Hello!  Welcome to my Chocolate Otter Page!  Aren't we just about the most beautiful rabbits you've ever seen?
If I were any cuter, I'd probably have my own TV show.
This is what we look like at 2 days old.  You can already see the "Tan" markings in our ears.  Our bellies have the light coloring of an Agouti.
And here we are again at 3 weeks old.  One of us is actually a chocolate martin.  His tan markings are white and he lacks lap marks.  He's the little guy on the far right.
I have a nice "triangle at the nape of my ncck, and very attractive lap markings, don't ya think?
Notice the gorgeous chest coloration and the nicely defined tan markings on my jaw-line and around my nostrils.  Oh... I just LOVE looking into the mirror!
Basic Color Genetics of the Otters:
The otter pattern (tan pattern) is dominant to self (a), but recessive to Agouti (A).  So, to exhibit the otter pattern, the rabbit must be "at at" at the A loci, or "at a".  If you breed an otter that is homozygous (both A loci are "at") to a self rabbit ("aa"), then 100% of the offspring will inheret 1 "at" gene and 1 "a" gene.  This will be exhibited phenotypically as otter.  If you breed a heterozygous otter ("at a") to a self ("aa"), then only 50% of the offspring will inheret the "at" gene, so 1/2 will be otter and 1/2 will be self.
If you breed to a homozygous Agouti (AA - example: castor, opal, lynx) to an otter ("at a" or "at at"), then all of the offspring will inheret 1 "A" gene, which will be dominant to any self (a) or otter (at) gene.  These will all be agouti colored, but will be carriers of the otter (at) or self (a) gene.  If the Agouti colored rabbit is heterozygous and carries an otter gene with the agouti, then breeding to an otter will give you a chance at producing otters. Example:  "A at" bred to "at a" gives a 25% chance of each of the following: "A at" (agouti carrying otter), "A a" (agouti carrying self), "at at" (homozygous otter), and "at a" (otter carrying self).   There are many other genetic color factors that can influence shading and coloring, such as with the "Chinchilla" C loci and the tricolor ej genes, but I'm not going to get into those!!  Below are the genetic description of the varieties of otters {A loci is at(a or at)}.
Black Otter:  B_ C_ D_ E_ 
Chocolate Otter:  bb C_ D_ E_  (non-black)
Blue Otter:  B_ C_ dd E_  (dilute black)
Lilac Otter:  bb C_ dd E_  (dilute chocolate)
Breeding self to self will never produce otter or agouti.  Breeding otter to self should produce either 50% otter or 100 % otter, depending on whether the otter was homozygous or not.  Breeding Agouti to otter may produce otter, if the Agouti is either a self or an otter carrier.  It is possible to produce otter from an Agouti to an Agouti breeding IF one is an otter carrier and the other is either an otter or self carrier.  So...  just because you have a nice black rabbit with otter in the background and you breed it to another black rabbit with otter on its pedigree, you WILL NEVER get otter from this pair!  One or the other MUST be otter, or be an agouti that carries otter.
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