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REW? Pointed white??? ~ baby rabbit question

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

hi everyone 

Our black vienna doe just had 5 kits, 2 black, and 3 "whites".

The problem is, the whites seem to have red eyes. I thought the doe would produce BEW babies, as I didn't think vienna could produce REW kits, only BEW. The kits are pure white, no markings on nose or ears but have grey/pointed tails. I would call them pointed, but they don' have all the markings! Are their markings supposed to come in a bit later? Only one kit has opened it's eyes and from what I can see he is ruby-eyed. Am I just being tricked and he is actually BEW only looks REW?? God sorry this is confusing me... as for the black kits, they haven't opened their eyes yet and both look jet black. The is our doe:

 

She has a white marking only on the front, and after several questions a lot of people confirmed she must be vienna. We had a similar buck and I was hoping to find some BEW kits in this litter. 

 

I would really appreciate any help on this issue!

Thanks

8 silkie hens, 3 silkie boys, 3 Jersey wooly buns, and tons of chirping and hopping babies
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8 silkie hens, 3 silkie boys, 3 Jersey wooly buns, and tons of chirping and hopping babies
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post #2 of 4

There are a whole bunch of different genes that influence coat color in a rabbit. They are in different locations, and they do different things. It is the combined result of all of their influence that determines what color a rabbit is. Some of the genes have only two different forms, and some have several. If it helps, think of it like a string of those pop beads that little kids have. In the first position, you have a square bead. It could be red or blue, but is must be square, and this is the only bead in the string that is square. The second bead is oval - it could be yellow or green, but it must be oval, and this is the only oval bead in the string - get the idea? Well, rather than beads of different shapes, we have letters to designate the different genes. In the B series, for example, there are two possibilities, B and b, but those are the only genes in the B series, and they only appear there - you can't swap a D for a B, or any other letter. D's have their own series, and they go there, nowhere else.

 

If your babies have gray tails, they are Himis/Pointed Whites. The Himalayan coloration is temperature sensitive. Where the skin is a bit cooler, pigment gets put in the hair, but in warmer areas, the hair gets no pigment. Himi babies are typically all white at birth; the points develop as they grow. You usually see color on the tails first. 

 

Himi/Pointed White is a gene in the C series. There are actually several genes in the C series; ranging from the  most dominant full color (C) to the most recessive "true albino" Ruby-eyed White (c). All rabbits have two genes in the C series (one that came from their mother, one from their father). They may be the same form, or they may be different forms, but the most dominant form that they have is the one you will see. With me so far?

 

With her black coat and brown eyes, your doe is expressing full color, so just looking at her we know that she has at least one copy of the full color (C) gene. What we don't know, is whether her second c-gene is another C, or possibly one of the more recessive genes in the series.

 

As I said, at the bottom of the "ladder of dominance" in the C series is the REW gene. It shuts down all pigment production to the coat and the eyes, so you get a white rabbit with pink eyes. One step up from that is the Himi gene. Himis are near albinos, with their mostly white coats and pink eyes. They usually only have pigment on the cooler parts of their bodies (the "points"); though something that causes the skin to be cool on their bodies may result in dark pigment popping up in other areas too (it isn't unusual for Pointed White does to have black spots on their dewlaps because of fur pulling). Your Pointed babies are expressing the Himi gene (ch). If you bred your full-color doe to a full-color buck and got Himi (Pointed) babies, you know that at least one of them has a Himi gene, and the other has either a Himi or a REW gene (REW is the only one more recessive than Himi).

 

BEW (Vienna) happens at a totally different location, the V series. There are only two possibilities in the V series, v (BEW) and non-Vienna (V). Most rabbits that have one copy of the Vienna gene express it as white markings on the face, feet and possibly body, but not all. A rabbit with two copies of the Vienna gene only has dark pigment on the backs of its eyes - so, blue eyes, dark pupils.

 

As I said earlier, it's the cumulative effect of all of the genes that produces the color of the rabbit, and this can get pretty complicated. Generally speaking, any gene (or combination of genes) that shuts down color production to an area of the coat is going to make that area white - it won't get "overruled" by something else in another series that wants to put color there. So, if a rabbit gets two copies of the REW gene (cc) it will be a white rabbit with pink eyes, no matter what the other genes it inherited say. And this is where things could get rather confusing for you. A Pointed White is supposed to have color on the ears, nose, tail and feet, but if your little Pointeds got whichever gene put those white markings on their mom, they may have instructions that say there is white on the nose, or maybe feet, so color never develops there. If one of your little Pointeds winds up with a white nose marking like the doe has, it could have a dark blotch like a normal Himi, with a small white spot in the middle of it.

 

And if you aren't completely confused at this point, I can take it one step further. If, by chance, both of your breeders are Vienna Marked, there is still the possibility of a baby getting Vienna from both parents, and having the genetic information that says, "white rabbit with blue eyes." BUT, if that same baby also gets the Himi gene from both parents, do you think you know what it would look like? Well, BEW's have no color in the hair, so no dark points, even though the Himi gene says they should be there. And the Himi gene says no color to the eyes, even though the Vienna gene says their should be. So, no color in the coat, no color in the eyes - it would look like a REW, even though genetically, it's a BEW Himi!:th 

 

Should I pass the ibuprofen?:hide 

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 


I was hoping you would see my thread!! 

Thanks so much for your explanation, I'm still processing though!

 :caf

What I didn't get was wether my doe could carry both genes, Himi and the vienna/BEW? And if yes, then there maybe a possibility to get BEW kits like you said.

And if they didn't get the himi gene, they would be full BEW and not BEW himi? 

8 silkie hens, 3 silkie boys, 3 Jersey wooly buns, and tons of chirping and hopping babies
Reply
8 silkie hens, 3 silkie boys, 3 Jersey wooly buns, and tons of chirping and hopping babies
Reply
post #4 of 4

Himi is C series, BEW is V series; they happen in completely different places. Every rabbit has  2 c-genes and two v-genes; so yes, the doe most certainly can have both Himi and Vienna.  With me, the jury is still out - I'm not 100% sure that what put the white on your doe is Vienna. But it seems likely, and if your buck and doe both have it, then yes, they both can give it to some of their offspring, and you could get BEW babies. If they also inherit at least one copy of the full color C, they will be BEW.

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