We Raise Blue-Eyed White bunnies in our Lionheads, Jersey Woolies, and very soon our Holland
Lops as well. So we thought it would be important to add this page with Information in regards to the BEW or Vienna genes
and how they work.
All Bunnies pictured on this page are different versions of the Vienna gene at play. From a
BEW to a VC/VM with hardly any white showing.
BEW (vv) x BEW (vv) = 100% BEW (vv)
BEW (vv) x VC/VM (Vv) = 50% BEW (vv) &
50% VC or VM (Vv)
BEW (vv) x non-BEW carrier (VV) = 100% VC or VM (Vv)
VC/VM (Vv) x VC/VM (Vv) = 25% BEW (vv)
50% VC/VM (Vv) 25% non-BEW (VV)
VC/VM (Vv) x non-BEW carrier (VV) = 50% VC/VM (Vv) 50% non-BEW (VV)
VC and VM are genetically the same. VC is a vienna carrier (carries the BEW
gene, but doesn't show mismarkings).
VM is a vienna marked (carries the BEW
gene and has mismarkings - usually it's white patches of fur [sometimes even
a Dutch] or blue places in the eyes). Both VM and VC's are
BEW is genetically vv. It takes two
of the recessive vienna genes to make
BEW. BEW can be just about any other color genetically, but when you throw
the "vv" genes, it makes them BEW. It's very similar to how REW works.
But, REW still trumps BEW in that if a rabbit is
both genetically REW and
BEW, it will appear as a REW. (I *believe* pointed white also trumps BEW,
though I'm not
100% on that).
One other thing to consider. It's preferable to not breed rabbits with the
ruby cast to the
eye (chocolate, lilac, REW, pointed white, sable point,
sable, etc.) to BEW's, as if a BEW ends up genetically a color
with the ruby
cast to the eye, the ruby cast will still show up somewhat on the blue eyes
of the BEW. It gives the
eyes kind of a purplish/grayish effect rather than
the bright blue. It's not a huge deal, but it's preferable to avoid
And, with the breedings between VC/VM & VC/VM or a VC/VM and a non-BEW
carrier, keep in
mind that it can sometimes be tough to distinguish (by
looking at them) which of the colored rabbits carry the BEW gene
don't. You could always wait until they're breeding age and test-breed them
to a BEW (if you get a BEW in
the litter, both parents carry the BEW gene).
But, with cage space it's not always practical to wait 6 months to breed
rabbit just to see if it carries the gene. So, for that reason, I rarely
breed VC/VM to a VC/VM or a VC/VM to a
Also, it's a matter of personal preference if you like to use brokens in the
BEW program. I don't
mind it, as VM's are often unshowable due to white
spots in the fur, so when it's on a broken many times the rabbit is
showable. But, it can also make it more difficult to spot the VM's in a
litter when you've done a breeding that
could result in some babies not
carrying the BEW gene at all (also part of the reason that in the BEW
program I rarely
do breedings that would result in babies that don't have
the BEW gene).
I think I pretty much covered it. It's
not too difficult.
Written by: Rachel Roehe