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Tan and blue otter genetics...

A place to ask about rabbit colours and to discuss rabbit genetics -- and how to breed for the desired results.
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Tan and blue otter genetics...

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Stormy » Sun May 29, 2011 4:53 pm

I've previously posted I'd love to create a blue Belgian Hare because I love the breed, and love blues, and am in support of bringing some of the other colors of this endangered breed to be recognized in the U.S. (Europe recognizes the Black & Tan, White, and Black!) What I have is a Black & Tan Belgian Hare. My options seem to be to cross it with a Blue Tan (same body type and similar markings) and breed out the tan to cream to make blue otter... not familiar with Tan genetics and how hard that'd be. My Black & Tan Belgian has a lot of cream in him too.

Or, breed with a blue self rabbit and build the type back up - would breeding a self blue rabbit (looking at American Blue as a good option - semi-arch breed) produce blue otters? Or solid blue rabbits?

Anyone who has experience breeding blue otters have an opinion about this?

Thanks guys!
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Re: Tan and blue otter genetics...

Post Number:#2  Unread postby caroline » Sun May 29, 2011 6:24 pm

I'm not sure what the genetics of the standard Belgian Hare is but my guess is that it's the
AABBCCDDEE
All the dominants
Agouti
Black
Full color
Intense
Full Extension
You are wanting to have recessive characteristics show in 2 of these gene pairs. The "A" and the "D"
If you want to introduce the tan/otter gene a(t), which is recessive to the "normal" agouti, it will take at least 2 generations to get a rabbit that shows the tan pattern. If you bred to a rabbit that was homozygous for tan/otter then the kits will all be carriers. In the next generation if you bred the kits to each other your could get 1/4 of the kits showing the tan/otter pattern. They can only show it if the are homozygous [or if the have the tan gene paired with a self gene].
The "blue" color is actually a dilute of the "black" in an agouti animal it shows up as opal. In an otter or self animal it will show as blue. The same thing holds for this characteristic. The "d" gene is recessive to the "d" gene so will only show if the animal has 2 of the "d" genes. Of it has DD of Dd then it will be the dominant, black or chestnut/castor color.
Not sure what breed of rabbit you would want to use to obtain these recessive genes. I believe that there are already some Belgian Hares that carry the "d" dilute gene. I haven't read about any with that a(t) gene. Good luck
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Re: Tan and blue otter genetics...

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Stormy » Sun May 29, 2011 7:20 pm

Hi Caroline, Thanks for your great info.
I put up my avatar of my Belgian as a 6-week baby, his color has not come up yet he has more tan but is still rather otter-ish, this would be a(t) if I understand correctly, so you can see a Belgian with it :) Will have to get more current colors as his colors are maturing as he grows. These are not common in the U.S. but exist in Europe, where his grandparents came from.

So I have the a(t)... I have not heard of any Belgians with the "d" gene but would love to get my hands on some! Probably on the East Coast though...
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Re: Tan and blue otter genetics...

Post Number:#4  Unread postby caroline » Sun May 29, 2011 10:28 pm

sounds like you know what is needed.
Guess you don't need to breed him to my black otter Rex doe since he already has the tan gene :)
maybe you'd like to use my blue Rex doe though....Just kidding.
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Re: Tan and blue otter genetics...

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Stormy » Mon May 30, 2011 10:07 am

Well I know now, thanks to you :) I didn't know whether blue self or otter/tan was the dominant gene. By your explanation, its the otter/tan gene, so I theoretically could get some blue otters by crossing with a blue self rabbit, right?
I considered crossing with a blue otter but I only know Rex in that color- not the right body type or fur however much I love them, so hence the question could I get rid of the tan without breeding straight to a blue otter, which has the cream not the tan.

If anyone else has experience with breeding out tan to cream or with developing blue otters I'd love to hear it!

A blue self Belgian would be just beautiful too, but as I've looked at pictures of the self black, and white, they seem to have lost some of that wild look to me without the ringed eyes, underbelly and leg highlights.
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Re: Tan and blue otter genetics...

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Devon's Mom Lauren » Mon May 30, 2011 6:23 pm

You already have the otter gene you just need the dilute to make it blue. Otter is dominant to self so you could use a blue self or a blue otter doesn't matter. The otter refers to pattern and colour is a separete issue to that. You just have to wait a generation for the blue to show. BTW the Black Otter Hare is quite common in the States, I know a number of them. However they do seem to have some sort of medical issues.They seem to have a lot of molar spurs and some other internal issues. :)

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Re: Tan and blue otter genetics...

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Stormy » Tue May 31, 2011 4:59 pm

Hi Devon's Mom Lauren, thank you for your input, that is helpful too, so no surprises when I don't get blue the first try :) Yes I am aware there were some imported in your area or in the U.S. up in those parts, who ended up having a multitude of health problems and entire litters had to be put down. Its a long story I don't care to repeat but in short, a shipment from Europe got mixed around and some major inbreeding happened with rabbits that weren't supposed to be bred together. Apparently its a very sore subject amongst those involved :( To my knowledge, my hare's family tree is clean. And likewise looking for a healthy mate :) He's such a gorgeous little rabbit, I hope I can find one and continue to breed this color.
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