Thursday, July 5, 2012

All about Sports

This week has gone by without much happening. The kits have grown a bit, their hair is coming in, and they are getting a bit more adventurous around the nestbox. 

I did, however, learn why the kits have different coloring. Within the Silver marten breed, there are what's called "sports". This means that the kits sometimes do not inherit the silver markings characteristic of the breed. When I first looked at the kits, I noticed that some of the babies had pink ears and bellies.
(the two kits in the top right corner have pink ears)
 I didn't know it at the time, but that meant that they would have the silver markings. The others that did not have the pink skin would not have the silver markings, and are considered "sports". All of the kits are black, but two have the silver markings, and three are sports. I thought it was a bit strange that more than half of the kits were sports when both parents have the silver markings. I am assuming that means that both parents have sports in their lineage. 
Sports cannot be shown, so I have ended up with two show-quality rabbits and three pet-quality rabbits, though I read that they can still be used for breeding. I don't really know why someone would want to use them for that, it would only pass on the genetics for sports, though they probably would still pass on the silver markings also. It seems that breeders would want to try to breed the genes for silver markings as true as possible.
This kit has inherited the silver markings and will be showable.
This kit did not inherit the silver markings, is considered a sport, and will not be showable.

That's all for now!

-Marlayna B

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