Question on color genetics or offspring?

Tonya

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Hi,
I'm new to this thread I have never had baby bunnies, my buck is a castor mini rex, and my does is a white albino mini rex!! So I was wanting to know the offspring of these 2 color genetics? The breeder i got her from said she had a hidden gene not sure what that is could it be past on to her offspring? Thank you!!:)
 

Bunnylady

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There are a bunch of different genes in different places in the rabbit's genetic code that influence coat color; it is the combined effects of all of them that determines what color a rabbit is.

Your castor buck is expressing the most dominant form of several genes; it's possible for him to be carrying any of a number of recessives that he could pass on to his offspring. The doe is even more of an unknown quantity; the only thing you know she has , just looking at her, is a pair of Ruby-eyed White genes. She inherited some form of all of the other genes from her parents, you just can't tell what they are because the REW genes close down the pigment production. If you have pedigrees for these two, they can help you figure out what some of the possibilities might be.
 

samssimonsays

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Ditto on what Bunnylady said.

I will add that Your REW doe could potentially even be a hidden broken. I have two REWS right now who are. If at all possible, contact the breeder you got her from and ask what the hidden gene is. Most, and I say most because the good ones will, breeders will be glad to explain it further. And if you know what colors even just the parents are of the REW doe it would help give some insight anyways if you do not have pedigrees. I got my first REW due to the saying, "They throw the rainbow." In my breed, French Lops, REWs are the ultimate recessive and bred to even a dominant color such as Chestnut, Castor in your case, they can throw any color that is within both animals genetics. If your rabbit came from a broken to broken breeding, as mine did, there is a good chance she is a masked broken. The only way to know that is if and when you breed them to a solid rabbit, most of the babies will be broken. If she is infact a solid under the REW than she will only have solid babies when bred to a solid buck persay. This is not always the case as I have solid does who, when bred to solid bucks, will throw all brokens. I am still fairly new to all of this color genetics, within the last 2 years I have been studying/learning and raising colors, after type of course, and it intrigues me to no end :)

I do know some colors do not mix well in the Mini Rex world. You can get some oops colors in a hurry if that "hidden gene" is a color that doesn't go well with the Agouti Gene.
 

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It's funny - I had a REW Holland Lop that turned out to be a broken. I bred her to a lovely little Smoke Pearl buck, and the first two times, I got 6 or so babies in the litter, and they were all either Smoke Pearl or REW. The third time I bred the pair, there was a Broken Smoke Pearl in the litter, and I was like, "WHAT??!" I wondered if I had written it down wrong, and I had actually bred her to a different buck - but the only broken HL buck I had at the time was her sire . . . .And that's when the light bulb came on!

I continued to breed that pair together, and all they ever produced were REW's, Smoke Pearls, and Broken Smoke Pearls. Oops - and one Blue Point, in their last litter, just to keep me guessing . . . .
 

Tonya

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Thank you, I have one question what does the color Broken is? The breeder said her mom carries the hidden color broken & her dad is all white, I dont have pedigree for either one, he came from a breeder in another state & i bought her at a flea market, I was just looking for a doe for my lonely buck. I saw her and she was beautiful i love the white rabbits!! Thank you
 

Bunnylady

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Broken isn't exactly a color, more like a pattern. It is some color plus white. A broken rabbit typically has color on the ears, color around the eyes, color on the nose, and some color on the body. Typically, the feet and belly are white. Here are a couple of examples:

images

(This is an example of what is known as a blanket pattern. I notice that this rabbit lacks color on the nose - that's a disqualification at a show)
JolieC2.304124931_std.JPG

(not a great picture, but a fairly good example of a spotted pattern)

Broken is what is known as a dominant gene - that means that if it there, you will see it. It doesn't hide. The ONLY rabbits that can hide it are those whose coats are already solid white - either a Ruby-eyed White or a Blue-eyed White. Did the breeder mean that both of your doe's parents were Ruby-eyed Whites? If her mother is colored, then either she is a broken, or she doesn't have the gene - it can't hide on a colored rabbit.

The amount of white on a broken can vary quite a bit. Sometimes, you get a rabbit like this:
4ae5d75e0c3de1a55405258bd09d6256.jpg

This is what is known as a "booted" broken. The standard for a broken pattern rabbit calls for more white than that, so this rabbit wouldn't be showable.


8169239_orig.jpg

This rabbit has too much white to be showable. In fact, it may be what we know as a "Charlie."

Broken is a funny gene. One copy of the broken gene, and one of the gene for non-broken (solid) gives you a rabbit with the broken pattern. Two copies of the broken gene gives you a rabbit with almost no color on it at all. Someone "way back when" thought that the small nose marking that these "double brokens" have looked like the mustache of silent film star Charlie Chaplin, and dubbed them "Charlies."

Charlies are cute, but they have another problem besides not being showable. The gene that causes the broken pattern doesn't just affect coat color, it is involved in the development of the rabbit's digestive system. Broken rabbits have what is known as "reduced gut motility" - which is a fancy way of saying that their digestive systems run a bit slower than those of solid patterned rabbits. On a rabbit with one copy of the broken gene, it is just slightly slower, and it has very little if any impact on the rabbit's well-being. On the rabbits with two broken genes, the digestive system runs a lot slower. If the rabbit has plenty of fiber in its diet, the rabbit may still be fine, but Charlies are more prone to that bane of rabbit owners, GI stasis. When GI stasis occurs, the digestive system basically stops (sort of like being constipated, only worse). Stasis can kill within a few days if you can't get the system going again.

About 30 years ago, when I first got into rabbits, I had a Broken Black Mini Lop doe that was a Charlie (her name was Domino). I didn't know about the "reduced gut motility" thing, the only indicator that I had that she had a problem was her poop - normal rabbit feces is almost identical in size and shape. This bunny's "berries" varied widely in size and shape; almost like peanut M&M's, vs. the regular kind. But every time I bred this doe, she had a stasis episode. After kindling, she would sit for a day or so, not eating, grinding her teeth, and obviously miserable. It took 3 times for me to see what was happening, and I never bred her again.

Some people will tell you that they've had Charlies by the score, and they never had problems. I just know that Domino isn't the only Charlie that I have seen that did have problems; I have lost a couple of others when their digestive systems locked up. My approach to this is to not make Charlies - by not doing broken-to-broken breedings, I make sure that I can't produce a rabbit with two copies of the broken gene.
 

Tonya

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@Bunnylady Thank you good advice, the breeder said the mom & father are both white with ruby eyes the mom had all white babies, she said the dad of her mom is a broken color he looks like the spotted one in your pics but a chestnut brown color. Their the only pair I have, may get another female thats his color or somthing that would go good with his color!! Thank you so much :)
 

Bunnylady

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So the grandfather of your doe was a broken? In that case, your doe's mother had a 50/50 chance of being a broken. If she was a REW, you couldn't tell; the only way to be sure she had the broken gene would be for her to produce broken babies.

Breeding 2 REW's together, the only thing you can get is more REW's. The only way the breeder can be sure that the doe has the broken gene is by breeding her to a solid, colored buck and getting broken offspring. Since she's so sure the doe has the gene, I have to assume that she has done that. But a Broken has one Broken gene, and one Solid gene: a baby has an equal chance of getting either one. Only Charlies give the broken gene to all of their babies, and a Charlie only happens when both parents are broken. Unless the breeder has bred your doe to a solid buck and gotten broken babies, she can't be sure that she has the gene.
 

samssimonsays

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Wow! I never knew that about the double broken gene... I have never had any issues with my brokens but it has been a struggle to get a heavily broken rabbit in my french lops... most are a very heavy blanket or Butterfly pattern. Even when I breed my two brokens I will usually end up with solids or the heavy butterfly pattern, never have managed to get a charlie and I don't aim to, sometimes you just need an unrelated pair and all I have available are broken to broken :/ Same goes with my solids too. It does explain why my little Lewis has struggled since his bout with severe bloat though. He is not a Charlie but he is a heavily broken.

This is why I love this site lol! always learning something new!
 

Bunnylady

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Broken can be a frustrating gene to work with. Basically, you have the gene itself to set the pattern, then a bunch of little "helper" genes that fine-tune the way it gets expressed. Some people will tell you that if you breed a broken to a solid, all you get is booted - and sometimes that can be true. If you are using a solid that comes from a long line of solids, it probably doesn't have the helpers genes to help make a "good" broken.

For a lot of people, this is probably the ultimate broken - the English Spot:
cadbury%204.jpg


English Spots need a lot of helpers to create the precision of their pattern, but what I said earlier holds true for them, too - every show-quality English Spot has one broken gene, and one solid gene. Believe it or not, this is also a pedigreed English Spot:
032-1.jpg


Obviously, this animal isn't spotted, but you can't miss the body type. Sports or crop-outs like this can still be useful in a breeding program. Even though this animal doesn't have the broken gene, it most likely has the helpers, so bred to a spotted rabbit, it won't produce booteds, it will produce rabbits with the correct English Spot pattern.

So you don't have to breed broken to broken to get good brokens, you can breed broken to solid and not risk the Charlies, as long as the solid has good broken relatives. If you have brokens with too much color, you could try breeding to a (even solid colored) rabbit from a line that produces rabbits with a lot of white, and hopefully strike a happy medium.
 
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