Breeding for colors question

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by bunnyhunter, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. bunnyhunter

    bunnyhunter New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Dec 5, 2014
    I have been doing meat rabbits for a while (with new zealand whites and blacks) and now want to start playing with colors. Im getting a black and white broken satin buck and am wondering what I will get if I cross it with my new zealand white doe and new zealand black doe?
     
  2. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    17,375
    2,723
    431
    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    Your likeliest colors would be black, chestnut and maybe steel, both broken and solid, but there could be a number of recessives lurking in the rabbits' genetics, waiting to pop up in the nest box and make you say, "what in the world is that?!"
     
  3. bunnyhunter

    bunnyhunter New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Dec 5, 2014
    [​IMG]

    Not sure if that picture worked... But if it did, that's what Im trying to recreate. Its a black and white spotted buck, and I want more like him. So what do I breed him with?
     
  4. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    17,375
    2,723
    431
    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    Broken is caused by a dominant gene, which just means that if an animal inherits that gene, you will see the results. Recessive genes take a back seat to the dominant genes; you usually need two copies of a recessive for it to be expressed.

    Broken has a very wide range of expression. You can have animals with just a little bit of white on the face and feet (often called "booted"); you can have animals that are mostly white with the very specific markings of an English Spot, or a wide variety of expressions in between, and they all have the broken gene. The difference is that there are a lot of little helper genes that modify how the pattern gets expressed.

    Your broken buck is somewhere about mid-range as far as how much color he shows, so he has a good number of the helpers in his genetic make-up. Breeding him to a similarly marked animal would probably give you some that are like him, but there is a problem. When a rabbit gets two copies of the broken gene, it is almost all white, with very little color on it. If it has a nose marking at all, it is usually just a tiny little snip like a Charlie Chaplin mustache, hence the nickname "Charlie" for an animal like that.. The problem with Charlies is that the gene that causes the broken pattern also affects the rabbit's digestive system. A typical broken has a digestive system that runs just slightly slower than that of a non-broken patterned rabbit, but a Charlie's digestive tract runs a lot slower. Most of the time, that's not a problem, but Charlies are more likely to get GI stasis than other rabbits. GI stasis means a digestive system that shuts down completely - which will kill a rabbit in short order unless you can get things going again. Any rabbit can develop GI stasis, but as I said, it's more likely to happen to a rabbit whose digestive system is running slowly to begin with.

    Not all of the offspring of a broken-to-broken pairing will be Charlies, of course - the odds are about 1 in 4. But some people would rather not risk them at all.

    To avoid the risk of Charlies, most breeders simply breed a broken to a solid-patterned rabbit, but that isn't a guarantee of good markings, either. A rabbit can be carrying helpers and not show them, if it is a solid. Such a rabbit can pass those helpers on to its offspring, even if they aren't brokens either. Breed such a rabbit to a broken, and you will probably get nicely colored broken babies. However, solid-colored rabbits that come from a long line of solid-colored rabbits most likely won't have the helpers, so they don't pass them on. A broken without the helpers is a booted - lots of color, just a little white on the feet and maybe the face. So your best bet for getting more rabbits like your buck is to breed him to a solid black doe that has broken in her background.

    Clear as mud?[​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by