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Decoding Your Rabbit's Pedigree Part 2

Posted on February 25, 2013 at 7:30 AM

In Part 2 of Decoding Your Rabbit's Pedigree I will explain how to use a pedigree in your breeding program.

In the sample pedigree I have marked the rabbit's sire (father) with a blue oval and the rabbit's dam (mother) with red oval. As you can see, the sires' info is always above the dams' info. This is true for both vertical pedigrees like this one and horizontal pedigrees as well. You can see that the sire's name is Curry, and HIS sire's name is Sherbert. Occasionally other pedigree designs are used, but there will be some way to tell which rabbit is the sire and which is the dam.

What else can your rabbit's pedigree tell you? You can look at the varieties (colors) of the rabbit's ancestors to help predict what varieties will show up in his/her litters. In the sample pedigree you can see that this doe is a castor, and her sire and dam were castors as well. One of her grandsires was a red. It is a possibility she may have some reds in her litter, especially if bred to a buck with red in his pedigree.

You can also see how your rabbits are related by comparing their pedigrees. By looking at the breeder's prefix to rabbits' names you can also tell what lines your rabbits are from. The rabbit in this pedigree is a blend of two lines. Her sire came from Broadfoot lines and her dam is from Kelly lines. Rabbits that have all their ancestors from the same breeder are more likely to produce offspring with consistent, good quality than rabbits from a mix of several different lines. If you were to look at the pedigrees of the rabbits on Spice's sire's side, you would see that they originally came from Kelly lines too, so they are distantly related to the rabbits on her dam's side.

Pedigrees usually show the winnings or at least registration numbers of your rabbit's sire, dam, grandsire, granddam, etc. Although you shouldn't buy or breed a rabbit just because his dam was a Grand Champion, if the rabbit IS a good example of his breed, and his pedigree shows lots of winnings and registered rabbits, this is an indication that he will produce good offspring, provided he is bred to a good doe.

 

This concludes Part 2 of Decoding Your Rabbit's Pedigree. I hope this helps when you're choosing your next pair of rabbits to breed!

Categories: Rabbit Tips

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