If you have done enough research about dwarf rabbits, you will understand that it is all about the combination of a normal gene and a dwarf gene. If you are a breeder of dwarf rabbits, you might have produced “peanuts” throughout the years. I stumbled across a video about Stress Management tonight and for those of you who might be interested, you can watch it here:
I thought it was a very interesting talk and what made it more interesting is when she spoke about the stress hormone called Oxytocin. There was this invisible light bulb that suddenly brightened up on top of my head and went DING!
It made perfect sense when you put the pieces together. Just let me explain the pieces and you should be able to put the puzzle together after my explanation. Throughout the years I understood that breeding a true dwarf (half normal and half dwarf) to a true dwarf (half normal and half dwarf) will often produce a FULL dwarf (half dwarf and half dwarf). Some call the the deadly double dwarf genes a.k.a. peanut. Peanuts usually suckle but their growth are extremely stunted and to a point they just fade/waste away.
The reason that peanuts are extremely stunted is because of damaged or abnormal pituitary gland. You may want to read up on pituitary dwarfism and its effect on the affected organism.
The speaker Kelly mentioned that Oxytocin is produced by the pituitary gland. Over the years I have also seen does with retained kits and other breeding problems. Today, I have reasons to believe that the dwarf gene could be the cause of these problems. Perhaps the pituitary gland is not efficient enough to produce enough Oxytocin for the doe to go into labor thus causing retained kits?
I hope by now you should be able to understand the relation between the desire for dwarfism and the effect of the gene that may cause damage to the most crucial organ that produces a very important stress hormone. And the difficult challenge for dwarf rabbit breeders is to ensure rabbits used for breeding have healthy pituitary gland and I believe some are already successful since they have no problem breeding a true dwarf to a true dwarf while keeping a healthy birth rate. Another way to increase the chances would be to breed a true dwarf buck to a normal doe which has been the desired breeding practice.
I found it amazing that the video has nothing to do with rabbits but still I am able to come to the conclusion in terms of rabbit breeding. That shows how much of my brain is made up of rabbits…