Tag Archives: True Dwarf

The Dwarf Problem

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…

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Normal, True Dwarf & Peanut

I would like to take some time to share my knowledge about some terms that are very common among dwarf rabbit breeders. This applies especially to any dwarf breeds including the Holland Lop.

There is something call the dwarf genes in dwarf rabbits and the genotype “symbol” usually used is dw. The normal gene is denoted as Dw.

A normal or false dwarf will normally have the genotype of DwDw. Meaning to say a pair of normal gene. These rabbits do not have the dwarfing traits like short ears, short limbs and big massive head like a midget. But I must say that some may make very good breeding materials.

Now, a true dwarf is a rabbit with the genotype of Dwdw which means, 1 normal gene and 1 dwarf gene.

Lastly, a peanut is a kit that has dwdw genotype.

So you may ask, how can I not get a peanut. Breeding a DwDw to a Dwdw will ensure no peanut. Just take a look at the combination. Each parent will contribute 1 gene to the offspring so DwDw x Dwdw will only give you DwDw and Dwdw. Meaning, normal kits and true dwarfs.

What is not desirable is to breed DwDw with DwDw. This combination only give you normal kits.

To increase the chances of true dwarfs or show compatible Holland Lops, breeders normally breed a Dwdw to a Dwdw. And this combination will produce peanuts.

How do you know that the kit is a true dwarf? True dwarfs normally have thick stumpy legs, big head, short ears and most importantly, the length of the hind feet is not longer than 2 times the width of the feet itself. So if you’re getting long hind feet, this normally means your kit is turning to be a normal.

And if you are getting peanuts, it means that both the parents are true dwarfs.

I believe that in the market today, most of the “Holland Lop” are not only normal with the DwDw gene, they could also be a possibility of being mixed bred.

There you go, some information about the true dwarfs in our modern world.


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