About Mini Rex's and Color Chart


Mini Rex Rabbit



Mini Rex were derived from the standard Standard Rex rabbit. Their unique fur, dense, plush and velvet-like, was caused by a mutation seen in wild rabbits in France in the late 1800s. The Rex mutation is recessive and causes the hair to protrude outwards from the body, instead of lying flat, and the guard hairs to be shortened to the length of the undercoat.

Their small size, plush coat and friendly personalities make them one of the most popular rabbit breeds in the United States. They were first recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) in 1988, and been very popular with exhibitors ever since. It weighs 4 to 4 1/2 pounds when fully grown. Short and rather close coupled, it is moderately well filled with flesh. The ideal length of its fur is 5/8 inch, and is to have a lustrous appearance, good body, and a plush-like effect which offers a distinct springy resistance to the touch.

 The ARBA Mini Rex Standard

For competitions, a Mini Rex should have a well-rounded back, with well-developed and filled shoulders, midsection and hindquarters. Their head should be well-filled and set on a short neck, with thick ears not longer than 3.5 inches. They should have medium-fine bone and rather short legs. Fur should be extremely dense, straight and upright. It should be smooth and springy, not too soft or silky. Fur must be between 1/2 inch and 7/8 inch in length. Any missing toe nails can lead to disqualification of the rabbit.

The Mini Rex is judged 35 points on body, 5 for head, 5 for ears, 35 for fur, 15 for color and 5 for condition, making a total of 100 possible points. They are a four-class rabbit, which means there are four age groups they can be shown in. They are Senior Bucks (3 - 4.25 lbs, ideal 4 lbs), Senior Does (3 - 4.5 lbs, ideal 4.25 lbs), Junior Bucks (2 - 3 lbs) and Junior Does (2 - 3 lbs).

Many Mini Rex rabbit shows are either local or national. Some shows are not sponsored by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA), but rather by local or state Breeders Associations. Some Mini Rex shows are sanctioned by local show "designators" who set up and organize the event. Rabbit's are judged by national judges and the winners are announced at the end of judging. Rabbit shows are divided by class (color, age, and gender) and announced three times; If there are not enough show entries on the table or not enough show up, the class can be canceled. Rabbits can win a "leg" at sanctioned shows, that are noted as a winning, these can be won by having 5 rabbits or more in a class with 3 or more exhibitors. the "legs" can be classified by BIS (best in show) RBIS (reserve best in show) BOB (best of breed) BOS (best opposite sex) BOV (best ov variety) BOSV (best opposite sex of variety)

 Coloration and Markings

The Mini Rex color spectrum includes Blue, Blue Eyed White, the Broken Group, Castor, Chinchilla, Chocolate, Himalayan, Lilac, Lynx, Opal, Otter, Red, Sable Point, Seal, Tortoise, and White. New certificates of development have been awarded by ARBA for Sable, Smoke Pearl, Silver Marten, and Tan Mini Rex, all to be presented in the next few years.

Mini Rex Color Chart

Group 1 - Castor, Lynx, Opal, Cinnamon

Photo and Genetics

Color Crossing Guidelines

Color Standards

C & A


**CASTOR- is our 1st color in Group 1- there are many variations of castor color, some too gray, some too light, and some too dark. The castors that are doing so well on the show table today should not be crossed with other colors- it will only do harm. Breeding a red in one time to intensify the red band is fine if your castors are gray, but you should only breed Castor to Castor after that. Any reds produced from a Castor/red cross should probably be culled as they may carry heavy ear lacing and blue under color. Breeding to Opal will cause the Castor offspring to carry too much black on the surface color, and be very gray around the lower hind quarters.

CASTOR - A gorgeous mahogney or chestnut brown color with black tipping is the ideal color for castor mini rex- or like a beaver pelt. The intermediate rufus colored ring band should take up 50% of the hair shaft and the slate blue undercolor the other 50%. If the ring band is narrow it usually is because the tipping is too heavy. Eyes are brown



**LYNX-is the 2nd color shown in Group 1- rather than cross a lynx with a rabbit from Group 1 -it is more advised to cross them with a chocolate from Group 2(as advised by Dr. Steve Roush and Diane Campbell from her article in the Mini Rex Guidebook) (see authors personal opinion below). Breeding Lynx to castors will result in Castors with incorrect ear lacing and top color.

LYNX-The surface color of the top and the sides of the body should be a light orange; which is lightly tipped with lilac. The intermediate band is to be as bright an orange as possible, clearly defined over white under color. Eyes are blue gray



**OPAL -is the 3rd color and here we show a young opal on the top and a mature opal in the last photo. Opal is the dilute of Castor, but breeding to castor is not recommended as the blue band of surface color on an Opal is wider than the black surface band on a Castor and breedings usually result in too many of the Castor offspring having way too much black surface color. Do not breed to Lynx, this harms both colors, causing too heavy of a blue surface on the Lynx and very poor ring band on the Opals that result from such a cross. Opal may be bred to Blue or less desirably to Black.

OPAL- The surface color of the top and sides of the body is to be a rich medium blue. The intermediate color is to be a golden fawn clearly defined over a slate-blue under color. Eyes- blue-gray



CINNAMONS-- are basically castors without the black surface color. They are unshowable but can be used as a red would be used to add brighter ring color to a castor with too gray of a color.

CINNAMONS- The rabbit noted for its rust or "cinnamon" color complimented by grey ticking on the tips of the fur.


Group #2 - Black, Blue, Chocolate, Lilac

Photo and Genetics

Color Crossing Guidelines

Color Standards

C & aa



**BLACK- Black may be bred to Blue because Blue is actually a dilute of Black and may help your get your richest, deepest Blues while maintaining good dark pigment color on toe nails, which is a common problem in Blues. Black may also be bred to Tortoise from Color Group 5.

BLACK- The entire body is to be a rich lustrous black, which runs deep towards the skin to a slate blue under color. Eyes- dark brown




**BLUE- Blue may be bred to Black and also to Opal, but the Opal will be dominant over the Blue. Some breeders also will cross Chocolate and Lilac with the Blues and Blacks.

BLUE- The entire body should be a rich levi blue, which runs deep to the skin to a medium blue under color. The guard hairs cannot be a different color than the body color. Eyes are blue-gray



**CHOCOLATE- Chocolate and Lilac can be bred together as Lilac is the dilute of Chocolate. Chocolate may also be bred to Black or to Blue. If they must be bred into the agouti group, then Lynx (Color Group 1) would be the only choice. Breeding to Castors will result in Castors with incorrect ear lacing and top color.

CHOCOLATE- The surface color should be a hershey chocolate brown, which runs towards the skin to a dove-gray under color. Eyes- brown, ruby cast permissible.



**LILAC- Lilac may be bred to Chocolate at it is the dilute of Chocolate. You may also breed it to the dilute color blue but try to stay away from Black (Black is always dominant)

LILAC- The color should be a medium gray (the color of a dove) , with a light pink tint on the surface. Eyes: Blue gray.


Group #3 - Seal, Sable, Siamese

Photo and Genetics

Color Crossing Guidelines

Color Standards

aa & ch



**SEAL-While Seals do show up out of Black litters or any other for that matter, it is best to only breed Seal to other Seals for the best color development and to avoid confusing the very dark Seals with faded blacks.

SEAL-The Surface color is dark brown, almost black, which shades to a slightly paler brown on the flanks, chest and belly. Think Sea World seal color. undercolor is to be lighter than the surface color. Eyes- brown




**SABLE-Best bred to sable and seal. Can very successfully cross with californian, but keep in mind that the white coats of californians can hide disqualifications like white spots and scattered white hairs that may pop up in the coloured offspring. Can be bred to black with caution, because it can result in poor blacks, seals, or sables

SABLE- Standard: Color is to be a rich sepia brown on the nose, ears, feet, legs and tail.  Marking color is to shade rapidly to a rich cream body color.  The entire body is to be a creamy colo with whithe undercolor.  Some Slightly darker shading is permissable on the saddle, but highly undesirable.  Body surface color is to be lighter than the point color to give the proper contrast.  Eyes-Brown




**SIAMESE- a self rabbit with a shaded gene. Siamese rabbits have darker color on the nose/muzzle are of the head, the ears, the tail and the feet. The body color is darker along the top of the back shading to a lighter color along the lower sides and rump. It is impacted by temperature with cooler weather producing darker overall color. It can appear very blotchy due to molt as different areas of the coat change in depth of color due to external factors. This color almost always darkens with each molt as the rabbit ages. It is called Siamese Sable in the black phase (remember the shaded gene makes black take on a sepia color). A Siamese in dilute (blue) is called and Siamese Smoke Pearl. Siamese can also occur in chocolate and lilac. When Siamese occurs in the Red/Wide Band Family it is called Sable Point (Black Tortoise) or Pearl Point (Blue Tortoise). Yes, it can occur in Chocolate Tortoise and Lilac Tortoise also.



Group #4 - Chin, Beige

Photo and Genetics

Color Crossing Guidelines

Color Standards

A & ch



**CHINCHILLA-These are Agouti colored rabbits that lack the orange or red band on the hair shaft. Chinchilla to Chinchilla is best, however, they could be bred to Blacks or less desirably to blue. Do not breed them to Castor, Lynx, Opal or Red, as traces of the orange color will remain for generations. They should also never be bred to any shaded rabbits such as a Himalayan.

CHINCHILLA- When looking at a chin, the color appears to be a blend of black and pearl. A narrow black band tipped by black and pearl meets a ticked surface color over a narrow black band. An intermediate band of pearl follows over a wider band of slate-blue under color. Eyes- brown, blue-gray permissible.



**BEIGE- A Beige rabbit has this coloration all over their bodies except on the napes of their necks, which is a lighter shade. Their stomach and eye rings are a bluish white color and they have eyes that are brown with a ruby glow.



Group #5 - Red, Fawn, Tort

Photo and Genetics

Color Crossing Guidelines

Color Standards




**RED-Genetically these are agouti colored rabbits, but what we are looking for is the appearance of a 'self' colored rabbit. It is difficult to find good Red Mini Rex that don't retain some lingering signs of their castor origins by the way of dark ear lacing or blue under color. Again clean reds to clean reds is the best way to go. Crossing out to other colors is not recommended.

RED- The surface color of the top and the sides of the body is an even color of red- like Lucille Ball red. Ideally, the surface color is free of smut. Eyes are brown.



**FAWN- Fawn is to be rich golden color on the saddle, running down the flanks.  Color is to run down the hair shaft to a near white undercolor.  Eye circles, inside of ears, underside of jowls, underside of tail, and the belly are to be white.  Brown eyes.




**TORT - Tort is not one of our most developed colors, but can be beautiful when it has the proper clean saddle and good dark points. Breed torts to each other or to Black. They may also be bred to Reds to clean and brighten the body of saddle color, but the first generation will more likely be poor colored Reds, and you will have to cull heavily. May also be bred to tricolors.

TORT- The surface color of the body is to be a bright, rich, clean orange ( a little deeper than a red rabbits orange) which thens blends into a smokey gray-black on the side, hind-end, stomach, and feet. The undercolor is a blue/white color. Eyes- brown


Group #6 - Tricolor, Harlequin, Magpie

Photo and Genetics

Color Crossing Guidelines

Color Standards

e-j-e or e-j-e-j



**TRI-COLOR -These should be bred to each other, or to harlequins, which are just solid tricolors. They may also be bred to broken reds with some success but never, never to any rabbit in the agouti group. Note: Torts can be used to brighten color, however, it makes tort colored nose and ears very common which is a disqualification.

TRI-COLOR - consists of white in conjunction with one of the following combination of two colors: Black and Orange; Lilac and Fawn; Chocolate and Orange; or Blue with Fawn. Eyes- brown in Black and Chocolate varieties: blue-gray in Lilac and Blue Varieties.





·     The "C" gene is responsible for the white of the Magpie.

·     Its alleles: "C" is dominant and causes no change.

·     "ch" is recessive and can change orange to white.

·     The "D" gene, which stands for dilute, is present in blue and lilacs.

·     Its alleles: "D" is dominant and causes no change.

·     "d" is recessive and dilutes black to blue or chocolate.

·     The "B" gene is present in chocolates and lilacs.

·     Its alleles: "B" is dominant and causes no change

·     "b" is recessive and changed black to chocolate or blue to lilac.

 Every domestic rabbit has two alleles for each of these three genes. Genetically speaking, the basic Harlequin color is Black Japanese; all other varieties are derived from changing the color of the Black Japanese in one or more ways. Color wise, the "pure" form of Black Japanese would possess the genetic code "CCDDBB." Such a rabbit would have the dominant, homozygous combination for each of the three color traits. Mated to another Black Japanese with the same genetic makeup, all kits would be Black Japanese. However, many Black Japanese are not genetically pure (homozygous); many possess one or more of the recessive alleles—though not two of the same recessive allele—so their offspring may be any one of the seven colors, depending on the genetic makeup of both the sire and dam.






Magpie is the name given to the pattern, as opposed to a color of rabbit. This has to be my favorite pattern. The rabbit is patterned like a patchwork quilt with a half black/half white face, one black ear, one white ear and with corresponding colored feet (one front leg black, the other white, one back leg black, the other white) and then stripes of black and white across the back. This is a very difficult pattern to breed,  and when a rabbit does not have the uniform patterning, it is then classed as a broken magpie (carries the magpie gene, but not perfect in pattern).  The Rabbit pictured on the far right above, is classed as a 'broken' magpie, as although he does not look like a magpie, he does carry the magpie genes, and therefore can re-produce magpie patterned kits.

MAGPIE - The Magpie has white in conjunction  with black, chocolate, blue, or lilac.


Group #7 - All color of Otter

Photo and Genetics

Color Crossing Guidelines

Color Standards

a-t-a-t & C

Black Otter

OTTER - I did work with Black Otter Standard Rex and again for the best color you want otter to otter. Black and Blue otter to each other and Chocolate and Lilac otter to each other- again the Blue and Lilac otter could probably work together. If you only have one Black Otter you could cross to a solid black rabbit, etc.,

OTTER - For a rough draft of a working standard on otters see Shanahan's web site (Neva wrote this rough draft and is not working with Armando). They will make their 1st presentation at ARBA Convention in 2002 by Armando Cabrerra.


Group #8 - Californian or Himalayan

Photo and Genetics

Color Crossing Guidelines

Color Standards




**HIMI -Breed only himi to himi for the best color development of points. If you breed out to other colors it will take several generations to correct the color. It is good to breed to black which will darken point color correctly. First generation you will get all blacks, save these and breed them back to your himi's.

HIMI --(Black or Blue) The body color is white. The ears, nose, feet and tail are as dark a black or blue as possible. The nose marking and is to be well rounded and distinct. Eye Color- pink


Group #9 - White

Photo and Genetics

Color Crossing Guidelines

Color Standards




**REW -It is best to breed REW to REW. Breeding them to solid colors is not recommended as it can cause white hairs, white spots,and white toe nails in colored rabbits for many generations. Remember REW'S are albino which means they carry color genes, though masked by the albino gene. Looking at a pedigree can help determine what color genes a REW carries. A REW can also mask the broken gene and in that case you could breed a REW to a broken.

REW - The rabbit is to be white/white- clean as possible with no stains. Eyes are pink


Group #10 - Broken

Photo and Genetics

Color Crossing Guidelines

Color Standards




BROKEN as a general rule should be bred to a solid colored rabbit of their same color. Can also be bred to a REW or another broken.(From the Article in the NMRC Guidebook by Diane Campbell)(See Authors personal opinion below) If you use two brokens make sure they both carry a lot of pattern in order to prevent a litter full of charlies. (Personal Opinion: If brokens are your goal then breed broken to broken and generally cull the solids from these crosses as their color is usually not desirable. A broken to a solid without broken behind it can result in many booted rabbits)

BROKEN - consists of any recognized breed variety color with white. The eye color is to correspond with the color specified under the respective solid colored variety. White toe nails preferred but a colored nails is not a dq. An evenly balanced pattern may garner more points than an unbalanced pattern.. (No preference given for a butterfly over nose spots)