Explanation of Pedigrees

Pedigrees are really a pretty basic piece of documentation. You could look at it as a "Family Tree."

First, I'll address why pedigrees are important. Some people may not care about the pedigree, but they are a very valuable piece of information. It is particularly important to people who raise rabbits for show. A pedigree is helpful for and shows:

-The colors of the parents & grandparents.

Knowing the colors in the lineage is helpful to know if the animal you have will produce babies with showable colors. It is also helpful to understand the genetics your rabbit may have. When you have the pedigrees of the two animals you will be breeding together, it is helpful to know the colors they are and the colors that are behind them. That way when they have a litter together, you can know what colors to expect. This is also helpful to aim for certain colors, or to try to avoid certain colors (especialy if they are an unshowable color).

-If the parents have had any wins.

-The weight/size of the animals in the ancestry.

The size/weight of the animal is helpful to know if the line your rabbit comes from does a good job of fitting the standard for your particular breed in their weight class. You can also see if the line tends to run on the smaller side of the range, on the larger side, right in between, or has a tendency to throw large animals here and there.

-If the animal has a known ancestry or if it is lacking paternal or maternal information.

There are certain situations where an animal may not have a full pedigree yet. If a person is working on bringing in a certain color in a breed, this would be an example of this. You might also see this if a person found a great example of a certain breed, but the rabbit had no lineage, they may decide to use that rabbit in their breeding program anyways.

-The lines the animal comes from.

This is one of the best things about a pedigree - being able to see the lines they come from. This is important because certain lines don't mesh well with other lines. And vice versa. Certain lines mesh better with other lines. This may seem odd, but I've experienced it first hand. Sometimes you have to breed the rabbits to be able to find that out.

(I'm sure there are some more benefits that I'm missing ;)).

A pedigree is always the same basic outline. I've included a screenshot below of a pedigree in my Evan's Software. You start with the actual rabbit, then you have the sire & dam, then the grand-sire & grand-dam on each side, then the great grand-sire & great grand-dam for each animal. Most of the time pedigrees will only go to the 3rd generation, but sometimes people will use 4 generation pedigrees. I typically use 3 generation pedigrees. But, since I use Evan's Software, I can go back 15+ generations on most (if not all) of my rabbits.


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