This week on the auction, we have two top show quality standard females. After years of breeding and showing, many will find that their best animals trace back to a single, or a small handful of, top quality tail-female chinchillas. A tail-female is the animal at the end of the top side of the pedigree in chinchillas. This chinchilla needs to have both the genotype and the phenotype (i.e. the genes both that are expressing themselves, which can be seen, and the genes that are recessive and cannot be seen, but are equally likely to be passed on to the offspring.). When you locate such a line in your herd, be careful to retain the best females (and if exceptional, males) she produces. Either 1559 or 1537 should be a strong asset to a standard or mutation producer who wants to breed show quality chinchillas.
1615, a show quality silver male on the auction this week, is sired by the 2001 ECBC Reserve National Grand Show Champion Mutation (a white). As an adult, he should be an individual with both a strong genotype and phenotype.
Offered at a starting bid of only $1 this week, we have a nice violet ebony carrier (homozygous violet and heterozygous ebony) male. This is a great opportunity for someone wanting to establish a wrap-around violet line in their herd. There is also a very uniquely marked show quality silver male starting at $1. He would be a good candidate for a top black, ebony, or dark standard female, for an individual wanting to experiment with producing "extreme" mosaics. Also, once again, there is a showable/show quality standard male starting at $1. He would be an asset used with many a hobbyists dominant mutation females.
One of the most debated topics over the last 2 decades is the genotype of ebonies. Some breeders strongly affirm that ebony is dominant, and others are adamant that it is recessive. Both are correct, but it is more correct the say the "set of genes that produce a wrap belly", rather than the gene." There have been at least 7 mutations since the mid 1900s, recorded by MCBA, that have caused the belly of a chinchilla to "wrap." 3 are recorded dominants, and 4 are recessives. It has not been proven that all seven of these mutations are separate and distinct mutations. The recessives especially could have appeared in different herds simultaneously. One of the first to appear was the charcoal. Charcoal was believed to be a pure recessive, and in its heterozygous form, it was not expressed (much like violet or sapphire). A homozygous charcoal was never solid black, but rather a blue-brown chinchilla with a matching belly. Later, black producing ebony genes mutated, and at least one of these is dominant. Many breeders and hobbyists today mistakenly call a heterozygous dominant ebony a "charcoal."
Many buyers who are seeking a solid black chinchilla
often ask "is this ebony homozygous?" This is not technically
the best question to ask. Breeders often produce a near solid black chinchilla
that has only one ebony or ebony carrier parent, and conversely, they
can also technically produce a homozygous (some variant of ebony) chinchilla
that is not solid black. It is not reliable to refer to the genotype of
an ebony in describing its phenotype. If, as a buyer, you want to know
what an ebony looks like, ask for the phenotype (or just simply ask "what
does it look like)?
A common practice of many breeders is to try
to completely prevent fungus by routinely administering anti-fungal agents
in the dust. This can be an ineffective, if not dangerous practice. The
constant exposure to certain anti-fungal agents does not insure that all
strains of fungus will be prevented, and when a strain does appear in
a herd that uses a constant preventative, it is often a particularly difficult
strain to erradicate. Also, there is really no single completely safe
and effective preventative anti-fungal agent. Captan 50, which is highly
effective, is also very dangerous to inhale, both for the person administering
it and for the chinchilla. Another anti-fungal agent which should be handled
carefully is Furazone. Veterinarians now recommend that people use gloves
and wash thoroughly after administering NitroFurazone, or Furazone (often
bright yellow). It is now known to cause ovarian cancer in lab animals.
Make sure that your disease is worse than your cure when you select your
regimen for controlling skin fungus. Although ringworm is extremely tedious
to eradicate, unsightly, and contagious, it is not life threatening. Betadine,
Iodine, and Tee Tree oil might be safer alternatives, but consult your
vet for safety information. Chinchillas are, and always have been, extremely
susceptible to fungus, especially when the humidity rises above 50% and
the animals immune system is stressed. It is perhaps best to be
on the constant alert for ringworm, and to catch and treat it early.
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