Do you know how to create your own “line” of rabbits? Line breeding. Most of the best breeders out there line breed. Dispite what you may think, line breeding (or what those who do not do it call it, inbreeding) does not cause deformed rabbits or health issues. What exactly is line breeding? It’s when you breed a son back to his mother, or daughter back to her father. Half siblings, full siblings, grandparents to grandchildren, and so on. Your must choose carefully, though. Line breeding will set traits in your line. So don’t line breed two rabbits that have the same fault. For example, pinched hind quarters or low shoulders. That’s not something you want in your line, so if they have the same fault, so will the offspring. That is something you want to breed out of your line. Occasionally you may need to out-cross. This means bringing on a rabbit from a different line that is completely unrelated to your herd. You can do this if your line is lacking in something that line breeding won’t fix. That doesn’t mean this will fix all your problems, but then you can line breed back to your new addition. Not all species can be linebred. But rabbits can. Please keep in mind that if this is not something you agree with, there is nothing wrong with doing it and it’s a golden rule many follow. So don’t hate on the many of us that do. You are more than welcome to do as you please with your own herd. We won’t judge you.
Warning: picture of dead baby rabbit near the bottom.
Another common occurance in dwarf rabbit breeds is the peanut.
Dwarf breeds can come in different sizes, that does not make them any less a dwarf breed, nor does it change their breed. You can have “true” dwarfs, which is one true to size, and “false” dwarf, that are larger in size.
Some breeders will use a false dwarf doe (female) to a true dwarf buck (male). The flash dwarf doe, sometimes called big ugly doe, or BUD, must have good type true to the standard of the breed you are working on, with the exception of the weight. BUD to a true dwarf buck will give you the chance of a larger litter, less birthing complications, and no peanuts.
A peanut will occur when two true dwarfs are bred together. When a kit (baby rabbit) gets two copies of the dwarfing gene, one from each parent, a peanut will occur. You will recognize them by their size, being about half the size it should be. Pinched hind quarters, smaller ears, bulging eyes. Usually peanuts don’t survive more than a few days and are sometimes found dead when you find the rest of the litter. This is one good reason to check on your kits as soon as they are born. Any dead kits must be removed. You may humanely cull any peanuts you find or let them pass on their own.
Using a false dwarf buck, sometimes call a big ugly buck, or BUB, is not wise when using a true dwarf doe. It is never recommended to use a buck that is larger than the doe. This could result in larger kits that cannot be easily kindled (birthed) by the doe, this you are risking her life.
So keep in mind when using two true dwarfs, that you will need to be prepared to deal with possible peanuts.
In my hand is a deceased peanut that lived 2 days. Next to it are it’s siblings, 3 days old.