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The Vienna Gene

Because I breed both non-Vienna and Vienna rabbits, many people have asked what a Vienna marked (VM) or a Vienna carrier (VC) rabbit is. I will do my best to give a basic explanation of the Vienna gene. If any experienced breeder wants to add information about the Vienna gene, please do so in the comments.

The Vienna gene is the gene that is responsible for the blue-eyed-white (BEW) rabbit. It is what causes the white fur and blue eyes. The BEW bunny has two Vienna genes, which is expressed as "vv." vv = BEW

A Vienna marked (VM) or Vienna carrier (VC) is a rabbit that received only one Vienna gene. A VM or VC is expressed as "Vv." Vienna marked and Vienna carriers are genetically the same. They both carry one Vienna gene, but the VM rabbit has visible marks that show it is a Vienna carrier. The Vienna marks can be blue or marbled eyes and white patches of fur. The white marks can be in the form of a white blaze on head or face, white paws, Dutch markings, or even just a little white spot on the nose. The Vienna carrier can also have absolutely no outward markings that indicate it has the Vienna gene. All rabbits with a Vienna gene are considered a Vienna carrier.

The chart below shows statistically what to expect when breeding with the Vienna gene:

(Remember: VC includes VM rabbits)

BEW x BEW = 100% BEW

BEW x VC =50% BEW, 50% VC

BEW x Non-Vienna (normal) = 100% VC, 0% BEW

VC x VC = 25% BEW, 50% VC, 25% normal (non-Vienna)

VC x normal = 25% VC, 75% normal (non-Vienna), 0% BEW

The above percentages are for each kit, not the litter as a whole. This means that each kit has that percentage. For example: If I were to breed a BEW with a VC, that does not mean that half of them will be BEW and half will be VC; each kit will have a 50/50 chance of being a BEW or VC.

Since you cannot tell the difference between a non-marked VC and a normal in the breeding crosses above, I always keep them in my Vienna program or sell as pets. It is a big no-no to sell a potential VC as a regular. I always state if a bun a VC or potential VC.

Sometimes people get the Vienna marked rabbit confused with a broken, charlie, or tri-color rabbit. A broken rabbit is a non-Vienna rabbit that has its color broken by white. A charlie is a broken rabbit that received two broken genes with the result of less than 10% color. The tri-color is a non-Vienna rabbit that is white with two other colors.

The above is a basic description of the Vienna gene. If you have any questions or think there is something that should be added, let me know. :)

Below are some examples of Vienna Marked bunnies.

Below are examples of broken bunnies

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