Picking Holland Lops for Breeding

Discussion in 'The Rabbitry and Show Room' started by Crysti, Jul 29, 2019.

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  1. Jul 29, 2019 #1

    Crysti

    Crysti

    Crysti

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    So I'm starting out breeding Holland Lops. I've done masses of research, grew up around lops and have a pet lop of my own, my mother bred briefly, etc... Long story short, I'm ready to begin but there's one thing I haven't found much info on and I'm looking for advice. With all I've read and researched, I haven't found too much on finding the right starting pair.

    I do have certain colors I'd like to breed. Blues, Lilacs, Reds (any pattern really, I just love the more 'unique' colors) and BEWs tend to be my favorite colorings. I've read many hours into genetics and colors, and I know in theory what colors can breed into what. But with all this, I'd really just like some advice from someone who's done this first hand rather than just going from articles and books. Should I go with the color I'd like to 'specialize' in for my first pair? Or should I go for a bunny that's not necessarily the right color but carries the right genes for the colors I'd like(I know BEWs are different with this aspect, so only asking this question for the others)? What are the best traits/features to try and get into a line early? Are there any major 'cosmetic' issues (not health related) that I should totally avoid when looking for my first pair?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Been having a hell of a time finding good breeders in my area, and also finding personal experiences with this. Thank you in advance! :)
     
  2. Jul 29, 2019 #2

    zupper

    zupper

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    Hi, are you going to breed them for the shows or selling or just for yourself or something else? Does BEW mean blue-eyed white angora rabbits?
     
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  3. Jul 29, 2019 #3

    SableSteel

    SableSteel

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    Are you breeding for show, or what purpose?

    One thing to keep in note - the VAST majority of quality holland lops out there are Tortoise. When you start looking into other colors, you find more project and pet rabbits (not to say there aren't good non-tortoise holland lops out there; you just have to really look to find them). Often people will breed Tortoise holland lops into the other color lines to bring in some of the good traits of the Tortoise. That's what I did when breeding for sable point hollands. Personally I'd suggest just finding a nice pair of tortoises to start into the breed, and then branching out into another color once you have a better handle on breeding and evaluating them. One thing to watch with BEWs is once you breed in the vienna gene, you can't guarantee breeding it out, so any rabbit with a BEW or vienna ancestor HAS to be sold as a potential vienna carrier, and then likely only BEW breeders will buy them.

    A couple things to look out for when starting into holland lops: brood vs show type. You see lots of 'brood' holland lops without the dwarf gene, they usually have longer head, ears and limbs. They can be useful in a breeding program but can't be shown so I try to avoid them myself. Another thing is the ears, that's one of the biggest differences between a good holland lop and an okay one that's pretty easy to see even if you don't know how to pose or can't get hands on the rabbit yet. The ears should be no longer than the jaw, thick and rounded at the tip, and carried pretty far forward - the front of the ear should touch the back of the eye. You don't want a rabbit with a lot of distance between the ear and the eye.

    You should take a look at the standard of perfection (you can purchase it from arba.net ) if you are interested in breeding holland lops for show.
     
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  4. Jul 29, 2019 #4

    Crysti

    Crysti

    Crysti

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    I want to breed to show quality standards/the highest standards I can as I want to better the breed, but I don't enjoy showing myself. I mainly just love the breed, and I want to create a line with beautiful lops in the more unique colors. I want a project I can work on and I have an abundance of time since I recently became disabled. I also want a 'purpose' because of that as well as I'm struggling keeping moral up. I'll have to grab ahold of that book from arba. With the ears, is that something that should disqualify a rabbit from a breeding program all together?

    By BEW I mean Holland Lops. I know those can be very tricky, so it's not something I want to start out with. I'm just a sucker for those blue eyes. My pet lop is Vienna Marked, and I fell in love with them when I adopted him.
     
  5. Jul 30, 2019 #5

    SableSteel

    SableSteel

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    Out of curiosity, why don't you enjoy showing? Taking rabbits to shows can be one of the best ways to learn how to your improve your herd, as the judge gives comments about the rabbit's qualities and what needs to be worked on. Bad ears isn't something that would necessarily be a cull, but it is something to look for and one of the easiest (in my opinion) things to see from pictures, so it's a good starting point to tell whether a holland in a picture was likely bred to show standards or as a pet.
     
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  6. Jul 30, 2019 #6

    Crysti

    Crysti

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    It's honestly a mixture of social anxiety and unpredictable chronic illness flare ups. I'm (hopefully) attending a show in September and seeing how it goes, maybe it'll change my mind. But thank you for your advice! I'm taking a look at a broken black tort doe this weekend, so fingers crossed.
     

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