Question about purebred and crossbred rabbits

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sophonax

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This is my third time writing out and trying to formulate this question :). I breed Californian and New Zealand rabbits for meat and I try to use every part of my rabbits, including the fur. Recently I have absolutely fallen in love with the Rex fur and acquired 2 rex bucks to add to my herd. I plan to breed Rex into both my New Zealands and my Californian rabbits, here's where I'm getting confused!

Another rabbit breeder told me that a mixed breed rabbit can be bred back to a purebreed in about 3 generations or so and I'm not quite sure how that works. I think he means that I would keep line breeding back to the same Rex buck until an exceptional younger Buck is born and then use him to carry on? I'm just not positive how it's supposed to work and wondered if someone could shed some light. Not that it really matters to me if they are straight rex, straight Californian, or a cross breed - meat is meat, I just wondered how that process of breeding back to pure works.
 
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Preitler

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I no expert and might be wrong, but "pure" is a somewhat fluent term in rabbits. I think it's more "close enough to the breeds standards", after some generations of selecting for that I think they could be considered purebred again. I think that's sometimes even a way to bring in traits into lines to give it what it lacks to get better.

Dominant genes, like broken or dwarf, could be bred out in a few generations, I guess for things like the vienna gene it's way more difficult.
 

sophonax

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Thanks Preitler! My plan is to basically have the NZ and Californian body type but with that beautiful rex fur :) It really doesn't make a difference to me on whether they are considered cross breeds or pure, I was just intrigued with how that works with breeding back to pure.
 

Ice

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This is my third time writing out and trying to formulate this question :). I breed Californian and New Zealand rabbits for meat and I try to use every part of my rabbits, including the fur. Recently I have absolutely fallen in love with the Rex fur and acquired 2 rex bucks to add to my herd. I plan to breed Rex into both my New Zealands and my Californian rabbits, here's where I'm getting confused!

Another rabbit breeder told me that a mixed breed rabbit can be bred back to a purebreed in about 3 generations or so and I'm not quite sure how that works. I think he means that I would keep line breeding back to the same Rex buck until an exceptional younger Buck is born and then use him to carry on? I'm just not positive how it's supposed to work and wondered if someone could shed some light. Not that it really matters to me if they are straight rex, straight Californian, or a cross breed - meat is meat, I just wondered how that process of breeding back to pure works.
I think they were talking about pedigrees, in order to be a registered 'purebred' there must be no other breeds besides the breed listed of the rabbit in order to be registered (3 generation pedigrees are used). I don't know where you live, but this is the way it is done in the US at least.
 

Mutt-Dad

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A pure bred New Zealand wouldn't be able to have any of the characteristics of your rex (rex fur, for example would disqualify it from being a NZ).

So after breeding your Rex buck to a NZ doe, the resulting mix breed rabbits could become pedigreed if you kept the proper paperwork for them for three generations. But they would always be a mixed breed (unless you created your own breed... New Zealand Rex anyone?).

Anyways, the way you would line breed (to lock in that rex fur) you would mate your rex buck to your nz doe. If any of the offspring were rex doe, you would mate the rex buck to that new 1sr gen rex doe, and again if any of those off spring were rex doe you would mate your original buck to that 2nd gen rex doe, and again with a 3rd gen rex doe.

each time you do this you will have more kits born with rex fur in each litter.
 

hotzcatz

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Do you have a pedigree program to help keep track of who's related to whom? I've found 'Kintraks' to be really useful. Not very expensive, either, since it's an Australian program and is only $25 Australian dollars. I think that's around €14. One time payment, they let you upgrade pretty much forever after that.

Since the gene pool I'm working with is pretty small, several years ago a half Satin & half German angora buck was used with the herd of English angora here to keep the levels of inbreeding lower. First generation, the kits were 1/2 English and 1/4th German-Satin. They lost the cobby body shape of the English and their coats weren't as soft as the English and they matted significantly more than the purebred English. They also didn't have the fuzzy ears of a pure English.

Second generation some of the offspring were bred back to pure English so those offspring were 3/4ths English, 1/8th German-Satin. Coats still matted more and the body shape was still not the rounded cobby of an English. A little fluff on the ears, but not the full 'furnishings' of an English.

Third generation bred back to full English, those offspring were 7/8ths English, 1/16th German-Satin. Still longer in the body than they should be, still matting more and still scant on the ear furnishings.

Fourth generation bred back to full English, (which is where I'm at now with this experiment). They're 15/16ths English, 1/32nd German-Satin. They're getting closer to English, but they're still not quite there. Still matting more, flattish topline but getting a bit cobbier, almost full ear furnishings.

FWIW, though, the English angora body style is significantly different from the German and the Satin so there was quite a bit to work back. The English wool is much softer than either of the German and Satin. Also, the Satin doe who had been bred to the German wasn't a particularly good specimen. So, even though it did lessen the level of inbreeding in the herd here, I don't think it actually improved the rabbits that much at all, nor did it improve their 'English'-ness. I had hoped to get a slightly larger size of rabbits from it, but that didn't happen either.
 

Ducklove74

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Normally won't get the Rex fur characteristic until the 2nd breeding.. maybe this is what they were referring to...so you have to breed the Rex mix back to a Rex then it's offspring will have the fur you're looking for
 

SableSteel

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Rex already have the same body type as a New Zealand or Californian. Their body structure should be exactly the same. You can see it more in show quality rex where people have actually been breeding for body type, as opposed to meat/pet quality rex, where a lot of people breed for things like cool colors. Rabbit pedigrees only go back three generations; after three generations of having rabbits that more or less meet the standard for a breed (thats parents, grandparents and great grandparents), even if the ancestors were cross breds, you can call them purebreds and register them with the ARBA.
 
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