You are here04/03/08 : How to popularise the silver brown : C. Bemrose

04/03/08 : How to popularise the silver brown : C. Bemrose

By Anonymous - Posted on 04 March 2008

It is always a pleasure to me to at any time give advice or write a few lines on the Silver Brown, if it will only tend to do good to the variety and its followers. There has been an idea abroad for years amongst fanciers that the variety is a risky one to enter into. This has been largely due to the spreading about of reports that you breed from Silver Browns all kinds of mongrels. Let me tell readers that after twenty-two years of successful breeding I know that such is not the case. There are hundreds of litters bred every year, and every rabbit a decent one.

Mr. Mason made the remark in the letters appearing in 'Fur and feather" some, while back, on out-crossing. That it had done the Brown Fancy harm. But I must differ from Mr. Mason on that score, because the correspondence never said one had to do it to be successful: it was given simply for anyone who wished to build up a strain that he might call his own. I agree with Mr. Mason when he says there are plenty of good Browns without introducing foreign blood.

In my own opinion we have not such good Browns as we had a few years ago, the reason being, to my mind, because our beautiful light shades are crossed off the list, and fanciers have gone in for breeding dark shades. They say we must have colour. Well, that is what I want, but I want a clean coat of silvering with it. The prettiest Brown that can be penned is the light shade that is alive with ticking, and, to my mind, they put the darker ones in the shade altogether. It is the mixing of the colours we want, all looking alive together, and not the dark ones, that look to have one ticked hair to twenty of the others.

Having dealt with the ticking of the Brown, let us get on to something else. In the first place-your rabbit should be even, with the three top colours it possesses, viz., silvering clear and bright, and the black hair as black as you can get it, and the brown has rich a chestnut as possible. Then comes the under colour next to the skin, which should be a deep slate blue. Then for your colour next to the top you want a rich orange colour. Hind feet nicely coloured, tail silvered to match body, and then comes the most difficult task of all the chest. You want a chest to match the body, the same as a Grey, but how many Browns do you see with black hairs in the chest? In all my years of Brown breeding I haven't seen a Brown with a chest to match its body, and that is my reason for saying they cannot get a Brown to score as many points as a Grey. No doubt some fanciers will say: "Then why not breed them with good chests?. To this I ask: Where are you to get them from?. If' you cross with the Grey, the only Silver that possesses black ticking in its chest, you get blue ones, and if you cross with the Fawn, to work your blue out. You have worked your chest out again. If you cross with the Belgian to put the black in the chest, you get a red flat chested One, so you see the difficulty of getting a good chest on a Brown. Well, my advice is to breed with the best Browns you can come across.

Another point, in breeding Browns is to be careful about great, thick heavy ears with a lot of lacing; on. Don't breed with them, or you will find trouble. My advice to fanciers taking on Silver Browns is, to buy a couple of good does, light, medium, or dark, whichever you like, but don't pair them to a buck of the same shade, of colour. What I mean is, don't put your light shade to a light buck. But to a dark or medium buck: you must work for silvering as well as colour.

I have noticed in my time, as I have gone from show to show, and town to town. The happy homes and good fathers and mothers there are connected with the rabbit Fancy. I have looked for the cause from several points of view, and I can only arrive at the conclusion that I the hobby keeps the father at home, it makes his wife interested in his stock, and he spends his spare time in studying his stock for breeding, and all the time he is gaining knowledge and making- a better man of him self in all ways. I hope fanciers, this next year, will try and get put on at all the shows they can classes for Browns, and that more fanciers will take up the breed. There is plenty of room and I am sure there is no rabbit in the fancy hardier, more profitable, or prettier then the Silver Brown.