Speaking of Silver Martens (in my previous post), how about this bunny? I have about four Rex/Californian hybrids that came out looking like this. It’s actually a very lovely coloration and reminds me of a Silver Marten with gold ticking instead of white. These bunnies have a white underbelly as well that seems to resemble the pattern of a black otter Rex, which is what their mother was. They also sort of remind me of Tans.
These bunnies have a darker and more lustrous black coat than their white-ticked siblings. Since these are the bunnies who lost their mom and got juggled around, I don’t know if their dam is Tuna or Bluefin. It’s possible that one group came from one mom and the other group from the other.
Maybe the Golden Marten is the new breed of rabbit that I’ve created? Otter Marten? If only I had more cages and could really embark on such an experiment…
The hybrid babies are ten weeks old now and their color patterns have turned out to be quite interesting. I have about five or six bunnies that look like this. Doesn’t it look a whole lot like a Silver Marten rabbit to you?
The bunny pictured above is a cross between a black otter Standard Rex dam and a pure Californian sire. She has the white eyeliner, belly, tail, nose-shading, neck triangle, inner ears, chin and white ticking, just like a Silver Marten.
If I saw this rabbit at a show, I would think it was a Silver Marten with below average ticking, as it’s supposed to come up over the entire hindquarters. It’s hard to see in the photo but her black fur is also a little bit grayish and not as dark and lustrous as Silver Marten fur should be.
For comparison, here’s a young Silver Marten kit from a couple of years ago before I stopped breeding them:
He’s quite young here, but you can see the basic coloration he has. Some SMs are born with lots of ticking and some with less. I have had kits who only had it go up a few inches, much like the hybrid doe in the first shot.
Back view of her white ticking. It doesn’t go up very far, but it’s there.
It’s interesting to me to think about the origins of rabbit breeds and how they were initially developed. We seem to accept that no new breeds are being created, although I know there are people working on new colors within existing parameters. It’s mostly about ‘perfecting’ the breed you already have.
I wonder what would happen if I took one of these hybrids to a rabbit show and entered it as a Silver Marten. Could I breed my own version of the Silver Marten using totally disparate breeds? It’s an interesting thing to think about.
I sexed all the older kits today and so now they’re up for sale. Rosalind the Silver Marten decided she didn’t like me this time and threw seven bucks, two does and one I’m pretty sure is a buck, but not positive. One doe has already been sold. The other doe is the runt, who survived despite everything. One buck is reserved and the other six are for sale for $20 each.
Tuna likes me more and gave me four does and four bucks. I don’t need any Standard Rex bucks so they are all up for sale. I have one Self Black, one Blue Otter and two Black Otters for $20 each. I’ll be holding on to the does for another couple of weeks or so until I make my final decision on who will be staying on as a brood doe to replace Io.
Esther’s hybrid kits are all doing very well. I haven’t lost any and I don’t plan to. I’ve been giving them lots of fresh blackberry bramble, dandelions and grass like I did with the last two Rex and Silver Marten litters, as it seems to have done them all good despite fears of introducing greens to kits too early. Esther has been eating greens regularly throughout her pregnancy so I’m not too worried. It saves me food costs and helps to tame the babies as they look forward to my opening the cage every day for treats. These babies are a bit young for that yet, but they’ve already started nibbling on leaves. I also just really like to stick it to the blackberries since they think they own the place.
The kits are all agouti, as usual, although some are darker and some are more reddish than others. I can tell they’re well fed and happy because they are very complacent about being held.
The Creme d’Argent and Silver Marten hybrid kits are now a week old. You can see their agouti coloration really starting to come in. If past litters have been any indication, not only will these kits grow faster than purebreds, they will mature faster and will probably all be humping each other at ten weeks old. My purebred kits don’t get interested in that kind of stuff until at least about twelve weeks.