Based on the slow of activity here lately i'm sure many of you will not be surprised by this announcement. I've been taking a lot of time lately thinking about my rabbits and their involvement.
First let me say NO I am not giving up my rabbits, or giving up breeding. I am however down-scaling massively.
I have decided not to keep any babies back from our current litters and to rehome my adult rex breeding pair. I am not however rehoming any of my adult smoke pearls.
You will probably notice on the 'our bunny family' page that I have provisionally retired several extra rabbits (although they have not yet been speyed/neutered, this will happen over the next few months) these now include Thor, Bluebell and Sassy. Additionally I have no plans to breed from Tessa but I am keeping her in tact for the foreseeable future in case the unthinkable should happen to Duke.
This leaves me with an active breeding Trio of Duke, Catkin & Snowdrop. I plan to only have around one litter a year and to keep back a single young doe to show and then join the colony and contribute to the next generation This should mean that over the next few years the number of rabbits I keep naturally drops slightly. I still hope to try to get a litter from Catkin and Duke later this year.
At present tho I am very disillusioned with the show world, I've not been enjoying exhibiting lately, and although i'm passionate about the breed I keep, just honestly can't care enough about where I place at the end of the day (I never have in the past either so nothing new there.). The difference now is that my time is more precious, i'm working longer and investing more of myself into my business and obviously my daughter, which means that free time is more precious and we'd often rather spend it at home with the rabbits themselves rather than at a show. Many of the things that kept me showing (such as the Smoke Pearl club and fancies) are not the friendly, happy places they once were, everything seems filled by gossip, backstabbing and needless drama - Oh how I don't miss facebook.
I am not planning on giving up showing altogether, however do not expect to see us out often. I'm planning to attend perhaps 3 or 4 shows a year rather than 3 or 4 a month, i'm not putting any pressure on myself or my rabbits to get to shows, win awards or anything else. I have already achieved everything I wanted to with my smoke pearls from a show point of view (cc, best fur, stock show winner, london and bradford bob winner, best in show winner, club champion, brc champion). I feel that for the next few years we will be better served as a family by taking a step back and some time to enjoy the present, we will continue to work with our rabbits and develop the next generation focusing on preserve the genetic variability of this beautiful breed, however it means that I won't worry about whether my rabbits are dirtying their feet by enjoying time to be rabbits.