Ok, so many of us have received our ballots for the proposed changes to the Standard of Perfection for Jersey Woolies. There is already a great deal of discussion on the topic in both blogs and forums. Hopefully everyone will carefully weigh the changes and do their own research. I dug into this a little further than I had originally anticipated and have the following observations. Keep in mind its just one persons opinion.
First, I want to state in a broad sense what the standard of perfection is. Its just that, the standard that we want each of our rabbits to become. If its unclear, or it leaves room for too much variation, then is it really a standard of perfection? Or is it in a broader sense just a standard, but one that does not necessarily seek perfection? I am a very matter of fact kind of person, tell me exactly what you want, and that’s what I shoot for. Tell me exactly what you want from the Jersey Wooly and that’s what I try to achieve.
I tried to look at this not just from a Jersey Wooly angle, but also from an overall ARBA standard level. So I looked at the fur/wool points for every breed recognized by the ARBA. Of course, you have your breeds that are no doubt raised for their fur/wool. They receive fur/wool points as follows:
- Angora breeds 55+
- Mini Rex gives 35
- Standard Rex 40
- Satins 30
- Mini Satin 25
- Standard Chin 30
- American Chin 25.
That being said, I am a little concerned that we would reduce the wool to just 22 points. That puts the wool of the jesrsey wooly slightly above American Sable, Beveren, Californian, Florida White, Havana, Lilac, Silver Fox and Silver Marten all of which have 20 points for fur. I would like to see us be a little more distinguished from those breeds in terms of the wool. I’m ok with reducing the wool but maybe to 25 instead of 22, and I’ll explain my reasoning for that momentarily.
Changes in Ears
I like putting more emphasis on the ears (points), and the description change. It has everything to do with obtaining a standard of perfection. Right now there is way too much variation in the ears and it makes it difficult to achieve a “perfect” jersey wooly. To me it doesn’t matter if the description faults for having the wide “v” of the ears (as is the recommened change), or faults for not having the wide “v”. Making it clear that we want one or the other, makes it easier for judges and breeders alike. Making this change then makes sense to also change the points for the ears. This would put an emphasis on correcting some of the inconsistency in the ears.
This is why I believe its ok to remove a couple of points from wool. They need to be added to the ears, and I’m not sure where else they would come from. I don’t think we need to add points to the head. I will admit that I love a big head on a jersey. Maybe that’s just the Holland Lops coming out!
I am a little confused about soemthing on this one. Eliminating a duplicate description regarding matting and webbing makes complete sense. No need to say the same thing twice in the standard. However, we add a duplication in Texture. Let me explain.
Matted and webbed coats are currently listed as a fault in both texture and density. However, I’m not sure it should be a density issue, but it should be placed somewhere. I am always suprised to see how many ungroomed rabbits make it to the table. If you not willing to correct it for a show, are you really taking care of them at home? What I find odd though is that we eliminate the duplication of the webbed and matted, but we create a duplication with the uneven coat.
Uneven coat is currently listed under length. It makes sense for it to be a length issue. However, now we are adding it to texture as well. That to me does not make sense. So would a rabbit be faulted twice for an uneven coat?
Limp and uneven coat is another issue all together. The proposal is to move both under texture from its current location under density. I think its how you perceive the words “texture” and “density”. According to the dictionary texture is the structure, appearance and feel. Density is the quantity or mass of something. To me a limp coat would be a structural issue with the coat. So correctly this would be moved under texture. However, a thin coat would fit better under density.
I am so excited about our chinchilla litter. They are looking really good right now. They are mixed in with a squirrel. The change here makes the description and fault work ok together. My question is, why have the sentence stating that they “may” or “may not” have slate undercolor in the color description? Either it should or it shouldn’t. Removing the slate undercolor from the disqualification does not fix the inconsistency in the description. Based on reading all the descriptions from the breeds in the standard of perfection with a chinchilla color, it is pretty consistent to require the slate undercolor for a chinchilla. Oh, oh better run out to the barn to check the undercolor of those chins!
Wool Length Grammar Change
We always want correct grammar in any publication about our breed. This is a good change.
I do like some of the things the standards committee is trying to achieve. I wish we could sit in on their discussions, because there may be factors in their decision making that I did not consider. I sat down and wrote an article in a day, they studied this for months. I will vote positively on some of the changes, but probably not all of them. That’s what I like about this process. I get to vote! Once voting is done though, I will support our club, and work with our herd to produce rabbits that come as close as possible to the new standard.
© 2009, Three Little Ladies Rabbitry Blog. All rights reserved.Rob Usakowski