Can There be Color?

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jaxmarblebuns

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Earlier this year a bred my pure Rex (tri-color) to my pure Californian, just kind of to see what I would get. I got a broken “black” and a “white” that were DOA, and the three remaining rabbits turned out to one cali marked, another has cali marks but in a broken pattern, and the last is mostly black with silver ticking along her belly/sides. My mom and I are both very curios to see what would happen if we bred one of them back to the Rex. She thinks we could get some interesting colors. However, I feel like we would just get more “fake” blacks a cali marked. I know it also has to do with what is in the lineage, and while I can confidently say my cals are 100% pure I do not have a pedigree for my rex. I remember when I went to pick him up the breeder had a litter of what looked like sable or torties and I believe opals, but idk if he even sired those or not.

I have tried to look up genetics, again, to see if maybe I could figure it out myself. But sadly like usual I still have no clue what the hell the letters even mean and have not found a source that explains it well enough for me to comprehend. (your rabbit will be A_B_cc_E…….. Okay, but does that make it black or blue or purple or what….lol.) I have struggled with comprehension my whole life, I just haven’t found a system that works for me yet. I am still looking though.
 

judymac

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What a good question. Let's see if we can make it a little easier to answer your question. First--about the genetic alphabet soup: It's easiest to look at each letter, and figure out what that letter does. That way, when you put them all together at the end, it will make more sense. It's like building a recipe for a cake. The letters are ingredients that tell you what 'flavor' you are adding.

A: This stands for AGOUTI. Agouti is wild rabbit color. Imagine a hair shaft. On the bottom is one color, called the 'undercolor'. On a chestnut/castor agouti, this would be steel blue. The middle part of the hair shaft will be some shade of yellow, usually called fawn or orange depending on your breed. The outer color is your main color, it would be chestnut on a castor, and there's often a colored very end of the tip of the hairshaft. In the case of castor, the tip is black. The rabbit will also have eye rings, white inside the ears, white under the chin and a light belly. This is the dominant position on the agouti gene. It is coded with a capital letter 'A' to show it is a dominant gene, you only need one for this trait to be expressed. Each possible choice on a gene is called an 'allele'. So, if your rabbit is an agouti, it has either one or two agouti A alleles. Since we don't know which, it's coded A-, the dash means we don't know what the other allele is, but it doesn't matter as far as the pattern that we can see goes.

What happens if a rabbit has all the agouti markings, the eye rings, triangle behind the ears, nostril outline, light belly--but the hair shaft is all one color? It might be darker at the tip of the hair, and then get lighter, but it's all shades of one color. That would be the tan allele, a(t). The small 'a' means the trait is recessive, you need two of the same allele for the trait to show. The 't' in parenthesis, or as a subscript or superscript letter, means this option is one of several recessive options, and the 't' stands for 'tan'. It's called tan, because the agouti markings are in a tan shade. We call these rabbits otters. If the markings are white instead of tan, it's called a marten. This option is half-way between dominant agouti, and the other option on this gene, called descriptively 'non-agouti' a, or 'self' colored. These rabbits also need two copies of the recessive aa to show their pattern. They will not have any agouti markings, or have any agouti banding on the hairshaft, So, if you see any genetic code with a(t), you know it will be an otter or marten, if it has an 'A', it's an agouti of some sort. aa will be some sort of a self-colored rabbit.

B is for BLACK. This is an easy one. If the color is based on black/gray, it will have a dominant B-, only needs one of these alleles to be black based. The recessive option is coded with a small 'b', you'll need two of these bb to show the recessive trait, which is a brown called 'chocolate'. So, if you see B- in the code, the rabbit will be black/gray based, if you see bb the rabbit is chocolate based.

C is for COLOR. There are five options here, the first option the most dominant of all, the rest go down in dominance like rungs on a ladder until you get to the bottom option that is recessive to everything. Here they are:
  1. FULL COLOR C: This is just normal color, where everything is colored exactly like the other genes say. Things like the agouti, tan, and self colors like black, your tricolor, etc.
  2. CHINCHILLA c(chd). The 'chd' stands for chinchilla dark. The chinchilla has normal dark coloration, but the yellow fawn color production doesn't work, they just look pearl white. So a castor with a chinchilla allele would be missing any color that arose from the fawn pigment, and look gray, pearl white, and slate gray on the hairshaft. On tans, the tan color becomes pearl white, a tan with chinchilla would be a marten. Oddly enough, the chinchilla allele only works on agouti, a self colored chinchilla looks just like it's full color version, with the exception of a chinchilla tortoiseshell. Since chins can't make yellow tones, a chin tortoiseshell is a pearl.
  3. SABLE c(chl), the 'chl' stands for chinchilla light. Not only does this rabbit not make the yellow/fawn/orange/red tones, but even the dark coloration is lightened. A black becomes sepia brown colored with the lessened pigment. If you see sable on a pedigree, you know there will be no yellow tones in the coat, and the black shades will be sepia instead, and the color will shade lighter down the rabbit. It's sometimes called the 'shaded' gene.
  4. HIMALAYAN c(h), the 'h' stands for Himalayan, this is the CALIFORNIAN or POINTED WHITE allele. Here, a funny temperature-sensitive recessive trait only allows the dark coloration on the extremities, like the face, ears, and legs.
  5. ALBINO c, the RED-EYED WHITE (or ruby-eyed white REW). Here, it doesn't matter what the other genes say, the pigment factories are shut down, and the rabbit wears a 'white sheet', white fur and pink/red eyes.
D is for DILUTE/DENSE. The normal dominant is D for dense color, that just means that whatever color the rabbit is supposed to be, it produces that color in the normal full amount. The recessive 'dd' is for DILUTE. That means that the pigment factories try getting cheap with the pigment, and cut the pigment amount. Black becomes gray, which we call 'blue'. Chocolate becomes a pale dove beige, which we call 'lilac'. And the yellow fawn colors are also reduced. Each breed has a different naming scheme here, in angoras fawn is the normal shade, and the reduced dilute color is called cream. In other breeds, the normal color is called orange, and the dilute is called fawn. Just look up in your ARBA Standard of Perfection to see the right terminology for your breed.

The last main ABCDE is E for EXTENSION. Not a great name, but it just means that the colors are properly extended down the hairshaft according to the other genes. There are also five choices here, again, in descending order of dominance:
  1. DOMINANT AGOUTI BLACK E(D) is one you'll probably not encounter, it's not found in very many breeds. Here, the regular agouti colors all get turned to look like a self-colored rabbit, so a castor agouti would look like a self black. It is dominant.
  2. STEEL E(S) takes the undercolor on an agouti, and pushes it way, way up the hairshaft, leaving only the tips of the hair to be colored with the remains of the fawn middle agouti band. These guys are called gold-tipped steels for that reason, none of the other agouti markings are seen. If you add chinchilla to this, chin can't make gold pigment, so the color ends up being pearl white, and it's a silver-tipped steel.
  3. NORMAL EXTENSION 'E' is just normal rabbit color, this is the wild rabbit dominant allele. Here are found all the normal agouti, self, tan rabbits.
  4. HARLEQUIN e(j), 'j' is for Japanese, the original name for this color pattern many years ago. Here, a funny thing happens. Instead of putting different colors on one hairshaft, it puts the colors in patches on the rabbits. Your tricolor is a harlequin that also has the dominant spotting gene (which is coded En for the English Spot rabbit that has this gene.) If you have a harlequin that also has chinchilla, the rabbit can't make any of the fawn patches, they are replaced with pearl white, and the rabbit is called a magpie.
  5. FAWN or NON-EXTENSION ee recessive. Here, the agouti pattern is changed, and does not extend properly down the hairshaft. Instead, the middle fawn band goes clear out to the end of the hairshaft, no tipping, no dark color, no dark tipping. So, the rabbit looks yellow. If you add extra reddening, called rufus modifiers, your yellow rabbit can be darker orange or even red, like a New Zealand Red. In a non-agouti rabbit, the body color is still yellow, but the extremities (ears, face, legs, tail) show their normal color. These would be the tortoiseshell colors.
 

judymac

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Here's the rest--there's a character limit:
Okay, so lets put a recipe together. A-B-C-D-E, that would be agouti, plus black, full-color, no dilution, normal color extension. That gives us a black agouti, and that's what it is black agouti, often called castor. You can see the black on the tips of the agouti hairshaft. If instead we changed the B to a 'b', it would be a chocolate based agouti, A-bbC-D-E- which we call chocolate agouti in Angoras, some breeds make it a fancier sounding Cinnamon Agouti. What if we change the dense D into dilute, A bb C-ddE-? We now have agouti + chocolate in full-color + dilute with normal extension. What would you call a dilute chocolate agouti? Dilute chocolate is called 'lilac', so a dilute chocolate agouti would be a lilac agouti, sometimes called 'lynx'. What if we changed the full-color to your Californian c(h)?

Now we have A-bb c(h)- dd E-, agouti + chocolate in Californian pattern + dilute in normal extension: Dilute chocolate Cal, or a lilac Cal. A good Cal is, however, non-agouti for showing. Just because a color pattern can happen, doesn't mean it is showable. One last change, what if we add Harlequin? A-bb c(h)- dd e(j)- would be agouti + chocolate + Cal + dilute + harlequin. So, we take our dilute chocolate Cal, and add harlequin patterning. Since Cal can't show any of the fawn colors, it will be lilac magpie pattern on the face, since Cals only have color on the extremities. See how the recipe goes together? You don't need to rely on some chart, but if you do use a chart, you can use the recipe method to interpret it.

Okay--now to your original question. The tricolor has the Harlequin gene, and the dominant broken gene. When a rabbit has harlequin as a recessive to some more dominant gene, it often still insists in getting some recognition. A normal self black or agouti might have odd ticking, or might have some odd colorations which you have noted. These wouldn't be showable colors. A regular black-faced Californian would have non-agouti aa, B- black, Californian c(h), dense color DD, and normal extension E-. What color is your tricolor? Is it black/orange or chocolate/orange or the dilute blue/fawn or lilac/fawn plus white? Once we know what the options are, we can make some guesses.
 

hotzcatz

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<SNIP>
I have tried to look up genetics, again, to see if maybe I could figure it out myself. But sadly like usual I still have no clue what the hell the letters even mean and have not found a source that explains it well enough for me to comprehend. (your rabbit will be A_B_cc_E…….. Okay, but does that make it black or blue or purple or what….lol.) I have struggled with comprehension my whole life, I just haven’t found a system that works for me yet. I am still looking though.
In your alphabet soup example you have A_B_cc_E... and that is an albino rabbit. So, doesn't matter what color the rest of the letters will produce, the double recessive 'cc' whitewashes the whole bun and turns it white.

For just the five basic letters - which are A,B,C,D & E - the A is for a color pattern, not really a color. Any dominant 'A' and your rabbit will have the wild rabbit color pattern of white around the eyes, in the ears, around the nose, under the tail and the undercarriage. If your rabbit has a double recessive 'aa', then it will be a 'self' color which includes black, brown, blue an tortoiseshell.

A_ B_ C_ D_ E_ 'wild rabbit' a wild gray rabbit color with white around the nose, in the ears, etc.
aa B_ C_ D_ E_ a 'self' colored rabbit black rabbit

'B' is easy. If it's a dominant 'B', then you have a black based color such as black agouti, black, blue, black tort, blue tort. If it has the dominant 'A' along with the dominant 'B', then it will be a black based agouti color pattern. If there's two small 'bb's here, then you'll have chocolate instead of black.
A_ bb C_ D_ E_ - this is a chocolate agouti rabbit. Brown with white around the eyes, nose, etc.
aa bb C_ D_ E_ - this is a chocolate (brown) rabbit

The 'C' gene gets complicated since it has multiple choices and they are all variously dominant over some of the others depending on which ones they are. Basically, if there is a dominant 'C', then your rabbit will have color, if it's the double recessive 'cc', then you have a white rabbit with ruby eyes. The other 'C' genes are light and dark chinchilla as well as Himilayan (pointed). Also, to add to the confusion, different breeds will call some of the colors by other names.
__ __ cc __ __ Doesn't matter whatever else the genes are, with a double recessive 'cc', you get a white rabbit with ruby eyes.

Pretty easy for the 'D' gene. 'D' is for Dense color, 'dd' is for dilute color. A dilute black is a blue, a dilute chocolate is a lilac.
A_ B_ C_ dd E_ - this is Opal or a blue agouti, like a regular agouti rabbit but diluted to a lighter color.
aa B_ C_ dd E_ - this is a blue rabbit, kinda a washed out black color.

'E' is for extension, as "does the color extend over the whole rabbit?" If there's a dominant 'E', then a black rabbit will be black over the whole rabbit. If that black rabbit has a double recessive 'ee', then the black color doesn't extend over the whole rabbit and you get a tortoiseshell. If it's got the 'A' gene then instead of a tort, it's a fawn.
 

jaxmarblebuns

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What color is your tricolor? Is it black/orange or chocolate/orange or the dilute blue/fawn or lilac/fawn plus white? Once we know what the options are, we can make some guesses.
He is a black and orange
 

Keag

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Hook's Holland's on You Tube makes a great deal of sense. Pictures along with explanation. She does not have ALL colors but a fair amount to understand. I like her pictures & explanation, long but well worth watching & saving.
 

judymac

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Okay, so we have B- for the black. Since you had a white kit, as well as Cal kits, I'm guessing the color gene is probably Cc, regular color with an albino recessive, although many Cals do not show their markings for a week or two, so it could also be Cc(h), the 'white' kit could have been a Cal as well. Black is dense, not dilute, so D- for that. Tri is harlequin, e(j), plus broken. Standard Cal would also be black based, non-agouti, Cal c(h), dense D-, and normal extension E-.

Put them together, and you're likely to have all black-based colors, although they could each have a chocolate recessive, if so, your pedigrees should show if there are any chocolate or lilac colors in the background. A mix of full-color and Cals would be expected. Broken is dominant, but you did get some non-broken colors, so the buck would be the usual spotted En en, which means there's a 50/50 chance of broken colors. I'd expect mostly full dense color, since both are probably dominant for that. The harlequin messes with the colors, which is probably why you got the odd ticking on the black.

If you bred the broken kits back to tri, you'd increase the chances of broken, maybe get some Charlie brokens, with double En En. Charlies throw 100% broken kits, but can suffer from some genetic maladies, like megacolon, a genetic digestive disease. On the other hand, mating some of his kits back to him also increases the chance of a true harlequin offspring.
 

RabbitsOfTheCreek

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Check out Leporidae | Home it is a game, but it has real life (and fantasy but it's easy to stay away from those) genetics and even has a thing where you can put the alphabet soup in and see what you get along with an image of the adult rabbit.
Warrenz is also a good one, I think a lot of the Lepoeidae images are from it (Could have changed since the change to V2)
 

kusanar314

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Warrenz is also a good one, I think a lot of the Lepoeidae images are from it (Could have changed since the change to V2)
I haven't played Warrenz, but Lep was around first and Warrenz is a sister game. I haven't played it in a bit, but last I was there, the only Warrenz art was in the area where you could sell items to an NPC and the NPC's were Warrenz rabbits. From my experience, Lep is more realistic art (other than the dragons etc) and Warrenz is more cartoonish.
 

jaxmarblebuns

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Check out Leporidae | Home it is a game, but it has real life (and fantasy but it's easy to stay away from those) genetics and even has a thing where you can put the alphabet soup in and see what you get along with an image of the adult rabbit.
I actually made an account on both version last month just for that reason, still trying to understand it though lol
 

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