Hi, my name is Kayla Menn and I have been raising rabbits officially since before I was in 4-H. I am a graduated member of the Hill-N-Valley 4-H Club and the Brookwood FFA. Some of our favorite activities in the past include taking a rabbit, pigeon, and a Collie or Sheltie dog to the county nursing home and providing a petting zoo for the area Dairy Breakfast for June Dairy Month and the Monroe County Fair.
I have always had rabbits, since my mom had rabbits when she was in 4-H as a youth. She raised Flemish. We always joke that I got the "Flemish Gene" from her. I have tried raising Jersey Woolies, Netherland Dwarfs, mini rex, Champagnes, steel Dutch, and have always had Flemish Giants and Holland Lops. My sister has raised English Spots, Dutch and Mini Rex. I still have Jersey Woolies, gold English Spots, Californians, a very special tort Holland lop named “Dusk” and Flemish Giants in black, blue, fawn, light gray, sandy and white. Although my breeds have changed, I will always have Flemish Giants under the name of "Hidden Oaks Rabbitry".
My first Flemish Giant was a small, sandy doe called "Angel", brought home from the Amish. After Angel, I got Pete I. Pete was the rabbit that I won showmanship with for the first time. He later died of a tumor after he had "Fawn" with Angel.
In replacement for Pete I, Mom got me my first fawn Flemish buck that I named Pete II. I received "Jasmine" from Fawn and Pete. Jasmine was the first rabbit that I raised who won a leg for me, winning Best of Variety at the 2004 Wisconsin State Fair. She later got Best Opposite Sex of Variety for her second leg. After Pete II came to live with us and before he had Jasmine, my mom surprised me with a white Flemish Giant that I thought was a Florida White at first -- that was because he was a junior -- but my mom said to look at his ears. We named him "Ex Caliber" after mom's white Flemish that she had as a youth. Ex Caliber was probably one of my most favorite rabbits. He had gotten sore hocks, so we put him in the dog kennel that was sitting idle and he just stayed there, becoming like a small dog to us, until he died at the age of two -- which is normal for a Flemish. These Flemish helped me get the Flemish part of my rabbitry started.
Holland lops were another one of my favorite breeds. I started out with Blizzard, a broken tort buck, February, a chestnut doe, Misty, a broken blue doe, Chester, a solid tort buck, (Dusk’s dad), and Lila, a broken tort doe I purchased with Chester and died soon after having her first litter. Her litter did not survive either. My biggest challenge with Holland Lops was getting them to be under four pounds, since both Blizzard, February, their offspring, and Misty were a little big for Hollands and too small to be Mini Lops. I was finally able to part with them and get on a roll with Poppy, a solid black doe, and Chester. I had a few litters with not exceptional quality before Dusk and Scarlet were born. These two were solid torts and the best of the litter. I was very excited when they both won legs because I bred and raised them and Holland Lops are one of the hardest breeds for me to raise. It is sometimes hard to get Hollands pregnant and then, because their birth canal is small, the babies are born dead. This is only in some rabbits though. My rabbit, Poppy, was a VERY good mother! But, unfortunately, her litter with Dusk and Scarlet was her last. Dianthus was my first Holland that I raised that showed the best quality of a Holland -- even though she was out of Misty. Dianthus was a torted tri.
I settled on Champagnes for my third breed the end of 2004. I decided to raise Champagne D' Argents because of their unique color and because I needed a meat breed for my FFA SAE (or project). I didn't really want to have New Zealands or Californians. But eventually, because I didn’t have luck with the Champagnes I did get some Californians. My mom raised those too and they'll help with my rabbit project. Champagnes have become a fast favorite on our farm and had a wonderful temperament but as of spring of 2010, we have only 2 Champ/Cal crosses left who we use for meat production!
Well, this about wraps up the history of Hidden Oaks Rabbitry. I hope that you enjoy the site and found this at least somewhat interesting!