Several breeds of domestic rabbit utilize the dwarfing gene to achieve the smaller, blocky type bodies and heads that we like to see in our hollands and netherlands. The dwarfing gene works the same way in all breeds that carry it.

Dw=dwarfing gene
dw=no dwarfing gene
Dwdw=dwarf rabbit with one dwarfing gene, commonly called true dwarf
dwdw=rabbit with no dwarfing gene, commonly called false dwarf or
DwDw=rabbit with double dwarfing gene, commonly called peanut kit

If you breed a true dwarf to another true dwarf, each baby will have a 25% chance of being a peanut, a 50% chance of being a true dwarf, and a 25% chance of being a brood type.

If you breed a brood to a true dwarf, each baby will have a 50% chance of being true dwarf and a 50% chance of being brood type. There will be *no* peanut babies.

If you breed a brood to a brood, *no* babies will carry the dwarfing gene, they will be 100% brood type.

A peanut kit looks different from brood or true dwarf type kit. The peanut will have a domed head, shorter ears set far back on the skull, bulging eyes, and an underdeveloped hindquarter. These babies almost always die within a few days of birth.

There are several differences between the true dwarf kit and a brood type. The brood type will have a longer, more narrow face, ears, limbs and back feet, and the eyes will be smaller and less bold. The size of the kit will be larger, overall, than a true dwarf kit.

With experience and attention to detail, we can learn to tell each of these kits type at weaning and cull the ones we don't want. Remember, cull means remove from the herd, it does not mean kill.

Many breeders use the brood type does as brood does because they have less trouble kindling, larger litters, and no peanut babies. If a breeder decides to use a brood buck, they must use caution not to breed it to a brood doe, as all the babies would be brood type. Many breeders cull the brood bucks at weaning time.

The true test of whether a rabbit does or does not carry the dwarfing gene is to breed it to a rabbit that is known to carry it. If any peanut babies are born from that cross, you know both parents do carry the dwarfing gene. It may take a few breedings to be sure.

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