Silver Fox breeding Question

Lady Bum Bun

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Hello
I just bought a silver fox doe. she is two and her name is Lady Bun Bun. ( im dyslexic and put bum bun in my username lol)

I bought her with the intentions of breeding her and selling her kits for pets. What breed should I cross her with? Im looking for a smaller breed buck. And im hoping for something with more color and maybe some pattering. Im not sure how this breeding/gene thing works. Our two meat rabbits just had their fist litter 5 and 6 days ago. It seems that white is a dominant gene. Thats as far as I know.

To give you an Idea on where my mind is I was thinking at first a lion head but those would get to hot. Then I was thinking Holland Lop but in this area they are expensive and are 8 weeks old. I dont mind waiting to breed but thats a bit long to wait. I might still consider it though. I am now thinking about a rex or dutch but leaning towards the dutch.
For now I have a satin buck I will be using.( he was supposed to be NZ but he seems to small and very closely resembles a satin.)

What do you guys think?
 

promiseacres

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Well since you asked.... my honest opinion is don't cross breed just for the purpose of the pet market. Even with dwarf rabbits I see the pet market flucuates often. And many end up getting culled in any case. Most of the time I see people preferring dwarfs for pets vs anything over 4#
If your doe is pedigreed I'd suggest finding her a nice SF buck with a pedigree and breeding towards the SOP. Even if show rabbits aren't your goal, if you're breeding towards the standard then your rabbits can be sold as show, brood, 4H and pets. You'll be able to ask a more reasonable price (above a cull rate) to help offset your costs. It costs just as much to feed purebreds as crossbreds. Again it's my opinion.

@Bunnylady has a very nice article on here about genetics.
 
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Tale of Tails Rabbitry

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I am a Silver Fox breeder and I have several thoughts. The first being that although Silver Fox is not consider one of the "rare breeds" they are few and far between depending on your area. Even fewer are good Silver Fox breeders. Silver Foxes had a sudden standard of perfection (SOP) change some years ago, taking it from the original mandolin body type to the class 6, which has been difficult enough for breeders to get good type but even now there are still some "discussions" with its the top line in class 6 itself. That being said, when I was breeding for meat only, a good rabbit was one that was healthy, clean, and good temperament. Now that I am showing, I realized that breeding to the SOP is challenging enough, before adding another hybrid to the mix!

As a meat breeder, I crossed Silver Foxes with New Zealand Whites and all I can say is if you want to you will learn about genetics when you cross as you try to finger out what colors you are seeing in your nesting box and how you got them, but it is hard enough when you already understand genetics to get what you want. For instance, the silvering gene is seriously funky. Even those of us with a silvering breed do not understand it well and there have not been any studies that I can find that help to explain it, probably because so few breeds have it. It is a more dominate gene than it is usually written about, but it seems to have modifiers we do not understand. You can breed two of normal silvered rabbits and get a lightly silvered, a normal silvered, a heavy silvered, and uneven silvered sometimes in the same kindle, but you will not know that until the silvering comes in later. Then there is silvering or lack of it on the butterfly (the area around the nose and mouth) or uneveness with light silvering on the upper part of the body or more on the chest and dewlap.

As to color, many Silver Foxes have recessives and hidden genes, particularly steel, which does not show on a self rabbit like the Silver Fox but can show up when crossed with an Agouti or Otter. A few people think a gold tipped steel that silvers (and, yes, a rabbit can do both) is pretty, but to me it just looks like a mess, with neither one defined well in the look of the fur and I have had many steels that silvered that are not very desirable pelts and nearly impossible to match.

My next thought is that Silver Foxes have a great "pet" personality, but they are not a rabbit I ever sell as a pet and I DO NOT sell any of my rabbits as pets. They are cute as bunnies, but they are too large as seniors, so I get breeding to a smaller breed, but Silver Foxes being a meat breed gives purpose for our culls. Pet breeders have a far more difficult time with FAR more drama in their lives trying to sell their rabbits as pets. Whatever I do not want to keep, I eat. Not many pet breeders do the same.

I toyed with the idea of Silver Fox fur on a different color of fur and it would have been pretty, but I dropped it, at least for now, because I wanted to help get better Silver Fox into my area before taking on a side project that would take far more cages and space. If you are still determined, I would not cross a Rex with a Silver Fox, I am not that familiar with the rex gene, but if I remember it right, it is recessive, so you would not see it in your crosses. Getting Fox fur in a cross is possible, but less likely until you have bred a cross back to a Silver Fox, which I have done. Sometimes you get one or two out of that kindle with Silver Fox fur. As to the other colors, personally, I like silvering on blacks and blues and even lilacs, but not so much on chocolates and reds as I think it takes away the richness of those colors.

Will you find people wanting pet rabbits that are crosses? Probably, but that market dries up very quickly and you will need to figure out what to do with the rabbits no one buys as well.
 
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Lady Bum Bun

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Makes since Thank you.
I am planning on getting a silver fox buck now. It seems that would be the best idea.
And I do have a plan for the rabbits that don't sell.
 

Bunnylady

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It seems that white is a dominant gene.

If you made sense of that thread that @promiseacres so thoughtfully provided a link to, you would know that this is not the case at all.:idunno

the original mandolin body type to the class 6,

A little confusion here . . . . it's "6 class," not "class 6." 6-class breeds are the larger ones; in addition to Senior Buck, Senior Doe, Junior Buck and Junior Doe, they have Intermediate Buck and Intermediate Doe classes. Generally, Intermediate is for animals between 6 and 8 months of age, that are a little bigger than the size limit of the Junior classes. While many of the 6-class breeds are of the commercial body type, there are several (Flemish Giant, Beveren, English Lop, etc) that have the semi-arch (or mandolin) body type.

I'm kind of curious about how this jump in type came about. Sometimes, a breed club initiates a change, but I know of some changes in the past that were dictated by the ARBA standards committee, and the breed club wasn't a bit pleased about them.:\

Will you find people wanting pet rabbits that are crosses?

Certainly you will, if the price is right (like, maybe, free). And you will get people who lie to you about what they want the rabbit for, or who will later insist that you lied to them, when you think you were absolutely clear about the fact that the rabbits you are selling are of mixed breeding. As others have said, most people who want pets want smaller breeds; some do like larger breeds as pets (there are a lot of Flemish Giants that are house rabbits), but generally, you do yourself no harm by keeping breeds pure. At the very least, you can usually charge enough for purebreds to make a dent in your feed bill.

he was supposed to be NZ but he seems to small and very closely resembles a satin.)

For show purposes, New Zealands are 9 to 12 pounds in weight. Satins are 8 1/2 to 11 pounds, so there is very little difference in size between the two breeds - in fact, you could have an adult Satin that outweighs an adult New Zealand. Type-wise, they are extremely similar (both being commercial type); the major defining feature of a Satin is a brilliant, glass-like sheen to the coat, because the structure of the hair is very different from normal coats. This is an excellent example of why you should keep breeds pure - if the parents are identifiably the same breed, nobody will have to guess (based on perhaps spotty information) as to what breed or breeds a rabbit is.
 
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Brownie

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I think a Mini lop or a rex would be cute
 

Tale of Tails Rabbitry

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Thanks, Bunnylady. When I wrote that I was thinking I had it turned around and I do know that there are a few mandolin type breeds in 6 class. In a hurry and did not proof; it never does serve anyone well to type in a hurry.

As to the change in body type for the Silver Fox, I got a strong impression it was an ARBA change. I am not even sure the Silver Fox had a national club then...fuzzy on the history of the club itself yet. However, in talking to some that have been with the breed through that change, it does not seem that it was welcomed by many.
 

Vay

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LOL I just read this thread... with my 15 year old daughter... and she asked me what our rabbits' genetics were...

my answer... "they don't have floppy ears...?" :fl

I know nothing about the genes and what mixes to get what...but it interests me to learn.

I have sandy flemish does, a silver (or dark grey...?) new zealand/flemish cross, and a white new zealand/flemish cross with light grey almost lilac spots all over. I also have a black polish buck and a white polish buck with black spots... a broken? or a charlie? or a broken charlie? I have NO IDEA! :barnie

I'm not breeding for fur, I'm only doing it for meat, but if I can get nice fur along the way I'd like to try my hand at tanning and processing the hides. :idunno

Also, these emojis are great! :smack
 

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