In our herd all rabbits are breed (AI or natural service) after a hormone inoculation to induce ovulation. The group discussed the various protocols that exist for this practice as well as additional methodologies including bio-stimulation, changing reproductive rhythm and doe manipulation.
“The Tools of the Trade”
Using an artificial vagina (AV) designed for toy breed dogs that we have adapted for use in our rabbitry the semen collection is demonstrated. The buck is allowed to mount a “teaser” doe. As he attempts to copulate his penis is captured in the AV where the ejaculate will be collected. Unfortunately as both rabbits are in full coat collection proved to be difficult. It’s explained that we generally use standard coated does for collection at home as it’s easier and cleaner.
After explaining how to examine for motility and concentration and prepare the
sample the insemination process is demonstrated. For this demonstration an
empty insemination pistol fashioned out of a sheath and small syringe is used.
The pair of Satin Angoras we showed at WCC are the result of an experimental AI breeding using frozen-thawed semen.
Thursday, April 30, 2015
Scenes from Best In Show Judging at WCC
These photos of the Best In Show judging in show A, B and C were taken on April 11 and April 12, 2015 during the WCC event at Cow Palace.
|Show A Best In Show judges are Maddie Pratt of MI and Mike Avesing of IA.|
|Judge Mike examines the French Angora while judge Maddie works on the Californian.|
|Judge Mike checks on the Giant Angora.|
|Show B Best In Show judges are Eric Stewart of PA and Bryan Shirk of MI. In the photo they are examining the English Angora and the French Angora.|
|Judge Bryan works on the Satin Angora.|
|Judge Eric checks on the American Fuzzy Lop that eventually won Best In Show in all three shows.|
|Show C Best In Show judges are Josh Humphries of TN and Cheryl Eng-Link of HI.|
|Judge Josh checks on the French Angora while the Giant Angora and the English Angora wait for their terms.|
|The anxious crowd waiting for the announcement.|
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Angora Judging Show C at WCC
The following photos were taken on Sunday, April 12, 2015 on the second day of the WCC events at Cow Palace.
|Eric Stewart judges French Angora in show C. |
|Eric examines the French Angora wool carefully.|
|Eric comments, Carol G writes, Carol W and Lindsay listen carefully.|
|Scott Rodriguez teaches Caitlin about the fine points of English Angora, Casey waits for Scott's comments.|
|Caitlin is getting a good lesson, Scott is teaching her about the colored English Angora.|
|Scott now is judging the Giant Angora, Caitlin is learning the texture and Tammy listens.|
For a complete list of Angora results at WCC, go to:
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Angora Judging Show B at WCC
The following photos were taken on Sunday, April 12, 2015, the second day of the WCC events at Cow Palace.
|Cole Rupperecht judges Satin Angora in show B. Behind the table assisting are Cody and Sara.|
|Cole comments on Satin Angora, Cody writes.|
|Cole is working on the colored English Angora.|
|Cole is judging the colored French Angora.|
For a complete list of Angora results, go to:
Monday, April 27, 2015
Angora Judging Show A at WCC
WCC was a big event that there are lots of photos we yet to have a chance to share with our readers. Since this is not a show weekend, we'll go back to visit some of the scenes at WCC during the next few days. The following photos were taken on Saturday, April 11, 2015.
|The open show A judge for Angora is Bryan Shirks from Michigan. He is looking at a white junior English Angora.|
|Bryan is working on colored English Angora while his friend watches. Casey is the table clerk.|
|French Angora has the highest entries among the four breeds of Angoras, Bryan is checking on the French Angora when the two Carols help recording his comments.|
|Bryan judges, Carol W. and Carol G. help with paper work, Julie and Lindsay watch.|
|Lindsay is watching the judging, on the table is the white French Angora BOV plus the three colored senior bucks. |
|Bryan is comparing the two chestnut agouti French Angoras.|
|The French Angora Best of Breed picked by Bryan went on to win the Reserve In Show in show A.|
For a complete list of the WCC Angora results, go to:
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Scenes from the Show at Sedalia, MO
Deb guest blogs:
Almost every year, Alicia, Katelyn & I head down to Sedalia, MO for their spring Trailblazer's show on April 12. We make that long trip (9 - 10 hours) to spend time with a great group of people, some great food (we go to an Amish restaurant way out in the country), and to get a little extra sunshine. It's usually about 15 - 20 degrees warmer there this time of year than it is in Minnesota.
|You can see our wonderful friend, Margaret, back on her feet and showing her bunnies. She has had a long painful path back this far. She still has a way to go, but she has had an amazing recovery. It was great to see her!|
|Katelyn is learning the skills to become a writer by assisting Alicia at the writing table.|
|Then Katelyn was also learning how to Navajo ply with a very patient Juli.|
| A young gal, Anna, showed her 7 month-old English Angora doe and took BISS under judge Ray. As you can see from the photo, Anna was ecstatic. It was a wonderful win for her. |