Welcome everyone to our latest blog. I hope to cover a topic that has been on post after post over the last year or so in most of the groups that I follow. That topic is color.
I often see someone post a pic on social media asking "what color is my bunny?" and I tend to think that someone did not do their homework concerning that particular breed. Now please do not misunderstand me. I am not "hating" on anyone as the vernacular of the day implies. I am simply stating the obvious.
This becomes especially obvious when it applies to the New Zealand bunny. To date, there are only 5 recognized colors of the breed. They are white, red, black, blue and broken. There are no more. That's it. You can call a bunny anything you want but until it is recognized by the ARBA it cannot and will not be an official color.
I have several books in my possession that I use on a day to day basis for guidance and, as most of you know, I am not afraid to ask another breeder his or her opinion on a particular topic but as it relates to color there is never any need.
I will use the above picture as an example (one of my latest litters) of what I typically see when someone is trying to find out the color of their bunny. In that pic, only the 2 whites and the blue doe can truly meet the standard requirement as it relates to color.
The red bunny on the left that looks like it has been spray painted is very similar to a post I saw just a few weeks ago asking about color. While it is certainly "cute" there is no color that can be applied to it.
The three visible "black" bunnies also do not meet the standard because they are not solid black. That is not to say that there is no use in our rabbitry for such critters. They will make excellent pets for someone or perhaps could fit very well into someone's homestead as meat producers.
As a breeder it is our job to know, at the very minimum, what the breed is supposed to look like in relation to color. It is the simplest of all the things that we should show.
I have affectionately named the above pictured litter the "rainbow litter" because it has such a broad range of colors. These are healthy bunnies and are all doing well but if you were to inquire about purchasing a red, blue, or black bunny to breed for possible show quality and all I had available was this particular litter I would have to tell you that I did not have anything. Some people, though unintentional, would tell you that they had 1 red and at least 3 blacks in this litter but, not only would that be unfair to the potential buyer, it would also be untrue.
Any reputable breeder will be upfront and honest with you and that has to begin with the easiest of all things to know - the color. So to all that are currently doing the right things, I salute you. To all the rest, please stop feeding us rainbow stew.