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Breeding a Netherland Dwarf with a Flemish Giant

Netherland Dwarves are the smallest breed of rabbit, weighing about 2 pounds. The largest breed of rabbit is the Flemish Giant, which weighs between 14-22 pounds.

In a few months, hopefully soon, I will be breeding a MALE Netherland Dwarf rabbit with a FEMALE Flemish Giant. I want people to be sure this mating is humane by emphasizing that the female (or doe) in this breeding is the much larger rabbit, and therefore should have no problem carrying babies fathered by a tiny Netherland Dwarf buck.

Why? This is going to be a scientific experiment on rabbit genetics, because I am a hobby Zoologist. I want to find out whether the offspring, when full grown, will be exactly between the sizes of the two parents, or closer to the size of one. I may need to do multiple breedings to find this out, in order to reduce the margin of error. And as always, I will be able to find homes for all the babies that are produced.


Introduction:

When rabbit genetics is studied, researchers and breeders usually focus on fur color, and often ignore body proportions. This is because genes that control color are normally studied within a single breed.

The purpose of this experiment is to determine how genes play a role in weight, ear length, foot length, and overall body length in domestic rabbits, using the offspring between a Netherland Dwarf and a Flemish Giant rabbit. The reason why two breeds of rabbit that are very different in size are chosen is because it is predicted that there would be more variability in the size of the offspring, allowing more workable results. I theorize that size is a polymorphic trait, and that the average size and weight of the offspring will be average of the two parents. It is also predicted that the more different the parents are in a certain trait, such as weight or ear length, the more variable the offspring will be in that trait.

Several factors could interfere with the study. For example, the ear length of rabbits may be different depending on the time of year they were born. Also, a rabbit born from a large litter may grow up to be smaller than a rabbit born from a small litter.