Flemish for and cottontail buck hybrid kits

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SoftPawsRabbitry

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My sister adopt d a rabbit who's mother was Flemish and father was supposedly a silver fox, she told us her rabbit got out and she turned up pregnant later. The doe we got grew to be 7 lbs full height, has a slim body, thin legs, the Flemish ears and overall body but the cottontail head, limbs, coat, and tail like a cottontail. Her offspring have even more of a resemblance in their heads, even though bred to a champagne. Still holding the cottontail coat.

My Flemish doe escaped for a night and was definitely pregnant. Unfortunately she is one of the ones who caught the odd virus spreading around the rabbitry and passed at week 3.

Back on topic, though. I have a theory that Flemish giant rabbits may still hold that genetic bridge to create hybrids. Has anyone else had this?

Please also note the woman who had our doe was way out in the country, so the likelihood of it being a neighbor's rabbit is very very low.

The indoor rabbit images are Xy, the supposed half and half hybrid, Flemish x Cottontail

The silvery buck with the blaze (which he was born with before he got silver in his coat) is 50% champagne, 25% each Flemish and Cottontail, unfortunately I can't upload a picture of the mother

I'd love to hear opinions and feedback!
 

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Preitler

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Hm, looks like a normal european rabbit to me. that the body type is different to flemish is no wonder, since those are a very altered breed already, every feral mutt will change that. That blaze is where molt patterns pop up quite often in young rabbits.

I very, very much doubt european rabbits and cottentail can produce viable, fertile offspring. I think, if that is even remotly possible, it's more the kind of cottontail that would make the difference, not the breed of domestic - they are genetically practical identical. But there are different species of cottontails and I think Idahoensis at least has the same number of chromosomes? Anyway, it was a different way it got to that number, not because of close relationship to european rabbits, there sure would be differences.

You would notice significant behavioural differences, also how the kits grow up is quite different.
I had a litter from a wild (european) buck that squeezed through the fence and knocked one of my girls up - even that litter was different in behaviour, and that's even the same species.
 

arachyd

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It is extremely rare and very unlikely that your rabbit mated with a cottontail. They are 2 different species with different numbers of chromosomes. If a pregnancy resulted it is not likely the kits would survive to be kindled. It's not impossible but pretty close to it.
 

Lewis

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So with a different number of chromosomes does that mean they wouldn’t be able to reproduce?
 

arachyd

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Without matching chromosomes chances are any embryos would be lacking in something and not survive.
 

SoDak Thriver

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Arachyd is correct. Domestic rabbits, cottontails, and hares are all classified by different genus with different chromosome pairs. Respectively they are Oryctolagus (22 pairs), Sylvilagus (21), and Lepus (24).^ These three groups cannot reproduce viably, although the doe can become briefly pregnant. Think of the differing sets of chromosomes like a zipper with a different number of teeth on each side. It might close initially, but it will not hold and eventually come unzipped, usually within days of conception.

^ McNitt, et al Rabbit Production 8th ed, page 5.
 

Preitler

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I'm not sure if I completly understand (language, well, and knowledge ;) ) the first paragraph, "Abstract". Could that be relevant to the question?

 
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