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Stuck kits?

Discussion in 'Birthing, Weaning and Raising Young Rabbits' started by AmberLops, Apr 27, 2019.

  1. Apr 29, 2019
    Bunnylady

    Bunnylady True BYH Addict

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    Both parents must have the dwarfing gene for peanuts to happen. Sadly, there are plenty of other reasons for babies to fail, not all of 'em genetic; that this baby lasted 6 days makes me suspect that there was something other than two copies of the dwarfing gene wrong with it (peanuts usually die in 3 days or less, because their incomplete digestive systems mean they starve to death).

    Creating peanuts is what may be illegal. A number of years ago, I read that some European countries were enacting anti-cruelty legislation that would make it illegal to deliberately breed animals that would suffer or die as a direct result of their genetic heritage (experiments done for the purpose of medical research being exempted). Peanuts cannot live, and while you might luck out sometimes, doing true-dwarf-to-true-dwarf breeding will lead to some peanuts getting born at least some of the time. Knowingly creating a life that doesn't stand a chance of living is what I referred to as a dirty trick.

    Interestingly, going by the same logic, doing broken-to-broken breeding could also be illegal. Animals with 2 copies of the broken gene (Charlies) have digestive issues that interfere with their ability to absorb nutrients, and the almost inevitable GI stasis episodes could certainly be interpreted as "suffering.":hu


    Steel is a gene that will drive you totally bonkers (in my case, that ain't a drive, it's a putt).:confused: Steel is dominant, but it takes a certain combination of genes to even know that it's there. Agouti pushes the dark pigment off of certain areas of the hair shaft, allowing light/white areas to appear; Steel pushes back, allowing more of the dark pigment to appear, thus creating a darker version of the Agouti pattern. I've long heard that you can't see Steel on a self-patterned rabbit, because there aren't any areas of light color to counteract. Some people will tell you that Steel puts white ticking on self colored rabbits, but I think they are confused about what they are looking at. In order for a Steel to look like a Steel, the Steel gene (Es) needs to be paired with the normal extension gene (E); any combination other than than EsE won't look like a classic Steel. Even an animal that is actually a genetic Agouti that has two copies of Steel (EsEs) will look like a self patterned Black; a thing that someone dubbed a "super Steel." Steel combined with non-extension (Ese) or harlequin (Esej) may have some ticking, or may once again look like a self-patterned rabbit.

    If you want a Steel, one of your breeders must have it. When Ben was born, I thought he was a self Black. As he grew and matured, I realized I was seeing hints of lighter areas under his jaw, on his belly, etc; these are the areas of lighter "trim" on the Agouti and Tan patterns, but they shouldn't be there on a Self! His father was a Chestnut, and even though there were some Steeled versions of some colors on his pedigree, I knew that buck didn't have Steel, because Steel can't hide behind Chestnut. Ben's mother, though, is a REW, with a lot of other REW's on her pedigree, so there is no telling what she has.:rolleyes: I've never seen a description of how Steel appears on a Tan patterned rabbit, but, since a Tan is basically a Self with the Agouti trim package, and I know how Steel looks on an Agouti, I figured a Steeled Otter would probably look pretty much like Ben - turns out I was right.:hu

    So without an obvious Steel as a breeder, you'd need a rabbit that is at least carrying Steel, plus a rabbit with the right genetics to bring it out, plus just plain dumb luck (and ooh, I got chocolates to boot!!!) You need the Agouti pattern (A), plus either full color (C ) or Chinchilla (cchd) to get enough dark pigment, and that all-important normal extension gene (E) to go with the Steel gene (Es), to get a Steel rabbit.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019
  2. Apr 29, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops Loving the herd life

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    Wow! Super interesting! SO much to learn when it comes to rabbit genetics!

    Now, about the danger of broken to broken breeding....I've never heard of this!
    Does that count for ALL brokens? Of all breeds? I've never done a broken to broken breeding.
    Example...if I bred my broken blue doe to a broken black...would I have problems with those offspring? o_O

    Also...do brokens generally have more issues? Now that I think of it, I've always had problems with brokens.
    Like the super tiny 'peanut-ish- baby (from a broken black doe) that I mentioned that lived for 6 days was the only broken baby of the 3.
    I have a broken blue doe who aborted her litter 10 days early...she had 3 and 2 were dead (the brokens) and the only one that was alive was a self black even though she cleaned all of them and they seemed like they should have been alive with no obvious birth defects/deformities. :confused: I thought maybe she aborted them because the 2 (brokens) had died in the womb? They just looked so 'okay' to be born dead!
    Thanks for all the helpful info! I appreciate rabbit people helping fellow rabbit people :)
     
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  3. Apr 30, 2019
    Bunnylady

    Bunnylady True BYH Addict

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    Broken is a dominant gene; if it's there, you will see it. Exactly how it gets expressed is highly variable. Some Brokens just have a little bit of white on their feet and faces (sometimes called "booted"), while others may have hardly any color on them. Most of the time, a broken-patterned rabbit with very little color is a Charlie (has inherited the broken gene from both parents), but not always; a lot of Broken Dwarfs are like the two in the first litter whose picture I posted, I know they aren't Charlies because their mother is a solid Black Otter.There are two babies in that litter that got the normal gene from their (Broken) father (namely, an Otter and a Black), but there is no telling with the two Ruby-eyed Whites - seeing what they produce as adults would be the only way to know one way or the other with them.

    The problem with the broken gene is that it doesn't only affect coat color; this particular gene is involved in the growth and development of the rabbit's digestive system, and the coat color is more or less a side effect. A while back, I came across a study that was done regarding the digestive issues of Charlies, using Checkered Giants as their subject animals (I'd go hunt it up and post a link, but you know how scientists are. They love to flex their vocabularies in front of their colleagues, and the fog index on this thing was off the scale!) In a nutshell, they bred some animals, did some observations while they were alive, then euthanized them all and did detailed necropsies on them, including microscopic examinations of some sections of the intestines. They were comparing 3 groups: normal, unspotted animals, spotted (broken), and Charlies (animals that had two copies of the broken gene). The Charlies' intestines were found to have several things about them that were abnormal, including significantly fewer of the nerves that signal the muscles that are involved in moving the food through the digestive tract (peristalsis). The Brokens were also found to have a reduced number of nerves, but only slightly; the Charlies, on the other hand, had a whole lot fewer. The Charlies also had a condition called megacolon, where the last part of the digestive system balloons into a totally abnormal and inefficient shape. They found a 1-to-1 correlation between having two copies of the broken gene and megacolon; in fact, they started using the presence of megacolon as one of the factors used in deciding whether a rabbit was a Charlie, or merely a lightly marked Broken.

    Most single-copy Brokens live perfectly normal lives, showing no detectable difference from their unbroken counterparts. Charlies, however, have slow-moving digestive systems and problems with nutrient absorption. Some Charlies don't make it out of the nest box alive; those that do are usually the smallest in their litter. They are prone to GI stasis episodes. Here again, the degree to which an animal is affected is variable, but megacolon apparently gets worse with age, so the odds of an animal born with it living to a ripe old age aren't good.

    Any time you breed a Broken, some babies will get the Broken gene (En), and some will get the normal gene (en). Breed two Brokens together, and some may get the Broken gene from both parents (Charlies). Not every baby from a Broken-to-Broken breeding will be a Charlie, of course; many will even be solids. But, there really isn't any advantage to breeding Brokens together, and avoiding Charlies is easy - just don't breed a broken to another broken.:idunno
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
  4. May 1, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops Loving the herd life

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    That's very good to know...I definitely won't be getting/keeping any broken bucks.
    Another question...
    Say I bred my black buck to my broken blue doe and she had 2 broken kits and 2 solids...would those 2 solids also carry the broken gene? Or just the normal gene (en)?
    Funny about the Charlies...when my sister first started breeding Netherland Dwarfs, she only had Charlies and she couldn't figure out what was wrong with all the litters born and the does were actually eating their kits :eek:
    She sold all of her Charlies and stuck with Martens/Otters after that and she never had any problems with them.
    I'll have to tell her about this! She is thinking about getting some brokens and I think this info will help her a lot...I know it's helped me! Thank you :)
    Also...
    I have a little buck who's around 4 weeks old now and he has one ear starting to lop and his head is tilting a bit towards the same side as his ear...is this normal?
    It's not that bad and when I put him on the floor he seems to walk normally...but his head is slightly tilted and he's looking up a lot. Could it just be because of his lopped ear? Or could it be head tilt?
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
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  5. May 26, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops Loving the herd life

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    So.....
    I rebred my Lionhead doe who had the stuck kits and she is due tomorrow.
    I have my fingers crossed and i'm hoping it goes well this time. I don't think she's going to have them in the middle of the day again. I just checked on her for the last time tonight. She decided not to make the nest in the nest box...which is okay since she has baby-savers.
    My main concern is her having stuck kits again and me not being there to help her...
    I just hope she can make it through this!
    We'll see what tomorrow brings :fl
     
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  6. May 27, 2019
    animalmom

    animalmom Herd Master

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    How is your doe doing?
     
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  7. May 27, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops Loving the herd life

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    Thanks for asking!
    She still hasn't had her kits yet...I thought for sure she'd have them last night.
    She looks stressed out but otherwise okay. She decided to destroy her nest and not have one anywhere now:barnie
    I just hope she has them today! I have lavender oil on hand just in case...
     
  8. May 27, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops Loving the herd life

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    Well....still no kits :barnie
    This is so frustrating!! I don't want to wake up to a dead doe! I want her to be okay more than anything....she's a sweet rabbit.
     
  9. May 28, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops Loving the herd life

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    So, my doe had her kits at around 11:00 today. She had 2 dead, very deformed kits and 2 normal healthy kits!
    Looks like they're chocolates or Siamese sables!
    She did not have them in the box....but I put them in the box for her ;)
    I just hope she can take care of them...we'll see!
     
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  10. Jun 3, 2019
    Larsen Poultry Ranch

    Larsen Poultry Ranch Chillin' with the herd

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    Congratulations on the healthy kits, sorry about the ones that didn't make it. Did you use the same buck as last time or a different one?
     
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