One of our does (her lines out of Canada and our unknown line) and one of our bucks (his line out of Ohio) produced a litter of seven in the summer of 2013; four regular Chinchilla coloured kits and three whites. This means that we potentially have the "c" or the "ch" gene in two of the three genetic lines in our rabbitry.
The c-gene came about in the history of the American Chinchilla when breeders in former decades believed they could improve the AmChin's typing for commercial arenas by cross breeding AmChin’s with another breed of rabbit that had the desired traits. It is speculated that Florida Whites and Himalayans were used in this endeavour. From the research we've done, we believe that our buck and doe have the "ch" derivative of the c-gene. Our white babies have the red/pink eyes but also have lacing on the ears that is grey like the black on the ears of an AmChin. They also have a grey marking on the top of their tails.
The topic of the "c-gene" is very hotly debated, with breeders of American Chinchillas heavily divided. Advocates on one side believe in bringing the American Chinchilla back to its heritage purity, while others focus on commercial typing and fur. We want to do right by the breed itself and we are focusing on cleaning our lines for those rabbits we want to show. We aren't bothered by the c-gene being present in those rabbits we breed for personal use (consumption).
In the spirit of transparency or full disclosure, we want you to be aware of this. It is probable, although we do not know to what degree, that one or more of the rabbits you may purchase from us has this c-gene in its genetic make-up. We believe it is our responsibility to inform you upfront.
We're in the process of researching all we can on this and will begin test breedings in the fall of 2013. We realize from our research to date, that our rabbitry may never again have another litter with whites -- that's how unpredictable this gene can be. And, as a result any rabbits you may purchase from us may never produce whites either. It's important to be forthright with our clients.
Thanks for your consideration, and I hope that we be a rabbitry that you can trust.
These link(s) below have been helpful in my research and understanding of the c gene.