Brought home the rabbit!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Bettacreek, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Overrun With Chickens

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    I finally brought home a female rabbit for my buck to breed. She's a harlequin standard rex. I'll have to get pictures here soon. Eventually, I'll get a rex buck, but for now, the dutch will be doing the deed.
     
  2. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm Premium Member

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    Love my bunnies!!! Photos please! and Congrats
     
  3. WindDancer

    WindDancer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Why would you breed a harli to a dutch??? I raise rabbits (including dutch) and I dont understand why you would do that?? Are you planning on selling them as pets or eating them? If eating then cool.. but for pets IDK..

    Also not sure sure what the harli gene and the viena (dutch mark) gene will do.. although.. there are harli dutch THey are georgous!! Good luck
     
  4. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, I got these guys as meat rabbits. They're pets as well, but mostly meat rabbits. Once production drops, unfortunately, their pet status does as well. I will eventually get a rex buck and probably try to sell some to hopefully pay for their feed.
     
  5. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Quote:Um, WindDancer? I think you may be a little confused. The gene for Dutch pattern and the Vienna gene are not the same thing. The Vienna gene produces the blue-eyed white when homozygous, the Dutch pattern gene just produces Dutch. Animals that are heterozygous for the Vienna gene (one copy of the blue-eyed white form, one copy of the normal form) have markings that do look a lot like a poorly-marked Dutch, but the resemblance is more or less coincidental. You can breed Dutch 'til the cows come home, and you won't produce a blue-eyed white.

    As to the probable result of this cross? Well, the Rex and the Dutch both have a commercial body type, so the babies should be reasonably meaty. Unless the "Dutch" is actually a Rex cross, they'll only have normal coats, no Rex. Unless the Dutch is a tort (or has tort behind it) the babies won't show harlequin patterning. Harlie is an Agouti color, so there probably will be chestnut ("gray") colored offspring. Not knowing what color the Dutch is, or what is in the background of the Rex, I can't say whether there will be any Self colored babies or not. The Dutch gene can put white on a rabbit even when heterozygous, so the babies will probably have some white on their faces and feet. They probably will be pretty enough for someone who wants "just a rabbit," and will most likely mature in the 6-7 lb. range.
     
  6. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks BunnyLady! I knew I'd end up with only carriers of rex and harli. What has me confused, however, is the harli gene. For one, is it similar to calico in cats? I haven't done enough research on it, but I have heard that tricolors are incredibly difficult to breed for. One would think (with my incredibly limited rabbit genetic knowledge) that you could just cross a harli with a broken, then breed one of the brokens from this litter to a solid harli... thus producing 50% harlis/50% "normals" and 50% broken/50% solid. IE 25% would be tris. Of course, if it's anything like the calico in cats, well, I'm SOL there, because I don't know how that gene works either. I'll have to check that one out too, lol.

    Ohh, somewhere I read that you shouldn't breed harli to any of the agouti colors. If harli is an agouti, isn't that rather backwards? Anyways, the dutch is a black.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
  7. CoopCrazy

    CoopCrazy Brooder Boss

    Mar 3, 2009
    Columbus,IN
    Congrats Betta.. I am actually thinking I will hold off on rabbits this year as I will have plenty to do with the turkeys, cornish x, coturnix and my garden... [​IMG] PLus work full time and raise my kiddos.. Its gonna be a busy spring....
     
  8. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Quote:Harlie is like the tortoiseshell gene in cats, in that it produces areas in the coat that look like "self" coloring (black) and other areas that look like the work of the "non-extension" gene (orange). The biggest difference between the two, of course, is that the cat's version of this gene is located on the X chromosome, so tortoiseshell and calico ("tortie and white"[​IMG]) are generally only seen in females. In the rabbit, harlies can be of either gender. I have been breeding Harlequin rabbits and tricolor Mini Rex for -oh- about 20 years, so this gene and I are well acquainted!

    Harlequin falls in the E-series. It is given the designation "e sub-h" (eh). It is recessive to the normal, full color E, and dominant to the non-extension e. Tort, orange, fawn, are all non extension colors. If you bred a (eheh) harlequin to any of the non-extension colors, all of the F1 generation would be harlequins (ehe). The tricky part about breeding for tri's is getting roughly equal parts of black and orange in the non-white areas. I had a rabbit once that I thought was a broken orange, until I looked really closely. He had two spots near his right eye, about as big as this > O that were black. Genetically, this rabbit was a tri! Tri's aren't hard to breed for, good tri's, well, that's a different matter! I have long believed that my rabbits put their heads together in the wee hours of the morning and say, "How can we drive her crazy today?!" Not giving me the color/pattern I'm looking for is one of their favorites!


    When I said that Harlequin is an Agouti color, I was referring to the A-series. There are 3 genes in the A-series, A (agouti pattern), at (tan pattern), and a (self pattern). Because the tan (at) and self (a) patterns concentrate the black pigment in the shorter hairs on the "points" of the animal, harlequin patterned rabbits that have self (aa) or tan (at_) at the A locus tend to be "smutty" on the nose, ears, etc. If you want "good" harlequins, they need to have (A) agouti setting the pattern in the A locus. I had an animal once, that was trying to be a tricolor, but was actually just a broken tort. It had really dark shading on its sides, and the way it did the broken pattern, that shading was isolated in little spots. At first glance, it did look like a tri, but I wasn't fooled!

    Perhaps the reason that you were told not to breed harlequin to agouti is because of the Eeh offspring. The dominant E means that they will have the normal agouti-type coloration that the (A) calls for, with the white belly. Even though eh is recessive to E, its influence apparently can "bleed through" the dominant coloration. I have had chestnut (not the preferred castor [sigh]) Mini Rex that had shadowy darker blotches on their coats, and hints of barring on their bellies (can we all say, "DQ"!!!) If you are looking to show your rabbits, you'd want to avoid combinations that would result in more unshowable offspring. Because self patterned (aa) animals have black all over, you wouldn't see the harlequin bleeding through. It might or might not show up on a tan, depending on just where in the coat the black patches were.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010

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