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What Do You Think?

Ask the Breeder April/May/June 2009 Issue

Will the Chinchilla Dutch complement the Gray and/or Steel varieties? This would still need to be proven.

  • I think the Chin would compliment the Steel much more than the Gray, especially when the ring colors between the two Agoutis are so different.  The Chins would be able to be bred with a straight line bred Black.  Other breeds have had trouble with brown tint to their Chins and breeders are finding it best to keep Chin to Chin. And again, with our varieties, the Black could also be worked into the mix.
  • The addition of the Chinchilla gene will allow for a true silver-tipped steel.  In my experience, judging breeds that recognize both silver- and gold-tipped steels (such as Mini Lops) the silver-tipped steels are usually more even in color.  Our Standard has been changed since I started raising Dutch (calling for "off-white" ticking) but still prefers a silver-tipped steel, whereas our gene pool only allows for a gold-tipped steel.  Chins and Grays will not help each other much, and should be kept separate to avoid muddying up the Chin color.


  • In my herd steels far out number any of the other colors. I have always been drawn to this color. However according to our standard we are asked to have an off white or cream ticking. This is not what we have and a common comment on the tables is that the steels are too brassy. This, in my opinion is due to the fact that we are producing a steel on a gold background, getting the ticking from the grays in the breed.

    I think that by adding the chin (if type can be maintained) to our breed we will better be able to produce what our steel variety standard calls for. Building a steel from a chin base will give us the desired off white ticking, thus a silver tipped steel.

    Lops(minis) are a great place to observe these two different types of steels. Ones that are based on a chin back have silver tips and ones that are based on a chestnut are gold tipped.
  • This is unknown at this point. But even if it does, that does not mean we have to add that variety to our show room classes.
  • I think Chin would spark interest in steels, if it could help produce a steel more consistently. Many smaller breeders don't/won't raise steel because of the hodgepodge of animals they must have to produce the color. Then throw the markings in on top of that. That's tough!


  • I believe the Chinchilla Dutch will eventually compliment our steel Dutch as well as making a positive impact on grays. I feel that the Chin Dutch will be widely accepted and a very popular variety when it is finally approved and I applaud those that take the time and dedication it requires to develop this new variety.
  • Chinchilla is to close too the gray and steel.  I feel it will not help.


  • Not sure, but why fix something that's not broken?
  • IF and I don't have any experience in breeding chins, they MAY help with the steels. The steels are TOO brassy now. I raise steel as my main color now after many years at torts. I have found that the older animals go very brassy. The chin color will make them more of a gray tipped steel instead of a gold tipped steel.


  • I would like to see it stand alone.
  • As I also raise French Lops, I will say that the Gray/Chestnut and Steels do cross very well with Chins. I can't say how it will run with Dutch, but if it did that'd be grand.


  • There seems to be a hypothesis that the Chinchilla can help our steel. If this is true, it may be something that needs to be considered. But the problem that I have with the Chinchillas and the Reds, is that another breed has to be used to introduce the color. I really do not support creating colors with other breeds that will affect the type we want to see on the Dutch.
  • ???? In mini rex, I believe the chinchilla has something to do with himis, seals, and sables?????


  • I'm not sure. From what I've heard, it might, but it could also just as easily end up making the color get even worse as time and generations go on.
  • Based on genotypes and the fact our steel Dutch presently are a gold tipped due to the gray agouti gene, the chinchilla could enhance to the silver tipped called for in the standard.  But, in dealing with the chin gene, the breeding line for steels must be carefully monitored to be kept separate from being introduced in other varieties.


  • I don't know how the chin gene works with the steel gene.  I am not sure that it would complement either the gray or the steel variety. 
  • It may, I am willing to try, but the question is: will it breed true or is it a "man-made" color, like the steel.


  • Chins should be breed to chins, best case.

    Since they are both AGOUTI pattern varieties you can bred them together without worry about any DQ's.

    When breeding chin to steels remember that a steel is an add or take out color. So a steel is bred to a self/agouti pattern depending on its color. Plus the Chin will bring back the silver steels that we have lost to the gold steels.
  • That's hard to say, I do believe (don't quote me on this) that the chin and the gray have a different ring color pattern so I'm not sure if they would compliment so well together. I have also seen in other breeds where you get a chin with an agouti or gray coloring to it. Same with the steels.

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