feel one thing is missing from the Rex standard
concerning General Type. The standard should include
the wording of the New Zealand standard under Body
Type, which states "the top body line should
rise in a gradual curve from the base of the ears
to the center of the hips and then fall in a smooth
curve downward to the base of the tail."
reason I would like to have the "top line" wording
added to the Rex standard is to aid breeders in breeding,
culling, and selection of breeding pieces. The "top
line" or curvature of the spine is what lends
itself to all commercial breeds of rabbits. It is
the high point of the "top line" or profile
at the center of the hips that defines depth and
allows for fullness at the back of the hips and sides.
is with a proper "top line" rising
as high as the rabbit is wide at the center of the
hips that allows Rex rabbits to attain prescribed
weights while increasing production capabilities
due to an enlarged body cavity. Because Rex rabbits
are generally short in body (15 to 17 inches) and
have medium to fine bone, it is rather obvious that
the more depth on a Rex, the greater the possibility
of achieving a body weight set by the ARBA standard
while creating a more pleasant-to-look at animal.
am convinced that if you are to be a consistent
winner on the show table, you must
apply the "top
line" theory to your breeding program.
breeder who utilizes the "top line" theory
in his herd will be rewarded with 35 points alloted
to body in the Rex standard. The 10 points for head,
ears, eyes, feet, legs, and tail are more naturally
accomplished. The 5 points for condition are easily
accounted for in the management practices of the
showman. All showmen are experienced conditioners
of the animal they exhibit.
with the "top line" theory
is another theory I have developed, i.e., that
type or spine curvature does not alter itself from
the age of six weeks through adulthood. It becomes
rather obvious that the small rabbit is a miniature
version of his adult development.
is the key to success in any area, and the same
applies to the "top line" theory.
The breeder's success will be directly proportional
to his ability to detect proper spine curvature within
his animals or from purchased stock and to breed
his best "top line" animals together to
lock in genetically the highly desired characteristic.
The breeder should select the best "top line" animals
from his herd and inbreed them to strengthen his
gene pool for out-crossing to another strain that "nicks" well
when mated to the superior type animals. Hopeful,
the outcross strain has had the "top line" theory
applied to it as well. Of course, I am speaking to
one area of the overall gene pool when relating to
this article and that being "spine curvature."
The "top line" theory
really works--just ask the consistent show winners.