Ways to check legs for narrowness and pinched hips?

Tale of Tails Rabbitry

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I have been told by a few breeders that the ONLY way to properly evaluate for pinched hips and narrowness or confirm wide and parallel legs is to flip the rabbit over and have it draw up its feet to its belly...tickling the belly or feet or both can make them do that. I have been told by a large number of breeders that bunnies at 8 weeks old can appear pinched. I have also been told by a few that there are other methods of evaluating the legs.

Now I have been trying to do the proper way for a long while now and I must have rabbits that did not read that "draw up the feet" memo. I even watched a few videos on it, but most of my rabbits are not cooperative at all. Tickle their bellies and they either struggle to flip over or push out their feet even more or just grunt in annoyance. I have slowly rolled them over their hindquarters to lie them back and sometimes their feet stay close to the belly for a few seconds, but they will not bring them back up for me.

I have a doe that is wide and parallel in every position I place her, but she will not draw up to where her toes are against her belly; she came to me at 8 weeks appearing pinched, which I have also been told by some breeders is common for that age. I also have had a doe with pinched hips that look pinched in every position I place her and she will not draw up her feet at all for me. And I have had one that is narrow and parallel, same thing with not drawing up the feet, but I can tell she is narrow and not pinched.

So, I have two questions:

What will make a rabbit draw up its feet when flipped or how do you make it work?
Can their legs still be evaluated when they are not completely drawn up?
 
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secuono

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Pose them on wire, then look under the wire. But you can usually see legs sticking out from the side when posed, don't always need to look under or flip them.
 

promiseacres

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good question! :pop I am trying to learn this too. VERY bad issue in my Velveteen lops.
 

Tale of Tails Rabbitry

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Pose them on wire, then look under the wire. But you can usually see legs sticking out from the side when posed, don't always need to look under or flip them.
@secuono, I agree!

See, I think you can see if they are pinched or narrow from above as well as from below as you are suggesting, but that is not "acceptable" by some people it seems...:idunno I mean, Silver Foxes have longer hair, but not long enough to hide those problems.


@promiseacres, last night I was ready to just go back to meat rabbits only and I am having a buck transported from a breeder in the north to pick up Wednesday, whose mother got her third leg and brother got BOSB in a show there; mine got similar comments as the brother but his baby fur was not quite as nice, waiting for that first molt. Even though I am excited about getting this buck as well as another awesome buck I purchased recently, I was thinking that I was happier before I decided to work toward showing. :(


I was told that this is not properly positioned, but can there be any doubt that this rabbit is wide and parallel just because her toes are not tight to the belly? She is fully relaxed.

2018-04-04 wide and parallel.jpg




Now this one is obviously not even close to the "proper" position, but is there any doubt that she has some serious issues? I am only holding her because she would not hold the position for the picture. I am not pushing her legs together. That is just how she was.

2018-04-04 narrow.jpg



So, I am wondering what changes so much when they draw up the legs tightly to the belly?

The only thing I can figure is when they are young, they may relax into a V rather than keep their legs parallel and drawing them up will show they are parallel, but I have not seen that happen in older juniors and adults.....:confused: Sigh!
 

promiseacres

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Just looked at most of my polish... they all made a V when I held them on their backs...
 

promiseacres

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But they ARE young....so :idunno maybe will they outgrow it? Dispute their 3# size they are slow to mature. Like 18 months...
 
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Bunnylady

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When checking for undercut/pinched hips, the first step is to pose the rabbit correctly on its feet facing you, and run your hands over its back and down to the table. The rabbit should feel fully fleshed all the way down, and your hands should slide straight down from the hips to the table. You should not feel your fingers going under the rabbit at all (does that make sense?).

When you turn the rabbit over, you hold the head and shoulders steady with one hand. Hold your other hand flat, and press the back of it against the rabbit's belly, just in front of the hind legs. You might even do a GENTLE "bump" as you put it there - that usually inspires the rabbit to pull its feet up. Emphasis on "gentle" - you don't want to hurt or frighten the rabbit, just induce them to reflexively pull their feet up. If they don't go absolutely flat against the belly, that's OK. If they are straight, you will see it, as long as the rabbit's body isn't twisted in some way. You can't expect the rabbit to stay like that for long, so it may take a little practice to be quick and sure, That's how a judge does it.

Remember I said to start by posing the rabbit correctly? I saw an article once in Domestic Rabbit in which a judge posted 3 pictures, and asked the reader to play judge and place the rabbits in the pictures in an imaginary class. It was a trick question - all three pictures were of the same rabbit, it had just been posed a little bit differently in each. Incorrect positioning can make a big difference, and even judges can make that mistake! Learning how a rabbit should be posed, and setting it up correctly before you start to evaluate it, can be very important.
 
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