Inbreeding- mating closely related rabbits such as brother to sister, father to
daughter, or mother to son.
Line breeding- breeding rabbits with a common ancestor, such as grandparents.
Out crossing- crossing unrelated rabbits into your line.
Now you’re probably wondering the benefits of mating related rabbits together.
This is how you create a tight family of rabbits and improve your line. If you are
always breeding unrelated rabbits together it can open a can of worms as you
don’t always know what is in that particular line.
Not that you should never bring outside rabbits into your lines. At times this is
needed, as there might be a weak spot in your line that needs fixing that the
outside rabbit has. In the ARBA’s Official Guidebook to Raising Better Rabbit
and Cavies (a must have if you plan on raising rabbits, comes with membership
to the ARBA) they have a diagram for line breeding. It starts with breeding a buck
and doe together, then breeding the sire to a daughter and the dam to a son,
keeping this routine and of breeding grand kids and great-grand kids back to the
original said rabbits for a few generations. The chart goes for 6 generations.
I, myself, have not followed this chart. When breeding I pick out the two rabbits
that best compliment each other. I breed a lot of cousins, aunts and uncles to
nieces and nephews, half siblings, etc. At times I do breed parents to their
children, if those rabbits go together well. I usually stay away from full siblings,
as this could unleash some problems. If you do breed full siblings together, both
rabbits should be carefully picked. It is said that they could fix qualities together.
But again, for this to happen the siblings must be carefully picked.
Remember that out crossing is important, as it does help keep your lines
competitive. Make sure to see what is in the pedigrees of those rabbits before
buying it, so you know what you’re bringing into your lines.
Another thing to think of, is to never buy a rabbit sight unseen. With so many
rabbitry websites nowadays a lot of people are having rabbits shipped from all
over. I have heard too many times of people paying X amount of money only to
not get what they expected. If you do ship a rabbit ask other breeders who have
gotten rabbits from this breeder before what do they think of their rabbits. Also
make sure the breeder sends you pictures showing all features of the rabbit first.
You want to make sure this out cross fits in with what you want in your lines.
I hope this article helped you to better understand these terms, and helps you go
and breed that big show winner. If you still have questions feel free to email me.
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