AMERICAN CHINCHILLA RABBIT BREEDERS ASSOCIATION
Established in 1961
Lovely Length and Dense Rollback
Length and Density
Describing the Am Chin Fur Length and Density
Describing the unique Am Chin guard hairs that create the surface pattern.
Color and Rings
Check out this report from Dr. Steve Roush on the wideband gene for the American Chinchilla.
On the wideband gene in American Chinchilla Rabbits
By Dr. Steve Roush
Let me start with an observation most judges (well- the better ones) know but that often breeders may not. Is it “wideband” as made by the “ww” or just a “wider band?” Simply blow in the belly fur. Does it have undercolor? If no, then the chin is genetically a wideband. If it has blue undercolor, then it is not wideband. Note that the standard allows for “either white or blue belly undercolor.” Thus you can show either!
Breeding wideband to wideband yields 100 percent wideband. As for the non-extension gene, it should never be in an American Chin program. It eventually creates what the Europeans call Sallander, lf self. It’s like a gorgeous Tort but no brown coloration.
Some of you who may have the ww and ee genes in other breeds will get Ermines, a very light, almost white, looking rabbit with black tipping at the ends of the hair shaft. Does it clarify ring definition or crisp up the light pearl bands? IMO that varies with your strain characteristics, some gene modifiers and your preference. Won’t we all agree that “light pearl band” is really interpreted by us and the judges as “whiter is better”?
Clearly density is a huge factor in ring definition. Obviously, those rabbits starting or in a molt have poor ring definition due to the many different stages of hair growth that muddies the appearance when we blow into the coat. If you haven’t done it, go look at Rex or Mini Rex Chin coats. Their density varies significantly and correlated with that is the ring definition.
In showing your chins, be sure to listen to judges’ comments. If they don’t mention ring color, ring definition, ring undercolor, density and length, you are getting shortchanged. Also, to truly see ring definition, I condense the fur and then blow into it. Helps to reaffirm the definition, collects all the guard hairs to the surface and thus shows a solid black surface. It’s a good practice when evaluating your stock.
NOTE: Dr. Roush originally shared this information on a Facebook post and offered it to us to use it in our newsletter. Also note that Dr. Roush will be judging American Chinchillas at the 100th ARBA anniversary convention in Louisville Kentucky in 2023! Looking forward to it!