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I'm new to the rabbit breeding business and have purchased one senior buck, one senior doe and two junior does (all pedigreed Californians). The rabbits come from a (I thought) reputable breeder, who is also a rabbit judge and shows his rabbits at lots of shows. I successfully bred the senior doe to the senior buck and had a litter of 4 (of which one died at 11 days of age), all good looking rabbits with the distinct markings of the Californians. Now here comes my question. I bred the senior doe and the junior doe to the senior buck and this time the senior doe has a litter of 4 (only, again) and the junior doe has a litter of 7 (one died at 10 days of age). The problem ist that the junior doe's entire litter has grey hair (all over in various shades) and the senior doe's litter has one gray bunny. How can this be?
I'm raising the rabbits for my families own meat supply and don't really care what color they are, as long as they become fryers fast enough to make it worth my while. But I sure would like to know if I've been taken and purchased some crossbreds that just happen to look like Californians (I paid $ 20.00 for each).
Anybody have any idea why I have grey Californians?
 

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Anybody have any idea why I have grey Californians?
It happens sometimes. I see it more in the cooler weather than in the
summer but I have a couple of litters with some frosties now. Usually
they are normal looking Californians by 6 or 7 weeks of age.

And for some odd reason, I have NEVER seen grey kits in a litter of
crossbred kits(Cal x NZW).

Good luck with your rabbits.
 

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The pigment in Californians is temperature sensitive. What this means is that the kits somehow got "chilled" in the nest box. It should go away as they get older. The markings on the ears, nose, feet and tail are the coolest parts of the rabbit, and will thusly be the darkest and remain marked. Highly doubtful that you were "taken," as this is common with this breed.

Pat Lamar
President
Professional Rabbit Meat Association
http://www.prma.org/
 

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Thanks a lot, this explains it all. It was very hot here (80's and even 90's), but then just as the bunnies were born the temperature dropped to the 50's and 60's, at night even down to just below freezing.
 

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Also sometimes the sr does want kindle as many babies as the younger does.
If you bought them from a judge an you only paid 20 you did good. They usually want keep the sr that long if they are not any good.

Margaret
 
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