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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK...have a chance to trade my broken chin baby for some chestnuts- solid or broken. Now, I have my broken opal does, broken chestnut doe, blue chin doe....broken lynx buck and blue chin buck (who has yet to sire a litter). I am still confused on who should be bred to whom for best color. I found this on a rex site:
CHINCHILLA-These are Agouti colored rabbits that lack the orange or red band on the hair shaft. Chinchilla to Chinchilla is best, however, they could be bred to Blacks or less desirably to blue. Do not breed them to Castor, Lynx, Opal or Red.
So that means my blue chins should only be bred together? I am assuming castor is the equivalent of chestnut in lops.
It says that opals should not be bred to lynx...breed to blue or black. Try finding a solid color frenchie!
Says lynx should be bred to chocolate...once again...try finding one!
See my confusion?
So my question is that if I trade broken blue chin for a couple chestnut 6/8's...will I be able to use them with what I have or would I just be able to use a chestnut buck with the broken chestnut doe and that is it?
 

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Are you breeding for show or for meat/pet market?
If you are breeding for meat/pets, then have fun with it, enjoy popple surprises and know that many "unshowable" shades of color are very pretty. A chestnut may be too red or too dark for the show table, but still be a lovely, chunky, meaty bun.
If you are breeding for show, figure out which of your rabbits have the best conformation, then find mates of the proper color (also with excellent conformation) for those, and breed the rest for meat/pets. You will not be able to get good lines of each color from the get go.You'll be collecting breeding buns for years for that.

Also, I'm sure the person who wrote the website knows far more about rabbit genetics then I, but I used to breed castor, chinchilla, and opal Rex together all the time. I did get some off-color chins and it seems to me from talking to others there is a pretty good range of castor, mine were generally pretty nicely colored ( took prizes for 4Hers at the local shows) and my opals were fine. When I did get a good chin, it was perfect, I did get some that were too light or not clearly banded when you blew in the fur, hard to describe, but more just gray looking then chin, but when they were good they were awesome. But that is only my limited experience with my own lines. :) Doubtless I did some screwing up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would like to be breeding for the show table....yes there will be the pet market too...but so far no interest in the broken blue chin boy, so not sure how the pet market will be for these guys. But heck, I have not even gotten any interest in the mini rexes either...which I thought they would go quick. I can use the frenchies for meat, but to be honest, unless I get a mean one...I can't do it. Just one look at that cute face with the floppy ears and its all over. Now I have no problems with the cals...just the frenchies. I think I will take a chestnut buck and doe and then start looking for steele or black. Not sure how long I will hold on to my blue chin boy if he does not get the deed done come spring.
 

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LOL, I'd have a hard time doing in a lop too. I knew someone who bred mini lops and said they were chunky little meatballs .... but those faces!!
Now I never had a problem doing in my rex or mini rex. And even when the pelts weren't prime, they were still nice!
When you breed broken to broken, you'll get some mostly white (charley) babies who aren't showable, but as long as they have a good "butterfly" on the nose and solid ears, they will throw a greater percentage of perfectly marked babies then a perfectly marked doe - in my experience.
 

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Do not cross the chins and the chestnuts, you'll really mess up both colors for many generations. First gen you'll get chestnuts with poor rufus and black tipping, any chins you get from second gen will have yellowing/rufus/smut that takes generations to breed out. By blue Chins I assume that you mean Squirrel? Are we talking Mini-Rexes? Or Frenchies? If we are talking Frenchies is your Broken Lynx a true genetic lynx or is it a genetic fawn? Lynx is the lilac dilute of chocolate agouti, Fawn is a lighter version/dilute of Orange, they look very similiar. You can breed fawn to chestnut, and if you breed your chins to a solid they must have chinchilla behind them or once again you will get poorly colored chestnuts. Opal is the dilute of Chestnut, you can do that cross but sometimes you lose undercolor on the Opals. So you can use chestnut on the chestnuts, on the opals and possibly on the Lynx, if its really a genetic fawn. You'd breed your chins together, and perhaps find a blue or black with chin in the backround in the future. You could just do some test breedings to see what they carry genetically. Charlies should be considered Double Merles, and should be bred to a solid rabbit. Its such a pain that they call the same color in different breeds a different name, makes it very difficult. Often they call something a name that it isn't, for instance fawn in Flemish and Silvers technically are oranges, fawn is paler. Technically Red, Orange and Fawn are all the same color, just different intensities. If you breed your Lynx to a orange or fawn and it throws chestnuts its a true Lynx, if you get oranges and fawns its a fawn. It can be tough working with Chinchilla, its not an easy color, and you have to pay attention to whats behind them. In Flemish if they see a Sandy(chestnut) on a light grays ped or vice versa you've just lost a sale and it'll get around that your crossing the colors wrong, their real purists, and very cliquey. Best to keep chin to chin.
 

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Awesome info Honorine!
Is chestnut in Frenchies red in others? Different names for different breeds does get confusing. Why is it castor in rex and brown agouti (or just agouti) in the other breeds?

I only had a few colors, castor, opal, chin and blue, in solid and broken. I actually had one black pop up out of that, which I don't think should have been possible :shrug:
About Charlies, they are the double gene, but unlike a double merle in dogs there are no health problems, just a mostly white rabbit. I kept a couple of charley(sp?) does because they gave me more brokens to choose from and while breeding broken to charley will give you some more charlies, the brokens always had good 50/50 color - whether the charley was bred to a broken or a solid. When I bred broken to broken I got a good many broken babies who were 70% color and only 30% white. But that was my experience with my lines. I'm sure other people have had different results.
 

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I've heard from more experienced breeders that Charlies can have some problems that could stem from lack of pigment, such as a shorter life span, intestinal problems and lack of thriftyness. I try to avoid producing them myself. They do have a double dose of the white factoring gene, and they should produce all brokens when bred to a solid, and brokens and charlies when bred to a broken. Your amount of color all depends on what pattern your rabbits carry, so if they carried for a heavy blanket pattern you luckily got more color. I nearly kept one once, it started to have small seizures so out it went. Sort of turned me off on them.

I really hate the whole name change thing, lemme think, chestnut is called-

Flemish-Sandy
Silvers- Brown
Satins-Copper
Rex-Castor

Its also called Brown Agouti Chestnut Agouti Grey Agouti(in the UK) I'm sure there's more.

Reds are castors with the black removed, this is a neat page on it

http://members.tripod.com/Rexrabbit/RasiingRed.html

Most likely your black came out of your blue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We are talking frenchies. Blue chinchilla..same as squirrel. The Lynx...came from fawns with an opal behind it....so you prob genetic fawn. I have never heard of chocolates in frenchies nor seen lilacs. Though all these are pretty new colors to me...18 yrs ago when I bred them it was agouti (now called chestnut) for the most part. I know there was a few other colors but the type was usually horrible, so I just had the agoutis. Yes, I know my charlies should be bred to solid only. Now I was going to keep the broken opal doe from my solid blue chin X broken lynx breeding (I got frustrated when my blue chin buck was not getting the job done)....so your saying I should not keep her as she will throw poor colors? Another thing...she is marked like a charlie, but was not out of 2 brokens...so still only breed to solid?
I am asking the gal I got my blue chins from if she has a blue or black she can part with or stud to me. I know she had a broken black buck and I tried a breeding with him but he was not too interested. Seems to be a trait of lazy bucks in that line....is that a genetic trait?

Thanks for the info.

Willow

Do not cross the chins and the chestnuts, you'll really mess up both colors for many generations. First gen you'll get chestnuts with poor rufus and black tipping, any chins you get from second gen will have yellowing/rufus/smut that takes generations to breed out. By blue Chins I assume that you mean Squirrel? Are we talking Mini-Rexes? Or Frenchies? If we are talking Frenchies is your Broken Lynx a true genetic lynx or is it a genetic fawn? Lynx is the lilac dilute of chocolate agouti, Fawn is a lighter version/dilute of Orange, they look very similiar. You can breed fawn to chestnut, and if you breed your chins to a solid they must have chinchilla behind them or once again you will get poorly colored chestnuts. Opal is the dilute of Chestnut, you can do that cross but sometimes you lose undercolor on the Opals. So you can use chestnut on the chestnuts, on the opals and possibly on the Lynx, if its really a genetic fawn. You'd breed your chins together, and perhaps find a blue or black with chin in the backround in the future. You could just do some test breedings to see what they carry genetically. Charlies should be considered Double Merles, and should be bred to a solid rabbit. Its such a pain that they call the same color in different breeds a different name, makes it very difficult. Often they call something a name that it isn't, for instance fawn in Flemish and Silvers technically are oranges, fawn is paler. Technically Red, Orange and Fawn are all the same color, just different intensities. If you breed your Lynx to a orange or fawn and it throws chestnuts its a true Lynx, if you get oranges and fawns its a fawn. It can be tough working with Chinchilla, its not an easy color, and you have to pay attention to whats behind them. In Flemish if they see a Sandy(chestnut) on a light grays ped or vice versa you've just lost a sale and it'll get around that your crossing the colors wrong, their real purists, and very cliquey. Best to keep chin to chin.
 

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Thanks again Honorine,
awesome info and a very educational site. My one black came from a broken castor doe and a blue buck. I always thought the castor must have carried the recessive, because I didn't think a dilute could throw a non-dilute. (you could probably tell me;) ) DD made a pet out of that one and I had a NZW doe that I would breed him to for meat bunnies. She would throw 4 blues and 1 black when bred to him everytime. You could count on her, day thirty, 5 in the nestbox, those colors.

I wonder if the Charley is a breed or line thing? There was a large breeder of Holland lops in my area who was the one who told me to keep them if I wanted nice brokens. They were also very popular for pets, a lot of people thought the mostly white rabbits with colored ears and noses were the prettiest. I never ended up with one to butcher, someone always wanted mine (I am a sucker for kids and gave more then a few away) The only problem I ever had with any was I did have one doe get wry neck, but I never even thought it might have had something to do with her color. I'm going to have to look more into this now, you've got my curiosity up :D lol, you've got me going through all my old records.

Willowynd, lazy bucks can be genetic, but it is often that they're fat. When you're used to pouring feed into a doe and her litter you'll actually feel bad over how little you're feeding your buck. My bucks got unlimited grass hay, meat type/size bucks got a half a tuna can's worth of pellets. For the mini rex, they got about a spoonful's worth on the resting board, the temptation to put a little more into a bowl -no matter how small- was too much. All the rabbits got fresh greens and kitchen scraps(veggie peels, etc) and depending on the type/amount, the bucks sometimes got no pellets at all. But they did always have hay to nibble.
So I would try diet first, but it is true that some bucks and even whole lines are not eager breeders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Oh Lord...I feel stupid. When I sexed these buns at 2 weeks I was sure....had a dream last night and decided to recheck. Good thing...sex change fairy had a visit. The more colored broken chin is a doe now, the charlie looking broken opal is a buck. I can use him on a chestnut doe.
 

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Well that mixes things up, your charlie buck isn't a real charlie if he came out of a solid and a broken parent, he's just a high white broken. Genetically he is a chestnut with a dilute gene as he is opal, and he also carries for chin, which may or may not cause his offspring with a chestnut to lack both black and rufus, meaning your chestnuts won't have as much black and their rufus ring will look washed out and lighter. You can try it and see. Now are the broken opal buck and the broken chin doe litter mates? If so that means that your Lynx/fawn carries chin, otherwise it would not have been possible for a chin to have been produced. If the high white opal buck carries chin and dilute you could use him on both chins and chestnuts, your results may vary, okay will vary. You might get yellowing in your squirrels and chins, and lightening in your chestnuts. I'm thinking you might be better off breeding him to the chins over the chestnuts, but I'm not sure. I may have to call the color guru on this one, I'll see if she'll honor us with her presence.

Otter genetically a blue is a black with a dilute gene, bred to a castor that did not carry dilute you could get black. Having a blue parent made him a black carrying dilute. Then when you bred that black to a NZW she must have been a black that carried dilute so you got blues and blacks.
 

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Willowynd, sorry if I'm monopolizing the thread to pick Honorine's brain.
LOL, Honorine, I've been checking out rabbit genetics off and on all day. I found several sites that refer to charlies and the only reason that was said to not breed them is because they are never showable. I would love some info that linked things to color in rabbits. That stuff is fascinating. Did you know white dobermans have tooth and jaw defects? A couple of sites mention good uses for charlie rabbits in a breeding program,
http://www.thenaturetrail.com/buy-show-rabbits.htm
http://www.freewebs.com/dutchworksrabbitry/colorgenetics.htm
That black threw some odd, funky colors bred to other does, can you dilute castor into light, weird, shaded brown? I ended up just using him on meat does where the color didn't matter (he was a very fertile boy, always got the job done and sometimes that's all that mattered) ... and I liked those blue pelts. For some reason, I thought that a dilute couldn't throw the base color. More research for me!

Willowynd, if you really think he's a charlie, a test mating will show it. A very few (very few, but more common in breeds where nearly all the rabbits are broken, like some lops, just a percentage thing) broken rabbits will just have a tiny bit of white on their bellies, but of course they are genetically the same as their flashier littermates and can throw a charlie. But a charlie will only have broken babies. In fact, one of the sites above said a charlie was good to use as a "clean-up" buck for solid-to-solid. You can be sure which buck sired which kit.
 

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OK...have a chance to trade my broken chin baby for some chestnuts- solid or broken. Now, I have my broken opal does, broken chestnut doe, blue chin doe....broken lynx buck and blue chin buck (who has yet to sire a litter). I am still confused on who should be bred to whom for best color.

So my question is that if I trade broken blue chin for a couple chestnut 6/8's...will I be able to use them with what I have or would I just be able to use a chestnut buck with the broken chestnut doe and that is it?
In the standard lop breeds, color is the least important factor to consider when breeding for show or meat/pets. The points assigned are basically broken into two groups - Solid and Broken. The reason for this is to increase the value of the other parts of the standard, mainly Type and Fur.

Chestnut is the dominant color, and is the color that all varieties revert to when first used in a non recessive breeding program. Opal is the dilute of Opal, and is always a good choice when breeding to Chestnut. Chinchilla removes the orange pigment from Chestnut, and can also be used with Chestnut (particularly in Lops, where the rufous is not as intense as most other separate variety breeds). Lynx in Lops, as mentioned by Honorine, are usually genetic Fawn, and can be bred to both Chestnut and Chinchilla with different results. Eventually, once the Chin gene is added to Fawn, they will begin to produce Frosted Pearls. In Mini Rex, this is pretty disastrous as they 'appear' to be agouti Sable Points, but usually will not produce like one, adding the proverbial wrench- nuff said! The Blue Chin is the Chinchilla counterpart of Opal, and can be used in the same way. Really, when you break the colors down, you are working with a tight color selection - all compatible varieties within themselves. Chin and Squirrel - Chestnut and Opal. The only odd man out is the Fawn, which is genetically a Chestnut with a non extension and wide band gene.

Chestnut - A*B*C*D*E*W*
Opal - A*B*C*ddE*W*
Chinchilla - A*B*c(chd)*D*E*W*
Squirrel - A*B*c(chd)*ddE*W*
Fawn - A*B*C*D*eeww
Frosted Pearl - A*B*c(chd)*D*eeww
Blue Frosted Pearl - A*B*c(chd)*ddeeww

Any color can be 'created', providing the necessary alleles are present in your gene pool. Some breeds lay more weight on breeding 'true' colors, and others it really is not all that important, as long as it conforms to standard. As mentioned before, Flemish Giants are one that you will LOSE SALES if your colors are not bred true, or to acceptable color crosses. Mini Rex are shown by variety, and since the overall quality within each variety is exceptionally high, the color had better be near perfect, or else you will be at the bottom of the class at the shows. In general, color should be the final deciding factor when the judge or manager is presented with two top quality animals and needs a tie breaker to place the 1st place winner.

The problem with purchasing a rabbit based on the colors within the pedigree arises when the colors shown are not the only colors present in the gene pool. Lets just say for arguments sake, that I am working on a line of Chinchilla Mini Rex. I have been breeding my animals which were purchased form several reputable breeders, and have been getting all kids of colors - Self Chins, Himi, REW, Seals, Chins, Sable Chins, Sables, Squirrels, Sable Points and Frosted Pearl to name a few. "I" know these colors are in the gene pool, but lets just say that I am culling everything except Chins. SO I keep Chins form this line and breed them together. Next generation really shouldn't show any change, as the recessives are there regardless of what I keep for breeding. I do it again for another generation but sell you some kits from the 3rd or 4th litter. But now I have a 3 generation pedigree with only Chin on the paper, but those recessives are STILL there. Pedigrees do not show you the color of the litter mates, or what other colors these pairing have produced. It only shows you a direct line of select ancestors. To further illustrate this, here are a few Chinchilla genotypes:

Ideal Chinchilla - AABBc(chd)c(chd)DDEEWW
Chin carrying Self - AaBc(chd)c(chd)DDEEWW
Chin carrying White - AABBc(chd)cDDEEWW
Chin carrying Dilute - AABBc(chd)c(chd)DdEEWW
Chin carrying self, Chocolate, Himi, Dilute, Non Extension, and wide band - AaBbc(chd)c(h)DdEeWw
ALL of these are acceptable, and many of these are winning on the show tables. As long as you cull your color, you are working further to perfect it.

This also helps to prove some colors in the case of say Otters, where you want a Chocolate carrier to breed to your Lilac Otter so that you can increase your chance of producing Chocolate and Lilac Otters. If the parent is the recessive color that you want, then the kit MUST carry it.

Anyway, off my soapbox, but to answer your question, YES - you can use the Chestnut on your other colors, but expect a large number of Chestnuts, as it is very dominant. You may only get Chestnut until you get on to your 2nd and 3rd generation when the recessives of the does start to double up.

Hope that helps!

Kelly :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well that mixes things up, your charlie buck isn't a real charlie if he came out of a solid and a broken parent, he's just a high white broken. Genetically he is a chestnut with a dilute gene as he is opal, and he also carries for chin, which may or may not cause his offspring with a chestnut to lack both black and rufus, meaning your chestnuts won't have as much black and their rufus ring will look washed out and lighter. You can try it and see. Now are the broken opal buck and the broken chin doe litter mates? If so that means that your Lynx/fawn carries chin, otherwise it would not have been possible for a chin to have been produced. If the high white opal buck carries chin and dilute you could use him on both chins and chestnuts, your results may vary, okay will vary. You might get yellowing in your squirrels and chins, and lightening in your chestnuts. I'm thinking you might be better off breeding him to the chins over the chestnuts, but I'm not sure. I may have to call the color guru on this one, I'll see if she'll honor us with her presence.

.

Yes the broken opal buck and the broken blue chin doe are littermates out of my blue chin doe and broken lynx buck. So would the Lynx still carry chin? Or is only one chin gene needed to produce it (from the dam in this case). I have a 8 wk old chestnut doe coming tommorrow and hoping to pick up a black or blue at the show from the Knights or Edan's. Now would a buck or doe be best for me?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Very good point in not knowing what is carried if you do not know what other colors were produced in the litter. Opal is the dilute of Opal? Is that a typo?
Frosted pearl? What is that? I will look it up. I know I would like some chins with black, so would like to get a black buck. I love the blue chins, but don't want to get cornered into dilutes as I have done with my collies (right now, most of my dogs are either blue merles or sable merles). I know color is the least important, but was afraid I was going to do something wrong with color crossing as everything I was seeing on other breeds was saying don't beed this color to that color...only breed to this color or that color....so I freaked out thinking I was going to screw up before I even got started.
Thank you for all the info Kelly!


In the standard lop breeds, color is the least important factor to consider when breeding for show or meat/pets. The points assigned are basically broken into two groups - Solid and Broken. The reason for this is to increase the value of the other parts of the standard, mainly Type and Fur.

Chestnut is the dominant color, and is the color that all varieties revert to when first used in a non recessive breeding program. Opal is the dilute of Opal, and is always a good choice when breeding to Chestnut. Chinchilla removes the orange pigment from Chestnut, and can also be used with Chestnut (particularly in Lops, where the rufous is not as intense as most other separate variety breeds). Lynx in Lops, as mentioned by Honorine, are usually genetic Fawn, and can be bred to both Chestnut and Chinchilla with different results. Eventually, once the Chin gene is added to Fawn, they will begin to produce Frosted Pearls. In Mini Rex, this is pretty disastrous as they 'appear' to be agouti Sable Points, but usually will not produce like one, adding the proverbial wrench- nuff said! The Blue Chin is the Chinchilla counterpart of Opal, and can be used in the same way. Really, when you break the colors down, you are working with a tight color selection - all compatible varieties within themselves. Chin and Squirrel - Chestnut and Opal. The only odd man out is the Fawn, which is genetically a Chestnut with a non extension and wide band gene.

Chestnut - A*B*C*D*E*W*
Opal - A*B*C*ddE*W*
Chinchilla - A*B*c(chd)*D*E*W*
Squirrel - A*B*c(chd)*ddE*W*
Fawn - A*B*C*D*eeww
Frosted Pearl - A*B*c(chd)*D*eeww
Blue Frosted Pearl - A*B*c(chd)*ddeeww

Any color can be 'created', providing the necessary alleles are present in your gene pool. Some breeds lay more weight on breeding 'true' colors, and others it really is not all that important, as long as it conforms to standard. As mentioned before, Flemish Giants are one that you will LOSE SALES if your colors are not bred true, or to acceptable color crosses. Mini Rex are shown by variety, and since the overall quality within each variety is exceptionally high, the color had better be near perfect, or else you will be at the bottom of the class at the shows. In general, color should be the final deciding factor when the judge or manager is presented with two top quality animals and needs a tie breaker to place the 1st place winner.

The problem with purchasing a rabbit based on the colors within the pedigree arises when the colors shown are not the only colors present in the gene pool. Lets just say for arguments sake, that I am working on a line of Chinchilla Mini Rex. I have been breeding my animals which were purchased form several reputable breeders, and have been getting all kids of colors - Self Chins, Himi, REW, Seals, Chins, Sable Chins, Sables, Squirrels, Sable Points and Frosted Pearl to name a few. "I" know these colors are in the gene pool, but lets just say that I am culling everything except Chins. SO I keep Chins form this line and breed them together. Next generation really shouldn't show any change, as the recessives are there regardless of what I keep for breeding. I do it again for another generation but sell you some kits from the 3rd or 4th litter. But now I have a 3 generation pedigree with only Chin on the paper, but those recessives are STILL there. Pedigrees do not show you the color of the litter mates, or what other colors these pairing have produced. It only shows you a direct line of select ancestors. To further illustrate this, here are a few Chinchilla genotypes:

Ideal Chinchilla - AABBc(chd)c(chd)DDEEWW
Chin carrying Self - AaBc(chd)c(chd)DDEEWW
Chin carrying White - AABBc(chd)cDDEEWW
Chin carrying Dilute - AABBc(chd)c(chd)DdEEWW
Chin carrying self, Chocolate, Himi, Dilute, Non Extension, and wide band - AaBbc(chd)c(h)DdEeWw
ALL of these are acceptable, and many of these are winning on the show tables. As long as you cull your color, you are working further to perfect it.

This also helps to prove some colors in the case of say Otters, where you want a Chocolate carrier to breed to your Lilac Otter so that you can increase your chance of producing Chocolate and Lilac Otters. If the parent is the recessive color that you want, then the kit MUST carry it.

Anyway, off my soapbox, but to answer your question, YES - you can use the Chestnut on your other colors, but expect a large number of Chestnuts, as it is very dominant. You may only get Chestnut until you get on to your 2nd and 3rd generation when the recessives of the does start to double up.

Hope that helps!

Kelly :)
 

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Kellys great, she's the queen of color, and has worked with Chinchillas for years, I knew she could answer your questions in far more depth than I could. Yes both parents would have to carry for Chin to produce it, so your Fawn must carry it as a recessive, perhaps off of the pedigree like Kelly suggested. Opal is the dilute of chestnut, like blue is the dilute of black. Frosted pearl is funky, looks white, sort of tipped, think its also called 'Ermine'. Here's some pictures of Frosted Pearl mini lops. The base color is white, but it can be tipped with just about any color.

http://www.geocities.com/hoppinherdofhares2003/Shaded.html
 

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Yes Willowynd, that was a typo - Opal is the dilute of Chestnut.

The Color Crossing Rules for Mini Rex that you were referring to in your original post is one of the biggest mistakes on color genetics that I have ever seen :( There are several mistakes listed that really in fact contradict themselves. They suggest breeding Chinchilla to Black and sometimes Blue, yet veto breeding them to Chestnuts/Castor or Himi. In fact, a Black is just a self Chestnut, so whatever you were trying to avoid resulting from Chestnut to Chin, you will definitely get when crossing a Black to a Chin. At least Himi is a CHINCHILLATED color, so you will get Chins right off the bat (Chestnut/Black dominates, and takes generations to remove). And what have you done so wrong? Only add the same Self Gene that a Black would ahve added, but with much quicker results!

Himalayans are not genetically shaded, either are Tortoise as that site contradicts. Himi is a Chinchillated color, and Tort is a non extension color (basically a self Fawn in Lops). Black will not produce Chin, however a Self Chin will. Self Chin is a Chin without an Agouti gene. They can look different depending on the line. Some appear Black, some appear Seal, and others just have a little weakness of overall color. Some will have brown eyes, and some will have blue gray. The reason for this is Black has rufous modifiers - also known as full color, and when combined with the Black pigment, it deepens and richens the color. Chin has very little to no rufous, and will allow the black color to show more.

Think of each hair shaft having 4 'shots' of color. The black will have 2 orange and 2 black. Imagine this as sheets of tissue paper. The two orange go down first, and the two black on top of that. This makes for a very intense dark pigment. Chinchilla has the one orange removed, and replaced with white or clear. From the surface of the stack, they both appear black. This is the phenotype. When you put a light behind them, you can see that the orange bleeds through, and shows a richer color. The other remains just black in appearance, with very litte richness. This is genotype - showing the lack of orange pigment to differentiate the two. Himalayan is tricky - it is known as pseudo albino, as it only has one shot of black, and three white when genetically correct, and when it carries a recessive REW gene, it begins to effect the size and coverage of the points. This abbreviated marking can sometimes loose the remaining pigment in heat spells to the point of appearing to be a REW. These color shots make it easier to understand how some of the genes work when talking about other colors such as Tri and Tort.

Tri is different because the color shots are separated and spread out in clumps along the coat( Japanese gene). This is where the Agouti gene comes into play. You need Agouti to properly separate the colors, as the colors are already banded and have the proper alignment to begin proper separation. In a Tort, the color is already under the effect of Non Extension, which takes the color and separates them into two stacks, but pushes the majoority of the black to the points, and keeps the majority of the orange on the body. When you Tri color a Tort, you can only achieve this color separation further by taking the smut off the body and clumping it up - ending with a Torted Tri, which is a DQ. This is a real can of worms, but I thought I would mention it.

Steel is another color that NEEDS the Agouti gene to show proper color, but you can steel a Self just as well as an Otter. Steel is a gene that produces a strange effect in place of the Non Extension gene. Normally anything in the Extension series produces Orange pigment to show, but with Steel, it almost does a reverse affect, showing all of the Black present and limiting the expression of orange. Another mess, but fortunately this is prevalent in Lops, and again, most colors go in lops for this reason :)

Just for further clarification of the basics:
Chestnut
Opal - dilute of Chestnut.
Chocolate Agouti - Chocolate phase of Chestnut
Lynx (genetic) - Lilac phase of Chetsnut
Black - self Chestnut
Blue - Self Opal
Chocolate - Self Chocolate Agouti
Lilac - Self Lynx
Orange/Red - non extension Chestnut
Fawn - non extension Opal
Cream - non extension Lynx
Tort - non extension Black
Blue Tort - non extension Blue
Otter - Chestnut with Tan Pattern gene
Gold Tipped Steel - All full colors accepted

Chinchilla - Rufous stripped Chestnut
Squirrel - Blue phase of Chinhcilla
Chocolate Chinchilla - as name implies
Lilac Chinchilla - same
Self Chin - Solid colored Chinchilla (non Agouti marked), can come in all color phases mentioned just above
Sable Chin - Chinchilla Light (GENE)
Sable - Chinchilla Light (GENE) with self pattern
Silver Tipped Steel - Black, Blue, Chocolate, & Lilac base colors accepted; Silver Tipping is a result of the Chin gene.
Silver marten - Otter form of Chinchilla
Frosty - non extension Chinchilla (in Lops, can be any base color)
Sable point - non extension Sable
Himi - Himalayan factored Self (one of the few, like Chocolate, with it's own gene name) Can also be Agouti factored and tan pattern factored, but those are DQ's for show
REW - all pigment stripped from the coat - but retains a full set of pattern setting genes.

REW is one of those few where the tissue paper thing does not work. This this time of a colored rabbit blanked with a white sheet. The genes for Agouti, Chocolate, Dilute, Non Extension and Wide band are still there, just the C series has been affected, and the color cannot be seen. There is no such thing as a White Chestnut, or a white Chinchilla, as both Chestnut and Chinchilla themselves are C series genes. C series stands for COLOR SERIES. If it is "C", then it is full colored (remember the Orange and Black tissue here). If one sheet is affected, then you have the lesser C series of Chinchilla "c(chd)", which is Chinchilla Dark. Affect two sheets and you have Chinchilla Light "c(chl)", which would be better called the SHADING GENE, as it creates Sables and Smoke Pearls. Affect three sheets and you have Himi, "c(ch)", affect all four and you have REW, "c".

To produce Chin, you can use 1 Chin, and any of the lower C series colors, or known carriers. A chin X REW will give Chin, as well as Chin X Himi, or Chin X Sable, or Chin X ANY COLOR, providing the other color is a carrier of Chin, Sable, REW, or Himi. Even a REW X Fawn will produce Chin f the Fawn is a Chin carrier. However, a Fawn X Fawn can never give you Chin, but it can give you Frosted Pearl/Ermine as the max expression of Chin, since the Non Extension gene both parents have will inhibit the fully extended color to develop.

I really hope that I have not confused you too much. I love color genetics, and love to talk about them, so if you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to ask away!

Kelly :)

P.S.
Honorine - that "smut" in the Chins is actually something very desirable. Yes it looks like crap in juniors, but it usually molts out and leaves you with the correct PEARL ring color that all chinchilla standards call for. If I have a choice, those are my keepers if their type and fur are up to par. Also, when breeding away from Sable Chin (in MR it is a DQ), that rusty band over the back in juniors pretty much guarantees that there is no dominant Sable gene present in the animal, as sable further removes the only rufous left to the coat by the Chin Dark gene.
 

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The first time I saw light gray(chinchilla) Flemish babies fur out I was horrified THEY WERE BROWN!!!! Brown all over, looked like sandies, so so weird. My Flemish babies hold onto that brown for some time, then became the perfect clearly colored chinchillas that they were meant to be. But it did freak me out the first time. I was thinking more about the yellowing I've seen in some adult Chinchillas, that don't have that bright clear pearl color. When I've seen it I've assumed that there had to be a castor/chestnut behind it somewhere, it wasn't just a dirty rabbit, it looked like rufus peeking thru. What esle could cause that?
 

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The Chin Light gene causes that overall discoloration. It is intensified by sun exposure,high humidity, and/or extremely dry conditions. I know that sounds like a contradiction in itself, but the high humidity can 'burn' the individual hairs, causing an intensity in color. Dry weather can dry out the coat, causing the ends to fray, and diffusing the color (think split ends). Sun exposure can cause black rabbits to go brown, as the black pigment burns and the orange pigments are more clearly seen. In Chins, they lack the orange pigment, so the color appears yellowed. Combine that with the Chin Light gene (Sable factor), and you are further yellowing the overall color. The length of coat also affects the overall appearance. There are only so many pigments along the hair shaft. In a short coat, the pigments are closer together. As the hair becomes longer, the pigments become more stretched apart. So a Rex appears more intensely colored than say an Angora, even though they both have the same amount of pigment.
This is a Sable Chin kit and a Chin kit side by side - About 8 days of age, and CLEARLY showing the differences between them that are terribly lost during the baby coat development as weanlings http://chini-mini.com/Linked_Pics/CHIN_SABLE2COMPARE.JPG Upper animal is the sable Chin, and the lower is the normal. Again, here is the same Sable chin kit as a weanling - http://chini-mini.com/Linked_Pics/SableChinbrokenbuck1.jpg expressing the baby coat color change. Here is another Sable Chin, probably expressing the weird color you are talking about http://chini-mini.com/Linked_Pics/SABLECHIN1.JPG.

This homebred young kit http://chini-mini.com/Linked_Pics/CastorFactoredChinJRDoe.jpg became this BIS winning CHin doe of mine http://www.chini-mini.com/mndrimages2005/KGCO.JPG.

Color modifiers also work to deepen or lighten the color. Umbros modifiers affect black and brown pigment, rufous affect reds and yellows. More Umbros make the Black 'blacker' - enhancing the color. This can be seen easiest in the blue variety. Some Blues lack umbros, and are a light silvery blue that almost appears to be Lilac without the dovey pink tint. Other Blues are so rich and deep that they can appear Black from a distance. My boyfriend has been working on intensity in his Blue line of Mini Rex and he has had outstanding results. however, there is a time when the Blue becomes so incredibly dark that the eye color is also affected. Instead of the typical blue gray, the eye takes on a violet brownish color. This can also be seen in Blacks that have low umbros and have a normal brown eye,where high umbros eye appears to be a pool of black ink. When the intense Blue is held side by side with a Black, you can see that the eye is in fact NOT brown. He has some DARK blues that have clarity to the coat, and are more of a sparkling deep sapphire, and others that are more of a deep slate blue. The latter tend to be most affected by light, temperature and humidity, and can be very brownish when nearing moult.

Rufous modifiers affect the intensity of Orange and Yellow pigment. The Dutch breed lack in rufous, and their brown Gray variety is very washed out. Flemish also tend to lack rufous, and this can be seen in the Sandy variety, as well as the Fawn (hence a genetically ORANGE rabbit appearing a light clean straw color). The New Zealand Red has lots of rufous, as well as the newcomer Thrianta. Mini Rex are scattered along the board. Most Castor lines have great Rufous, and this is expressed well in their Orange counterpart - Red. However, some lines of Castor are washed out, and their Reds approach true Orange, or almost like the Flemish's Fawn. Another oddity in the Mini Rex is the Tri color that has true black pigment, but expresses a lack of rufous to the coat and the orange areas are that straw color. This is well illustrated here http://members.tripod.com/iris-patch/68c776f0.jpg

+ and - modifiers control the amount of white spotting present in the coat such as white toenails, snips, and stray white spots/hairs on otherwise colored animals (this has nothing to do with the English Spotting gene for broken Pattern). Many people wrongly assume that breeding a REW into your colored line will undoubtedly cause these problems in the colored offspring, however this is not always true. The REW, as mentioned before, has a full set of color genes, they just cannot be seen. If a REW genetically ahs these white spots, or white toenails, then using them WILL potentially harm your breeding program. Another common 'help' that I see mentioned, but think it is one of the worst words of advice, are to breed colored animals with the white spotting faults to REW's, because it 'hides them'. Yes, it may make for showable offspring, but you just buried a very cull-able fault/DQ into your line, and offspring from that cross will 'prove' that the theory works, thus furthering technically incorrect information, because not everyone KNOWS how it happened..

The Vienna gene "v", as you know Honorine, also does modify white factoring but they are spread in the "dutch" pattern, and cannot be bred for. With the recent addition of the BEW Mini Rex, there are more and more Vienna marked and carrier animals in barns everywhere. YES, you do sometimes get totally unmarked kits from normal colored animals bred to BEW, but they genetically are still carriers. Even when breeding VM to VM, or VC to VC, there is no way to tell if the normal colored kits are carriers until they are old enough to test breed. Now if one of those VC babies is not tested, and never produces any of the Vienna markings, then it too can be buried in a pedigree until it is off the 3 generations and young new breeder cannot figure out why they keep getting white snips or even full dutch markings. Sometimes all there is, is a little marbling to the eye, which can often go unnoticed.

Dutch Belted gene "du" CAN be bred for, and this is what causes the pattern in the Dutch breed. The tight little Hotot markings come from extreme expression of Broken "en" (false Charlie) coupled with the Dutch Belted gene. In the standard Hotot, there is a odd frosting to the already white coat caused by longer silver guard hairs, hinting to it's Silver Fox heritage. There are mismarks, some will be Boxer (only one eyeband), and others will be Silver Pied - this is another case where DUTCH PATTERN will show itself. Think of it as a Booted, where the Boxer is a true Charlie. The silvery hairs will be seen in the Silver Pied - because there is enough coat color to see the striking Fox color in a wildly marked dutch pattern! http://www.geocities.com/blancdehototclub/sporthotot.jpg

Kelly :)

P.S. Just let me know if this is becoming verbal vomit...LOL! I don't really know how to control myself when it comes to genetics ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I just came back from the rabbit show and I saw exactly what you were talking about with lops and the color. For instance, there was a FL that I would have guessed for an opal until I looked closer and blew into the fur....I was then confused and asked what color the rabbit was. I was told it was a squirrel or blue chin. This rabbit had fur on the top of its head/ears and neck that was beige. My blue chins are pale blue/almost white there. But the rabbit did have color rings that were the same as my blue chin but with a different cast- a warmer cast of color, instead of the cool color of mine. So would this be an opal or a blue chin (squirrel)? I did not bring any rabbits home tonight. All that was available for frenchies was chesnut agoutis and broken chestnut agoutis...I was really tempted to buy one chestnut buck that had wonderful type, but the owner was up judging and I had to go. I did leabe my name and number in his notebook though and what I was looking for so hopefully I will be able to get something from him in the future. I have his lines in my stock already, and I could not go wrong with adding in more.
 
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