Questions about breeding holland lops

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RubyRed

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I'm going to be getting into breeding and showing in a few years, and just now my parents have allowed me to raise a litter of rabbits just for the experience. (the doe and buck would be already bred) I also have lots of time on my hands right now and more than enough supplies. (cages, timothy, and alfalfa pellets) I haven't decided whether I want to yet, but I have a few questions about this if anyone can help me answer them. (This would be in a few months)

1. The doe is a VM black self and the buck is a non VC black fox. The buck carries black & blue otter and tort, and I'm not too sure about the doe, however her littermates included broken, tort, BEW and otter. (it was a litter of about 7) My mom is worried the kits will all or mostly be black or black otter though and she thinks they will be difficult to sell as pets. (apparently people don't like the darker colored rabbits)

2. I know both the doe and the buck are unshowable (the doe because she's vm and the buck because black fox isn't a showable color) but could any of their kits possibly be showable? I know vm isn't showable but I think I read conflicting information on BEWs and vcs being showable. (because some of the kits would be vc) Also do both parents have to be showable for the kits to be?

3. This would be both the buck and the doe's first time with a litter. The doe would be 6 mo.s and the buck would be about 4 mo. They are both pure holland lop. Is there a large chance that the doe would loose her litter/have trouble with it? And I don't have to worry about this, but is it hard to get a buck that young interested? I've read that holland lops are difficult.

Thanks, I would appreciate some help ☺️
(edit: I'd love to hear from @SableSteel and @golden rabbitry)
 
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bighairbuns

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Is at least one of these rabbits a false dwarf/normal? True dwarf to true dwarf breeding gives each kit a 25% chance of being a peanut. Might not be the best first experience to have to cull newborns or watch them fade and die due to genetic abnormalities.

Some experienced breeders take the risk and breed dwarf to dwarf and accept the risk of lost kits, but it can be controversial. I would advise anyone new to breeding rabbits to avoid such a breeding and only consider it once they have had more experience.

That combination will result in otters and blacks. Assuming that the "carries black" claim on the buck is true. The way it is worded is a bit odd, such as "carries tort" because a black fox is just ottered tort. It may end up with torts as well depending on if the doe inherited non-extension, which is possible based on her littermates. So more foxes are also possible, but the money would be on black otters. 50/50 shot of the kits being either vienna marked or a vienna carrier.

Holland lops aren't my breed so hopefully, someone else can chime in about the show questions.

I have had bucks interested in a mating that young, but waiting a few more months would probably be better.

The unfortunate reality of breeding is there is ALWAYS going to be a chance of the doe having trouble, losing the litter, or herself dying. The risk of this happening is higher in dwarves.
 

RubyRed

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Sorry if I worded that a bit funny, I’m still quite new to all of this :) I do know black fox is a torted otter, I’m not sure why I said that. But his mother is the tort and his father is the black otter- they have apparently produced some very nice black otters and blue otters too.
Neither of them are dwarf or false dwarf.

I don’t know if this is easy to say but would you say black otter is an “unpopular” color? My mom is really concerned that it won’t be easy to rehome all the babies especially if they are mostly darker colors.
 

bighairbuns

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Neither of them are dwarf or false dwarf.

Are you sure they are holland lops then?

As you were discussing showing the offspring, this is something you will really want to research. As far as I know, all show quality holland lop lines have the dwarf gene in them. It is very very rare for a holland lop to do well on the show table if it is NOT a dwarf. There are parts of the standard that is *incredibly* difficult to achieve without the dwarfism gene. They might do OK in the junior class, but by the time they hit the senior class they generally are larger than the standard calls for and their conformation just doesn't fit - they get too long in the body, with oversized feet, etc.

A false dwarf is just a miniature sized rabbit that does *not* have the dwarfism gene.

Dwarf Genetics In Rabbits from Thenaturetrail

This is definitely something you will want to research if you decide to breed hollands or another miniature breed.

I don’t know if this is easy to say but would you say black otter is an “unpopular” color? My mom is really concerned that it won’t be easy to rehome all the babies especially if they are mostly darker colors.

I very very rarely rehome my rabbits to pet homes, but I do know that with dogs, cats, and rats - it is harder to find pet homes for the dark ones. This may be a valid concern. It really is going to depend on your area, the breed's popularity and availability.

I do suggest that anyone planning to breed rabbits have a plan for any rabbits that they cannot find homes for. If you can't find them pet homes it is better to put them in your own freezer or sell them for pet food than let them get into the already overcrowded shelter/rescue system.
 

RubyRed

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In that case they may be false dwarf. I‘ve talked to the breeder about the concern for peanuts and she said none of them are dwarf.

I think my plan is to just keep the babies until I can find them homes. I have lots of space and am only planning to have that one litter anyways. Besides that I’m not too sure how to process rabbits either- I’ve never even eaten rabbit meat.
 

RubyRed

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Just talked to the breeder and the doe is a true dwarf. I’m not too sure about the buck but one of his parents is.
 

Sunshine9198

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Keep in mind you cannot show VM, you can however show BEW (Blue Eyed Whites which is double the vienna gene). I'd make sure to look at what colors you can and can't show. :)
 

SableSteel

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Didn't see this thread until now

You can show VC however you shouldn't breed them into a non-bew show line. If you sell somebody a VC or potential VC without disclosing it is from VC lines, you'd be hurting their lines. It's impossible to breed vienna out of a line and show breeders don't like their non-bew colors popping up with VMs. BEWs are showable as well. Any white spot or miscoloration of the eye makes a rabbit not showable.

I don't keep track of the pet market, but black otters seem to sell pretty decently in hollands. With so many of them being black tort, any color that is not black tort is considered cool.

The buck is a bit young (though this was written like a month ago), I'd wait until at least 6 months. Even if you do get a young buck interested, it can take a few months for the sperm to develop.
 

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