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Rabbits/netherland dwarf fur changes color


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Last summer I got my daughter a netherland dwarf for her to show (she is in 4H). She was already working with another loaned rabbit and she wanted the new one to get used to her so she did not show him at fair last year. Male rabbit, about 8 weeks when we got him and was solid black.

Noticed over next couple months that his fur was changing to a reddish color in stripes on his body (almost calico markings) When winter coat came in he changed back to all black.

This spring started to change again with the red calico markings  and now only has black on top of head, cheeks and around eyes. The rest has continued to change where it goes to a dark brown on back and as it goes down sides gets lighter until he is a brownish grey underneath. (See attached pictures)

4H rabbit leader suggested he is sunburned and that he will be disqualified because of that at fair this august but he does not get any direct sun. I made sure his hutch when I got him was in a spot where no matter what time of day or position of sun it never hits the hutch. Hutch has a roof and has a enclosed feeding and bed area that he spends almost all his time in when he's not inside the house.

Have you ever heard of this type of color change before in a netherland? I would like to find some sort of proof to take to fair showing that this is a natural genetic color change and not sunburn so he does not get disqualified.

Thank you,

hi david sunburn is a load of rubbish.
i believe its due to moulting and whist they are in moult the fur changes colour .
my black rex when moulting look like well worn carpets but when the new coat comes through they are top class
as rabbits get older the moult slows down but you cannot do anything to speed it up
in the uk , if your rabbit is in moult you cannot show it .


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Dave Lawrence


I can answer questions about breeding and showing rabbits. I have been breeding Black Rex rabbits for the past 10 years and have won numerous prizes for showing them. Ive also done a fair amount of judging.

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