Picking a Breed and Seller for Starting Out (Pics)

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Rural King now has California whites and rexes and rex mixes (probs mixed with Californians) again. I'm not sure if it's the same breeder as last time. The pure rexes are a dark dark brown and lovely. The mixes are broken black and otter again. I'm not sure if I should get a californian or one of the rexes or rex mixesd. But the lady who is in charge of them had left for the day. And the cages were unsexed. The other lady said the rabbits could not be sexed by the staff and the cages were only labeled if they knew. They are all 8 weeks old. If I get another female, I will have to wait quite a bit for her to be breeding age. I can check back Monday and see if the usual caretaker knows which are female and which are male. If it's a different breeder, I suppose I'll get a purebred rex. If it's the same breeder and they're likely a full sibling of my buck, should I get a Californian?
I'm not sure what a California white is, but I'm a fan of breeding purebreds so you can retain those neat recessive traits like the rex coat (though I have done breed crosses for three different breeds for specific reasons). But if you breed your rex to a non-rex, you'll lose that rex coat for at least a generation or two, and when you get it back it most likely won't be the same quality for a few generations. That's been my experience with rex and mini rex, anyway.

So, other things being equal, I'd go with the rex mix over non-rex, since you'd probably at least get some rex-coated bunnies. But it will depend on what your breeding goals are. If you're primarily interested in meat rabbits, pick the one with the best type (size, width of loin, depth of body) no matter what coat it has or carries.

Is there no way to get in contact with the rex breeder to ask about the relationship between these bunnies and your buck? Even if Rural King won't give you the breeder's contact information, maybe they'd pass yours on to the breeder? It seems to me that your buck and these 8-week-olds might be too close in age to likely be full siblings, but I can't remember how old your buck is. Also, if the pure rexes are dark brown, that sounds like maybe sable or seal, in which case that would be a minor hint that they're not full siblings with your otter. Can you get a photo?

For reference, here are some photos of color. They're mni rex but the coat looks the same in rex.

Here's a sable (which is shaded) (photo from American Rabbit Breeders Association, Inc.):

1674349975286.png

And here are pictures of seal (which is so dark it can sometimes be mistaken for sunburned black) and broken seal from Mini Rex Color Guide
1674350255387.png
1674350116545.png

There's also chocolate, which could be called dark brown (same credit as above):
1674350317738.png

people say you can breed a mother to a son but I would not. I've been told it's ok to breed father to daughter and that's fine but like I said others say mother to son also is cool for meat and show. I really like my Cali buck bred to my Rex/NJ cross so? I bred her today and within an hour she was already eating alot and oinky. Crazy how they know. Amazing. Glad they got what you need, have a blast.
Genetically, there's not much difference between breeding dam+son versus sire+daughter. The only exception would be in the case of sex-linked genes, but as far as I know there only two of those identified in rabbits (paralytic tremors and spoon ears, neither of which are common in North America). In the case of sex-linkage, the females are almost always the carriers, which would argue that mother+son matings would be the one to avoid if you were concerned about sex-linked genes.

Outside of the sex-linkage issue, the advisability of any linebreeding depends on how inbred the line is and prior knowledge of undesirable recessive genes.
 
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ihatedarkroast

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people say you can breed a mother to a son but I would not. I've been told it's ok to breed father to daughter and that's fine but like I said others say mother to son also is cool for meat and show. I really like my Cali buck bred to my Rex/NJ cross so? I bred her today and within an hour she was already eating alot and oinky. Crazy how they know. Amazing. Glad they got what you need, have a blast.
oinky? LOL. I guess I'll find out what that means if my cranky doe ever decides to let herself be bred.

I understand the concept of line breeding, but I'm a beginner at rabbit ownership. I wouldn't know what good traits and bad traits to focus on with line breeding.

As far as goal setting I I think I'd better start by 1) having some successful kindles and grow outs and
2) learn what a good rabbit looks like before I ever mess with something complex like line breeding. With my first few litters I'm going to have to
3) figure out who to cull first
and that will be enough of a challenge for now

What's an NJ rabbit? Hope your kindle goes well!
 

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oinky? LOL. I guess I'll find out what that means if my cranky doe ever decides to let herself be bred.

I understand the concept of line breeding, but I'm a beginner at rabbit ownership. I wouldn't know what good traits and bad traits to focus on with line breeding.

As far as goal setting I I think I'd better start by 1) having some successful kindles and grow outs and
2) learn what a good rabbit looks like before I ever mess with something complex like line breeding. With my first few litters I'm going to have to
3) figure out who to cull first
and that will be enough of a challenge for now

What's an NJ rabbit? Hope your kindle goes well!
New Zealand The New Zealands are supposed to be calm, does are normally 9-12 lbs. Came from California. I was brand new to this and found 2 separate breeders with two separate ways of doing things and they got me going. lovely ladies I'm doing this strictly for meat. I was happy with the kits I got. Large litter, five lived, growout was good, processed at 12.5 weeks and this tine I will start probably at 10 weeks. I do them all at once and move on. My hand was shaking but it went well. I watched videos with women teaching me how. This is the lady I watched like 5 times and used her method. All went well.
 

ihatedarkroast

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I'm not sure what a California white is, but I'm a fan of breeding purebreds so you can retain those neat recessive traits like the rex coat (though I have done breed crosses for three different breeds for specific reasons). But if you breed your rex to a non-rex, you'll lose that rex coat for at least a generation or two, and when you get it back it most likely won't be the same quality for a few generations. That's been my experience with rex and mini rex, anyway.

So, other things being equal, I'd go with the rex mix over non-rex, since you'd probably at least get some rex-coated bunnies. But it will depend on what your breeding goals are. If you're primarily interested in meat rabbits, pick the one with the best type (size, width of loin, depth of body) no matter what coat it has or carries.

Is there no way to get in contact with the rex breeder to ask about the relationship between these bunnies and your buck? Even if Rural King won't give you the breeder's contact information, maybe they'd pass yours on to the breeder? It seems to me that your buck and these 8-week-olds might be too close in age to likely be full siblings, but I can't remember how old your buck is. Also, if the pure rexes are dark brown, that sounds like maybe sable or seal, in which case that would be a minor hint that they're not full siblings with your otter. Can you get a photo?

For reference, here are some photos of color. They're mni rex but the coat looks the same in rex.

Here's a sable (which is shaded) (photo from American Rabbit Breeders Association, Inc.):

View attachment 33860

And here are pictures of seal (which is so dark it can sometimes be mistaken for sunburned black) and broken seal from Mini Rex Color Guide
View attachment 33862
View attachment 33861

There's also chocolate, which could be called dark brown (same credit as above):
View attachment 33863


Genetically, there's not much difference between breeding dam+son versus sire+daughter. The only exception would be in the case of sex-linked genes, but as far as I know there only two of those identified in rabbits (paralytic tremors and spoon ears, neither of which are common in North America). In the case of sex-linkage, the females are almost always the carriers, which would argue that mother+son matings would be the one to avoid if you were concerned about sex-linked genes.

Outside of the sex-linkage issue, the advisability of any linebreeding depends on how inbred the line is and prior knowledge of undesirable recessive genes.
Oh my goodness! I didn't even think about the fact of how close the rabbits are in age means they have to have a different mother! My buck is 10 weeks. These at RK are 8 weeks. There's no way the mom is the same.

My buck is broken otter with siblings that were either broken otter or otter. The new batch of bunnies are broken black or broken otter (didn't look closely) and a really dark brown. Looking at these pictures, I honestly see no difference between the chocolate and seal rabbits. Maybe chocolate has a tiny bit more red. Is it something you see in the hair root color bands when you look up close?

The brown rexes are either seal or chocolate, I believe. The way the fur looks like it absorbs the light, like dark velvet. So I don't think they are sable.

Yes, a purebred rex doe would be ideal for keeping all those handsome looks and nice coat. I suppose to I could work towards a limited pedigree with purebreds. I do think I have a better chance of selling them for more money if they are purebred. So if there is a brown purebred doe I should make it my first choice, and second choice, a broken rex mixed doe, and third choice a Californian. (Looked it up and California White is just another name for Californian.)
 
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Oh my goodness! I didn't even think about the fact of how close the rabbits are in age means they have to have a different mother! My buck is 10 weeks. These at RK are 8 weeks. There's no way the mom is the same.

My buck is broken otter with siblings that were either broken otter or otter. The new batch of bunnies are broken black or broken otter (didn't look closely) and a really dark brown. Looking at these pictures, I honestly see no difference between the chocolate and seal rabbits. Maybe chocolate has a tiny bit more red. Is it something you see in the hair root color bands when you look up close?

The brown rexes are either seal or chocolate, I believe. The way the fur looks like it absorbs the light, like dark velvet. So I don't think they are sable.

Yes, a purebred rex doe would be ideal for keeping all those handsome looks and nice coat. I suppose to I could work towards a limited pedigree with purebreds. I do think I have a better chance of selling them for more money if they are purebred. So if there is a brown purebred doe I should make it my first choice, and second choice, a broken rex mixed doe, and third choice a Californian. (Looked it up and California White is just another name for Californian.)

I'm sorry, I guess the photos weren't actually that helpful! I'll try a few more.

In person you won't confuse a seal with a chocolate, though you might mistake a seal for a black. They're both selfs, so you won't really many clues by looking at the hair roots. Seal usually looks like a black that has been out in the sun - just a little off black. There is a bit of a range in the color, though.

First photo from Shaded Mini Rex Color Guide
Seal Mini Rex.jpg
Here's our black "Black Comet" for comparison (the lighter area near his belly is an illusion, he's black all over with no markings).
BlkComet.jpg

Chocolate looks just like it sounds - chocolatey, like hot cocoa. The rabbit usually has a ruby glow to its eye in the right lighting. The first photo is a chocolate doe that's a bit washed out, but it might help give you a better idea of the color.

First photo from Rabbits :
Chocolate Rex.jpg
photo credit unknown:
Chocolate Mini Rex.jpg
This is a chocolate otter (photo from Chocolate Otter Rex):
Chocolate Otter Rex.jpg

And yes!!! Keep track of the pedigrees! "Fully pedigreed" stock has a three-generation pedigree (names and/or ear numbers, variety (color), and adult weight for each animal on the pedigree - don't forget to include the weights!), but even a single generation is helpful and shows that the rabbit is at least purebred for that purpose. I started with Satins I knew were purebred, but didn't have the money to pay for pedigrees. Within a couple of years, my Satins were fully pedigreed!

If possible look for a solid-colored doe. It's not absolutely imperative, but breeding broken x broken is often avoided because you will probably get "charlies" which are rabbits that carry two copies of the broken gene. They usually have much less color: just a bit on eyes, ears and nose (reminiscent of Charlie Chaplin's big eyebrows and mustache), and a few on the body. Some breeders do use them since they will throw litters of 100% brokens. But while they are super cute, aren't showable, and more importantly (IMO) they have a significantly higher tendency to develop a condition called megacolon, which is what it sounds like. :( (It's doesn't have to be a deal-breaker, though; I've known several charlies that were perfectly healthy.)
 
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ihatedarkroast

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nice looking rabbits
I like your rabbits. :3
I think they are seals because of the dark intensity of the brown. But I will find out today. If I get enough tip money I might buy one today. I will try to avoid the Charlies. Although, we could always eat the Charlies? Do Charlies grow out at the same rate or without issues? Their health issues take time to show up right?
 
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I like your rabbits. :3
I think they are seals because of the dark intensity of the brown. But I will find out today. If I get enough tip money I might buy one today. I will try to avoid the Charlies. Although, we could always eat the Charlies? Do Charlies grow out at the same rate or without issues? Their health issues take time to show up right?
Thanks - they are pretty, but most of those are not my rabbits. I can only claim Black Comet. :) We don't have seal or chocolate in our mini rex.

Megacolon doesn't seem to show up at any particular developmental stage; apparently it can appear at any time. (Though I suspect that for breeders like those raising Blanc de Hotots or Dwarf Hotos, which are all charlies, there are early probably clues.) The oversized colon makes gut motility an issue in the rabbits affected, meaning things move too slowly in their guts. As the movement of waste is slowed, the rabbits tend to have irregular sized poops and bouts of diarrhea. They also do not have good nutritional uptake so tend toward malnourishment. As far as I know, it does not affect the safety of using them as a meat rabbit.

So, charlies without megacolon should grow out at the same rate as the others in their litter; rabbits with that condition might grow more slowly due to their gut characteristics, but again, it seems to appear at different ages.

I personally like charlies, and they do sell really well as they are really cute. We had some charlie Polish when we bred a broken doe with a BEW (blue-eyed white) buck who happened to be broken chestnut under the cover of the BEW. We called them "Diva bunnies" because they only had eye circles and and almost no color anywhere else. SUPER cute. But... one died of enteritis (belly problems) which could very well have been megacolon, though we didn't open it up to look. It could also have been due to gut issues stemming from the dwarf gene, which also can cause those.

So I do personally avoid knowingly breeding brokens because of that megacolon specter, and because I have lots of alternatives for solids. If I did not, I would not hesitate to use that match. I just would not sell the charlies, because megacolon can show up at unpredictable times, and I would not want to risk that with a pet owner or new a breeder (which make up a lot of my sales).

Incidentally, you can get rabbits that look like charlies but aren't (genetically anyway). Broken color genes seem to interact with other genes or modifiers so that some lines can be very lightly marked without being charlies. You can select those to create "false charlies" if you like the look. Here's Grand Champion Rocket Chip, definitely not a genetic charlie, but was DQd (disqualified) for too little color by one judge:
RocketChipL.JPG
 

ihatedarkroast

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Thanks - they are pretty, but most of those are not my rabbits. I can only claim Black Comet. :) We don't have seal or chocolate in our mini rex.

Megacolon doesn't seem to show up at any particular developmental stage; apparently it can appear at any time. (Though I suspect that for breeders like those raising Blanc de Hotots or Dwarf Hotos, which are all charlies, there are early probably clues.) The oversized colon makes gut motility an issue in the rabbits affected, meaning things move too slowly in their guts. As the movement of waste is slowed, the rabbits tend to have irregular sized poops and bouts of diarrhea. They also do not have good nutritional uptake so tend toward malnourishment. As far as I know, it does not affect the safety of using them as a meat rabbit.

So, charlies without megacolon should grow out at the same rate as the others in their litter; rabbits with that condition might grow more slowly due to their gut characteristics, but again, it seems to appear at different ages.

I personally like charlies, and they do sell really well as they are really cute. We had some charlie Polish when we bred a broken doe with a BEW (blue-eyed white) buck who happened to be broken chestnut under the cover of the BEW. We called them "Diva bunnies" because they only had eye circles and and almost no color anywhere else. SUPER cute. But... one died of enteritis (belly problems) which could very well have been megacolon, though we didn't open it up to look. It could also have been due to gut issues stemming from the dwarf gene, which also can cause those.

So I do personally avoid knowingly breeding brokens because of that megacolon specter, and because I have lots of alternatives for solids. If I did not, I would not hesitate to use that match. I just would not sell the charlies, because megacolon can show up at unpredictable times, and I would not want to risk that with a pet owner or new a breeder (which make up a lot of my sales).

Incidentally, you can get rabbits that look like charlies but aren't (genetically anyway). Broken color genes seem to interact with other genes or modifiers so that some lines can be very lightly marked without being charlies. You can select those to create "false charlies" if you like the look. Here's Grand Champion Rocket Chip, definitely not a genetic charlie, but was DQd (disqualified) for too little color by one judge:
View attachment 33935
IMG_20230124_170627047.jpg IMG_20230124_170658543.jpg IMG_20230124_171403922.jpg

IMG_20230124_184051796.jpg
Ok I went back and bought their last pure rex. She is a she! The rk lady who is typically there says it's a different breeder altogether so she will be totes unrelated to our buck. And she's a solid so no charlies. Is she chocolate or black ya think? ...and at 8 weeks she's a bit small at roughly 2 and a third pounds. Supposed to be standard sized rex tho...I guess we will see is she grows normally.

...edit here is a pic of the one we did NOT get--the rex mix. Is that a charlie? Or just lightly patterned bc its mixed with calofornian?IMG_20230124_170618809.jpg
 
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this whole charlie talk has me confused and all the breeding lines are confusing so I am a very lucky girl that I have 2 rabbits that make healthy happy pretty fur babies. that's all I know and their weight at 12 weeks was very good. I haven't seen a scale that I like so never weighed any of them. litter number 2 is in the oven. I let them, mom/dad, out together today and he just circled her which I thought was a protective thing. no aggressive behavior from either. rabbits are awesome. i really like the looks of the doe you bought, she looks nice and healthy.
 

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this whole charlie talk has me confused and all the breeding lines are confusing so I am a very lucky girl that I have 2 rabbits that make healthy happy pretty fur babies. that's all I know and their weight at 12 weeks was very good. I haven't seen a scale that I like so never weighed any of them. litter number 2 is in the oven. I let them, mom/dad, out together today and he just circled her which I thought was a protective thing. no aggressive behavior from either. rabbits are awesome. i really like the looks of the doe you bought, she looks nice and healthy.
Hope your new litter goes well!
 
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View attachment 33990 View attachment 33991 View attachment 33992

View attachment 33993
Ok I went back and bought their last pure rex. She is a she! The rk lady who is typically there says it's a different breeder altogether so she will be totes unrelated to our buck. And she's a solid so no charlies. Is she chocolate or black ya think? ...and at 8 weeks she's a bit small at roughly 2 and a third pounds. Supposed to be standard sized rex tho...I guess we will see is she grows normally.
Your new doe is a doll, and she does look like a black. But those ears and head size and shape, combined with her weight, makes I wonder if there's at least a little mini rex in her background.

Rex have pretty big ears, while Mini Rex have short, more rounded heads and short ears; purebred Mini Rex have a maximum ear length of 3-1/2 inches. These features are partly due to the dwarf gene, but also due to the fact that breeders select for those features. So a mini rex cross without the dwarf gene often has ears that are a little shorter than normal but not super short, and the same with all the other features of mini rex.

Here is a black Rex doe and a black Mini Rex doe for comparison (photo from https://www.pets4homes.co.uk/sale/rabbits/rex/?expires=true
Black Rex doe.jpg
Mini Rex doe, our own Inky Dinky:
InkyDinky9-16.jpg

and a young black Rex (not mini) buck bunny from Rabbit Genetics: Easy to understand basics of genetic inheritance
Black Rex buxk bunny.jpg

Anyway, whatever she is, she is very pretty. I think you picked a good one. And if there's a shot of mini in there it might not be too bad after all - Mini Rex are usually total sweethearts. :)

...edit here is a pic of the one we did NOT get--the rex mix. Is that a charlie? Or just lightly patterned bc its mixed with calofornian?
Being part californian would not make him lightly-marked unless the californian was broken too (they can be). The californian gene restricts color to the extremities, while the broken gene has an effect like throwing a pail of whitewash over a colored rabbit. When you get a broken californian, they usually have white feet, and sometimes white spots in their ear or nose markings, but they don't have any spots on their bodies.

He'd probably be called a charlie on a show table, but he may or may not be a "true charlie" i.e. bearing two copies of the broken gene. But whether or not he's a true charlie, I'm thinking he's a tricolor (which is a broken harlequin) - in the photo it seems like he may have a tiny bit of orange on his ears and nose, and the "speckly" pattern on the both places. Or it could just be an illusion in this particular photo...
InkedInked mixed breed crop.jpg
 

ihatedarkroast

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Sooo, I tried the color calculator to see what she might produce with my lil buck. And it seems there is a decent chance of getting some black otters. Those black otters seem to sell pretty well around here. I think they look super cool. So I'm really excited about this!
 
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Sooo, I tried the color calculator to see what she might produce with my lil buck. And it seems there is a decent chance of getting some black otters. Those black otters seem to sell pretty well around here. I think they look super cool. So I'm really excited about this!
Yes! You'll almost surely get black otters. Otter comes from the tan gene <at> and the only thing recessive to that is self <a>. And I totally agree, otter is one of the coolest colors (and especially sharp-looking in rex and satin coats!).

Since she's solid black, you know your doe is <aa>, which means that the only allele (a specific form of a gene) she can give to her kits is a self allele. Your otter buck is <at_> with the underline meaning you don't know whether he has another otter <at> or a self <a> in the second spot.

If he is <atat> (i.e., both of his parents were otters), all of the kits will be <ata> - otter!

If he is <ata> (i.e., he had one otter parent, one self parent), roughly half the kits will be selfs, half will be otters. (This is statistics, though, so they still could end up all being otter, or all being self - each kit has a 50/50 chance of getting <at> or <a> in the second spot.)

Same thing with broken colored - statistically, half the litter should be broken, half solid, but it's the luck of the draw.

Depending on what your rabbits happen to "carry" at other places in their genetic code, you might also get chocolate blue, and/or lilac otters, or even Ruby-Eyed White (REW), or other colors. But no doubt they will be pretty since you're starting out with such pretty rabbits.

Rabbit breeding is SO MUCH FUN! :love:
 
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ihatedarkroast

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Yes! You'll almost surely get black otters. Otter comes from the tan gene <at> and the only thing recessive to that is self <a>. And I totally agree, otter is one of the coolest colors (and especially sharp-looking in rex and satin coats!).

Since she's solid black, you know your doe is <aa>, which means that the only allele (a specific form of a gene) she can give to her kits is a self allele. Your otter buck is <at_> with the underline meaning you don't know whether he has another otter <at> or a self <a> in the second spot.

If he is <atat> (i.e., both of his parents were otters), all of the kits will be <ata> - otter!

If he is <ata> (i.e., he had one otter parent, one self parent), roughly half the kits will be selfs, half will be otters. (This is statistics, though, so they still could end up all being otter, or all being self - each kit has a 50/50 chance of getting <at> or <a> in the second spot.)

Same thing with broken colored - statistically, half the litter should be broken, half solid, but it's the luck of the draw.

Depending on what your rabbits happen to "carry" at other places in their genetic code, you might also get chocolate blue, and/or lilac otters, or even Ruby-Eyed White (REW), or other colors. But no doubt they will be pretty since you're starting out with such pretty rabbits.

Rabbit breeding is SO MUCH FUN! :love:
All of the buck's siblings were either otter or broken black. So I suspect a self black and an otter were used to make him. Though I really don't know. I think getting a variety of colors would be really great. I could see which are the most popular. Blue, lilac and chocolate seem to be somewhat rare around here. If I got one of those three colors in any combination, I might have to hold on to it so I could breed that color again. If I got something like a lilac otter, or blue otter I'd definitely keep it. But I think there's a pretty low chance of that color appearing, so I better not get my hopes up.
 

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IMG_20230129_084332875.jpg Tried to get a confirmation photo but couldn't get one of the rear without her slouching to the side. She seems to have an ok profile from the back though.

I got Chocolate on the scale and discovered it is way off. It's a kilogram scale. I had at one point drawn tic marks in marker on the face to represent pounds. But apparently the marks are not where they are supposed to be. Starting today I'm gonna record in kg then convert to lbs so it will be more accurate

1.4 kgs = is 3.09 in lbs, which is her weight today around 9 weeks. Pretty small but it means she gained half a pound or more in 5 days since coming home with me.

I couldn't nab Harvey since he was wedged behind his hutch wall nibbling timothy. He does not care for fresh grass nearly as much as Tizzy rabbit. Tizzy leaves no blade of grass behind when I move her crate. Maybe I'll weigh them this afternoon.
 

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View attachment 34027 Tried to get a confirmation photo but couldn't get one of the rear without her slouching to the side. She seems to have an ok profile from the back though.

I got Chocolate on the scale and discovered it is way off. It's a kilogram scale. I had at one point drawn tic marks in marker on the face to represent pounds. But apparently the marks are not where they are supposed to be. Starting today I'm gonna record in kg then convert to lbs so it will be more accurate

1.4 kgs = is 3.09 in lbs, which is her weight today around 9 weeks. Pretty small but it means she gained half a pound or more in 5 days since coming home with me.

I couldn't nab Harvey since he was wedged behind his hutch wall nibbling timothy. He does not care for fresh grass nearly as much as Tizzy rabbit. Tizzy leaves no blade of grass behind when I move her crate. Maybe I'll weigh them this afternoon.
That definitely looks like a mini rex.
 

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