Thursday, December 18, 2014

Harlequins No More

I’ll admit, I’m saddened by the thought of not having Jessica’s Harlequins around any longer. After the ordeal with Jessica back in September/October, her father and I decided to place the rest of her show herd and brood stock with youth across the country. Jessica and I have been working with Harlequins for over three years. Jessica’s biggest accomplishment was Best of Breed Youth at the Harrisburg, PA ARBA Convention back in 2013. Not to mention her big wins at Harlequin Nationals in the spring of 2014 in Dalton, GA.

For a few years now Jessica and I have been promoting the Harlequin breed. We (Jessica, Phillip and I) are even founding officers of the Eastern Harlequin Rabbit Club. My husband and I both hold offices within this club (secretary and treasurer). Our little club was awarded the honor of hosting 2016 Harlequin Nationals in New Jersey (which I am in charge of). Jessica was an awesome supporter of the Harlequin breed. Many of her rabbits were registered with ARBA and many went on to earn Grand Championships with numerous legs.

However, at the same time, they’ve been a bit of a stressful breed for my husband and I. With Jessica choosing to live with her biological mother, every time one of us went to feed the bunnies we would break down in tears looking at the Harlequins, so we made the toughest decision…which was to move them on.

It will be nice to get the rabbitry and caviary back to being angoras again, and start concentrating on my angoras more. Over the past two years my husband and I have been huge breed supporters of the Harlequin breed. For all most two years we (my husband and I) put our own breeds on the back burner for our daughter’s breed. You see with Harlequins there is a 99% chance that none of the kits born in the litter are showable. So we ended up with a lot of brood/pet quality kits to grow out which took time, money and space. One option we had was to cull (kill) the non- showable kits at birth and back breed the doe immediately. We chose not to follow that idea. We grew each bunny out until it was 10 weeks old and all the pet quality (non-showable) ones we took to the local auction barn.

Until my husband or I can be replaced as officers of the local Harlequin club we have decided to stay and help support the club. Not to mention I have a lot of work that needs to be done to prepare for Harlequin Nationals in the spring of 2016 in New Jersey.

If you are interested in the breed, we know quite a few people we would be happy to recommend to help you establish a small herd.


No comments:

Post a Comment