Self Chin or ?

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Sagebrush

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Alright, time for some reeducation for myself. I have a trio of 4.5 month old New Zealand Black rabbits. I was going through and checking over everyone and doing grooming, mainly taking out mats in the foot fur. They do have brown eyes, no marbling that I can see so unsure if they could be self Chin or something else. Maybe even a steel gene mixed in somewhere. Some of their siblings did have the bluish eyes. But the one doe has white, dove grey, then black along the hair shaft. Some stray white hairs kinda mixed around as well. Her feet padding are of a lighter color. I checked the other two I have and it is the same with them. Though the triangle behind the ears of all 3 is black to the skin from what I can see.
Order of pictures: Back, Feet, Left Hind leg, and picture of litter from before I picked up the kits.
 

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Well, blue eyes is usually either caused by a chin cross or Vienna blue eyed white cross (and sometimes Dutch cross). A self chin usually looks like any other self, and can have normal brown, blue or marbled eyes. But these rabbits are not normal all-black, they seem to have shading of some ilk which I can't explain. The white-looking spot on the one leg does make me lean toward Vienna BEW cross, as self chins shouldn't have shading or white spotting.

There is a genetic fiber trait, called 'snowball', actual gene unknown, that causes the growing hairshaft to stop adding pigment. The color looks normal on the outside half-inch or so (on my Angoras), and then it just goes white. I've never found an explanation of the exact reason, just that the pigment stops producing. I understand there is another version of this, that only affects juniors. Their coat does this weird snowball thing (called snowball because the coat looks like a dirty snowball, white on the inside with a thin layer of color on the outside), but then when they molt out, the new coat comes in normal.) So, perhaps they will molt out of this.
 
Th mark on her hind leg was from me brushing it to the side to show the colors being there as well. As they are already half way through this first molt and the fur along their spines are not pulling out I have to assume that the color is permanent until the adult coat comes in. So maybe in spring there will be a better idea of what the coat will look like.

Does anyone have any pictures of what a Self Chin looks like down along the hair shaft? I have not seen anything searching online so far. I also can't seem to see any pictures of a Super Steel either to try and rule that out.

edited to add pictures of the buck that has finished molting.
 

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Does anyone have any pictures of what a Self Chin looks like down along the hair shaft? I have not seen anything searching online so far. I also can't seem to see any pictures of a Super Steel either to try and rule that out.
A self chin's fur looks the same as a self black's. The self alleles <aa> block expression of agouti patterns, including the markings and ring patterns in the fur (they also block tan patterns). So, there would be no nape triangle - nape fur would look the same on self black and self chin. I don't have a photo of a black self chinchilla at the moment, but here is a self blue on the left, next to a self blue chinchilla on the right (both satin):
Dogstar fur 3-2023 self blue.JPG Kokomo fur 3-2023.JPG
What looks like paler flecks or tipping is just an effect of the satin sheen, not an actual color difference. But you can see that the depth of color (which in these rabbits carries down the hairshaft quite well) is pretty much the same.

Supersteel, likewise, looks like a self black, though there might be patches of ticking/white hairs on the rabbit (sorry, no pictures). If it is a silver-tipped supersteel, the eyes might be blue-gray, but that would be due to the chinchilla <c(chd)> that makes it silver-tipped, not the steel <E(S)>.

The color shift from black to pale at the base of the hair in your rabbits is more likely due to what I know as "faded undercolor" or "failure of surface color to carry deep down the hairshaft." It's likely the same as what @judymac calls the snowball trait, but I don't know any more about it other than it's something to avoid breeding into your lines if you want to show. 😁

Alright, time for some reeducation for myself. I have a trio of 4.5 month old New Zealand Black rabbits. I was going through and checking over everyone and doing grooming, mainly taking out mats in the foot fur. They do have brown eyes, no marbling that I can see so unsure if they could be self Chin or something else. Maybe even a steel gene mixed in somewhere. Some of their siblings did have the bluish eyes. But the one doe has white, dove grey, then black along the hair shaft. Some stray white hairs kinda mixed around as well. Her feet padding are of a lighter color. I checked the other two I have and it is the same with them. Though the triangle behind the ears of all 3 is black to the skin from what I can see.
Order of pictures: Back, Feet, Left Hind leg, and picture of litter from before I picked up the kits.
The blue eyes in your rabbits' litter-mates look like self chin to me; vienna blue is usually quite a lot brighter blue while self chin often looks brownish-blue or gray-blue. I would venture to say that those bunnies are not 100% New Zealand Black rabbits; you would never get that eye color even when crossing NZ Blacks with NZ Blues. One place it could have come from is from a NZ White that had forebears of a different breed that came in chinchilla. I've found NZWs often carry agouti, chin and/or steel, which is exposed when you breed the NZW with a rabbit of a different color. I've also found that self chins can have normal brown eyes, or eyes that start out blue-gray but turn brown as they mature.

I agree with @judymac that there is some strange color variation in the fur as well, at least as it appears in this one photo; it makes me think the sable gene might be in play. It could be an effect of the lighting, but the two bunnies in front look shaded with darker points, as if they might be sable and/or seal. It also appears they may have the shimmer or frosted look that sables go through in certain phases of their development.
seals maybe.jpg

However... the sable <c(chl)> wouldn't typically change the eye color from brown to blue-gray, though it will often produce a ruby glow in the pupil. And if the rabbit was sable <c(chl)_> it could not also be chinchilla, since chinchilla <c(chd)> is dominant to sable. If it was chinchilla carrying sable <c(chd)c(chl)> it might get the blue-gray eyes from the chin but it should not show the sable shading.

So that mystifies me. Maybe someone else has some further thoughts...

Black rabbits typically have gray foot pads. Your rabbits look somewhere between gray and sepia/brown (which would be sable or seal). The white spots you see on the front pads are a DQ (all white spots on a self rabbit are) but they can easily appear on a self black or any of the other colors we're discussing. It's one of those nagging little details that can pop up for a frustratingly long time in a herd. I battled this in my blue and black Satins for a long time; sometimes the white was restricted to the footpad, other times it extended up to include a white nail or to become an actual white foot. (I had no broken colored Satins at the time, and no vienna ever). Same with stray white hairs; they can just be a nagging problem unrelated to broken or vienna.
white spots on footpads.jpg
 
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Thank you @Alaska Satin it helps to relearn what I have obviously forgotten. When I reached out to the breeder again I was just told that the Parents look just like the babies picture just bigger. I do have my Fawn Flemish Giant that I can test breed him to and see what comes up. I am looking to get a couple does that are not related to him at all, from a different breeder in a different county, that are Broken Black NZ. Once I have kits with the Fawn I will update, but that might not be till later in the year due to the high temps we experience during the summer months. It had already hit 89* here a couple days ago.
 
One clarification is that while a genetic self-black Chin looks like a black rabbit phenotype-wise in normal-furred breeds, on Rex fur it will make them look like a Seal. We bought a pair of "Seal" littermates last year from a breeder who was retiring from showing in IA, and their 3-generation pedigree was all black, broken black, and white. Their appearance in a litter was a complete surprise to him. While numerous judges declared how great their Seal coloration was, I highly suspected all along that they were self-black Chins, not true Seals, based on the pedigree. So we test bred the doe this spring to my daughter's GC white buck, and sure enough she didn't pop out an entire litter of sables. Nope, she popped out whites, more fake Seals, and a cute seal marten (the white buck is genetically an otter). The only thing showable that one can make in Rex with the cchd gene is Chin, so my husband has now started up a Chin breeding side project. LOL The funny thing is, he'll likely end up leading the National Sweepstakes points in Seals . . . and we don't even own an actual Seal.
 
One clarification is that while a genetic self-black Chin looks like a black rabbit phenotype-wise in normal-furred breeds, on Rex fur it will make them look like a Seal. We bought a pair of "Seal" littermates last year from a breeder who was retiring from showing in IA, and their 3-generation pedigree was all black, broken black, and white. Their appearance in a litter was a complete surprise to him. While numerous judges declared how great their Seal coloration was, I highly suspected all along that they were self-black Chins, not true Seals, based on the pedigree. So we test bred the doe this spring to my daughter's GC white buck, and sure enough she didn't pop out an entire litter of sables. Nope, she popped out whites, more fake Seals, and a cute seal marten (the white buck is genetically an otter). The only thing showable that one can make in Rex with the cchd gene is Chin, so my husband has now started up a Chin breeding side project. LOL The funny thing is, he'll likely end up leading the National Sweepstakes points in Seals . . . and we don't even own an actual Seal.
Your post is so timely for a situation I have here! I have two questions for you.

I've got a friend who has a buck who was called "seal" on his pedigree, but was sold to her as "chocolate." Here he is:
1716353571826.jpeg
Obviously not chocolate, but I also don't see any shading and she says he has "dove grey undercolor." His pedigree includes a sable sire (out of a black x seal) and a chinchilla dam (out of chinchilla x sable). All individuals on the pedigree are either chinchilla, sable, seal, black or REW. While there is some question about whether the colors listed on the pedigree are accurate, I'm suggesting to her, based on your post above as well as some breeding evidence, that he is probably a self chin.

The breeding evidence is that he has produced chins and REWs with a REW doe. The breeder said the buck produced "light and dark chins," chocolate chins, and one sable with that doe, but as far as I know it isn't possible to get chin, sable and REW out of any color paired with a REW. I've seen photos of the offspring, and the chinchillas do look like chinchillas. However, the others are not sables, but I am not certain what they are. It almost seems that some of them must be from different pairings. Here are some images; the last two are especially puzzling to me; my first impression of the last rabbit was a non-extension color, but on reflection it seems pretty heavily colored for non-extension. I can see why someone wanted to call a few of them sable (or more accurately, sable agouti), but again, I can't see how that could come of a self chin x REW pairing, especially since there were normal chins produced by what was supposedly the same pairing.
litters.jpg agouti rex.jpgdilute agouti kit.jpg chins and what 2.jpgrex.jpg

I have to admit that a rex coat, like wool, changes colors in ways that are often surprising to me. I raised Mini Rex for many years but never bred sable points or seals, so I don't have direct experience in working with those colors in the rex coat type.

So...does the buck look like your self chin "seal" Rex? And what would you make of the kit colors?
 
Your post is so timely for a situation I have here! I have two questions for you.

I've got a friend who has a buck who was called "seal" on his pedigree, but was sold to her as "chocolate." Here he is:
View attachment 41688
Obviously not chocolate, but I also don't see any shading and she says he has "dove grey undercolor." His pedigree includes a sable sire (out of a black x seal) and a chinchilla dam (out of chinchilla x sable). All individuals on the pedigree are either chinchilla, sable, seal, black or REW. While there is some question about whether the colors listed on the pedigree are accurate, I'm suggesting to her, based on your post above as well as some breeding evidence, that he is probably a self chin.

The breeding evidence is that he has produced chins and REWs with a REW doe. The breeder said the buck produced "light and dark chins," chocolate chins, and one sable with that doe, but as far as I know it isn't possible to get chin, sable and REW out of any color paired with a REW. I've seen photos of the offspring, and the chinchillas do look like chinchillas. However, the others are not sables, but I am not certain what they are. It almost seems that some of them must be from different pairings. Here are some images; the last two are especially puzzling to me; my first impression of the last rabbit was a non-extension color, but on reflection it seems pretty heavily colored for non-extension. I can see why someone wanted to call a few of them sable (or more accurately, sable agouti), but again, I can't see how that could come of a self chin x REW pairing, especially since there were normal chins produced by what was supposedly the same pairing.
View attachment 41689 View attachment 41690View attachment 41691 View attachment 41692View attachment 41693

I have to admit that a rex coat, like wool, changes colors in ways that are often surprising to me. I raised Mini Rex for many years but never bred sable points or seals, so I don't have direct experience in working with those colors in the rex coat type.

So...does the buck look like your self chin "seal" Rex? And what would you make of the kit colors?
This is the self-black chin buck that we bought as "seal," and his litter sister that we bought at the same time is similar in color. Since we only have the one test breeding so far (the doe to a tan pattern-carrying REW buck), my best guess from the results of whites, "seals," and a seal marten are that both siblings are aa B_ cchd c D_ E_. As we do more breedings, hopefully, we'll pinpoint more of their genetics. But as far as I know, I don't have non-extension or the light chin gene in my herd (although I don't have an ee rabbit or a cchl cchl to test breed with either to confirm), so my future results may be a little clearer than your friend's.

But I would agree with you that their buck can't be throwing cchd, cchl, and c since it only has 2 alleles, and it sounds like the litter showed he has to be "cchd c." I'm assuming that their REW doe provided the agouti genetics (likely homozygous A) to make the chinchillas. That's exactly the path my husband is following to make himself some black chinchillas (we don't get to show the other chin colors) as he bought a REW doe at the National which has multiple chinchilla grandparents, so he's hoping she's a genetic agouti under her white phenotype. But yes, I would be suspicious that other rabbits on the pedigree labeled sables might not have been accurate.

Rex seal buck.jpg
 

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