Thursday, May 17, 2012
Breeding the Pointed White English Angora Part 3– Other Concerns.
Heat Sensitivity. Another concern for pointed white breeders can be heat sensitivity. The gene is heat sensitive which can cause the points to fade in high temperatures. This is another reason why it is crucial to breed for nice dark colored pointeds. Once with nice dark color may fade, but can still be shown and the heat should not affect a rabbit bred for nice dark color that also does not carry any tort gene and carries a double pointed gene. However, pointed that are not bred for nice color may lose all color. In fact, if any lose all color in their feet in the summer, these should ideally be removed from the breeding program. When I had a very strong and dark pointed line, I did not have to worry about the heat, the black points would turn a lighter sepia brown, but would retain their color. As they got older, also, they would appear to be more susceptible to the heat, so I take that into consideration when making my choices for retaining breedings.
Intensity of Color. Even when you are breeding your colors correctly, you will notice that some of your pointeds are darker than others. While you have to balance all factors when choosing your breeding stock, you will then be at a point where you can add dark color to your list of desired characteristics when selecting breeding stock. You will be amazed at the variety that can be in a litter of pointeds, and this will give you the opportunity to select the darkest colors (while balancing all other factors of course) to improve your pointed line in the next generation. So, just like with any other color, to increase the intensity of the color, choose and breed rabbits that exhibit dark color.
Many of you may not have had this knowledge regarding breeding pointed whites previously, so if you are not following these guidelines, all is not lost – start today. And if you need any further guidance, do not hesitate to speak with a person raising a normal furred breed that has a nice line of pointed whites. In fact, I learned these genetic tips from my years of Netherland Dwarfs, and then applied them to my pointed White English Angoras and was able to produce a nice solid line of animals.