Topic: eye color
The Massachusetts Sheep and Wool Festival is this weekend, and I will spend Saturday morning there browsing, shopping and picking up two new bunnies. I have long wanted a German rabbit from Nancy Benda at The Spinning Bunny, and made connections to finally get one this spring! And Charlene Schultz has another black buck bunny for me that is related to my beloved and lost Zwart, so I will bring him back, too. It seems like 2005 is my year of LOTS of rabbits, for I have 15 bunnies on the ground; a last litter due tomorrow; and the two I have purchased. The barns will be empty no more!
So, a question about the red glow in brown eyes has surfaced. Can it mean that the color red is underneath???? Sadly, no. I had the same question back in the beginning as I was hunting for red signs in my adult stock, so I had an idea who to breed to get red bunnies. The red glow generally means there are modifying "C_c" genes letting only parts of black and yellow color shine through the coat and eyes. Sometimes I wonder if the "D_d" genes put a damper on the full expression of whatever color is in the "B_b" spot. I have not had any full "shaded" rabbits here, but I am told they, too have a red glow to their eyes in the right light. Also, chocolates (and blues I would suspect, but I don't have any!) have a red glow to their eyes in the right light. I have even had chocolate rabbits who have golden tips on their fur around their heads. The golden fur is sunburn (!).
A complete discussion of the "C_c" gene and what it does to eye color is found in an older post here
Red comes from Rufus modifiers ADDED TO a tortoiseshell or fawn pattern
They are only expressed when the "no B or b showing" rule (ee) lets them shine. Rufus can be shown in degrees, and it is denoted as "+". There are five degrees in a full red rabbit, and breeding a +++ to a ++ you CAN get a +++++.
Rufus modifiers are unmistakable in a red parent, and as far as I can tell, totally masked in other colors although they can be carried along from generation to generation.
Red is always a wild card when you breed for "ee". It's always Christmas morning when I discover it in my rabbits!