breeding Dec 06, 2019

Who Can Be Bred To Whom?

Never breed brothers to sisters. Other combinations are fine: father-to-daughter, mother-to-son, cousins, etc. Until you gain some knowledge as to how genetics works with inbreeding, I would recommend your not breeding closely related pairs.

As mentioned before, mate the same breeds together unless you are trying to get meat rabbits with certain characteristics or you are doing genetic experiments or you don't care about the fate of the offspring. You cannot sell the offspring as pedigree if their ancestry is not of the same breed going back four generations.

You may mate rabbits of the same breed having different colors. Keep in mind, though, that there are many combinations of possibilities when mixing colors. Some of the offspring may have colors that are not recognized by ARBA. It is usually best to mate rabbits having the same color to start off with until you know more about how the colors interact. See the section on genetics for more information on colors. Also, join the national specialty group for the breed you are interested in raising. They usually have literature on how to develop the best color, size, and shape of your rabbit.

Avoid breeding rabbits that have genetic defects such as tooth malocclusion (wolf teeth) or moon eye (cloudy cornea), or produces offspring whose skull does not come together (except in dwarfs, where approximately 25% are born too small with deformed head or legs - the offspring are called peanuts). Determine whether the sire or dam is responsible for passing the genetic defect and eliminate it for breeding purposes.

Strive to meet the perfect standard for the breed you are mating. Order the ARBA Standard of Perfection Booklet to know exactly what is expected of the breed. Also, join the national association for that breed to get their manual on the breed.

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