My rabbits :) . . . and their genetics

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by chickenwhisperer, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. chickenwhisperer

    chickenwhisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could you look at the video again and give me your opinion on whether my male is A(agouti) or at(tan) coat pattern?
     
  2. IcarusSomnio

    IcarusSomnio Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:VM stands for 'Vienna Marked' and VC stands for 'Vienna Carrier'. Carriers don't show the slightest hint that they carry BEW like VM's, making them awfully tricky little bunnies. You may sell a VC thinking it's a non-carrier and send someones rabbitry completely off a cliff because the bunny produces Vienna marked kits [​IMG]
    I imagine thats how the Vienna slinked into the gene pool around here, bunnies that look normal...but really carry an adorable secret!

    The gene codes are:
    VV = Non Carrier, doesn't have any BEW gene
    Vv = Vienna Carrier, may or may not display Vienna
    vv = Blue Eyed White


    Some Viennas show the blue eyes and some don't, I had two partial Blue-Eyed VM bunnies at one point, but unfortunately lost both due to mold in the walls. I discovered the fact AFTER I lost pretty much my entire stock [​IMG] They all live outside, no matter what, now. I have a rabbit house built, but it needs to be finished and cages need to be installed first.
    I'm hoping at the next swap I'll be able to get siblings of the two that I lost from the breeder. They where beautiful broken colored rabbits.


    You want to avoid rabbits with a heavily shaded (pointed whites), REW, or Chocolate background (or are any of those colors). Those WILL produce BEW's if Vienna's, but the rabbits eyes will be purple or violet instead of China Blue that is the color standard.
    I imagine a violet eyed white rabbit would be a very interesting bunny, but it's not correct [​IMG]

    The best rabbit for producing Blue Eyed Whites is the Self Black rabbit. Meaning they are solid black from the tip of the hair shaft to the bottom, with the exception of their Vienna markings.
    I had a Satin Self Black Vienna, beautiful doe, absolutely stunning conformation. Seller hadn't a clue what she was so I got her for a rather good price, but I lost her. I just about quit rabbits entirely after that utter fiasco [​IMG]


    BUT! I now have a lovely herd of happy, healthy bunnies [​IMG] They seem to be handling the heat well with plenty of water, shade (they're in a constantly shaded area, with a heat-reflecting tarp over part of the cage), and frozen jugs of water. I'm seriously considering adding a box fan during the day. It's just so terribly hot and humid and they all are wearing fur coats.
     
  3. chickenwhisperer

    chickenwhisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, you just put it in perfect terms for me to understand, thankyou.
    Basically, VM/C isnt the actual genetic code, just a way for breeders to id the difference of Vv.

    I dont intend to breed any more rabbits, but when you mentioned vienna, I started reading, and just want to understand the basics of what I was reading.


    I actually like the BEWs, and think they look really cool as lops.

    I have learned alot and understood some of it, thankyou for the enablement [​IMG]
    Im gonna keep reading, its all very interesting and maybe the more I read the more Ill understand
    Theres just so many variables for each rabbit . . .(mutts like mine, not purebreds)



    Now, I cant wait to get my flemish giant in 2 weeks!
    Its from a reputable, registered breeder!
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2010
  4. IcarusSomnio

    IcarusSomnio Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:He looks in the video to be an Orange, (A_B_C_D_ee). It's because of Agouti that they have the white shading around the eyes and on the belly, but their not Tan/Otter/Marten marked, because they lack the white shaded chin/check/nose. They are, if you will, 'Fake Otters' [​IMG]

    'Orange' is essentially an Agouti (A) rabbit, but that quirky little gene 'ee' takes all the black out of the coat. Orange is a 'dense' color, and is not diluted.

    The only way to really find out is to breed him to a doe of whom you know the color history and gene type of, and see what kind of colors appear [​IMG] For all you know, he could be a BEW carrier, or could have a gene that creates dilutes, black to blue, brown to lilac, and so on.


    I had a little doe the EXACT same color once, she was out of a Californian doe and an unknown daddy. I sold her when I decided to specialize as a rabbitry, versus keeping meat, fur, and pet rabbits. She was quite the little cutie though.



    I may still get into Flemishes eventually [​IMG] They're like the Great Danes of the rabbit world, huge, possibly scary looking, but oh so cuddly and sweet!
     
  5. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    chickenwhisperer, I don't think your doe, or any of your rabbits, have the Vienna gene. I really think it's just plain ol' Dutch. There are a bunch of Dutch alleles, they are sneaky little buggers, and can turn up where you least expect them. I have been breeding Harlequin rabbits for about 20 years, and have had the white "noses and toeses" pop up many times on rabbits whose parents had absolutely not a white hair on them. Most people recognise the classic Dutch pattern on a good Dutch rabbit, but not all of the Dutch alleles will give you the good pattern. A snip, a star, a white mark on the chest, a white foot or even a just a white toenail are all signs of one of these subtle Dutch alleles. Like I said, they can be sneaky, and they are dirt common!

    One of your does is chinchilla colored. Chin can be a color or a breed, depending on the rabbit's heritage. There are three breeds (American Chinchilla, Giant Chinchilla, and Standard Chinchilla) that are currently recognised by the American Rabbit Breeders Association. If a rabbit's parents are both from one of those breeds, then (obviously) it is that breed, too. There are many other breeds that have chin or chin-based varieties within their range of colors, any one of them could be behind a mixed breed rabbit. Chinchilla colored rabbits may have brown, blue-grey, or mottled eye color, so your doe's eyes are probably just a result of the color that she so clearly shows, namely chinchilla.

    There is an admonition that advises a person to expect to see a horse when hearing hoofbeats, not a zebra (because the horse is common, the zebra is not). BEW is a "zebra," in this situation, Dutch is the "horse." Unless you are sure that there is BEW behind an animal, there is no reason to expect it - the white you are seeing is much, much more likely to be a Dutch gene, because Dutch is an ancient breed, and was used to develop many of our modern breeds. Also, the Dutch breed is still very popular, so the chances of a Dutch being among a mixed breed rabbit's ancestors are pretty good.

    Vienna is a breed, just not one recognised by the ARBA. Vienna rabbits (the breed) come in Blue, and the Blue-eyed White, and have been recognised in Europe for a long time. Vienna is not a color (at least, not in this country). The color is called Blue-Eyed White. There are several breeds that do recognise BEW's, but BEW's are rather unusual - not rare, but infrequent. As you know, rabbits with only one BEW gene may or may not have blue eyes, but they usually wind up with markings rather similar to the Dutch pattern, so many people refer to them as Dutch-marked or maybe Vienna-marked, or as BEW mismarks, or even BEW sports, but they should not be confused with the Vienna breed, nor are they referred to simply as "Viennas." I don't know where IcarusSomnio learned to do that, but it is incorrect. The Dutch-marked rabbits are not showable in any breed, so most serious breeders only breed BEW's to other BEW's, or just have a few of the mismarks in their breeding program, to maximise the number of possibly showable rabbits they produce (heaven knows, you get enough pet-quality rabbits as it is, without adding the guarantee of unshowable colors into the mix!). There may be a few rabbits that are genuine BEW carriers that don't have the white markings, but they are uncommon. Add to that the fact that BEW's are themselves uncommon, and you come up with the probability of an unknown BEW carrier as being pretty remote.

    Your buck's color is another of those zebra vs. horse situations. Agouti patterned colors are more common than tan based patterns, so I wouldn't expect a tan, unless there is a tan patterned animal in the background (Silver Marten, for example). Large breeds that are tan-based colors are rather rare, unless you have a local breeder that specializes in them (there are some small breeds where tan-based colors are very common). The difference between a tan and an agouti is in the body hairs. If you blow into the coat on the back of an agouti, you will see bands of colors on the hairs, producing a target-like pattern of rings at the spot where you are blowing (black/brown at the outside, orange/white as the middle ring, blue-grey at the center of the spot where you are blowing). A tan has the self-type body hairs, so you will only see the darker color sort of blending down to the blue-grey undercolor, you won't see clear rings. Your buck appears to be a rather smutty orange. He might be the color that the Flemish breeders call "Sandy." He's a bit light, but rabbit coats fade so much in sunlight, they can appear quite different colors depending on how recently they shed out! If he were a tan-based color, his body would have the same kind of reddish-on-the-back, greyish-on-the-sides pattern that you see on Torts. The non-extension gene (e) usually doesn't remove all of the dark pigment from the rabbit's coat, it usually leaves just a little bit on the tips of the hairs. Really good oranges and reds are chocolate rather than black-based, because brown is so close to red/orange it just sort of blends in.
     
  6. chickenwhisperer

    chickenwhisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow Bunnylady, I really wanted to sleep tonight . . .
    Thanks for the info!
    [​IMG]
     
  7. IcarusSomnio

    IcarusSomnio Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:BEW rabbits are actually pretty popular around here, not easily found or bought, but many a rabbitry keep them. Their hard for the general public to find, because the rabbitrys usually sell them at shows (at least around here).
    Unfortunately, a lot of them are bred by people who don't understand the genetics of BEW. If you breed a BEW to a regular rabbit, you'll produce both marked bunnies AND 'regular' unmarked bunnies (showable) who secretly carry the gene. In other words, 100% carrier litter. They then sell the 'regulars' and the mad cycle continues. Those who know usually keep the un-marked and show them, if their showable.

    Vienna Marked rabbits are also often referred simply as 'Vienna's' or 'VM' to save breath. It's a bit tedious to refer to a rabbit as 'Vienna marked' every time you speak of the bunny. Usually you just say "I have several Vienna's I'd like to keep to keep my Blue Eyed herd diverse" or "I'm looking for a self-black Vienna to slip into my Blue Eyed lines". Or, I say 'I'm looking for a BEW carrier".

    If I'm SELLING or ADVERTISING a rabbit, then it is ALWAYS referred to as "Vienna Marked", or "Vienna Carrier" if it is so.

    The actual Vienna breed is more often referred to as Vienna White rabbits, which are pretty much non-existent in my area. Why they refer to BEW carriers as 'Vienna', I haven't a clue. I guarantee you that if I went around asking for 'BEW Sports' or 'BEW Mismarks' people wouldn't have the faintest clue what I'm talking about. [​IMG]
     
  8. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Quote:I think I got those two from the Lionhead people. Around here, they are called "Dutch-marked." When two breeders are discussing them, they may use the verbal shorthand of just calling them "Dutch," but of course they understand that they aren't referring to the Dutch breed.

    In this area, you might encounter Holland Lops, Netherland Dwarfs, and Jersey Woolies in BEW, but nowhere near as often as other colors. Because of the high percentage of unshowable offspring, BEW and chocolate are colors best bred only to themselves, so (like I said) they are seen relatively infrequently. Some people charge more for any rabbit in one of these "rare" colors, or any rabbit that they think might carry that color. If you get the right combination of agouti, chinchilla, and non-extension, you get an Ermine. Ermines' eyes can be any color that a chin's eyes can be (or a squirrel, which is a dilute chin), and they have completely white coats. I have seen people trying to pass off an Ermine as a BEW, but they didn't know enough about the genetics to know that it was impossible to get a BEW from those parents. The BEW's eyes are cornflower blue. If the eyes are blue-grey, sorry, no dice, it's an Ermine!
     
  9. chickenwhisperer

    chickenwhisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lets see if I learned anything . . .

    Vienna Marked?
    [​IMG]
     
  10. IcarusSomnio

    IcarusSomnio Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I think I got those two from the Lionhead people. Around here, they are called "Dutch-marked." When two breeders are discussing them, they may use the verbal shorthand of just calling them "Dutch," but of course they understand that they aren't referring to the Dutch breed.

    In this area, you might encounter Holland Lops, Netherland Dwarfs, and Jersey Woolies in BEW, but nowhere near as often as other colors. Because of the high percentage of unshowable offspring, BEW and chocolate are colors best bred only to themselves, so (like I said) they are seen relatively infrequently. Some people charge more for any rabbit in one of these "rare" colors, or any rabbit that they think might carry that color. If you get the right combination of agouti, chinchilla, and non-extension, you get an Ermine. Ermines' eyes can be any color that a chin's eyes can be (or a squirrel, which is a dilute chin), and they have completely white coats. I have seen people trying to pass off an Ermine as a BEW, but they didn't know enough about the genetics to know that it was impossible to get a BEW from those parents. The BEW's eyes are cornflower blue. If the eyes are blue-grey, sorry, no dice, it's an Ermine!

    I THINK I might have an Ermine, he has a snowy white coat, but his eyes are dark brown. He is a much older rabbit, so his eyes may have been blue-gray at one point, later on going brown. I thought perhaps Ghost Chin, but he has absolutely no ticking in his coat. He drives me nuts with my not knowing what he carries [​IMG]
    I have four does bred to him (bred before I bought them) so it'll be interesting what comes out. Their all fat as butterballs and not one is making any move to nest. Arrrg.

    I've seen some Ermines trying to be passed as BEW's, and some stunning BEW's with bright, china blue eyes. Theres one breeder that I know of-I can't help it, they make me cringe-thats now starting to breed BEW's. I was talking with him one day about a pretty little self blue I had bought, and he hadn't a clue what a 'self blue' was! His words, "I'm not good with colors!" er...you think?
    Sad thing is that he actively breeds and produces rabbits, and has a massive rabbitry. Oi oi oi! I can see someone with a couple pets, but a breeder with over a hundred rabbits?.

    The only reason he's breeding BEW's is because of the prices they command. Around here a low quality one will run you about $75, thats for a pet quality, regular, little bunny. A fine, show quality rabbit is $100+.

    I want to breed for quality, temperament, and type. I really love the BEW's and their a challenge to produce so I figure-if I'm going to have a rabbitry, why not keep pretty rabbits? [​IMG]


    chickenwhisperer; That actually looks to be a Dutch, or a authentic Dutch Cross.
    My Dutch girl looking horribly irritated that I bothered her. She's a poorly marked Dutch, as her blaze isn't proper:
    [​IMG]

    This breeder has several good pictures of VM, VC, and BEW's.
    http://www.sweetheartbunny.com/id84.html
     

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