Even Judges Can Be Unscrupulous

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Meadowlark22

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Just want to say this is NOT about being upset about a rabbit judged, as I respectfully understand each judge is entittled to their observation of the breed.

In mid January this year, I bought a New Zealand REW buck for $300 (and last minute doe for $85) from an unnamed ARBA judge who is also a breeder. I am new to owning show quality rabbits, but I would like to say I am well researched, and very familiar with color genetics. While I was told from another source that they were a good breeder, they were also a salesperson wanting to move their stock along. I purchased a 4th place Nationals NZ REW buck, and am quite happy with his type. Huge BUT… they refused to answer my questions (or directly lied) about information I asked until after cash was exchanged. I should have backed out, but they were highly recommended by my rabbit mentor, so I thought it would be better to trust my mentor on that.

Note: All correspondence (relating to below sections) took place 3 weeks in advance over the course of 2-3 days.

Issues I Had:
1) I asked for the pedigree, registration, and grand champion papers to be ready on purchase day (as they have to be signed over), and the breeder agreed. They showed up with none of the above. They explained the registration was being mailed into ARBA for his grand championship that he didn’t have “quite yet”. Okay, then where’s the pedigree? On their computer back home, but no worries, give them my email and they’ll message it to me. Still don’t have either registration or grand championship papers to this day. I finally got the pedigree right after I got the doe’s.

2) I needed him to breed with both my REW does and my broken black doe and produce showable kits: no steel, agouti, etc. (Broken/REW would be for personal use as their pedigree is not worth selling to others). I let them know in advance that I needed to breed both, but when I drove the 9 hours to meet them (again after much written communication on both sides to make sure he and the new doe were worth the drive), they avoided answering the most basic of questions. Asked the color he’s carrying, “Don’t worry about it, he’s a proven breeder with over 5 litters!” Well, they also breed lilacs NZs, the most recessive of all NZ coat colors, and I’m sure they are well aware what he’s carrying. It took until after cash was exchanged that they let me know, “Oh, yeah, so he’s ‘carrying’ steel.” Found out yesterday with a new litter from him, he’s not just carrying steel, he is steel AND agouti so it shows up in the babies! Not a single kit is keepable for show from the litter, even if they ended up having amazing type. So now I have to look for an additional black buck for my broken doe.

3) I ordered a last minute REW doe as I am trying to breed for maximum diversity from a breeding chart (for sheep) I found by chance. I explained my current does were underweight, and I needed a hefty female (preferably breaking 11lbs) to pair with the new buck to bring weight back to my lines. They said they happened to have just the doe, although she would be a bit young and I would have to wait to breed. No biggie. Dam was 10.5lbs, and her sire was larger! Sweet! After her pedigree was emailed to me (a week after purchase, required constant hounding), I found out her sire was not “larger.” Oh no. He was 9lbs. Even if I got the average of the parents, I would have a 10lbs doe… I needed 11lbs+.

4) I was hoping to continue showing the buck I purchased. I asked them, the ARBA judge, if that was possible. Of course it is! Just have to wait 90 days after sale. Awesome! The championship papers from last fall state the buck was 10.5lbs entering show. When I brought him home, he weighed 11.5lbs… and not overweight. So he is too big to show, and I am forever going to bring a scale with me when looking to purchase another rabbit.

5) Recently found out that the registration paper that they sent in for the buck, they registered the judge who examined it as themselves! I don’t know if that is legal or not, but some part of me says that’s hinky. Owning the rabbit, then getting it examined by a judge (themselves) to say, “Yeah, it’s registrable.” And I found out because they sent me a picture of the registration BEFORE mailing it in so I could have a copy. They told me on purchase (back in mid January) that it was already in the mail either to or from ARBA itself.

Goes to show (ta-da-tss), that while I have met very nice and helpful judges in the past, not all of them actually hold to being honest in their transactions. My newbie mistake was believing that if the breeder is an “ARBA judge”, that they would hold to a higher standard as an example to new and potential members.

FYI: Whole reason I brought this up was because his first litter with my broken doe was born yesterday. The kits all turned out to be agouti/steel and broken agouti.

If anyone knows of a good NZ Black breeder south of King City, CA, please let me know!
 
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ThunderHill

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After her pedigree was emailed to me (a week after purchase, required constant hounding), I found out her sire was not “larger.” Oh no. He was 9lbs. Even if I got the average of the parents, I would have a 10lbs doe… I needed 11lbs+.
Hi! I'm so sorry you had this experience. I started with a trio of 12 week old black and broken black NZ who supposedly came from amazing show bloodlines, and the buck ended up right at 9 lbs and the does 9.5 and 10.5 lbs. We wanted them for meat (and maybe show), so were disappointed at the small size, but surprisingly the little doe gives us bigger kits, including a black buck who grew to 11 lbs at a good body weight! So he has now replaced his dad as our main buck and we're seeing 5 lbs by 9 weeks or so on average. I don't know if we just got lucky, but i guess it is possible for the young to outgrow their parents. Hopefully this ends up being the case for your doe!

To top off our "purchasing from excellent bloodlines" experience, our little 9 lb buck also appears to be self-chin with mottled gray eyes! Not even showable if we wanted to, and we did tell the breeder that our kids might want to start 4H and show them! :rolleyes:
 

SixGun

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I'm so sorry you have had this experience.

A few things I noted, which may or may not actually pertain to your situation...

-I rarely carry paper pedigrees, but since they are all online I can email them on the spot, at the time of purchase.
-Weights on pedigrees can be off. My pedigree program, where I enter weights throughout life, records that weight on the pedigree. However if I sold that rabbit at 12 weeks, the weight listed is not going to be their adult weight.
-Many ARBA judges are Registrars and vice versa. However they are separate tests and certifications. A breeder I purchase from often, and recommend is a Registrar and so her rabbits are registered by her. Although it could be untoward, it's not against any rules.

A question? Does the pedigree show Agouti and Steel? Or are they all REW for four generations?
 

HTAcres

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2) I needed him to breed with both my REW does and my broken black doe and produce showable kits: no steel, agouti, etc. (Broken/REW would be for personal use as their pedigree is not worth selling to others). I let them know in advance that I needed to breed both, but when I drove the 9 hours to meet them (again after much written communication on both sides to make sure he and the new doe were worth the drive), they avoided answering the most basic of questions. Asked the color he’s carrying, “Don’t worry about it, he’s a proven breeder with over 5 litters!” Well, they also breed lilacs NZs, the most recessive of all NZ coat colors, and I’m sure they are well aware what he’s carrying. It took until after cash was exchanged that they let me know, “Oh, yeah, so he’s ‘carrying’ steel.” Found out yesterday with a new litter from him, he’s not just carrying steel, he is steel AND agouti so it shows up in the babies! Not a single kit is keepable for show from the litter, even if they ended up having amazing type. So now I have to look for an additional black buck for my broken doe.
Out of it all, this gives me the most Grrrrs because while I am no color expert, I know enough to understand what you mean by them for dang sure knowing that this was not going to meet your needs. I don't understand how people can do that.
 

Meadowlark22

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I'm so sorry you have had this experience.

A few things I noted, which may or may not actually pertain to your situation...

-I rarely carry paper pedigrees, but since they are all online I can email them on the spot, at the time of purchase.
-Weights on pedigrees can be off. My pedigree program, where I enter weights throughout life, records that weight on the pedigree. However if I sold that rabbit at 12 weeks, the weight listed is not going to be their adult weight.
-Many ARBA judges are Registrars and vice versa. However they are separate tests and certifications. A breeder I purchase from often, and recommend is a Registrar and so her rabbits are registered by her. Although it could be untoward, it's not against any rules.

A question? Does the pedigree show Agouti and Steel? Or are they all REW for four generations?
I totally understand your points.
- I also have my pedigrees in paper and pdf form and can email on the spot. They did not have a way to email without going home as they only had it on their local computer. Given the three weeks heads up and written agreement that they’d be handed over on day of purchase, there was a boundary crossed there. If I had not communicated in advance, I totally would have expected an email or possibly not receive it at all.
- Nice catch! The weight wasn’t on the pedigree, it was on the Nationals placement form dated a couple months prior while he was at his senior weight (8 months old). Will edit above.
- Nice to know about the registration! I still think it’s odd that someone else isn’t required to check your rabbits, but I’m glad to know that it is a thing. 😁
- On his pedigree, he’s listed as a REW with no further genotypes or descriptions listed dating back 3 generations (that’s all I have), him being the fourth gen.
 

Meadowlark22

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Just want to say this is NOT about being upset about a rabbit judged, as I respectfully understand each judge is entittled to their observation of the breed.

In mid January this year, I bought a New Zealand REW buck for $300 (and last minute doe for $85) from an unnamed ARBA judge who is also a breeder. I am new to owning show quality rabbits, but I would like to say I am well researched, and very familiar with color genetics. While I was told from another source that they were a good breeder, they were also a salesperson wanting to move their stock along. I purchased a 4th place Nationals NZ REW buck, and am quite happy with his type. Huge BUT… they refused to answer my questions (or directly lied) about information I asked until after cash was exchanged. I should have backed out, but they were highly recommended by my rabbit mentor, so I thought it would be better to trust my mentor on that.

Note: All correspondence (relating to below sections) took place 3 weeks in advance over the course of 2-3 days.

Issues I Had:
1) I asked for the pedigree, registration, and grand champion papers to be ready on purchase day (as they have to be signed over), and the breeder agreed. They showed up with none of the above. They explained the registration was being mailed into ARBA for his grand championship that he didn’t have “quite yet”. Okay, then where’s the pedigree? On their computer back home, but no worries, give them my email and they’ll message it to me. Still don’t have either registration or grand championship papers to this day. I finally got the pedigree right after I got the doe’s.

2) I needed him to breed with both my REW does and my broken black doe and produce showable kits: no steel, agouti, etc. (Broken/REW would be for personal use as their pedigree is not worth selling to others). I let them know in advance that I needed to breed both, but when I drove the 9 hours to meet them (again after much written communication on both sides to make sure he and the new doe were worth the drive), they avoided answering the most basic of questions. Asked the color he’s carrying, “Don’t worry about it, he’s a proven breeder with over 5 litters!” Well, they also breed lilacs NZs, the most recessive of all NZ coat colors, and I’m sure they are well aware what he’s carrying. It took until after cash was exchanged that they let me know, “Oh, yeah, so he’s ‘carrying’ steel.” Found out yesterday with a new litter from him, he’s not just carrying steel, he is steel AND agouti so it shows up in the babies! Not a single kit is keepable for show from the litter, even if they ended up having amazing type. So now I have to look for an additional black buck for my broken doe.

3) I ordered a last minute REW doe as I am trying to breed for maximum diversity from a breeding chart (for sheep) I found by chance. I explained my current does were underweight, and I needed a hefty female (preferably breaking 11lbs) to pair with the new buck to bring weight back to my lines. They said they happened to have just the doe, although she would be a bit young and I would have to wait to breed. No biggie. Dam was 10.5lbs, and her sire was larger! Sweet! After her pedigree was emailed to me (a week after purchase, required constant hounding), I found out her sire was not “larger.” Oh no. He was 9lbs. Even if I got the average of the parents, I would have a 10lbs doe… I needed 11lbs+.

4) I was hoping to continue showing the buck I purchased. I asked them, the ARBA judge, if that was possible. Of course it is! Just have to wait 90 days after sale. Awesome! The championship papers from last fall state the buck was 10.5lbs entering show. When I brought him home, he weighed 11.5lbs… and not overweight. So he is too big to show, and I am forever going to bring a scale with me when looking to purchase another rabbit.

5) Recently found out that the registration paper that they sent in for the buck, they registered the judge who examined it as themselves! I don’t know if that is legal or not, but some part of me says that’s hinky. Owning the rabbit, then getting it examined by a judge (themselves) to say, “Yeah, it’s registrable.” And I found out because they sent me a picture of the registration BEFORE mailing it in so I could have a copy. They told me on purchase (back in mid January) that it was already in the mail either to or from ARBA itself.

Goes to show (ta-da-tss), that while I have met very nice and helpful judges in the past, not all of them actually hold to being honest in their transactions. My newbie mistake was believing that if the breeder is an “ARBA judge”, that they would hold to a higher standard as an example to new and potential members.

FYI: Whole reason I brought this up was because his first litter with my broken doe was born yesterday. The kits all turned out to be agouti/steel and broken agouti.

If anyone knows of a good NZ Black breeder south of King City, CA, please let me know!
So I can’t edit the main text anymore, but just FYI, the buck’s weight was found on the Nationals placement form and not the pedigree or championship papers (I don’t even have those yet).
 

ladysown

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So he's a black buck or a REW?

New Zealands often carry steel. So you have a buck that throws you good type. So what you need now is a doe (a big one) that is black. so you can breed the best chestnut buck from your new buck to that new doe. You really only need one new rabbit as you can probably make it work. Just have to work around it backwards a bit.
 

Meadowlark22

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So he's a black buck or a REW?

New Zealands often carry steel. So you have a buck that throws you good type. So what you need now is a doe (a big one) that is black. so you can breed the best chestnut buck from your new buck to that new doe. You really only need one new rabbit as you can probably make it work. Just have to work around it backwards a bit.
He’s a REW carrying agouti and steel. All of my does are REW, with the exception of my broken black doe.
It never occurred to me to keep the baby. I could actually do that with my broken doe and breed her back to her best son. Half of those babies (statistically) should be agouti (bleh) and self (yay!). I would only be using her line for personal use anyways, so it would just be a set back for future potential litters.

Although my luck is terrible! My last two litters (7 and 8 kits) were all does, and I needed a buck from each. 😝
 

ladysown

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so, all those REW could be carrying agouti and steel. It's a very common thing in NZW's. I get steel all the time regardless of what I cross my NZW doe to...and some of those kits are really pretty. :) These are all from different bucks.
 

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RabbitsOfTheCreek

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so, all those REW could be carrying agouti and steel. It's a very common thing in NZW's. I get steel all the time regardless of what I cross my NZW doe to...and some of those kits are really pretty. :) These are all from different bucks.
Awwwwww
 

Meadowlark22

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so, all those REW could be carrying agouti and steel. It's a very common thing in NZW's. I get steel all the time regardless of what I cross my NZW doe to...and some of those kits are really pretty. :) These are all from different bucks.
True, I am a little concerned about two other of my REW does. I know my third REW doe is self black with no agouti/steel just from breeding her. Thankfully, I don’t have to worry to much breeding white to white, as I’ll only get white (supposedly).

Cute buns! 😍 The agoutis are still pretty, but just disappointing they aren’t showable. 🐰
 

hotzcatz

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AFAIK, steel is pretty much always with agouti, isn't it? What color would steel (Es) be if it were on a self (aa) rabbit? All the ticked colors - plain steel, blue steel, chocolate steel and lilac steel - are all agouti based. I only really keep track of English angora colors, though, so maybe other breeds have a self based steel color?

Breed the REW buck to a REW doe and end of any color problems since all you'll get will be more REWs.

It does sound as if they guy was unloading his unwanteds on you, though. Generally, though, breeders will not sell their best stock unless it's a duplicate of something else they already have. They can't sell their best stock or they won't have a decent herd very soon.
 

Meadowlark22

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AFAIK, steel is pretty much always with agouti, isn't it? What color would steel (Es) be if it were on a self (aa) rabbit? All the ticked colors - plain steel, blue steel, chocolate steel and lilac steel - are all agouti based. I only really keep track of English angora colors, though, so maybe other breeds have a self based steel color?

Breed the REW buck to a REW doe and end of any color problems since all you'll get will be more REWs.

It does sound as if they guy was unloading his unwanteds on you, though. Generally, though, breeders will not sell their best stock unless it's a duplicate of something else they already have. They can't sell their best stock or they won't have a decent herd very soon.
Yes and no. From what I understand, steel can be carried regardless, but only shows if your rabbits are agouti as well.

Yes, I do want REW’s so I am trying to breed him, but turns out he is very aggressive to does and tried to hurt them in any way he can (besides the normal grab hold to breed).

I totally get not getting the best of the best! I’d expect a few flaws here and there, but no DQs or serious genetic issues, especially when they say they have what I want after I asked for a showable, breedable buck. Breeders get first pick after all. But if they have one with major faults, or just straight up lie, I’d rather avoid them altogether. But yes, I’d be happy with even their mediocre rabbits because I saw the parents and they were gorgeous! I just got a “runt” and a buck they got from someone else and unloaded onto me.
 

HTAcres

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He’s a REW carrying agouti and steel. All of my does are REW, with the exception of my broken black doe.
It never occurred to me to keep the baby. I could actually do that with my broken doe and breed her back to her best son. Half of those babies (statistically) should be agouti (bleh) and self (yay!). I would only be using her line for personal use anyways, so it would just be a set back for future potential litters.

Although my luck is terrible! My last two litters (7 and 8 kits) were all does, and I needed a buck from each. 😝
You need to spread that terrible luck around some. hahaha
 

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