Astrex furred Harlequin

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Curly fur on harlequin kit

Every now and then, I'll find an unusual looking kit in my harlequin nestboxes. As the kits approach 2-3 weeks old, the fur is noticeably shorter and more curly than that of its littermates.

This is known as Astrex fur and is a non-showable recessive trait that crops up in breeds which have been crossed with Rex rabbits at some point in their bloodline.

This trait can be hidden for many generations, cropping up on rare occasions even when breeding two known carriers. The amount of curl usually fades as the kit matures, but the fur is always short and very plush (rex-type). Astrex furred harlequins suffer from the same foot problems as rex rabbits and must have resting boards -- or better yet, solid bottomed cages.

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Normal furred on the left, astrex furred on the right.

4 japanese harlequin kits with astrex fur - 3 weeks old