Mar 2, 2014

Line-breeding

Hickory, broken chinchilla Rex, cleaning
white doe, Sweetie, after breeding.
These last two days have been pretty good for breeding, here at Hill Rise.  Yesterday, Godiva (our chocolate Rex doe) was just about as excited to breed as Mena was with Tron (Godiva was also bred to Tron).  Tron got three good fall-offs with Godiva.  I also bred Hickory to his dam, Sweetie, yesterday, but I wasn't too sure about his aim, so I put them together again, today.  Today's breeding seemed much more promising.

Snap and Aster, New Zealands, after breeding.
Aster was bred to her sire, Snap.


Ixis, white Rex, and Princess, otter Rex, after breeding.
Princess was paired up with Ixis.  Both are very sizable Rex, so we should be seeing some big babies from these two!
Diagram of one line-breeding system.
In case you're wondering about the closeness of the breedings, I can assure you that inbreeding (or in this case, line-breeding) is not as detrimental to rabbits as it is to many other species.  There have been a number of studies on the subject--at least three that I have read--and they conclude that as long as you start with healthy stock with no known genetic defects, rabbits can withstand sibling to sibling pairings for 9 to 20 generations before you will see ill effects.

Line-breeding is a specific type of inbreeding where you breed son to mother or daughter to father, take the offspring of that pairing and breed it back to the mother-grandmother or father-grandfather.  It can be repeated for several generations.  It can also involve crossing cousins, but not always.  Basically, the difference between line-breeding and just inbreeding is that line-breeding is systematic, whereas inbreeding can be haphazard.