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Another steel confusion

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Another steel confusion

Post Number:#1  Unread postby CO Int » Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:44 am


Hi

I've been doing so much research on steel as I knew my rabbits carried it and didn't really want it to overrun my rabbitry with only black (looking) rabbits.
These rabbits are a South African breed that was created from every possible breed except dwarfs - so as far as genes go anything is possible. They were bred for similar reasons as the Altex.
But I'm a bit flummoxed with my latest litter. According to the breed standard they are only allowed in black, agouti and steel. No white hairs or markings are allowed.
However, I was told that the black doe is a Super steel (both parents were steel) so I was very confident in the fact that I was going to get 6 little steel babies from this crossing.
mmmm :P

Daddy (pic at 8 months)
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Mommy (pic at 6 months - she looks terrible and was very underweight. She is now a 7 pound glossy 9 month old)
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Babies
Kit 1
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Kit 2
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Kit 3
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Kit 4
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Kit 5
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Kit 6
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I think kit 2 and 5 are agouti - they also have pink bellies and then the other three are steel.
Agouti shouldn't have been possible if she was a Super steel right?
Kit 4 confuses me with his white toes - is that linked to Vienna or just random?
Also, Kit 1 and 4 are all black (except for 4's white tootsies) which puts them in the Super steel category - they should be like mommy. Since she has matured she has a few white hairs but otherwise is pitch black. Now I'm wondering if she isn't a very heavily expressed normal steel? How would that look genetically? And how would I distinguish it from a Super steel? Also, could the extension gene be at play here?
Kit 6 has been a complete surprise - I didn't expect cc even for a second but I guess I shouldn't be surprized as NZW have been heavily used in their development. This baby is smaller than the other so I hope it makes it because I'm interested to see if it has ruby eyes. I personally just don't like the REW look and it was one of the main reasons I didn't want to go with NZW - although I think NZ are extremely pretty.

Doe (this picture was taken when I got her from the breeder. She has molted out the horrible coat and now weighs 9 pounds)
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This doe was bred to a gold tipped steel at purchase. She had 3 steel and 3 black kits. Two of the black kits are pitch black but the third one has some minor ticking on the nose and the coat is a definite shade lighter than the others. She almost looks blue but her head and legs are definitely black.
My apologies for the horrible quality (she's black but not black - and she's not steel in pattern) :lol:
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My head is spinning so I really would appreciate any comments, tips, a kick up the backside if I'm going in the wrong direction with my genetic ideas or any other mentions, criticisms or general comments.
Ultimately I would prefer to breed out the steel gene and only play with the Agouti and see if there is any other genes hiding, but maybe it's a bit too ambitious. :D

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Re: Another steel confusion

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Zass » Thu Oct 08, 2020 1:13 pm


Most visual steels only have one copy of the steel gene, Es_, therefore only 1/4 of the kits from a steel X steel pairing would be super steels.

The rest would be viable steels, and even steel-free agouti is possible.
Once the self black gene is mixed up with the steel gene, it can become almost impossible to tell an agouti super steel from a genetic self black who may be carrying one or more copies of the steel gene.

Sometimes steel kits are "lightly steeled," they can look mostly chestnut, but their ear and belly fur will grow in greyish instead of pure white.
If your kit's agouti marks are pure white, then lucky you, you have a chance to eliminate the steel. :D

I would guess your does is aa Es_ self black carrying only one copy of steel.

There is a darker variant of steel that can look self black with just one copy as well, but that just makes everything about steel harder to pin down. :lol:

To eliminate this messy gene from your herd, your only real option is to eventually remove all backs and steels, and select only kits with those pure white agouti markings.
Last edited by Zass on Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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CO Int

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Re: Another steel confusion

Post Number:#3  Unread postby CO Int » Fri Oct 09, 2020 4:28 am


Thank you so much Zass - it will give me something to aim for!

I didn't know that agouti could carry steel and look like agouti - if that was the case I might have never taken the buck. I'm glad I did - his belly is definitely white.

I can't wait for the kits to fur out so I can see if they agouti babies have white bellies as well. Maybe I'm lucky, maybe not but at least I know what to look for.

Thank you so much!

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Re: Another steel confusion

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Zass » Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:16 pm


I had the genotype incorrect origionally, and fixed it. I mean to type aa Es_

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Re: Another steel confusion

Post Number:#5  Unread postby CO Int » Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:57 am


I'm glad there is a self gene - I think I would need it without the steel gene to get a "solid" color rabbit.

I was quick to say my buck had a white belly, but I want to check if my white is the same as your white :lol: I'm not the best with colors.
I took an undignified picture of the poor boy - but is that a white belly?

Image

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Re: Another steel confusion

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Zass » Mon Oct 12, 2020 6:23 pm


Yes, I would say he is a chestnut agouti with no steel.

All dominant genotypes: A_ (agouti) B_(no chocolate dilution) C_(full color) D_ (no blue dilution)E_ (normal extension)

I bet some of those kits have nice white ears and bellies by now too.

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Re: Another steel confusion

Post Number:#7  Unread postby CO Int » Tue Oct 13, 2020 5:54 am


Yes - two have very white bellies at this time and is such a pretty color. I actually do like the steel coloring because I never knew the variation could be so big but I don't like the black ones - self or not. I can't see their expressions! :lol:

So then this boy is A_ B_ Cc (the REW kit in my other post is his) D_ E_ It will be really exciting to see what I get in future.

Thank you so much for the help!

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