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AHDFC Newsletter is now posted here!

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AHDFC Newsletter for 7/27/2000

AHDFC Newsletter for 5/11/2000

Happy New Year Harlequin Dutch Fans !

AHDFC Newsletter for 1/28/2001

This year brings us another step closer to our goal. This is the second anniversary for the Harlequin Dutch Certificate of Development, which means we are eligible for the first ARBA Convention presentation. My nest boxes are full and I'm looking for those special animals that will make the trip to San Diego with me in October.I'm also looking forward to traveling to Illinois in April for 2001 NDS. I've just sent in an ad for the catalog and a pledge to bring trophies for Best and Best Opposite AOV.A cash award would make things exciting, if anyone is interested in donating contact Norma Hart or myself. I'm very excited by all of the support from Dutch breeders interested in promoting the Harlequin variety. So far, there are over 40 breeders that have contacted me. I've handed out a total of 24 buttons so far and just finished another batch for the 22 new requests. I'd like to give a special thanks to Rachel Antonelli (Michigan), Bob Tackett and Gary Clark (Missouri), Debra Linsley (Australia), Ann and Janet Wickerham (Maryland) for their generous donation to help me buy materials and cover postage costs (which keep going up like everything else). I will continue to use e-mail whenever possible and am still working on connecting everything to the new website. Please bare with me as it is still under construction but check it out! Jill's Wild Dutch Bunch and AHDFC (If you're reading this then you made it here!)

Hopefully everyone will enjoy it and send news and pictures to post.

The goal of AHDFC continues to be a way to communicate and connect with everyone working toward promoting Harlequin Dutch. I hope to see many of you at NDS 2001 where we will have an opportunity to show, share ideas and bloodlines. I would like to take this opportunity to give an update on the genetic eye problem; I have identified more carriers(Jill's Wild Halona, Helice and Patches).This means that the offspring of these does could be 50% carriers also, and if bred to a carrier buck there could be a 25% chance for blindness. Please remember these are estimates, we are all learning as we go along and this is correct only if this defective gene has two alleles like in malocclusion. The current number of affected animals reported to me is now 10. The good news is that these numbers still appear low for a two allele gene, so there is more to know about this type of genetic defect which may also help us with other genetic defects like split penis, peanuts/dwarfism and stub tails. Working together I believe we can solve this problem through careful breeding and selection. This is an opportunity for all of us to learn more about genetics.

NEWS from around the country

The Eastern Division of AHDFC has been holding meetings since July 5, 2000, and sponsored an AOV class at the Blue Ridge Rabbit and Cavy Club show in West Virginia on October 30, 2000. Their AOV class included 15 entries with 5 exhibitors and 13 Harlequin Dutch were shown along with a Gold and a Lilac. The trophies for Best and Best Opposite of Variety were darling clown statues donated by Jay Imes of Meadville, Pennsylvania. Another AOV show was held November 19th with the Baltimore and Howard R&CBA; 13 entries with 4 exhibitors and 9 Harlequin Dutch were shown along with 3 Golds and 1 Blue Steel. I have pictures and all the class results and will post on the website (hopefully will have the links up and running soon).

The group in Maryland is doing great working together. The Eastern Division members include: Bill Gardiner, Laurie Knight, Ann and Janet Wickerham, Phil Sowers, Denise and Ashley Jensen, Liz Moneymaker and Stacy Bolinger.

There is a mid-west group working together from Missouri, Bob Tackett, Gary Clark and Janet Satulla sponsored an AOV class in September in Rollo, Missouri with 4 Harles judged by Ray Hall. A nice hand painted trophy went to Bob Tackett, he is also developing a strain of Chocolate Harlequin Dutch from animals acquired from the Mixdorf's of Iowa. Recently Dawn Eggert from Nebraska contacted me through the Dutch e-group and has 2 Blue Harles, still trying to establish where they originated. I've had correspondence from Rhonda Barfield in Texas who has been raising Harlequin Dutch for about 3 years, which is really exciting as these may be unrelated to the strain started in '90 by Steve Wright from which most of our animals are descended. I'd like to know more about these animals and any others out there that may come from an unrelated strain.

In Arizona we have a new recruit, Anthony Campbell who has animals from Sharon Mutal and the Mattingly family. Also, I recently met Robin Brunk of Clovis, CA who now has a pair of Golds in her herd with Jim Baker. They have raised Dutch for several years and have recently acquired a Harle doe from Brenda Diaz. Pat Shuyler in Sublimity, Oregon has recently acquired a trio from my herd, she is a long time Harlequin breeder and should be a great addition to our team with her experience with the ej brindling gene.

Rachel Antonelli of Michigan has sent me pictures and brought a few animals to the 2000 AR

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AHDFC Newsletter for 7/27/2000

I'm a bit behind on things lots of good intentions. After NDS I was really energized. The number of Harles present was outstanding ** The overall quality looked competitive for the Open show.I had hoped to have a web page together with pictures from NDS but alas still on the to do list. Haven't had time to make more buttons yet but hopefully by October, in time for the ARBA Convention in Columbus, Ohio.

My goal is still to make the first official ARBA showing at San Diego in 2001. I would like to keep communication lines open to all the breeders working on the Harle project. I've run into a few challenges with this project I would like to share with all of you. I have identified three recessive defective traits in the Harlequin Dutch. The problems I have observed include: dwarfed newborns and/or peanuts and stub tails, these appear to be lethal genes as the bunnies usually fade and die before weaning. The last problem is more difficult to detect and involves the eyes and blindness. The pupil becomes opaque and reflects light differently than normal eyes.The hardest part is that it doesn't seem to appear until 4-6 months of age.

This creates an extra complication in the breeding program and because it is a recessive trait it can be carried for several generations and will only result in affected offspring when both parents carry the gene. I will give more details on another page. I'm learning as I go also but want to share info so we can solve these problems. I had no idea when I started this project over 3 years ago that there were any genetic defects in the line, a bit of a surprise. Over the years of showing I have seen these traits in other breeds like Lops, Netherland Dwarfs and Flemish Giants. These types of problems are not just in Dutch. I've heard of other problems too like Malocclusion, or buckteeth, split penis and missing dewclaws. I would appreciate hearing from anyone that has experienced any of these problems or anything else unusual. My personal policy has always been that I am willing to replace any animal I have sold.

I believe through careful breeding management these genetic defects can be eliminated. Culling animals that are affected or produce animals that are affected (gene carriers) and not using them for breeders seems to be the best plan. Broadening the gene pool by out crossing will also help reduce the probability of producing the gene.

Feel free to contact me with any questions and I'll do my best to figure out an answer. I look forward to working with all of you on this challenging project.

Sincerely yours in Dutch,

Jill Dobson

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P.S. To reduce the cost of paper and postage I will be using e-mail as much as possible

Jill's Probability Analysis of recessive genes:

Normal(NN)

Carrier(Nn) appear normal

Abnormal (nn)

Normal (NN)X Abnormal (nn)

All offspring will be carriers (100%)

CROSS

n

n

N

Nn

Nn

N

Nn

Nn

Carrier (Nn)X Abnormal (nn)

2 of 4 offspring will be carriers (50%); 2 of 4 abnormal (50%)

CROSS

n

n

N

Nn

Nn

n

nn

nn

Carrier (Nn) X Carrier (Nn)

1/4 offspring normal (25%); 2/4 carriers (50%); 1/4 abnormal (25%)

CROSS

N

n

N

NN

Nn

n

Nn

nn

Normal(NN)X Carrier (Nn)

2 of 4 offspring normal (50%); 2 of 4 carriers (50%)

CROSS

N

n

N

NN

Nn

N

NN

Nn

List of affected animals (parents are carriers)

Brenda's Double Wild(Brenda's Tristan/Pinnochio) siblings

Jill's Hardly Wild(Jill's Harley Jr./ Jill's Lil' Harlie) son/mother

Jill's Wild Harmon( Jill's Wild Hansel/ Jill's Wild Happy)

Jill's Wild Hudson(Hawkeye's Trident/ Jill's Wild Honey)

Jill's Wild Heathcliff(Hawkeye's Trident/ Jill's Wild Happy)

Jill's Wild Triste(Jill's Wild Huxley/Jill's Wild Helice)

**I recommend making notes on your pedigrees, I'm using a red dot in front of the name to mark any affected animals and a green to mark carriers. I hope you will all continue to work with me on this exciting project. Awareness of genetic defects can only help us as breeders to eliminate the problem through careful breeding management.

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Newsletter for 5/11/2000

American Harlequin Dutch Fan Club Members,

I am really excited about the turn out of Harlequin Dutch at the National Dutch Show in York, Pennsylvania last month. I'm barely recovered! I'll send along some pictures and stats from the show.

There were 17 Harlequin Dutch entered in the AOV class in Open and Youth. There were just 3 other varieties represented; Blue-Gray, Blue-Steel and Gold.

The reason I decided to start the AHDFC is to network with other Harlequin Dutch breeders and promote these flashy Dutch to becoming recognized by the ARBA and ADRC. The goal is to breed Harlequin Dutch with great type, a beautiful pattern and sweet temperaments to make them the jewel of the Dutch.

For those of you that have already received your AHDFC button I hope you are enjoying it. I was able to hand out a few at NDS and it was great to see everyone wearing them. My sister-in-law is really crafty and an artist, she helped me with the design and made the buttons by hand painting on a shrink material. I'd like to have more made for the rest of you and for new members but I need a few dollars for materials, postage etc. I am also working on a website to post the working standard, list of current breeders and info on breeding strategies. At this point I would like to ask for donations no membership dues.I'm donating my efforts to reach all of you and my hope is that everyone can afford \\$5 toward helping me continue to send out mailings to everyone.

I look forward to hearing from you with news on your Harlequin Dutch breeding program.

Sincerely yours in Dutch,

Jill Dobson

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