Rabbit Color Calculator

Created by Dominik Czernia, PhD
Reviewed by Purnima Singh, PhD and Adena Benn
Last updated: Sep 25, 2022

The rabbit color calculator uses the algorithm that finds the combination of sire's and dam's genes and determines what genes and color their offspring may have. As you probably know, bunnies come in all sorts of colors. In fact, there are hundreds of recognized colors and patterns of rabbits! So how does one go about determining the color of their rabbit?

The answer lies in rabbit color genetics.

A combination of genes determines every bunny's color. While these genes are many, there are five main gene groups that are responsible for the vast majority of color variations: A, B, C, D, E. If you want to take into account much more genes, say yes to the include additional genes question in the rabbit color calculator.

Read on to learn more about the rabbit color chart and how our rabbit genetics calculator works. We will also tell you more about such interesting facts as what colors rabbits can see and what factor affects the gene color of Himalayan rabbits, how rabbit color genetics work. Meanwhile, be sure to check the rabbit gestation calculator to prepare for the birth of new rabbits!

What color are rabbits?

As any Easter enthusiast knows, rabbits come in all sorts of colors. The most popular color is probably white, but you can also find black, brown, gray, and even blue rabbits. However, the color of a rabbit's fur is not always an indication of its breed. For example, many people think that Dutch rabbits are always black and white, but they can actually be any color.

So if you're looking for a specific color rabbit, it's best to do your research before you head to the pet store. The rabbit color calculator is one of the places where you can learn more about the rabbit identification color chart. No matter what color you choose, though, you're sure to have a bunny that's full of personality.

Rabbit identification color chart

Let's explore the five main gene groups used in the rabbit color genetics calculator. We put them in the following rabbit color chart.

Color group - Gene

Alleles (variants)

Color pattern

A

A (banded hair shaft)

a(t) (tan markings)

a (solid colored)

Black or brown

B

B (black)

b (brown)

Color amount and placement

C

C (complete color)

c(chd) (dense, chinchilla)

c(chl) (light, shaded)

c(h) (himalayan)

c (albino, red-eyed white)

Dense or dilute

D

D (full color)

d (diluted color)

Extension of dark pigment

E

E (full extension)

e (non-extension)

We ordered the alleles from the most dominant to the most recessive for each color group. For example, A is the most dominant, then a(t), and a is recessive. Check out our Punnett square calculator to learn more about dominant and recessive alleles.

🙋 Now, let's do an exercise. Look at the above rabbit breeding color chart and say which dominant C allele chinchilla color rabbits have. Yes, it's c(chd)!

Rabbit breeding color chart - additional genes

Apart from the five primary genes we mentioned before, there are a lot of different additional genes. They are also available in the rabbit color calculator, but for convenience, only if you select the desired genes. These genes are in the below rabbit identification color chart.

Color group

Alleles (variants)

Steel and harlequin

E(s) (steel)

e(j) (harlequin)

Broken

En (charlie, broken)

en (solid)

Vienna

V (no Vienna)

v (vienna, blue-eyed white)

Dutch

D (no dutch)

d (dutch)

Silvering

S(i) (Silver)

s(i) (no silver)

Wideband

W (no wideband)

w (wideband)

Lutino

P (no lutino)

p (lutino)

For a complete description of each gene, refer to the Yellow Brook Rabbitry webpage, where you can also find rabbit pictures representing each case.

Another option, if you're interested in diseases carried in genes, is to check the allele frequency calculator to compute the healthy and mutant allele frequency that may be carried and cause diseases in offspring.

Rabbit color genetics - the principles

The variety of rabbit colors is the result of how biology works. Every feature of an organism is encrypted in genes that consist of two alleles. One allele comes from a father and the other one from a mother.

Moreover, we distinct dominant and recessive alleles, for example, A and a, respectively (capital letter alleles are dominant). If present, the dominant trait will always be visible, i.e., in the following pairs: AA and Aa. On the other hand, we can observe recessive alleles' features only in the aa pair when both alleles are recessive.

⚠️ Sometimes, we use the underscore symbol _ to represent the second allele if the first one is dominant. So, instead of AA and Aa, we could write A_. Both dominant and recessive are reflected by the _ when either follows a dominant gene. This is incredibly convenient when based only on the observed color of a rabbit; you don't know what the second allele is (we can observe only the dominant allele's trait).

The complete genotype of the five main gene groups of rabbits' color could be, for example, Aa Bb CC Dd Ee, which is a chestnut color (A_ B_ C_ D_ E_). What if you breed sire and dam together, both with the above genotype? In that case, it is handy to use the Punnet square, which we will show only for the A gene for simplicity:

♂️\♀️

A

a

A

AA

Aa

a

Aa

aa

Eventually, you can see that the offspring will have the AA genotype with 25 % probability (one case), Aa with 50 % (two cases), and 'aa' with 25 % (one case). So, A_ has a 75 % chance, and aa has a 25 % chance of occurring. This is the principle of our rabbit genetics calculator algorithm.

Be aware that if you want to consider two genotypes, e.g., A and B, the Punnet square becomes a 4×4 table, and three genotypes require an 8×8 table, making the genetics calculations very tedious. This is the main topic of our dihybrid cross calculator and trihybrid cross calculator. Be sure to check them out if you want to see such tables!

How to use the rabbit color calculator

You can choose two possible modes to start the computations with our tool. We will go through them in the following instructions:

Mode: color

  1. The first mode allows you to select the colors of a sire and dam from a list of 121 rabbits shown in the color chart based on the The Nature Trails article.

  2. Select the color family: full color, chinchilla, seal, sable, Himalayan, or red-eyed white.

  3. Select the rabbit color by name.

  4. If you selected "Include additional genes", specify which additional genes your rabbit has or select "Include, but unknown" if you want to add them, but you don't know what the genes are.

Mode: genes

  1. In the second mode, you can specify the complete genotypes of your rabbits' color.

  2. For each gene, use the drop-down list to choose the pair of alleles. If you don't know them, you can simply select _ _ to include all combinations in the rabbit color genetics calculator.

  3. As before, you can select "Include additional genes" to add many more genotypes.

Results

  1. The rabbit color calculator will show you selected color genes for sire and dam that we use to solve the Punnet square.

  2. The main results appear in the "Rabbit colors and genes" section and, if you included it, the "Additional colors and genes" section at the end of the calculator.

  3. Select what you want to see: possible genes or possible colors. In the former, we focus on showing you all the combinations of genotypes, while in the latter, the probability of obtaining a specific rabbit's color.

  4. You can also show the ten most probable possibilities of color rabbits or show all of them. Be aware the list might be quite long.

Our algorithm is basically the combination generator for rabbit colors. The more genes you include, the larger the number of possible outputs is.

Rabbit names by color

One of the best things about rabbits is that they come in so many different colors! If you're looking for name ideas for your new bunny, here are a few based on coat color:

  • For a snowy white rabbit, how about Frosty or Snowball?
  • A light brown rabbit could be called Toffee or Caramel, while a dark brown rabbit might be called Mocha or Espresso.
  • A reddish brown rabbit would be perfect for the name Cinnamon.
  • A black rabbit could be called Oreo or Midnight.

No matter what color your bunny is, there's sure to be a perfect name out there for them. So take your time, have some fun, and enjoy bonding with your new furry friend.

FAQ

Do rabbits see color?

Yes, but not all of them. Rabbits are dichromats, which means that they can see two colors. This is in contrast to humans, who are trichromats and can see three colors. The two colors that rabbits can see are blue and yellow. This means that they are not able to see the color red.

What factor affects the gene color of himalayan rabbits?

The C gene is responsible for the color of the himalayan rabbit. This gene determines the amount and placement of color on a rabbit's fur.

The alleles for this gene are C, c(chd), c(chl), c(h), and c, in the order of dominance. The C allele produces complete color, c(chd) chinchilla color rabbit, c(chl) sable, c(h) himalayan, and c red-eyed white. The c(h) allele is, therefore, a recessive gene.

What is the probability of obtaining aa from two Aa genotypes?

The probability equals 25 %. To find it:

  1. Prepare the 2×2 Punnet square.
  2. Fill in all possibilities of allele pairs.

♂️\♀️

A

a

A

AA

Aa

a

Aa

aa

  1. Count the number of aa pairs, which equals one.
  2. Divide it by the total number of pairs (four) and express it in percentages:

1/4 × 100 = 25%

How do I determine rabbit color?

You have a few possibilities to determine rabbit color:

  • Use the rabbit identification color chart;
  • Check the color genetics of the rabbit's parents; or
  • Use the rabbit color calculator available online.
Dominik Czernia, PhD
I want to input
color
Include additional genes
no
Sire
Color family
Full color
Color
Black [Self]
Selected color genes: aa B_ C_ D_ E_
Dam
Color family
Full color
Color
Black [Self]
Selected color genes: aa B_ C_ D_ E_
Rabbit colors and genes
Show
ten most probable possibilities
Sort by
possible colors
Possible colorsProbabilityAssociated genes
Black [Self]69.2%aa B_ C_ D_ E_
[Black] Self Chinchilla5.77%aa B_ c(chd)_ D_ E_
Black Tortoiseshell4.61%aa B_ C_ D_ ee
Blue [Self]4.61%aa B_ C_ dd E_
Chocolate [Self]4.61%aa bb C_ D_ E_
[Black] Sable (Siamese Sable)3.3%aa B_ c(chl)_ D_ E_
[Black] Himalayan2.47%aa B_ c(h)_ D_ E_
Ruby-Eyed White1%aa B_ cc D_ E_
[Black] Seal0.824%aa B_ c(chl)c(chl) D_ E_
Sallander (Iron Grey)0.385%aa B_ c(chd)_ D_ ee
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