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Rex crosses...correcting body type

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Rex crosses...correcting body type

Post Number:#1  Unread postby SunbowBuns » Thu Oct 19, 2017 3:50 pm


Hello, I'm new to the forums. I'm looking to see if anybody has experience with crossing Rex with a semi-arch type breed, such as Flemish Giants and Chinchillas.

I have a large "Rex" buck that appears to have the semi-arched type vs the correct Rex body. I bought him with the intentions of breeding for meat and fur, so I didn't think much of it. He also doesn't have a pedigree, so I have no way of knowing what he comes from. But I love his color (chinchilla), and he has awesome fur, so I would like to breed him a couple times before he's culled, if that is an option.

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My plan is to start from a few nonpedigreed rex, and work up to some nice pedigreed rabbits that are worth something on the show table.

My question is, what are the chances that, after a few generations, I will have rabbits with correct type coming from him? Has anyone else had experience adding a semi-arch type to a commercial type line? I'm curious on the genetics behind it all. Thank you for any replies!

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Re: Rex crosses...correcting body type

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Nymphadora » Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:14 pm


I'm trying to figure out if you are trying to "correct" his type in future generations (i.e. working toward the commercial body type that the Rex standard calls for) or if you are trying to create a line of rabbits with Rex fur but a semi-arch type? :?

The whole crossing with Flemish idea may sound appealing, but from what I understand of popular meat breeds, Flemish tend to be slow growers and have more bone (less meat) when dressed out. Since Rex can be slower growing (some lines may be monsters, but some can take a while to reach senior weight), crossing with a Flemish seems like you wouldn’t get the best returns… plus you’d lose the awesome rex fur in the first cross.

I also don’t think your rabbit has a semi-arch type… maybe just not a great commercial type. Semi-arched breeds have a more pronounced “mandolin” shape; your rabbit appears to be a bit on the long side, but it might be partially to do with how he’s posed. (I’ve been going to some shows because I like learning, and I’m definitely new so my assessment may be off… more experienced breeders please chime in if you’d like to correct me). :oops:

I think your best bet would be to find the best doe you can to put with him and breed up from there. That would hold true whether you’re looking to make meat mutts or purebreds. Especially if you want a good meat rabbit, I would stick to commercial-type rabbits, rather than crossing semi-arch with a commercial… but that’s my personal opinion from reading about people’s success with certain crosses.

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Re: Rex crosses...correcting body type

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Ozarkansas » Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:58 pm


Unless that is color that is really hard to find I don't really see the point in breeding poor body typed non-pedigreed rabbits. If you are looking to do good on the show table it is a better idea to buy stock from a reputable breeder. It is true that winners are bred not bought, but at least you could look for a little higher quality stock. Now, I don't raise Rex so I don't know how rare the Chinchillas are, but if they are really hard to find than that's a different story. You are promoting are rare color and you have to work with what you can get. I raise rare breeds, and sometimes all I can get my hands on is downright bad but it's what I've got to work with. But if Chinchilla is not a rare color than I would look for high quality stock, and pay a good price for it! Because if you buy a cheap rabbit it is probably going to cost you a lot of work and generations of breeding to get it how you want. Not saying the most expensive rabbit is the best either, it is highly probable that the most expensive rabbit a breeder has for sale is the best one they have for sale but not always. You need to study your SOP, talk to other breeders, and know what you are looking for!

As for this particular buck being semi arch, he just looks like a bad commercial type to me. However way to many 'semi arch' rabbits look the same as he does. It is not how they are supposed to look but I can see where you are coming from thinking he looks semi arch :D
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Re: Rex crosses...correcting body type

Post Number:#4  Unread postby SunbowBuns » Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:48 pm


Thank you for the replies! I'm sorry I was a little unclear...all of my other rabbits are pretty decent Rex stock, but I have one non pedigreed doe that I thought I could use with him when she's the right age/weight. I'm going to try to stay with the Rex breed for now :)

I think I agree with you both, though. Even if he is just a bad type for his breed, he's probably not going to give me many babies worth keeping, or selling for much money. I could definitely find another NICE chinchilla Rex in my area (or silver marten, since that's what my other buck is...and I have otter does).

I was just hoping maybe someone else had decent results from bad stock. I just feel bad, because he's the first one I bought, and is the reason I chose the chin gene. Obviously I wasn't educated enough at the time...but I'm learning the hard way as I go. Lol

I'm hoping I can find him a good pet home before I need more space :oops:

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Re: Rex crosses...correcting body type

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Ozarkansas » Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:04 pm


SunbowBuns wrote:
I was just hoping maybe someone else had decent results from bad stock. I just feel bad, because he's the first one I bought, and is the reason I chose the chin gene. Obviously I wasn't educated enough at the time...but I'm learning the hard way as I go. Lol

I totally get that!! I am having a hard time making the decision to cull my first American buck right now. I really should because I had pick of the litter and made a big mistake by choosing the smallest one on purpose. However he was my first.....
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Re: Rex crosses...correcting body type

Post Number:#6  Unread postby alforddm » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:04 pm


Do a few test breedings and see how he does. I started out with one rex buck and a 3 mutt (NZ and who knows what else) does 3 years ago. I added a couple of rex does a year later but most of my rabbits are still crosses. I've got mostly rex furred animals now and a few of the mixes have really nice fur (better than one of my pedigreed does) and while type still needs improving, it's come along way.

I keep more does than I really need and cull often.

You may want to do some test breedings on him to self animals. I figure the brown areas are probably due to molt but with unpedigreed chinchilla colored animals you need to make sure they are actually chin and not sable agouti.

How much does he weight?

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Re: Rex crosses...correcting body type

Post Number:#7  Unread postby MeadowView » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:35 pm


I'll agree that breeding him once or twice won't hurt anything, just to see what he throws color wise and type wise.

I've had some butt ugly rabbits throw BOB winners before. It's most likely not the case, but you won't know unless you try, especially because you don't know what he comes from.

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Re: Rex crosses...correcting body type

Post Number:#8  Unread postby SarniaTricia » Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:56 pm


I cut my show teeth with the Michigan Rex group... they are an awesome bunch ..... (considering when I selected my show breed I picked Harlequin...they still let me hang out with them!....lol)

He appears to be posed correctly as his back toes line up with the curve of his hip and the front paws are under his eyes.
Without a top view...
Here is what I see: too long shoulders, and not enough depth to balance that overall body length...
If you look at him from the top and he is narrow in the shoulders, I'd cull him.
My friend spent 2 years trying to fix a long shouldered buck with short cobby does... and still ended up culling them all and the buck too!

Personally, I am culling Harlequin Rabbits with this body type as I have found it VERY hard to correct...
If you don't have any other option... test breed with your deepest, shortest body REX doe... cull hard.
(rex fur is recessive, so both parents have to carry it for the kits to have rex fur... sometimes the line will retain guard hairs if crossed out of rex, so try and keep rex x rex breedings)

I know were you can get a better chin buck (my friend who started my rabbit obsession)
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Re: Rex crosses...correcting body type

Post Number:#9  Unread postby faiththequeen » Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:17 pm


Okay, I agree with everything everyone said. You have to do what's best for your main goal.

That being said, can we just talk about how squishy cuddly he looks?? LOL! How awesome would a huge flemish-type rex furred rabbit be?? :lol:
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Re: Rex crosses...correcting body type

Post Number:#10  Unread postby Ozarkansas » Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:07 pm


faiththequeen wrote:Okay, I agree with everything everyone said. You have to do what's best for your main goal.

That being said, can we just talk about how squishy cuddly he looks?? LOL! How awesome would a huge flemish-type rex furred rabbit be?? :lol:


He does look really squishy :in_love:
At first I thought that sounds great!! And them I remembered a reason why I don't raise either breed.... Maybe not so bad where you are, but with the humidity here regular sized and furred rabbits get sore hocks bad with out a resting mat or even with a resting mat sometimes :x
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