TaylorBug

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I am working on my Proficiency/SAE for FFA and I'm looking to get Dutch rabbits. I am particularly interested in the tortoise variety, but I'll probably start with another variety since I'm new to Dutch and fairly far away from many breeders. I was planning to get 2 bucks and 2 does so that I could keep certain kits from both litters and breed to each other/the other parents and start building a little bit of a herd if possible. I just have a question about genetics. I've been looking up stuff online and self-teaching myself quite a bit about color genetics particularly pertaining to the Dutch breed. Could you guys give me some pointers if you're familiar with Dutch rabbits and colors?
-Would I have to focus on primarily one color or one color base to do what I'm planning with the 4 rabbits? I'm assuming that if you breed a tort to a blue, for example, you'll get some awkward color that doesn't qualify as a variety. Or is it possible to breed one color to another color successfully?
 

promiseacres

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I raised tort Dutch many years ago. As an established breed it's generally best to breed the same variety to the same though you can breed blacks into your torts. With torts I'd avoid all other varieties due to getting off colors and nonshowable varieties. Not sure where in Indiana you are but the Matthy's family ( Plainfield, IN) has been breeding Dutch for many years and may be able to get you a good start. Also invest in a Standard of Perfection from ARBA, that will have all breeds but will help you know what to look for for show type rabbits.
 

Bunnylady

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Some colors can be bred together safely (like Blue and Black), but crossing some colors will almost inevitably result in at least some "whoops!" colors that may be pretty, but aren't showable. Tort x Blue = Black for sure, possibly Blue, Tort, and Blue Tort. Blue Tort, of course, is not showable. Many years ago, I piddled around with Dutch a little bit, but was never serious enough to try putting one on a show table. So, I'm sorry, but I can't speak to how difficult it might be to get the color and shading just right on a Tort. I can say this - getting the markings right on the marked breeds is crazy-making; it's not unusual to have whole litters with not a single show bunny in 'em. As boring as working with a single color is, at least you wouldn't have the headache of having that sought-after perfect pattern show up on a rabbit that isn't showable because of its color.
 

TaylorBug

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I raised tort Dutch many years ago. As an established breed it's generally best to breed the same variety to the same though you can breed blacks into your torts. With torts I'd avoid all other varieties due to getting off colors and nonshowable varieties. Not sure where in Indiana you are but the Matthy's family ( Plainfield, IN) has been breeding Dutch for many years and may be able to get you a good start. Also invest in a Standard of Perfection from ARBA, that will have all breeds but will help you know what to look for for show type rabbits.
Okay, I'll check them out. Also, I figured as much about the color-crossing and I was planning to join ARBA and get a Standard. Thanks!
 

TaylorBug

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Some colors can be bred together safely (like Blue and Black), but crossing some colors will almost inevitably result in at least some "whoops!" colors that may be pretty, but aren't showable. Tort x Blue = Black for sure, possibly Blue, Tort, and Blue Tort. Blue Tort, of course, is not showable. Many years ago, I piddled around with Dutch a little bit, but was never serious enough to try putting one on a show table. So, I'm sorry, but I can't speak to how difficult it might be to get the color and shading just right on a Tort. I can say this - getting the markings right on the marked breeds is crazy-making; it's not unusual to have whole litters with not a single show bunny in 'em. As boring as working with a single color is, at least you wouldn't have the headache of having that sought-after perfect pattern show up on a rabbit that isn't showable because of its color.
Alright thank you! and I'm looking forward to a challenge.
 

JakeM

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I very much like this article HERE about color genetics.
Like promiseacres and Bunnylady said, I agree that when starting to stick with one variety. Once you're established and have a line going, you can for sure try adding in a COMPATIBLE color and try your hand with it to add some variety, but I know a lot of breeders who like having just a barn of all blacks or all REW (ruby-eyed white/albino) simply because you don't have to generally worry about surprise colors popping out.
Also, if Dutch rabbits are what you want, check out the national club's website. They have a lot of good articles on there that can apply to any breed and they have a breeder's page (doesn't have a ton of people, but it's a start for a place to look). I also HIGHLY recommend going to an ARBA show near you. There you can meet with breeders who bring their best stock to compete against each other. Just do your research on the breeder and the rabbits before you buy.
 

TaylorBug

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Thank you all so much for the help! I have been researching and looking at breeders and I think I've decided on a breeder. I just wanted some more info from some people who knew more than me.
 
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