Rabbit Color Calculator – Rabbit Color Genetics

Rabbit Color Calculator

Rabbit color calculator have proven to be useful tools. When breeding rabbits, predicting possible coat colors of the offspring is an inexact yet intriguing science. Rabbit breeders and pet owners alike often hope for certain colorful fur patterns to emerge in litters. To help guide expectations on color outcomes,

These rabbit color calculators work by taking into account the genetic basis behind rabbit coat coloration and the principles of inherited traits. Each rabbit possesses color genes that are passed down from their parents. By entering the rabbit coat colors of the mother and father rabbit, the calculator can assess the probable genetic combinations and estimate which color traits the babies may display.

Rabbit Color Calculator

Rabbit Color Calculator
Rabbit Color Calculator

A rabbit color calculator is a tool used by rabbit breeders to potential coat colors of offspring based on genetic information of the parent rabbits.

While genetic interactions can be complex, the calculators simplify this process for breeders. Using known information on rabbit color genetics within rabbit breeds, the tools predict percentages and possibilities rather than absolutes. 

This gives users a realistic perspective on likely colors within a litter based on the parents’ physical attributes. By supporting understanding of color inheritance patterns, rabbit color calculators assist enthusiasts in setting goals and managing outcomes for their beloved bunnies.

Rabbits have a wide variety of fur colors. The main pigments that determine rabbit fur color are:

  • Eumelanin – Black/brown pigment
  • Pheomelanin – Red/yellow pigment
  • Lack of pigment – White

These pigments are controlled by various genes in rabbits. Some of the main gene series that affect color include:

  • Agouti series – Controls distribution of black and yellow pigments
  • C series – Controls full color vs albino
  • D series – Controls density of black pigment
  • B series – Controls black pigment production
  • E series – Controls extension of black pigment

When these genes combine in different ways, they result in all the various rabbit colors and patterns we see.

Also See : – Horse Color Calculator

Benefits of Rabbit Color Calculator

Benefits of Rabbit Color Calculator
Benefits of Rabbit Color Calculator

Here’s why a rabbit color calculator is useful for rabbit breeders and enthusiasts:

Guiding breeding decisions: 

Rabbit breeders can use the rabbit color calculator to help decide which rabbits to breed together to achieve certain desired colors in litters. By entering the buck and doe’s fur colors, the calculator predicts the likely baby color outcomes.

Meeting breed standards: 

For breeders focused on producing show quality rabbits, adhering to specific color and marking standards is crucial. Checking color inheritance predictions ensures litters will have the necessary genetic potential for those ideal show qualities.

Satisfying color preferences: 

Even pet rabbit owners tend to have color preferences for their bunnies. The rabbit color calculator assists enthusiasts who aim to breed litters with their favorite fur shades, whether that’s soft browns, bright whites, or spotted mixes.

Identifying rare colors: 

On occasion, unexpected rare or unusual colors can crop up in litters due to recessive genes. The calculator helps identify when genetic combos might result in unique colors appearing.

Genetic Planning: 

Breeders can use the calculator to make informed decisions about which rabbits to pair for breeding in order to achieve specific color or pattern outcomes. This allows for intentional and strategic breeding practices.

Avoiding Undesirable Outcomes: 

Some color combinations may be less desirable or not conform to breed standards. A rabbit color calculator helps breeders avoid unexpected or unwanted color outcomes in their litters.

Breed Standard Adherence: 

For those involved in showing rabbits, adhering to breed standards is crucial. A rabbit color calculator aids in selecting breeding pairs that are more likely to produce offspring that meet these standards.

Educational Tool: 

Rabbit color calculators can serve as educational tools for breeders and enthusiasts, helping them understand the basics of rabbit genetics and inheritance patterns.

Maximizing Genetic Diversity: 

Breeders can use the calculator to plan matings that maximize genetic diversity while still achieving desired coat colors. This helps maintain the overall health and vigor of the rabbit population.

Efficiency in Breeding Programs: 

By using a rabbit color calculator, breeders can streamline their breeding programs, saving time and resources by focusing on specific color goals rather than relying solely on chance.

Five Main Gene Groups (A, B, C, D, E)

Five Main Gene Groups
Five Main Gene Groups

The coat color and pattern of rabbits are determined by a combination of different gene groups. The five main gene groups that play a crucial role in determining rabbit color and pattern are often represented by the letters A, B, C, D, and E. Here’s a brief overview of each:

A Gene (Agouti Locus):

This controls the distribution of black and yellow pigments across the fur. It produces banding patterns by alternating the pigment deposition across hairs. The dominant A gene results in even banding while recessive mutations produce solid colors or extra banding like tan patterns.

The A gene has multiple alleles, including A (agouti), a (non-agouti or self), and Ay (yellow). The agouti allele (A) is responsible for the typical wild rabbit coloration, where individual hairs have alternating bands of dark and light pigments.

B Gene (Extension Locus):

The B gene produces black pigment while the recessive b gene restricts it, resulting instead in sepia brown coloring when combined with the agouti pattern. The B gene is epistatic to agouti and can override banding.

The main alleles include B (full color) and b (reduced color). The B allele allows full expression of color, while the b allele results in a diluted or lighter color.

C Gene (Color Locus):

The C gene controls the overall color of the rabbit’s coat. This determines full color versus albino rabbits. The recessive gene c^c produces albino rabbits with white fur and red eyes due to lack of pigment production. The dominant C allows for normal coloration.

The primary alleles include C (full color), cch (chinchilla), ch (Himalayan), and c (albino). The C allele allows for full color expression, while other alleles lead to variations in color distribution and intensity.

D Gene (Density Locus):

The D gene affects the density or darkness of the color in the coat. The D gene controls the density of eumelanin (black/brown pigment). Dominant D produces dense pigment resulting in dark black fur. Recessive d genes dilute the pigment, causing lighter browns/greys.

The main alleles are D (normal density) and d (dilute). The D allele results in normal color density, while the d allele leads to a dilution of the color.

E Gene (Extension Locus, separate from B):

The E gene influences the distribution of color, particularly in relation to the extension of dark color to the extremities. The E gene controls the extension of black eumelanin pigment. 

Dominant E results in solid black fur while recessive e allows the agouti pattern to show through. E modifies agouti banding extent when homozygous ee.

The main alleles include E (full extension) and e (non-extension). The E allele allows for the full extension of dark color, while the e allele restricts dark color to the body and leaves the extremities (ears, feet, and tail) with a lighter color.

By inheritance of different combinations of these five main gene groups, rabbits exhibit the diverse range of fur colors and patterns seen in breeds today. The interaction produces striking effects!

How the Alleles (Variants) of Each Gene Group Interact With Each Other

The various alleles across the 5 major rabbit color gene groups interact in complex ways to create diverse fur color combinations:

Agouti (A) – The dominant A allele produces the banded agouti pattern. The recessive a alleles produce self-color fur without banding. The A allele interacts with the E gene and is only expressed if ee. AA or Aa causes tan patterning when combined with the bb genes.

B/b – The B gene allows full black pigment but is epistatic and will override agouti banding to produce self-black. The recessive b gene heavily restricts black pigment, interacting with agouti to produce brown (AAbb or Aabb). bb with ee results in chocolate.

C – The recessive c gene results in albino rabbits, restricting all color. C allows for normal pigment expression from the other gene groups. c is epistatic to other color genes.

D -DD produces dense, dark black pigmentation. Dd dilutes the black to grayish tones. dd dilutes further to light brown/fawn. Interacts with B and E genes.

E- Dominant E prevents agouti expression, resulting in self-black fur. ee allows agouti banding and reduces black color density. E enhances the other genes – for example EEdd produces darker steel greys.

Some examples:

  • aabbcc – Albino
  • AABBddEE – Steel grey
  • AabbddEe – Chocolate Agouti
  • aaBbee – Sepia brown

As you can see, the complex gene interactions between all the alleles result in a beautiful array of rabbit fur colors! Careful breeding allows desired colors to be produced.

Predict Rabbit Offspring Color

Predict Rabbit Offspring Color
Predict Rabbit Offspring Color

Using a rabbit color calculator to predict possible offspring colors from a breeding pair is straightforward.

Identify the Coat Colors of the Sire and Dam:

Determine the specific coat colors and patterns of the sire and dam. This information should include details about the alleles in the A, B, C, D, and E gene groups.

Access a Rabbit Color Calculator:

Use an online rabbit color calculator or a genetic color chart specific to rabbits. There are several available online, and they may differ in terms of complexity and features.

Input the Alleles of the Sire:

Enter the alleles of the sire for each of the gene groups (A, B, C, D, E) into the corresponding fields on the calculator. If you’re unsure of the alleles, you may need to perform a genetic test or consult the rabbit’s pedigree.

Input the Alleles of the Dam:

Similarly, input the alleles of the dam into the calculator. This includes information about the A, B, C, D, and E gene groups.

Calculate the Possible Offspring Colors:

Once you have entered the genetic information for both the sire and dam, the calculator will generate predictions for the possible coat colors and patterns of their offspring. The results will be based on the combination of alleles inherited from both parents.

Review the Results:

Examine the predicted outcomes, which may include information about the probability of specific colors or patterns in the offspring. Keep in mind that these predictions are based on genetic probabilities and are not guarantees.

Plan Breeding Decisions:

With this easy process, rabbit color calculators provide breeders helpful guidance in managing fur color hereditary traits across generations. Monitoring color combinations allows for carefully tailored breeding decisions.

Genes That Affect Rabbit Color

Genes That Affect Rabbit Color
Genes That Affect Rabbit Color

The color of a rabbit’s coat is influenced by a combination of various genes that control the distribution, intensity, and type of pigments. The primary gene groups involved in determining rabbit coat color are typically labeled with letters (A, B, C, D, E). Here’s an overview of how these gene groups contribute to rabbit color:

A Gene (Agouti Locus): Controls the distribution and intensity of black and yellow pigment across the fur shafts. Results in ticking/banding patterns. Dominant A shows banding, recessive mutations remove patterns. 

  • A (Agouti): Produces a wild rabbit agouti pattern.
  • a (Non-agouti or Self): Results in a solid or self-colored coat.
  • Ay (Yellow): Contributes to a yellow or gold color.

B Gene (Extension Locus): Controls the amount of black eumelanin pigment. Dominant B allows full black hair, while recessive b limits eumelanin, resulting in brown.

  • B (Full Color): Allows for full expression of color.
  • b (Reduced Color): Leads to a diluted or lighter color.

C Gene (Color Locus): – Recessive c results in albino rabbits by preventing all pigment production. Dominant C allows for normal pigment formation.

  • C (Full Color): Allows for full color expression.
  • cch (Chinchilla): Creates a chinchilla pattern with lighter bands on the hair.
  • ch (Himalayan): Results in a color-point pattern.
  • c (Albino): Causes a lack of pigmentation, resulting in a white coat with pink eyes.

D Gene (Density Locus): Controls density of eumelanin. Dominant D results in dense black pigment. Recessive d dilutes black to greys or browns.

  • D (Normal Density): Results in normal color density.
  • d (Dilute): Leads to a dilution of the color.

E Gene (Extension Locus, separate from B): – Extends areas of eumelanin (black pigment) deposition when dominant. Recessive e allows agouti expression.

  • E (Full Extension): Allows for the full extension of dark color.
  • e (Non-Extension): Restricts dark color to the body, leaving extremities lighter.

En – Silvering gene that causes white tipping of fur. Creates silver fox coloration. Controlled by modifiers.

Du – Dutch pattern gene resulting in white blazes on head and shoulders. Controlled by modifiers.

v – Variegated pattern gene producing irregular white spotting across body.

As you can see, while several major genes control rabbit color, many secondary modifier genes also impact the final color and pattern. Careful breeding allows propagating desirable colors.

Rare Rabbit Colors and Patterns

Rare Rabbit Colors and Patterns
Rare Rabbit Colors and Patterns

While there are many common rabbit colors and patterns, breeders and enthusiasts occasionally encounter rare and unique color variations. These rare colors and patterns may result from the expression of recessive genes, mutations, or specific genetic combinations. Here are some examples of rare rabbit colors and patterns:

Harlequin: Harlequin rabbits have a distinct pattern with alternating colored and white patches. The color is usually distributed in a speckled or spotted manner, creating a striking and unique appearance.

Magpie: Magpie rabbits exhibit a pattern characterized by colored spots on a predominantly white background. The spots are randomly distributed and can create a visually appealing contrast.

Butterfly: Butterfly rabbits have a specific pattern where colored markings resemble butterfly wings on the nose and face. This pattern is often seen in breeds like the English Angora.

Tri-Color Dutch: While Dutch rabbits typically have a distinct white stripe down their face and a white body with colored markings, the tri-color variation includes three colors, making it less common than the traditional black and white.

Frosted Pearl: This rare coloration appears as a soft, pearly sheen over the fur, giving it a unique frosted appearance. It is often associated with specific breeds such as the Mini Rex.

Smoke Pearl: Smoke Pearl rabbits have a smoky or hazy appearance due to the combination of specific color genes. The effect is a muted and ethereal quality to the coat color.

Vienna Markings: Vienna markings are associated with the presence of the Vienna gene, which can result in unique patterns such as blue eyes, partial blue eyes, or color on the nose and ears. This gene is often found in breeds like the Vienna-marked Lops.

Steel: Steel is a specific shade of blue-gray or silver-gray that can be considered rare, especially when it is intensely and uniformly expressed over the entire coat.

Sable Marten: Sable Marten rabbits have a distinctive coat pattern with a rich sable color along the back and a lighter belly. The contrast creates an appealing and somewhat rare appearance.

Blue-eyed White (BEW): While white rabbits are common, those with true blue eyes (not associated with the Vienna gene) are considered rarer. The blue-eyed white coat can be found in various breeds.

As you can see, rabbit color inheritance, while complex, can produce some beautiful and prized unusual fur phenotypes through strategic breeding programs. The diversity keeps rabbit enthusiasts engaged and motivated to propagate these rare varieties.

Common Rabbit Colors and Patterns

Common Rabbit Colors and Patterns
Common Rabbit Colors and Patterns
  1. Agouti:
    • A wild rabbit pattern with alternating bands of dark and light color on individual hairs.
  2. Solid (Self):
    • A uniform color across the entire coat without distinct patterns.
  3. Chinchilla:
    • A pattern with a white belly and a bluish-grey or pearl-colored back, giving a “frosted” appearance.
  4. Himalayan:
    • Color points on the ears, face, feet, and tail with a lighter body color.
  5. Broken:
    • Irregular patches of color on a white background.
  6. Californian:
    • Similar to Himalayan but with a darker color on the ears, nose, feet, and tail.
  7. Chocolate:
    • A rich brown color.
  8. Lilac:
    • A pale lavender or dove-gray color.
  9. Lynx:
    • Similar to the Siamese cat pattern with darker points and a lighter body.
  10. Opal:
    • A bluish-gray or light grayish-blue color.
  11. Otter:
    • Darker color on the ears, back, and feet, with a lighter underbelly.
  12. Blue:
    • A steel blue or medium gray color.
  13. Black Silver Fox:
    • A silver-tipped black coat.
  14. Broken Butterfly:
    • Similar to the broken pattern but with butterfly-shaped color patches.
  15. Sable Point:
    • Darker points on the ears, face, feet, and tail with a lighter body color.
  16. Red:
    • A vibrant reddish-brown color.
  17. Seal:
    • Similar to the black color but with a rich, dark seal brown shade.
  18. Tortoiseshell:
    • Patches of black and orange or red on the same rabbit.
  19. Steel:
    • A specific shade of dark blue-gray or silver-gray.
  20. White:
    • A completely white coat, which can have red or blue eyes.
  21. Blue-Eyed White (BEW):
    • White rabbits with true blue eyes.

Choose names associated with the color itself like Rusty, Goldie, Ruby for reddish tones or Licorice, Espresso,Cocoa for chocolate browns. Flower shade names like Lily, Daisy, Poppy work too.

A rabbit’s charming coat offers great inspiration for a multitude of delightful and fitting name options. Finding the perfect color-related name is a fun way to identify an adorable bunny!

How Accurate Are Rabbit Color Calculators?

How Accurate Are Rabbit Color Calculators
How Accurate Are Rabbit Color Calculators

While not 100% precise, rabbit color calculators still provide breeders a useful genetic guide on what coat colors are more or less likely to result from paired rabbits. Understanding the limitations helps set realistic expectations, and the tool remains popular for planning litters. Paying attention to emerging trends over generations in a rabbitry’s lineage assists greatly in making reliable predictions.

Calculators are generally reliable for predicting offspring colors from common color pairings like black x brown or spotted x solid. Simple recessive and dominant gene rules apply.

Rare dilute color varieties like lilac, fawn, or merle are controlled by multiple interacting genes making accurate outcome predictions more difficult. Unexpected colors happen.

Crossbreeding rabbits of different breeds introduces a wider array of genetics. Variables like unknown recessive genes in mix breed lines reduce predictive reliability.

Rabbit coat color genetics are complex, involving multiple gene groups and alleles. Predicting the outcome of various gene combinations adds a level of uncertainty.

In addition to the major gene groups (A, B, C, D, E), there are modifier genes that can influence coat color. The effects of these genes may not always be fully captured by the calculators.

Rabbit Color Genetics

Rabbit Color Genetics
Rabbit Color Genetics

Rabbit color genetics is the study of how genes determine the color and pattern of rabbits’ fur. There are two basic pigments in rabbits: black and yellow. These pigments are modified by five main gene groups: A, B, C, D, and E.

Each gene group has different alleles (variants) that affect the color and pattern in different ways. For example, the A gene group controls whether the rabbit has a banded hair shaft (agouti), tan markings, or a solid color.

The C gene group controls whether the rabbit has complete color, shaded color, Himalayan color, or albino color. The other gene groups also have similar effects on the color and pattern of rabbits.

Rabbit color genetics can be used to predict the possible colors of offspring from a sire and a dam. This is done by using a rabbit color calculator, which is a tool that uses the algorithm of finding the combination of genes from both parents and determining the possible outcomes.

A rabbit color calculator can also include additional genes that affect the color and pattern of rabbits, such as steel, harlequin, broken, Vienna, Dutch, silvering, wideband, and lutino.


What color will my rabbits be?

The fur color of baby rabbits is determined by the gene alleles inherited from both parents. Rabbits have 5 major gene series (A, B, C, D, E) that control coloration. Offspring will inherit one copy of each gene from the mother and father, which results in various color combinations. Breeding rabbits with known genetics provides guidance, but surprises can occur due to recessive genes. Recording pedigree histories helps decipher inherited genes.

What are the color alleles for rabbits?

Rabbits have color alleles that determine their fur color. The main gene groups influencing color are labeled A, B, C, D, and E. For example, in the A gene group, the alleles A (agouti), a (non-agouti or self), and Ay (yellow) play a role in shaping the coat pattern. Other special alleles like du (Dutch pattern), En (silvering) also impact the final coat color.

What is the dominant color of a rabbit?  

The most dominant rabbit fur color is generally dense black, produced by the ‘BDE’ dominant gene combination – BBDDee. This overrides most other patterning and produces a dark black coat. Other dominant colors are agouti banding (AA__), chinchilla Greys (A_cchcch_), andhimilayan/pointed white (cc).

How many genes will a rabbit inherit for fur color?

A rabbit will inherit genes from both its sire (father) and dam (mother) for fur color. The key gene groups influencing fur color are the A, B, C, D, and E groups. Within each group, there are specific alleles that contribute to the overall color and pattern of the rabbit’s coat. The combination of alleles inherited from both parents determines the final fur color of the offspring.

About Dean Eby

An avid outdoorsman, Dean spends much of his time adventuring through the diverse terrain of the southwest United States with his closest companion, his dog, Gohan. He gains experience on a full-time journey of exploration. For Dean, few passions lie closer to his heart than learning. An apt researcher and reader, he loves to investigate interesting topics such as history, economics, relationships, pets, politics, and more.

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