Colour genetics questions

Miss mouse

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Hi all,
I’m trying to figure out what genetics I have in my breeding stock
My goal is to have 3-4 distinct fur lines as I’m breeding for meat but will be using the furs in crafts, consistency would be amazing.
all of the info I have about my rabbits breeds are best guesses based on their appearance and if I ever saw the parents.

We got a white and a tan male from a litter that were all white or tan with brown eyes. Best guess is New Zealand x Flemish giant.

We have a black male and female from a mostly black litter. 4 were solid black, one Dutch markings black, one brown, two red. The oops litter the female had were all black. We think this is a Flemish x Dutch mix.

Our tan female came from a brown Flemish mom and a white speckled giant (guessing checker giant) dad. Her litter was just two tan that survived and a white DOA.

Then we have 2 typical Californian females.

We crossed our tan female with our tan male and got 4 tan babies. ✔

So to get white babies should I breed the white male to a Californian or our tan female?

And then to get a black line without breeding litter mates who should I breed together?
 

Bunnylady

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Rabbit coat color is a very complex business. This is a brief overview:

Rabbit Coat Color 101

Some of the colors you are trying to work with are the result of recessive genes, some are the result of dominant genes, and some need some of both to get the color right. Even if you think you know what you are working with, you can wind up with some surprises - for example, I bred a Steeled Otter Netherland Dwarf to his Chestnut sister looking for Steels, and found out that they were both carrying Chocolate (something their pedigrees didn't even hint at).

Some colors are easy to get. Your Black buck bred to a Cali doe is almost guaranteed to give you some Blacks, for example. You may get other colors; the litter he came from makes it sound like there are a number of recessive genes in his family tree.

White could be tricky; it's the product of a pair of recessive genes (cc), and if both parents don't have at least one copy of it (c), you can breed them together until the cows come home and never see it. Breeding your white male (I'm assuming he's a Ruby-eyed White (REW)) to a Cali doe will produce babies that have white bodies, and develop the darker points of the Cali, but the points will be smaller and probably not as dark as the Cali mom's. Your "tan" doe (which appears to me to be a color exclusive to Flemish Giants, called "Sandy") having a REW sibling makes it likely that she has a copy of the REW gene, but doesn't guarantee it, so you may or may not get some white babies breeding to her.

Be warned - I say, if there's one particular color you are looking for, it's going to be the last thing you see. It'll be the one that gets pulled out of the nest and dies, or gets lost in some other way . . . just one more variation on "how can we drive her crazy today?":he
 

Miss mouse

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Rabbit coat color is a very complex business. This is a brief overview:

Rabbit Coat Color 101

Some of the colors you are trying to work with are the result of recessive genes, some are the result of dominant genes, and some need some of both to get the color right. Even if you think you know what you are working with, you can wind up with some surprises - for example, I bred a Steeled Otter Netherland Dwarf to his Chestnut sister looking for Steels, and found out that they were both carrying Chocolate (something their pedigrees didn't even hint at).

Some colors are easy to get. Your Black buck bred to a Cali doe is almost guaranteed to give you some Blacks, for example. You may get other colors; the litter he came from makes it sound like there are a number of recessive genes in his family tree.

White could be tricky; it's the product of a pair of recessive genes (cc), and if both parents don't have at least one copy of it (c), you can breed them together until the cows come home and never see it. Breeding your white male (I'm assuming he's a Ruby-eyed White (REW)) to a Cali doe will produce babies that have white bodies, and develop the darker points of the Cali, but the points will be smaller and probably not as dark as the Cali mom's. Your "tan" doe (which appears to me to be a color exclusive to Flemish Giants, called "Sandy") having a REW sibling makes it likely that she has a copy of the REW gene, but doesn't guarantee it, so you may or may not get some white babies breeding to her.

Be warned - I say, if there's one particular color you are looking for, it's going to be the last thing you see. It'll be the one that gets pulled out of the nest and dies, or gets lost in some other way . . . just one more variation on "how can we drive her crazy today?":he
Thank you so much!
So on the white guy, he has Brown eyes which made me so confused at first but then I stumbled across a conversation where someone mentioned a Cchl gene that basically removes yellows from the coat. That explains why he and his brothers were all white or sandy. So my hypothesis is that breeding to a Californian will result in a mixed bag but breeding to my sandy female may give me some whites? Then if I breed him back to a white doe from his offspring I should get mostly white?
 

Miss mouse

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Tan male:
898FBDC0-8F53-4EF2-8405-627ADFCC4F32.jpeg

White male
F6673FC7-C900-4769-B5AA-92F4EB0E3366.jpeg

Close up of white males eyes
F817F753-41AB-48DD-9817-74D3BD3EF125.jpeg

Black male:
45A98B5C-8826-4CAE-AFB3-8120A0ABF60D.jpeg

Tan female:
A2A7D9AB-1453-4405-B038-955525B7ED91.jpeg

Californians:
3620FE31-67F3-4011-ADEC-99AE6C74D2A5.jpeg

Black female
CE5E901D-CD0D-475B-A518-1E6D83FB5B11.jpeg
 

Bunnylady

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So on the white guy, he has Brown eyes
Your white male is a Frosty (look closely, he has just the tiniest bit of dark ticking on his coat). That is AaB_cchdcD_ee (cchd, not cchl). CChd takes the yellow out of the coat, ee takes the black out of the coat, put 'em together and you get an animal that is nearly white (if he was completely white with brown eyes, he'd be an Ermine). Take everything I said about REW's and throw it out the window. He does have one copy of the REW gene (c), so you could get those light pointed Himi babies from him and a Cali doe, but you could get a lot of other colors too.

In those pictures, I'm not seeing as much dark pigment on your "tan" animals as I thought I was in previous pictures . . . now I think they might be Fawns rather than Sandies. That would make sense, if your white male came from the same litter.
 
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Miss mouse

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Your white male is a Frosty (look closely, he has just the tiniest bit of dark ticking on his coat). That is AaB_cchdcD_ee (cchd, not cchl). CChd takes the yellow out of the coat, ee takes the black out of the coat, put 'em together and you get an animal that is nearly white (if he was completely white with brown eyes, he'd be an Ermine). Take everything I said about REW's and throw it out the window. He does have one copy of the REW gene (c), so you could get those light pointed Himi babies from him and a Cali doe, but you could get a lot of other colors too.

In those pictures, I'm not seeing as much dark pigment on your "tan" animals as I thought I was in previous pictures . . . now I think they might be Fawns rather than Sandies. That would make sense, if your white male came from the same litter.
Okay so to get him the most consistent breeding partner to get whites I should pick a white from a litter of his with Californian?
 

Bunnylady

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If you want consistent whites, you need a different buck. Frosties vary quite a bit as far as how much ticking they have, plus you can a bunch of other colors like "ghost Chins," Black, Chestnut, Steel . . . . If you get a Himi buck with light points when breeding this Frosty to a Cali, you could use him with a Cali and get more Himi's, but breeding the Frosty to a Cali cross daughter is only slightly better than breeding him to a Cali (you might get REW's as well as Himi's that way).
 

Miss mouse

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If you want consistent whites, you need a different buck. Frosties vary quite a bit as far as how much ticking they have, plus you can a bunch of other colors like "ghost Chins," Black, Chestnut, Steel . . . . If you get a Himi buck with light points when breeding this Frosty to a Cali, you could use him with a Cali and get more Himi's, but breeding the Frosty to a Cali cross daughter is only slightly better than breeding him to a Cali (you might get REW's as well as Himi's that way).
I hadn’t thought of that!
if I were going to purchase a Flemish giant to be my white buck the best would be a REW then?
 

Ridgetop

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Are you breeding for meat? If so I would go with either a New Zealand White, or a Californian. Using a giant breed buck o mid size or even NZW does could result in some birthing problems. You seem to have a lot of different crosses, but are looking for white fur for craft use.

Like Bunnylady said, color genetics is very complicated. Once you master all the color variations, then there are the dilute genes, and the genes that completely eliminate certain colors, and don't even start me on the broken genes . . . my question is - are you actually wanting to breed for certain colors? or are the skins just going to be a fun extra?

Another thing to know about using rabbit skins is that the best hides to use if you are prepared to tan them, come from 10 month old rabbits rather than 8-10 week old fryers. Fryer skins are sometimes pretty fragile to tan and the fur is also sometimes slipping since they are still exchanging their baby coat for the adult coat.

Whatever way you want to go, please don't buy a Flemish /giant buck for your does. Better just stay with a standard size buck and if you want to include the Flemish giant genetics for whatever reason, use FG does. Flemish are a giant size rabbit but that does not mean they make the best or most economical rabbit meat producers. They have very large bones and take longer to produce the same ratio of meat on them as a Californian. Since you have to feed them longer, and they will take more feed to raise, they are less economical to raise than one f the straight meat breeds.

On the other hand breeding different colors is a lot of fun!
 
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