Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Silver Marten

On April 17th, Bluet, a blue otter, gave us a litter of four babies. Since Bucky, a black otter, was the sire, I expected all black otters. To look at his pedigree, you would not think he carried anything but otter in his genes.

I should know better by now.

Here they are at three weeks old--one black otter and three black silver martens. I am excited to be adding the silver marten color variety to our stock, and even more excited to learn that Bucky carries both the self gene (a--we learned this in the last litter from him) and the dark chin gene (cchd).

For those that are thoroughly confused by now, the black silver marten looks very much like the black otter. However, where the otter has tan markings around the eyes, nose, ears, jaw, chest, belly and back of the neck, the silver marten has silvery white.

Here is a comparison:
The rabbit sniffing noses with Caper* is otter. See the tan on his neck? The one below has no tan.
There are two does and a buck in this litter, so we will likely be keeping all of them. It was not my intention to start the Silver Marten variety yet, but since it has fallen into my lap, there is no reason to avoid it.

The Silver Marten is judged in the same group as the Otter and comes in the same colors: black, chocolate, blue, lilac. Unless the other colors miraculously appear, I only plan to raise Black.

I will try to remember to post an updated photo as they grow.

*How funny it was to see Caper intimidated by that little piece of fluff! He's such a chicken.

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