New Zealand/Californian Rabbit Color Question

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by CavalierCrazy, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. CavalierCrazy

    CavalierCrazy Hatching

    Feb 7, 2015
    These babies are 5 days old. One in the litter was white, two are black, and these two I am not sure about. They look almost black on the back but show more brown with the flash and their bellies are light. Their mother is a out of a black New Zealand Buck and a Californian. She is typical Californian color. The father of the litter is a black New Zealand Buck whose mother was a blue. I am guessing that these are either Steels or Agoutis, but am not sure and, honestly, am not sure what the difference is between the two. Opinions?




  2. aprille218

    aprille218 Songster

    May 1, 2009
    northern MN
    Likely Agouti but you wont know for sure for another month or so. Steel is agouti with highlights. The banding of the hair color is rearranged so that there are light tips on each hair shaft. It comes in gold tipped or silver tipped.
  3. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    Welcome to BYC![​IMG]

    You haven't identified where you live yet, but since you spell "color" without the "u," I'm thinking you probably live in the U.S.

    In the lingo of American rabbit breeders, "Agouti" is not a color, it's a pattern. In some breeds it has another name ("Gray" in Dutch rabbits, for example), but in most breeds, the more-or-less wild type coloration is called Chestnut.

    Agouti-patterned rabbits typically have white/light colored rings around their eyes, light insides to their ears, light colored areas around the nostrils, under the jaw, between the toes, on the belly, and the underside of the tail is white. There is a lighter-colored "triangle" at the base of the ears; depending on the color, it can be either white or tan. The body hairs are banded with distinct rings of color; usually dark at the tip, then a band of lighter color, and another darker band at the base. When you blow into the coat, the bands on the hairs line up, somewhat like a target:
    (The rabbit in this picture is a Chinchilla)

    Chestnut and Steel are both Agouti-pattern colors. In the Chestnut, the areas with dark pigment are black, the lighter band on the body hairs is yellow/tan, the triangle at the base of the ears is tan, and the belly, etc, is white.

    The gene that causes the color we call Steel starts with the Agouti pattern, but it puts a great deal more dark pigment into the coat. Most of the lighter middle band on the hairs gets covered up with the dark pigment. Areas with short hair, like the face, show almost no light pigment at all, and the belly is also dark:

    Hope that helped![​IMG]

    (Incidentally, your babies are Chestnuts)
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015

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