Archive for July, 2011

ARBA Educational Contest Winning Silly Poem about Rabbits

July 23, 2011

I entered this in the creative writing division of the ARBA youth educational contests in 2007, where it won a rosette.  If you are a youth member and planning to attend the ARBA convention in Indianapolis, you might enjoy the educational contests.  It’s like the arts and craft division at fair.  You can enter posters, displays, crafts, woodworking, and much more!  You bring your exhibit to convention, but you must pre-enter by September.  Details at

Now, here for the poem.  And though it’s not a true story, it’s one I could easily see happening to me!

Lamentations upon Selling a Certain Junior

…that isn’t a junior anymore.


I walked up to someone I knew

Asked, May I see your buck?

I heard you’ve done real well with him,

(Congrats on your good luck)


I mean the son that last month won

the Polish national show.

I have some young breeders with me

And they would like to know


Rabbit Color Genetics: Self Chinchilla Explained

July 19, 2011

Have you ever heard of a rabbit color called “self chinchilla”? You won’t find it in the Standard of Perfection, but if you talk very much with enthusiasts of rabbit color genetics, the name will probably come up. But what is a self chin?

The short answer is that a self chin looks exactly like a black (usually). Genetically, the only difference between a true black and a self chin is that one has the “full color” gene C and that one has the “chinchilla gene,” which we write as cchd.

The chinchilla gene can mess with eye color. It can cause blue, blue-gray or mottled eyes in rabbits that are not dilute otherwise, and brown eyes in dilutes such as squirrels. So if you ever have a self with the wrong eye color, consider self chin. A self chin can be black, blue, chocolate, or lilac — because the brown and dilute genes have nothing to do with making a self chin.

The long answer:

Why is there no difference in appearance between a black and a self chin?

The only difference between a true black and a self chin is that one is C_ and the other is cchd_, correct? So let’s look at other colors that have that one difference:

Chestnut Chinchilla C Gene Color Rabbit

What do you notice? That the C-based colors have a yellowish tint somewhere, like in the ring color of chestnut and in the trim on otters. The chinchilla based colors are exactly the same, except that the yellow is turned to white.

A black isn’t showing any yellow to start with, so changing it’s yellow factor to white doesn’t change the appearance of the rabbit.  We get even deeper into the genetics later in this article, if you’re interested in that kind of thing.

Read on to learn

If you can show a self-chin

How you use one in breeding

How you can tell if you have a self-chinchilla

And the pigments behind this rabbit coat color!