I am probably getting in way over my head here, but it looks like we may have a new pet project.
Our very first litter of mini Rex was born 19 days ago to a first-time mom, Inca and first-time dad, Bushy. They’re both broken, so the resulting litter is 100% broken coloring with many charlies as well. As they’ve developed they’ve caught my attention because their hair seemed to be… peculiar. But it’s our first purebred Rex litter so I wasn’t sure what I was seeing wasn’t… normal.
10 Days Old
19 Days Old
It appears this litter has gotten a full helping of the very rare Astrex gene. This fur type is not recognized by ARBA, so breeders of show rabbits who find it in their nest boxes typically cull. Also, the curl may not stick around through the baby fur and will molt out to normal… the parents of this litter are completely normal in their mini Rex fur, not a curl to be seen!
I’ve been scouring the internet for information and have discovered a few people who are breeding specifically for this trait. It can be found in several breeds besides Rex and mini Rex, also in Harlequin and New Zealand. I’m trying to learn more, so if you, or anyone you know, has found curly coated rabbits in their nestboxes, please let me know! I’ve also created a Facebook page to further discussion on this topic.
Links to the other pages I’ve discovered talking about Astrex:
Astrex, Curly Coated Rabbits on Facebook
Duman’s Ark (Great Photos!)
Astrex Rabbits Curly Wavy Bunnies