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