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American Chinchilla vs. Silver Fox

Discussion in 'Meat Rabbits' started by JT17, Jul 27, 2018.

  1. Jul 27, 2018
    JT17

    JT17 Exploring the pasture

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    Im currently raising New Zealands for meat and also just for the fun of raising rabbits. Its quite an enjoyable hobby. I would like to raise one of the breeds that many are saying are on the conservation list as a breed.
    For me, its come down to Silver Fox or Am. Chins. Does anyone have any experience with either of these? My goals would be:
    1: Pedigree (?) *see below
    2:Meat Grow out and Dress Out
    3:Sell to other breeders eventually to continue the breed.
    From research, they seem to be pretty close in temperment and size...
    Ive begun to try and locate breeders in nearby areas and have found both about the same distance away. Also, is it wise to go with pedigreed rabbits? One of the breeders sells the same rabbit without pedigree paperwork for less than the same one with paperwork. My point being, is it really that valuable to get the pedigree paperwork?
    Thanks for the input!
    (Should this post be on the breeds/breeding page?)
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2018
  2. Jul 27, 2018
    Tale of Tails Rabbitry

    Tale of Tails Rabbitry Loving the herd life

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    I am partial to Silver Foxes, of course, but I do love the chinchilla coloring although I have not had any experience with the breed. I had a rabbit with the chin coat color that was a NZW x SF, with chin being from the the SF (it should not be there but it was). I started with NZW trio almost 8 years ago, added a pedigreed SF pair about 5 years ago, and did purebreds and crosses for meat. We sold very few rabbits to start up meat breeders now and then but we were raising only for meat and fur until recently, when we also decided to show.

    Everyone has a different take on pedigrees and there are going to be people who strongly disagree with how I do it, but this the why behind it. SF is still a rare breed all over the US, but certainly there are more SF breeders in the Midwestern states. Originally, SF had a mandolin body type but the ARBA has since it classified as a commercial compact type, like the New Zealand, at least since the 1990s. Many breeders in the southeast had and still have remnants of the "true heritage" body type--sort of. SF was on the critical list, but has improved to be threatened. So you understand now close we were to losing them completely: At one time there was only 18 breeders in all the US showing. Whether it was lack of diversity that deteriorated the type or just a desire to improve the meatiness, it is likely that NZs were used to change the body type.

    In the southeast, there were very few breeders and many of us had lines from those same main breeders. Unfortunately, many of us have discovered recessive chin in our lines in the southeast that we could not trace lacking the pedigrees, but I have discovered something that makes me suspicious that it is likely the remnant of experimental breeding hoping to improve the appearance of the fur (which it does not seem to do). SFs carrying chin are being culled out of lines all over in the south. Because of all this, I decided, as many other SF breeders in this area, that regardless of the quality of the SF rabbit, if I sell one, a pedigree goes with it. In other words, I do not sell a SF rabbit without a pedigree and I do not buy one without it either. This is to encourage the betterment of the breed and to be able to trace back problems through the lines.

    Here is another example, I bought two does, one black and one blue, from two different breeders. The black was the granddaughter of the blue and both carried white according to their pedigrees, which is nice to know also. People tend to want to know relationships of the rabbits they intend to breed and any recessive genes.

    Others would say they do not want their name on a rabbit that is not showable, so they sell as pets or for meat breeding without pedigrees. I say if I did not want my name on a rabbit because it is not good enough in quality to be worth breeding, I do not sell it. And some give the option of the pedigree for a higher price, I don't do the option; actually, I have always found it odd, but then I am in a commercial class rabbit used for meat and fur and do not sell any as pets. I know one breeder selling pet rabbits that requires proof that the rabbit is fixed before she sends the pedigree, but why would anyone even bother with a pedigree if the rabbit is fixed...?

    Growth and dress out weights are affected by many things: size of kindle, age or weight at culling, feed, genetic factors, temperatures, illness, parasites, etc. Everyone in commercial class rabbits strive for 5 pounds at 8 weeks, but unless they have crossed with the giant breeds or have done very well with selective breeding, MOST get 5 pounds between 8 to 10 weeks because of all the other factors. That is not to say you cannot work toward it as a goal. If you are not getting 5 pounds until 12 weeks, you really should modify your breeding plans or get a new breeders. Believe it or not, your dress out ratios are going to be better with show quality rabbits—I never thought I would hear myself say that being I was a meat breeder who thought showing was a beauty pageant, but it is true! Buy good quality and you get good quality. Show quality rabbits are meatier and have better dress out weights.

    Besides all that, if you are truly interested in helping to preserve the breed, you want to preserve the best of the breed.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2018
    Pastor Dave and mystang89 like this.
  3. Jul 27, 2018
    mystang89

    mystang89 True BYH Addict

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    What she said.
     
  4. Jul 28, 2018
    Pastor Dave

    Pastor Dave True BYH Addict

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    My sister and I had Chinchilla Satins beginning in 1986 and they were to be only pet does. Once we decided we wanted litters, it began the whole process we went through leading up to now. They were pretty, but any of the domestic breeds I have processed have pretty much always tasted the same. It is why I would rather have NZW's. Less character to get attached to and easier to harvest. I will say that NZW has a tighter hide to remove and denser muscle and grain than some breeds I have raised. The looser the hide I have found, the more tender the meat.
     
  5. Jul 28, 2018
    Tale of Tails Rabbitry

    Tale of Tails Rabbitry Loving the herd life

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    So true, @Pastor Dave! And the toughest rabbit meat we had were from the NZWs, now that I think about it.

    We started with New Zealands: I was not fond of red eyed whites and we found that NZWs are generally more skiddish because they have been commercial raised for many generations...so not really bred for temperament. Harder for children to tell apart and get attached as well. Large kindles and we had good mothers, but after the first couple of years, I was ready for some color and more docile rabbits. Sometimes having Foxes makes processing day a bit harder, but for me far more enjoyable to work with my rabbits overall.
     
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  6. Jul 28, 2018
    JT17

    JT17 Exploring the pasture

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    Appreciate the advice! Need to figure out how I am going to do my own pedigree when the time comes. Any recommendations? And the final word on the breed Im probably going to get is the Am Chin. I cant find a Silver Fox breeder that has them within 5 hours of me. Crazy! I did find one breeder of Am chins close but thats it. But looking forward to the new addition. Probably going to try a crossbreed here and there with the Am Chins and NZWs. But definitely planning on keeping a purebred line of each. Any recommendations for how many Am chins I should get starting off to keep a good purebred line going?
     
  7. Jul 28, 2018
    mystang89

    mystang89 True BYH Addict

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    I used Kintracts with great results.
     
  8. Jul 29, 2018
    Tale of Tails Rabbitry

    Tale of Tails Rabbitry Loving the herd life

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    I use Kintraks because I wanted something not online with a one-time fee and the pedigree can be customized to produce a nice hard copy, but I also signed up with Global Pedigree because so many breeders with my breed use it so I can look back through the lines a long way and see some experimenting a breeder has done as well.

    @JT17 I wish you well with the Am Chins. Even if there are Silver Fox breeders closer to you, most likely no one has anything to offer right now. Most breeders do not breed their SF rabbits in the summer and the ones they have they are keeping over the summer are fall shows hopefuls. If you really want to find Silver Fox breeders, there are two better options of where to look: shows and Facebook.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018