What is a Rabbit Pedigree?

Every pedigree, in order to be full and complete, is required to have the following information:

  1. Breeders name
  2. Rabbits name
  3. Rabbits color
  4. Rabbits Identifying numbers (ear#, registration#, grand champion#)
  5. Rabbits weight
  6. Rabbits Wins / Legs
  7. Rabbits sex
  8. Rabbits date of birth

1 – Every breeder who sells or any rabbit with a pedigree should be proud of what they have produced.  If they are proud – they should *want* to attach their name to it.  If they are not proud enough to attach their name to it, then it should not be offered with a pedigree.  Otherwise… the name of the breeders gives anyone purchasing, or further working with, those bloodlines a means of contact in regard to any questions that may arise.  This is also another form of identifier for the rabbits listed… in other words, when someone says “what lines does that carry?” this is how you answer that question:  Smith, Jones, & Johnsons’ – this is important information because the older, more experienced breeders have reputations for what the best qualities are in the offspring that they produce.  For instance, “Smith’s” may be well-known for the best fur, but “Jones” may be one of the best producers of great bone density in the country, and “Johnson’s” would be well known for another trait – such as amazing hindquarters produced in their offspring.  Knowing these things can give you a basic idea of what lines should best match up together.  If one is notorious for great fur but bad bone, then you would know that breeding that line with other breeders’ offspring which carries great bone, would potentially have the ability to help improve the other lines, and so on. .  (Step 1 & 2 are to be combined to create “Smiths Ace”)

2 – Pretty easy to guess this one… Every living thing needs to be able to be “known by” a name.  Otherwise, “my rabbit” could mean any rabbit alive that you own.  (Step 1 & 2 are to be combined to create “Smiths Ace”)

3 – All breeds of rabbits have specific colors that are “allowable”.  This is also an indicator that something has been “messed up” in the breeding processes.  For instance, if you have a rabbit that is chocolate – but chocolate is not a recognized color for that breed, then one of two things has typically happened. (A) The previous generations of that lineage has been so widely bred to every color of rabbit to be found within that breed, with no structural goal and after so many generations of this having been done, which basically causes a gene mutation, resulting in some “weird” color appearing.  And then (B)  someone along the lines has bred bunny-A to bunny-Z of a different breed and due to that breed carrying the genes required to produce said-color, those genes are then passed on, creating an un-desired color in the breed you’re working with.

4 –  Rabbit Identifiers are very important… especially in the show circuits and breeding programs.  When any person has X-amount of rabbits that look alike, it is vital to have a specific way to tell them apart (especially, when on a show table, you may have dozens of rabbits that look identical – and regardless of intent, those rabbits do get shuffled around by the judges, and there must have a permanent means of identifying each and every rabbit on the table; the same goes for GC and Reg. numbers –  it’s how the Rabbit Associations know what exact rabbit has what exact traits and wins, etc.

5 –  Listing weights is the only way to note size for reference of future generations of said-rabbits.  Every breed also has a minimum and/or a maximum weight requirement.  Having this info noted, per rabbit, tells you if there is a consistent size being reproduced as well.  For instance, if you have a dwarf breed with a max weight allowance of 3lbs, but quite a few rabbits on a pedigree are noted as being 3.5+ lbs, then you may want to avoid working with those lines – or use those lines to mix into other lines that have consistently produced rabbits that do not or barely do make minimum weight restrictions, as doing so will potentially add size to those otherwise tiny-sized lines.

6 – Rabbits Legs noted is how anyone with that rabbit’s lines knows that said-rabbit was awarded placement at any given show… typically, the higher the amount of wins there is, the better that rabbits’ quality is known to be.

7 – Rabbits sex simply, obviously states that the rabbit is either a buck or a doe

8 – Noting date of birth is not required on rabbits that are in or past the 2nd generations, however – they are required for the rabbit of said-pedigree.  If it is not noted, then buyers will not know how old the rabbit is, therefore will have no realistic idea as to what class to show the rabbit in, and/or when it should safely be bred.

*ALL of the above information MUST BE included to have a complete, full pedigree.  If weights are missing, or other information, the ARBA will not registrar said-rabbit, and in order for a rabbit to be granted the official status of being a “Grand Champion”, it first must be registered.  (Registration is done when an ARBA Licensed Registrar, for a fee, examines the rabbit and deems it in good, healthy condition, meeting all the requirements of that breeds Standards of Perfection.  He / She then completes the required forms and that is sent on to the ARBA, who in turn will issue a Certificate of Registration – deeming all of the above true).


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