Friday, January 7, 2011

Red New Zealands

QUESTION: You also raise NZR correct? Could you give me some tips on looking at stock for them? I am interested in raising them. Is it a must to breed red to red? If you breed red to white will you get brokens?

My lovely wife was the New Zealand wrangler. She had Reds that would run the other colors off the show table. With New Zealands, they have Black, White, and Red. The Red was the original color. The White and Black came later.

New Zealand breeders generally keep all the colors separate, treating them almost like separate breeds. Many NZ breeders will not buy a rabbit if it has other colors on the pedigree. It should have all black, all white, or all red.

When selecting for Red, look for color that goes all the way down the hair shaft to the skin. You want a nice bright reddish color, but not dark red like mahogany. The belly can be lighter shade, but not white.

Breed Reds to Red for best results. The theory is that there are red factors that can be collected in the bloodline as you breed and weed out the weaker red colored rabbits.

Look for a rabbit top line that peaks just at the midline of the rabbit.

If you breed red to whites you will not get brokens. You need to breed a broken into your lines to get brokens.

If you breed red to white you will have to wait and see because you don't know what is hidden under the coat of the white rabbit. White is albino that covers the true color of the rabbit. When you cross the white with the color rabbit, the colors gene under the white coat will now come into play, no longer hidden by the white coat.

Broken pattern is a gene that comes from the from the English Spot rabbits, the gene is even notated as "en".

You are welcome to join the NewZealandRabbit group on yahoogroups.

Have a good day!

Picking an American

QUESTION: What should I look for when picking my kits? What should the body type look like? What should I look for in the fur? Obviously I should pick the deepest blue color I can find correct?

Look at my rabbitgeek american rabbit webpage

See the old book with the sideview of a blue doe?

That profile has been my goal when selecting for rabbits. I like to see that shape when I look at a rabbit that is relaxed and sitting flat in the cage. As you see the round part of the topline peaks toward the back of the rabbit. That's the mandolin type. That is different from commercial type body type where the roundness peaks more in the center.

Look at this Convention Youth Best of Breed from 2003

There's the topline peaking past the midline.

Check out the white rabbit from the Can-Ams

Topline peaks past the midline.

The last two pictures on the webpage are two blue grand champions.

The last picture is a doe that was born at my rabbitry who made it to grand champion.

Look for color that goes down to the base of the hair shaft. And look for friendly rabbits that come to the front of the cage rather than those that cower at the back of the cage.

Put your hands on the rabbits and feel for muscle tone. It would be good to feel a hefty body that feels heavy for its size.

Avoid biters.

Have a good day!
Franco Rios