What The Hell Is This, Anyway?
This website and the database behind it, is a response to literally thousands of posts on Facebook or conversations face-to-face many Flemish Giant breeders have had over the years. They all boil down to this:
Are my kits developing normally?
For decades, and for hundreds of breeders, that question boils down to, "what do they weigh, and when do they weigh it?" Many of us have seen or used the Keith Forbush Flemish charts that were developed from Mr. Forbush's long experience in Flemish. I know I still use it. Problem is, that chart was developed from the experience of largely one breeder over many years in one area of the United States of America in the varieties that that breeder chose to work. At that time, there was no internet... hell, there wasn't even cheap long-distance phone calls. 40 years ago the Flemish Guidebook listed many breeders whose only contact information was a name and an RFD postal box.
This is 2016.
Who am I?
I have been in the information technology world for 37 years. I started on TRS-80 and Apple ][ computers in the late 1970s, and I built networks and massive data systems for engineering firms, law firms, universities and the Federal Government, many of which still handle hundreds of thousands of transactions every day, Late in my IT career, I met my first Flemish Giant. I still have some of his grandchildren. I have a mountain of BIS, BOB, BOV trophies, and I bred the 2010-2011 Sweepstakes-winning SMC03 Lily. I regard wabbit data as just another data problem, one I can help solve. I am an IT professional who is a half-assed Flemish breeder, not the other way around.
Why should I help?
I don't know, I don't care. Sit on your butt, it makes no difference to me. But if you'd like to help improve the quality of weight and growth data for new breeders, or if you'd like to see how your herd measures up against potentially thousands of other wabbits, well, help out.
Who will know who I am?
Nobody. I won't be recording ANY data about you or the wabbit. I don't want (and in fact there will be nowhere for you to enter) ear numbers, breeder information, street addresses, or pretty much anything else that will personally identify you. I don't want it and will not allow you to enter it. That's not what this is about. I don't know, and I don't care, unless it's a wabbit.
Can your system track my wabbit's growth?
No. Some extremely smart person (which I am not) could, in theory, go off date of birth and weights and guess at a specific wabbit, but they will be lacking enough data that real tracking will be meaningless. Plus, YOU provide the date of birth, so if you fudge it a day or two either way, no one will ever be able to trust the data to where they could identify you. However, see...
What if I enter bullshit?
The system will accept bullshit, but when it comes to providing reports and graphs to the Flemish community, bullshit data will be filtered out. Have fun typing it in, though!
When do we learn what you've learned?
If I get enough data to make what I consider a statistically-valid sample, I will publish links back to this system. If we get decent data, I could see making some of it available as early as 2017 Flemish Nationals in Cortland, New York, but we won't have had a full year. That said, since this system will accept weight data for ANY recognized Flemish variety of ANY AGE, maybe this won't be so difficult.
This site doesn't work on my phone/computer/tablet/TV/telegraph!
everything, all the time
, and that means, no fancy graphics or logos or any of that BS. I will warn you, though: this site operates out of a server in our actual house, and over the years it HAS gone down when actual Flemish have chewed through power or network cables, Since this server also runs our email and a dozen other websites, we tend to fix problems very rapidly and lecture the offending wabbits pretty sternly.