Trying to get Tan baby bunnies

by Hannah

The doe's mother.

The doe's mother.

I have been trying my best to read up on Rabbit color coat genetics, and I still cannot figure out what color my bunnies are going to be! I know the colors of the parents of my doe, but not my buck I will use.

The white and black bunny pictured were the parents of the light colored baby girl bunny, and the white male's parents were both a calico like color. I don't know what color the black doe's parents were, but she isn't solid black,as you can see. She has reddish tints to her fur and even slight blond pieces in some places.

I want to come out with tan/fawn colored babies for the most part. I mostly just want to avoid producing solid black babies, because most people don't prefer them.

I know it isn't possible to be exact on what colors I will get, but I would like to know a good guesstimate on what colors I will more than likely have.

Also, is my doe shown known as a fawn? She has some slight grey on her ears and some of her back feet, but not on her sides or belly. I am trying so hard to learn all the bunny color terms, but it gets confusing! Thanks!

***** Karen Sez *****
Cute pics! Seeing is worth an awful lot of explanation, eh?

If I'm not mistaken, here's what I think....

I don't see a white bunny. (Was the white one albino?) I do see a black bunny. As you noted, it is probably not a straight black. I suspect it may be a steel ('aaB_C_DdEdE'). A black rabbit with the black pigment strengthened. Even in self black rabbits, the steel gene allows the coloration you mention.

The buck and the doe you've selected for use are very cute animals. I'm guessing you like the color of the little doe. She seems to be a blue tort. But she also carries one 'v' vienna gene, which put the white patches on her. Is the buck a sibling?

The buck is either a red or a tort. It also carries the recessive 'v' vienna gene, as revealed by the markings and the off-blue eyes. Breed these two animals together, and 25% of them will be blue-eyed solid white. The vienna gene can also mess with the genetics - handle with care.

Both of these animals also carry the recessive 'ee' non-extension gene. The buck is a chestnut agouti rabbit with the black pigment erased leaving only the red. (Or if it is a self black rather than chestnut, the 'ee' turns it into a tort.)

The little blue tort doe is a blue rabbit with the blue erased leaving only fawn. But because this is a self rabbit, some of the blue remains as traces of smut on the ears and sides.

Since both of these rabbits carry the double 'ee' combination, they will never give you a black rabbit, unless there is a steel 'Ed' in there somewhere. All bets are off in this case. But you'll only know through seeing what turns up in your nest box.

To throw another wrinkle into the fabric, the gray buck is shaded, meaning that you may eventually get siamese shaded rabbits similar to it if it passed on the 'ch2' shading gene to its offspring.

So, did I miss any clues? There ARE drawbacks to pictures - can't turn 'em over to look at the belly, for example, or blow rings into the fur...

It is very wise for you to be working out the possibilities ahead of time and making a plan for where you'd like to take your herd. Good job. :-)

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