Hershey's 2nd Litter

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Buknee

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Okay Friends, after last week, I need a positive post. And what could be more positive than these lovely little kits from Hershey and Patterson. 11 beautiful babies!
I took the time to take photos of each one today. They are eight days old.

I would love to have you experts tell me what colors you see.
From my wee color knowledge, I see:
Chocolate Tort
Red
2 Blacks
Castor, but their ears look different from each other. Not sure if all 3 are Castor. ???
Harlequin
Not sure on the 3 brokens. They look Castor or maybe Broken Tort to me, but I really don't know. ???

Hershey built a huge nest. It is about 2" deep and 10X11". She pulled a lot of fur! Such a great mama.
 

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Buknee

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Last two kits, nest, and my amazing Hershey.
 

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ladysown

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at least one of those castors has been harlequinized. Probably two of them (the first two). Broken castor. One of those broken castor has been harlequinized for sure, possibly both.

Did you breed her to a harlequin?
 

MuddyFarms

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at least one of those castors has been harlequinized. Probably two of them (the first two). Broken castor. One of those broken castor has been harlequinized for sure, possibly both.

Did you breed her to a harlequin?

I was thinking the same thing about harlequinization on multiple kits there. Especially noticeable in the ears.
 

Buknee

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at least one of those castors has been harlequinized. Probably two of them (the first two). Broken castor. One of those broken castor has been harlequinized for sure, possibly both.

Did you breed her to a harlequin?
Thank you.
What about the broken in the second set of pictures?

Hershey was bred to a tricolor buck. But her Sire was a harlequinized castor and her brother is harlequinized.
 
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Okay Friends, after last week, I need a positive post. And what could be more positive than these lovely little kits from Hershey and Patterson. 11 beautiful babies!
I took the time to take photos of each one today. They are eight days old.

I would love to have you experts tell me what colors you see.
From my wee color knowledge, I see:
Chocolate Tort
Red
2 Blacks
Castor, but their ears look different from each other. Not sure if all 3 are Castor. ???
Harlequin
Not sure on the 3 brokens. They look Castor or maybe Broken Tort to me, but I really don't know. ???

Hershey built a huge nest. It is about 2" deep and 10X11". She pulled a lot of fur! Such a great mama.
Fat healthy bunny pics are always a big positive! :giggle:

Here are my two color cents:
black tort (looks more gray than chocolate in the photo, and black torts darken as they age)
red
black
black
harlequinized castor
harlequinized castor
castor
harlequinized broken castor
Last two kits, nest, and my amazing Hershey.
harlequinized broken castor
harlequinized broken castor
a beautiful nest
and that Hershey is a gorgeous castor doe!!!
 

Buknee

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Fat healthy bunny pics are always a big positive! :giggle:

Here are my two color cents:
black tort (looks more gray than chocolate in the photo, and black torts darken as they age)
red
black
black
harlequinized castor
harlequinized castor
castor
harlequinized broken castor

harlequinized broken castor
harlequinized broken castor
a beautiful nest
and that Hershey is a gorgeous castor doe!!!
Thank you. I appreciate the clarification on colors.
Black Tort was my first thought. I should have stuck to it. Haha!
Kit in photo 8: is it just considered a Harlequin?
 
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Thank you. I appreciate the clarification on colors.
Black Tort was my first thought. I should have stuck to it. Haha!
Kit in photo 8: is it just considered a Harlequin?
Yes, I'd call it harlequin or Japanese, which is the old term and seems to have fallen out of favor in most breeds.

In the Harlequin breed, the rabbits come in two varieties: Japanese and Magpie. Japanese is orange or fawn combined with black, blue, chocolate, or lilac. Magpies are white combined with one of the same four basic colors.
 

Buknee

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Yes, I'd call it harlequin or Japanese, which is the old term and seems to have fallen out of favor in most breeds.

In the Harlequin breed, the rabbits come in two varieties: Japanese and Magpie. Japanese is orange or fawn combined with black, blue, chocolate, or lilac. Magpies are white combined with one of the same four basic colors.
Thanks. It is just a poorly marked Harlequin. Or maybe considered smutty. ?
It makes me wonder if my buck has Harlequin farther back in his line. I have a better marked harlie out of one of his other litters.
 
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Thanks. It is just a poorly marked Harlequin. Or maybe considered smutty. ?
It makes me wonder if my buck has Harlequin farther back in his line. I have a better marked harlie out of one of his other litters.
Harlequin breeders call that intermixing of colors "brindling." It happens a lot. To got those amazing bands or stripes and alternating colors on feet, face, chest and ears takes quite a lot of selective breeding. In fact until a few years ago, the Harlequin breed SOP (Standard of Perfection) had no points given to type - it was too hard to get those markings, to focus on type as well.

Your stunning buck Patterson is a harlequin - tricolor is the name for a broken harlequin. :)
 

Buknee

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Your stunning buck Patterson is a harlequin - tricolor is the name for a broken harlequin. :)
Really! Now that I had no clue about. No wonder there are so many harlequins in the mix.
Interestingly, there were no harlequinized rabbits in their last litter of 6. But there was two tricolor.
 

Buknee

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Your stunning buck Patterson is a harlequin - tricolor is the name for a broken harlequin. :)
Thank you. He is super sweet.

So questions about Charlies.
I have not bred brokens since I understand there is a good chance of getting a Charlie that could have Mega Colon.
Is it just two color brokens or does that include tricolor rabbits?
Are there any other coloring combinations that should not be bred together?
 
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Thank you. He is super sweet.

So questions about Charlies.
I have not bred brokens since I understand there is a good chance of getting a Charlie that could have Mega Colon.
Is it just two color brokens or does that include tricolor rabbits?
Are there any other coloring combinations that should not be bred together?
It seems to be the broken gene itself <En> that is linked to whatever genes cause megacolon, so yes, a tricolor bred with another broken would be as likely to produce charlies with (or without) megacolon as any other broken.

Harlequin is produced by a partially dominant gene at the E locus, namely <ej>. That notation with the "j", by the way, came about because of the earlier-mentioned convention of calling the pattern "Japanese." From what we know at the moment, the E series includes, in order of dominance, Ed, Es, E, ej, ee. Those denote: dominant black which is very uncommon, steel, normal, harlequin, and non-extension.

Broken comes from the dominant gene <En> at the En locus (which is different from the single E). A normal rabbit has two copies of the recessive <en> allele. As far as I know, there are only the two alleles at that locus: En and en.

So your Patterson would be <A-B_C_D_ej_En_>

We recently had a discussion with more details about breeding charlies here:

As far as other problematic color/pattern combinations, the only one I can think of offhand that occasionally has health implications is the vienna gene that produces blue-eyed white (BEW). There is some evidence that BEW rabbits have a tendency to develop problems with seizures, so repeated BEW x BEW matings might bring that out. We have not had any problem with our BEW Polish, but we do regularly cross our BEWs to other colors.
 
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Buknee

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It seems to be the broken gene itself <En> that is linked to whatever genes cause megacolon, so yes, a tricolor bred with another broken would be as likely to produce charlies with (or without) megacolon as any other broken.

Harlequin is produced by a partially dominant gene at the E locus, namely <ej>. That notation with the "j", by the way, came about because of the earlier-mentioned convention of calling the pattern "Japanese." From what we know at the moment, the E series includes, in order of dominance, Ed, Es, E, ej, ee. Those denote: dominant black which is very uncommon, steel, normal, harlequin, and non-extension.

Broken comes from the dominant gene <En> at the En locus (which is different from the single E). A normal rabbit has two copies of the recessive <en> allele. As far as I know, there are only the two alleles at that locus: En and en.

So your Patterson would be <aaB_C_D_ej_En_>

We recently had a discussion with more details about breeding charlies here:

As far as other problematic color/pattern combinations, the only one I can think of offhand that occasionally has health implications is the vienna gene that produces blue-eyed white (BEW). There is some evidence that BEW rabbits have a tendency to develop problems with seizures, so repeated BEW x BEW matings might bring that out. We have not had any problem with our BEW Polish, but we do regularly cross our BEWs to other colors.
Thank you!
 

Buknee

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So your Patterson would be <aaB_C_D_ej_En_>
So should all black/orange tricolor be this genetic code?
I am looking at some of my rabbits pedigrees and they are all different. I believe that some of the second letters can be empty or different, but these are not even close.
AABbC_Ddeje
A-B-C-D-e-W
AABBC-Ddeje
These are just some that I am seeing for my Rex tricolors.
 
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So should all black/orange tricolor be this genetic code?
I am looking at some of my rabbits pedigrees and they are all different. I believe that some of the second letters can be empty or different, but these are not even close.
AABbC_Ddeje
A-B-C-D-e-W
AABBC-Ddeje
These are just some that I am seeing for my Rex tricolors.
First, I made a typo on Patterson's code: I made him a self but he should probably be an agouti <A_>; most harlequins are agouti-based. I've corrected it above, but his code should be <A_B_C_D_ej_En_> Thanks for catching that! :)

So, the codes on your other rabbits are actually pretty close.

<A_> and <AA> are both agoutis. An <AA> rabbit is homozygous for agouti, so all of its kits will be agoutis. The <A_> means you don't know if the rabbit is homozygous or caries one of the other genes at the A locus (tan <at> and self <a>).

The BB means that rabbit is homozygous for black; Bb means that the rabbit is heterozygous, expressing black but also carrying chocolate.

The W on the end of the second code indicates that it carries at least one copy of the dominant non-wideband gene. I'm not really sure why this would be noted. Anyway, the recessive <ww> produces wideband colors like red. It basically stretches the middle orange band out to cover more of the hairshaft. In combination with non-extension <ee> that eliminates/reduces the black tipping, it makes orange rabbits' colors nicely deep. Harlequins and tricolors would probably also benefit from the wideband gene.

The <ej e> codes in #1 and #3 mean that the rabbit is a harlequin that is carrying the only gene that is recessive to it, the non-extension <e>.

The only code that does not make sense to me is the middle one, <A-B-C-D-e-W> The rabbit needs an <ej> to be a harlequin. If the code is <e_> it would have to be <ee> since there is nothing recessive to <e>. In essence, nothing could "hide" behind the <e>. As it is written, the rabbit would be a black tort.

If they are tricolors, they would also have the <En en> on the end of their codes. Most codes don't bother to include this notation because a solid rabbit is by default <enen>.
 

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You need to understand that not all charlies have mega-colon. There are many people who breed them quite successfully. and breeding two brokens together does not always result in charlies. I've had two broken throw me some really nice broken bunnies.... MIND.... a HEAVILY marked broken to a standard broken. I would not breed two minimally marked brokens together and not expect to have a litter of mostly charlies.

When I have gotten charlies one of two things occurs. they thrive, or I cull them for health issues by the time they are 8 weeks old. Charlies have to "prove" their health to me before I let them go into new homes.

This squirt was one of two charlies I had born last year that made it to the 10 week mark without any sort of hitch in growth, development, health, or temperament and therefore found a pet home.
 

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Buknee

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You need to understand that not all charlies have mega-colon.
Yes, I do know that. I am just not willing to take the chance. It is my understanding that issues can arise later in their life. I will feel horrible to sell one as a pet only to have it die on the family at 5 months. There are plenty of other options for me.
 
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You need to understand that not all charlies have mega-colon. There are many people who breed them quite successfully. and breeding two brokens together does not always result in charlies. I've had two broken throw me some really nice broken bunnies.... MIND.... a HEAVILY marked broken to a standard broken. I would not breed two minimally marked brokens together and not expect to have a litter of mostly charlies.
Absolutely right, charlies do not always have megacolon. Two entire breeds are made up of charlies: Blanc de Hotots and Dwarf Hotots. There are many healthy rabbits in both breeds. A friend who has been breeding Dwarf Hotos for 2-3 years now has yet to encounter megacolon in her rabbits.

There is some confusion about what a "charlie" actually is, perhaps because of the two different ways the term is used. "Charlie" can refer to either genotype (what its genetic code is) or phenotype (what it looks like). A phenotypic charlie is a very lightly-marked rabbit which may be <EnEn> or <Enen>; this term is used in showing because a judge makes determinations based on what the rabbit looks like (phenotype) and has no information about the rabbit's genetic make-up (genotype). But technically, a charlie is a rabbit with two broken genes <EnEn> which results in a rabbit with very little color. This is important to know partly because of the megacolon connection, and partly because it is useful if you want to produce only broken colored rabbits. A rabbit that is genotypically broken <Enen>, but has so little color that it looks like a charlie, is sometimes called a "false charlie."

Anyway, breeding two brokens together will not always produce charlies, because genetic prediction is statistical, not literal. The broken allele <En> is dominant; the allele for solid is recessive <en>. A rabbit gets two alleles of the gene at this loci, one from each parent. So a normal colored rabbit is <enen>, a broken is <Enen>, and a charlie is <EnEn>. Breeding two brokens will statistically produce 25% charlies, 25% solids, and 50% brokens. A Punnet square "breeding" two broken-colored rabbits, each being <Enen>, shows how this is true (the sire is across the top, the dam is down the side):

Enen




En


EnEn
(Charlie)


Enen
(Broken)




en



Enen
(Broken)



enen
(Solid)

However, because genetics is a statistical thing, there is a chance you could breed two brokens and get all solids, all brokens or all charlies, or any combination in between; it's purely the luck of the draw. Each litter probably won't have those exact proportions, but over time they should pan out that way.

Some rabbits in the latter two groups (broken Enen or charlie EnEn) have more or less color. You can get a fairly heavily-marked charlie; or you can get a very lightly-marked broken, but that does not make it a charlie (genetically, anyway).

As far as breeding two lightly-marked brokens, they are no more likely to produce genotypic charlies than breeding two heavily-marked brokens. Broken genes do seem to run in lightly-marked, heavily-marked, blanket-pattern or spotted-patterned lines. So, when I bred my false charlie buck to a solid doe, his babies were roughly half solids and half brokens, several of them were very lightly marked like him (interestingly, some others were quite heavily-marked).

As far as we know, whatever produces megacolon is either a part of the expression of the broken gene, or a gene/genes linked to the broken gene (which I think is more likely). It seems that the effect of the broken gene is additive. In the classic explanation, one broken gene throws a pail of whitewash over a colored rabbit. Two broken genes throw two pails of whitewash over the rabbit. In a related way, one broken gene doesn't seem to risk megacolon, but two can add up to trouble. So even if a rabbit is a very lightly-marked broken, it does not have a higher risk of megacolon than any other broken; it is the presence of two broken genes that seems to confer the risk.
 
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