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Decoding Your Rabbit's Pedigree Part 1

Posted on January 16, 2013 at 7:45 AM

When I bought my first pair of mini rex they came with pedigrees like this. Most of it was Greek to me, and it wasn't until later that I learned what it all meant.

 

Here is a 2-part article on decoding your rabbit's pedigree. For Part 1 I will focus on the information about your rabbit, the part I have circled in red in the sample pedigree. Some pedigrees are vertical like this one, others are horizontal. A few are even shaped like a pyramid. With any of these designs, the information that pertains to your rabbit will be at the point of the roughly triangular shape the boxes make.

 

The first thing to notice is the rabbit's name. It will usually be prefaced by the rabbitry or owner's name. This is so other breeders will know who was the original breeder of this rabbit. Sometimes the rabbit will have a name already ("Spice" in my example) or the space after the breeder's name may be blank or just an ear number. If the space is blank, or an ear number only, the breeder has left the naming up to you! Be sure you always include the prefix of the breeder, "Toni's" in my example. If you don't like a rabbit's name, it is okay to give it a nickname, but don't change the name on the pedigree unless the breeder is okay with it. This is so they can keep accurate records.

 

The next entry we will look at is the variety (color ) of the rabbit. This sample just says CASTOR, but is usually entered as Variety: Castor. Either way, this tells you the variety of your rabbit. It could be Variety: black. Or broken black, black otter, even black tortoise. This tells you the official color of your rabbit. It could even be a variety that is not showable for your breed, such as a harlequin mini rex, but still very useful in breeding programs.

 

Sometimes a pedigree will also have a series of letters such as A_B_C_ddE_. This stands for the rabbit's genotype, and lists the known color genes the rabbit is carrying. This can be very useful when deciding which rabbits to breed to produce the varieties you want.

 

Now we will move on to the ear number. This is the series of numbers or letters that are used to identify the rabbit. In our example the ear # is SPI. This will be tattooed in the rabbit's left ear. The ear number should never be changed. Sometimes it will fade and need to be re-done. If this happens check the pedigree to make sure the correct number is being put in the ear. If the space for the ear number on the pedigree is blank, your rabbit has not been tattooed yet. In this case you may choose what you would like in the ear.

 

Some rabbits also have a registration number. Registered rabbits have been examined by an ARBA registrar to determine that they are a good example of the breed and free of disqualifications. If they pass this examination they will be issued a registration certificate and a registration number. The number will consist of letters and numbers such as JN806C. Registered rabbits will also have an R or their registration number tattooed in their right ear.

 

Next is the G.C. #. This stands for Grand Champion number. If your rabbit has a Grand Champion number, he is a very special bunny indeed. To earn a Grand Champion your rabbit will need at least three wins that earn G.C. legs. These are wins with at least five rabbits in the class owned by at least three different exhibitors. Your rabbit will also need to be registered to be awarded a Grand Champion certificate and number.

 

A rabbit's pedigree also records its adult weight. In our example we have the weight as 3.12. This means 3 pounds and 12 ounces, not 3 and 12/100 pounds. Other weights could be 3.00, 4.04, 4.05, etc. These all show the pounds to the left of the decimal and the ounces to the right. To show 3 1/2 pounds rabbit breeders would write 3.08.

 

Now we have D.O.B. This is Date of Birth. That one is pretty easy. Also there will be an entry for sex or gender of your rabbit. Bucks are males and does are females.

 

Last but not least there will be an entry for Winnings or Legs. These are the winnings your rabbit has so far in his show career. Placed 1/4 means he won his class, such as first place out of four junior bucks. BOV means he won his variety, such as Best Castor. BOSV means a doe won BOV, but he was the Best Opposite Sex Variety. BOB is Best of Breed, BOSB is Best Opposite Sex Breed. BIS is Best in Show. There are sometimes others such as Best Fur.

 

That wraps up Part 1 of Decoding Your Rabbit's Pedigree. I hope it helps you make sense of your new bunny's pedigree!

Categories: Rabbit Tips

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