Dwarfing genetics explained.

Posted by Shirae Verster on

I have had a lot of queries regarding Dwarf rabbits & why they sometimes do not look like a typical Dwarf.

So here is an explanation ……..

Each rabbit has two size genes, one dominant and one recessive. When a male and female rabbit reproduce, each parent will pass one size gene to each of their offspring.

The dwarf gene is a dominant gene so one dwarfing gene will create a dwarf rabbit.

However…, if the rabbit baby gets two dwarf genes, one from each parent, it will die. If this happens it is called a Peanut.

The dwarf gene works as a simple dominant gene. This means that just one dwarfing gene will produce a dwarf rabbit.

The dwarf gene is represented by the capital letter ‘D’ as it is the dominant gene.

The recessive gene is represented by the lower case letter ‘d’.

All dwarf rabbits will inherit one dwarf gene (either D or d) from each parent.

Possible pairings can therefore be Dd, dd or DD:

• Dd = True Dwarf

• dd = Normal (False Dwarf)

• DD = Peanut

If you breed a True Dwarf with a True Dwarf on average you will produce 50% true dwarf’s, 25% normals and 25% peanuts.

If you breed a True Dwarf with a Normal on average you will produce 50% true dwarfs and 50% normals.

True Dwarfs (Dd) get one normal gene and one dwarf gene. These are the animals you want in your litters.  True dwarfs match the standard of perfection for their dwarf breeds.

The Netherland Dwarf is a True Dwarf rabbit, it is round, short and compact with short ears.

False Dwarf Rabbit

False Dwarfs (dd) also know as Big Uglies are born with two recessive dwarf genes. They can be slightly larger in size, usually over 1.3 kgs.  These are the Dwarf offspring that inherited 2 copies of normal size genes.

False dwarf females can actually be an asset to your breeding program. She can’t be shown, but her slightly larger size enables her to carry and deliver a bigger litter. She’ll pass a normal size gene to all her offspring, which when mated with a single dwarf gene from a True Dwarf buck, may create show-stopping true dwarf bunnies.

Hope this helps!

AddTextToPhoto(17-4-2016-0-14-18)These two cuties are siblings and a classic example of true and false dwarf.



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