an introduction to genetics (an idiots guide?)

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Athena
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an introduction to genetics (an idiots guide?)

Post by Athena » Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:28 pm

most of you know im a rescuer not a breeder, but I am fascinated by genetics. Most of it goes over my head but I would like to learn more about it. For example recently it was said that its hard to breed healthy downunders, something I had never heard before, are there any other varieties that shouldnt be bred to each other or are 'harder' to produce?

I think recently there was a link to a rat genetics site, however I cant find that link. I am just recovering from a 20hr shift at work though so probably just not seeing it!
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msmara
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Re: an introduction to genetics (an idiots guide?)

Post by msmara » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:45 am

Athena wrote:most of you know im a rescuer not a breeder, but I am fascinated by genetics. Most of it goes over my head but I would like to learn more about it. For example recently it was said that its hard to breed healthy downunders, something I had never heard before, are there any other varieties that shouldnt be bred to each other or are 'harder' to produce?

I think recently there was a link to a rat genetics site, however I cant find that link. I am just recovering from a 20hr shift at work though so probably just not seeing it!
I really hope Mary answers as I love reading her threads. I've learnt so much just stalking her genetics threads :lol:
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Re: an introduction to genetics (an idiots guide?)

Post by Lackis » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:21 am

msmara wrote:
Athena wrote:most of you know im a rescuer not a breeder, but I am fascinated by genetics. Most of it goes over my head but I would like to learn more about it. For example recently it was said that its hard to breed healthy downunders, something I had never heard before, are there any other varieties that shouldnt be bred to each other or are 'harder' to produce?

I think recently there was a link to a rat genetics site, however I cant find that link. I am just recovering from a 20hr shift at work though so probably just not seeing it!
I really hope Mary answers as I love reading her threads. I've learnt so much just stalking her genetics threads :lol:
Ditto! Let us pull up some chairs and waut ;)
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Re: an introduction to genetics (an idiots guide?)

Post by Cyber Ratty » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:45 pm

*blushes* :oops: lol!
Athena wrote:...For example recently it was said that its hard to breed healthy downunders, something I had never heard before, are there any other varieties that shouldnt be bred to each other or are 'harder' to produce?


Well, I'm afraid I have no knowledge of breeding downunders, so I can't help there.

However, there are certainly some varieties which need careful selection in order to maximise their health - one being platinum which I'm just starting a line of, but in general, any variety which combines british blue with another recessive (e.g. platinum, russian silver) is likely to need a lot of work. The more recessives a rat is expressing, the weaker their health seems to be. In these cases it is a good idea to avoid breeding the full variety rats together, it's better to mate a full to a carrier, or to a simple agouti, when possible.

There are 'high white' varieties which can be prone to developing megacolon, ones which have a lot of white on them caused by a white spotting gene - but the long established lines of those varieties in this country are I think now free of it.

Black eyed white rats have recently been excluded from shows by the NFRS because of the risk of deafness and epilepsy associated with that variety - dalmation dogs with white ears are vulnerable in the same way.

I'm sure there are other varieties which need care regarding their health, but I don't know details.

Depending on your definition of 'harder', varieties which are hard to produce would perhaps include pearls because it doesn't always get fully expressed so the normal proportions of inheritance don't apply. Also any variety which involves several recessives will also be more difficult to establish because the proportion of the litter which are the right variety reduces.

Does that help at all?
Mary x

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