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Maintaining a good coat


Most fuzzy lop breeders will have a Dog Blower to blow the rabbit coats out. Most breeders start from the tail and work toward the shoulders. Be careful to protect the rabbit's inner ear, eyes and nose since these blowers are pretty strong. I try to blow away from those areas or cover them up with my free hand. You'll need to keep a firm hand on your rabbit, if the blower doesn't blow your rabbit clean off the table then the rabbit will at least be squirming to get away from it.

If you can't afford a blower you can ask a dog groomer what they would charge to do it.
Chances are it wouldn't cost very much. All you want them to do is blow the coat out for two or three minutes (if you haven't let it get matted).

Blowing the coat out, detangles the coat. It also blows dust and debris that you didn't even know the rabbit had. It will loosen a matted coat and help
save the rabbit a lot of discomfort with a brush.

The biggest advantage of owning a blower is the increased longevity of your show coat. Every time you brush your rabbit, you pull out the wool undercoat and breakdown the guard hairs. 
The biggest mistake a new fuzzy lop breeder makes is over brushing their bunny. The coat density will become diminished from repeated brushing.
By blowing out the tangles very little brushing is necessary.

Once a rabbit's coat is blown out then maintaining the coat is much easier.
It seems to last longer too.
I can get away with blowing the coat out once a month during the show season. Then a quick once over the day before the show or the day of the show. 
I do blow them out at the show if I feel the coat is looking flat. This entirely depends on the rabbit. Some coats I want to show off the abundance of long healthy, glossy guard hairs. I find if I blow them out just before the class then the under coat surfaces and hides this beautiful effect.
If the coat is exceptionally dense then some rabbits get a disheveled messy look about them and need the hair to settle overnight. You'll have to experiment with your bunny and decide how you want them to look.
Whatever you decide make sure your bunny is tangle free when they go on the show table. 

I brush out the rabbits feet and make sure the feet are spotless. My white and broken rabbit's feet are as snowy white as the rest of the rabbit. This is accomplished by using a wire bottomed cage that is rust free and kept clean. Pee stained feet is one of my pet peeves when I see it at the shows. I wonder what condition the rabbit is living in and I don't want my bunnies catching anything from the unfortunate animal.

Below are some Affordable blower options. 
I bought Tabatha Corbin's 4HP Air Force Blower when she got out of bunnies. When the time comes to replace it, I plan on getting this Canadian Tire Vacuum that is a 3HP Blower and Vacuum Combo. It comes in handy for example when you bring your rabbits into a pet friendly hotel. You can do a quick once over with the vacuum before you leave.

http://www.canadiantire.ca
Simoniz® Heavy-duty 16-pc Vacuum Kit $99.99
Product #39-8225-8
Description:
Removes dirt and dust from upholstery, carpet, floor mats and hard-to-reach areas
3 peak horsepower industrial-grade motor provides outstanding suction power
Mini attachments for getting into those tiny crevices as small as 3/8"
Easy-to-empty reusable dust bag
Shoulder strap for easy carrying
Extra-long hose and power cord for greater reach
Comes with one 6' flexible hose, two 24" extension tubes, three full-size attachments, three mini-attachments with adaptor
Blower funnel, concentrated air funnel, shoulder strap, reusable dust bag, and canvas carry bag

Metro Air Force AFTD-3 COMMANDER 2 Speed Dog Dryer

The blowers come in a cheaper 2 HP version which I'm told works great and cost A LOT less. However the dog house blower is the cheapest on the market and is supposed to work great too. I don't think I'd show up at a rabbit show with a dog house blower, I'd leave it for home use . You can search the web for these or buy them on http://www.ebay.com. Approx. $50.00

Other Grooming option if you can't afford a blower

It's pretty stressful on the rabbit with that much air blowing on them, especially for babies.
Instead I use a regular Soft Pin, Ball Tipped dog brush that looks like the photo below.
A Jersey breeder I met in Medina, Ohio had the best coats I'd ever seen on a rabbit.
That dog brush was her secret.
It was all she used, so I've been using it ever since and my coats are staying in longer and looking great. My Dog Brush cost around $12.00, I didn't get a cheap one.
The brush doesn't pull the rabbit's wool out like the combs and cart brushes do.

I haven't had a need for the blower or a cart brush on my babies in the last three months. Instead I use this ball tipped brush and my baby coats are unbelievable. I used to cut the baby coats down to prevent matting and wait until an adult coat started to grow in. Now I can show a three month old Jr. with a full 4 inch coat. It's pretty impressive and the babies have been getting the top placing and even legs.

Here is a 9 week old baby which I maintained the coat using a Soft Pin, Ball Tipped dog brush. He got his first leg shortly after this photo at Lansing MI against some top breeders and much older Jr. bucks ( just turning Senior).


 

 

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