All rabbit breeders!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by EmAbTo48, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. EmAbTo48

    EmAbTo48 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have purchased 2 Himilyan Netherland Dwarfs that I plan to breed this spring my question as a novice breeder is what is the likely hood that all babies will come out as Himilyan dwarfs? I have read that some will be full size?!!!

    Any suggestions appreaciated!


    Anyways here they are :

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    Not the best pictures but Buck is on top and Doe on bottom.
     
  2. Alicia G

    Alicia G Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well both being Himis there is a higher chance of producing himi babies. But unless you have their pedigrees it is hard to tell what they will have. My friend has bred torts (holland lops) to torts and gotten litters where not a single kit was a tort. It really all depends on the genetics.
     
  3. EmAbTo48

    EmAbTo48 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They have full pedigrees and are registered....
     
  4. Duckchick2011

    Duckchick2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Then take a good look at their pedigrees. That should tell you what is in them genetics wise and what you can expect. For example, if both your rabbits have Red eyed whites in their background you will have a likely hood of getting a few completely white red eyed kits.

    Here is a site I use when I want to play around with what I might get from a pairing. http://www.ephiny.net/tim/pedigrees/color_calc.php The problem is it gives you EVERY possibility, you need to do more research to figure out what you can realistically expect from your bunnies. :)

    Here is another link that has helped me in the past. http://www.thenaturetrail.com/rabbit-genetics/color-c-series-chinchilla-sable-himalayan-rew/

    Keep in mind that each kit is going to get one copy of a specific gene from each parent. Since your rabbits would each be passing down the c(h) gene, you have a high chance of getting kits that look like the parents. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  5. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Himi is a rather odd gene. It occurs in the C series, where some of the genes behave a bit differently, depending on what they are paired with. It is true that some Himis carry REW. Usually, you can tell if they do, because the nose markings will be smaller on one that is chc than on one that has 2 copies of the Himi gene (chch). Himi is also temperature dependent. During the hot summer months, even Himis that have 2 Himi genes will often have little more than just the end of the nose colored. Himi kits that get chilled will often develop dark pigment in the part of the hair that was growing at that time, resulting in ticking that will shed out with the next molt.

    As to the question of whether they will be dwarfs or not - they will all be pedigreed Netherland Dwarfs, though some may not be of showable size. Most small rabbit breeds depend on the dwarfing gene to achieve the compact animals described in the breed standard. The dwarfing gene is a dominant gene, which means if a rabbit inherits it, you will see the effects of it in the rabbit. A rabbit with the dwarfing gene has shorter limbs, a shorter back, a shorter, rounder head, and shorter ears. A Netherland Dwarf without the dwarfing gene is slightly longer in the body and limbs, has slightly longer ears, and a slightly longer, narrower head. Netherland Dwarfs without the dwarfing gene are sometimes called "false dwarfs", and usually weigh 1/2 pound to 1 pound more than Dwarfs that did get the dwarfing gene.

    The problem with the dwarfing gene, is that it is a lethal gene. One copy of it, and one copy of the normal growth gene, gets you the compact animal that can be registered and shown. Two copies of the dwarfing gene results in what a lot of breeders call a 'peanut.' Peanuts are only about 2/3 the size of their normal siblings. They typically have oddly shaped heads and weak, underdeveloped hindquarters. Peanuts usually do not survive more than 3 days due to their incomplete digestive systems, though I had one last 10 days before it died.

    Obviously, since every baby that inherits two copies of the dwarfing gene dies within days of birth, you can't breed rabbits that are "pure" for the gene. Every Dwarf that meets the breed standard has one copy of the dwarfing gene, and one copy of the normal growth gene. Breed two of these rabbits together, and you will get some that get the dwarfing gene from either their mother or their father, and a copy of the normal growth gene from the other parent. Those are your "true dwarfs" that will most likely weigh less than 2 1/2 pounds when full grown. Some will get the dwarfing gene from both parents, those are the "peanuts"; they will die within days of birth. Some will get the normal growth gene from both parents. These are the "false dwarfs" that may wind up weighing as much as 3 1/2 pounds at maturity. False dwarf does are sometimes called "brood does" by breeders. Being slightly larger, they almost never have kindling problems, and often have larger litters than their true dwarf counterparts. Also, since they don't have a dwarfing gene, they can't give one to their offspring, so they never give birth to peanuts. Most people don't keep false dwarf bucks, since they can only be bred to true dwarf does and are too big to be shown.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  6. EmAbTo48

    EmAbTo48 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! Very informative! So if I were to breed these 2 you would say its best to breed during winter months? We are in northern wi we get super cold winters till March then it stay usually in the 50-60s through april. When would you breed?
     
  7. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    You can breed at any time of year that suits you. The amount of color the rabbit shows may change with the seasons, but the quality remains the same.

    There is a rather famous experiment in which someone shaved a spot on the back of some Himalayan rabbits and put an ice pack on it. When the hair grew back in, it was black, but of course turned back to white with the next molt. It is thought that the fact that the skin is cooler on the extremeties accounts for the location of the dark "points", and the way they vary with the seasons.
     
  8. CicisBunnyBarn

    CicisBunnyBarn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last edited: May 21, 2013

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