I have been breeding Curly Astrex Coated Rabbits for several years now. The genes that I am working with are not "fixed" for a very tight curl in every rabbit bred at this time but we are getting closer. Some have a wavy coat and other just a little kink. They all however have somesort of curl to them, that gene IS fixed. (see update below)
When moving to SD Dec. of 2006 I had to cut back in rabbit numbers so I had a set back in my Astrex Rabbit breeding program.
While the Astres Rabbit is a rare breed, it is not quite as rare as some folks would have you believe. Curly coated bunnies have showed up in many pure breeds of rabbits. Mini Rex and Harlequins do however seem to have a higher rate of throwing the curly bunnies. Many breeders for many years have culled the curly coats not knowing or caring for what they have in their nestboxes.
Curly Coated Rabbits are NOT unicorns. Many people now own a curly coated rabbit. If you look around the area you live in, if you call Rex breeders in your area, if you keep your eyes open in pet stores and or farm stores, if you put up fliers in your feed mill saying that you're are looking for them, you will find them. Also try checking with breeders at rabbit shows and events, YOU WILL FIND CURLY COATED RABBITS. I stumbled across them in a breeders rabbit barn in N WI and at a Farm Store here in a very tiny town in NW SD.
Curly Coated Rabbits are NOT worth the kind of money that some of the websites you will see on Astrex and Curly Rabbits say they are selling for (notice they do not have any for sale).
I do know, from the Yahoo Groups list posts, there are several people actively breeding these curly coated rabbits, just as I am. A reputable breeder in Canada has a line of curly coated AR lops, called Canadian Plush Lops. She also breeds straight eared Astrex Rabbits. I have seen photos and man are they cuties!!
I have spent many hours on Astrex Rabbit research. I fell into my foundation stock in a good friends rabbit barn in N WI. Come to find out, there are three lines throwing the curly coated Astrex Rabbits in N WI and they do not, as far as I could fine, come from the same rabbits.
I knew two people in N WI that were breeding curly coated rabbits as mixed breeds for several years. Funny, because their curly coated rabbits are breeding true (all babies from them are curly coated). There is not a lot of reliable information on the Internet about the breed yet and because it is considered a rare breed, or untalked about cull for some, many people have never heard of them.
I am actively breeding Curly Coated Astrex Rabbits in NW SD. I have a very good friend that is actively Curly and Very Wavy Coated Astrex Rabbits in N WI and another in TN. Each of us do/will have bunnies for sale.
Please if you want to learn more about these Astrex Rabbits and talk to serious breeders that often do have bunnies and breeder for sale, join us at the Yahoo Groups Curly Astrex Rabbit Group to see many photos and join in our conversations about the Astrex Coated (curly) Rabbits.
The contents of this page for Astrex-Curly-Rabbits is still under construction.
At this point there are several serious breeders that are working with the Curly Coated Astrex Rabbit Gene. These breeders may be breeding rabbits of different sizes, and ear set, but they have many documented generations of rabbits behind the rabbits they are developing. These breeders are first concerned about health and correct conformation of the rabbits, meaning healthy happy rabbits that are not cowhocked and do not have bad teeth or body type. Secondary are the curly coats.
As far as a Standard for the Breed. Some folks are working on their rabbits standards. But for the most part, there is at this point, no Standard for the Breed for the now resurrected Astrex Rabbit.
I get such a kick out of some folks, on the Internet, trying to convince everyone that the Astrex Rabbit is a rare thing. I lived in a small town in N WI and found three sources there that I bought from. Now I live in a smaller town in NW SD and have seen Astrex Rabbits in Feed Stores for sale more then once for $20 each. I host a Yahoo list for Curly Coated Rabbits and people have seen the curlies in many, many towns across the USA, they are being bred with straight and lop ears in Canada, they are being bred in Australia, Great Britain and other parts of the world. I believe that some people would like for them to be as rare as a unicorn, but in reality, if you keep looking, you WILL find them. And honestly, it will not take that long. People are selling them in several, many, areas....and for affordable prices without strings attached (spaying, neutering, contracts, ect).
[center]Marna Kazmaier - firstname.lastname@example.org
Please visit often as this site, as well as www.theagilerat.com and www.marnasmenagerie.com, are STILL UNDER construction. Thanks for your visit!