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Genetics of Fur

Discussion of fur breeds, tanning pelts, using the furs, marketing.
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Genetics of Fur

Post Number:#1  Unread postby HoneyTree » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:25 pm


I'm looking for a good resource to help me understand this better. Would someone be willing to point me to one here, if I overlooked it, or somewhere else on the Web?

Specifically, I'm curious how people "create" new colors and features in rabbit fur. Can any rabbit breed be "silvered" or "rexed" or "satined" if somebody really wanted to do that?

Thanks for the help!

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Re: Genetics of Fur

Post Number:#2  Unread postby akane » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:37 pm


Technically yes. The first generation of an out cross tends to result in all normal furred animals except silver which is a color not fur type and is not 1 gene set so you get a range of partially silvered rabbits. You then cross to another rabbit that is half and half, to a sibling, or back to the parent with the special coat to get offspring with that coat type. However when you cross between breeds and then want to get back to the standard of one breed or the other it is more complicated than that. Your rabbits may have the right coat and could be called that breed but they probably won't look like any other representation of their breed because they carry characteristics of another so they probably won't place well on the show table if they aren't outright DQ. They also may not have as good of quality of coat. Rex on top of their unique coat have modifiers to make it thicker. If you cross them out the cross will be normal coated except it tends to be thicker than on the nonrex breed you used and when you cross them back to rex or each other you do get a rex coat but it has lost some of it's thickness and quality compared to a rex that was never crossed out. That's why it takes so long to introduce new colors from another breed and get them passed. You have to work with all the little modifiers to get your crosses back to the same quality as the original but keep the new color. Coat type being so unique tends to stay with the breed so even if you breed to match another breed and put the rex or satin coat on it then it tends to get called a weird looking rex or satin instead. With the exception being that there are rex and probably satin lops in the making. The 2 unique characteristics of coat and ear are being considered their own new breeds though rather than an existing breed of lop with a rex coat as a variety. It's not viewed the same as adding colors to an existing breed.
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