A Blue Eyed White (BEW) is a solid white rabbit with striking, bright blue eyes. The BEW rabbit is a nice alternative to a Ruby Eyed White (REW) rabbit, but they are not genetically related to the REW. It is its own color.
BEW's are a challenging color to work with in a breeding program. BEW Holland Lops should pretty much be treated as a different breed. You can use colored rabbits to improve on it's type, but then the offspring should never again be introduced into the regular color breeding program. If the offspring are reintroduced you will often get color problems that will pop up in your colored rabbits. The problems you might see would be white toe nails and white spots of fur on solid colored animals. The gene that is the cause of the BEW is called the Vienna gene.
BEW is a rare color. The first BEW Holland Lop that we saw took our breath away!! We just knew that we had to add this color to our breeding program. They have such beautiful blue eyes & a snow white coat of fur. Our BEW's come from one of the top BEW Holland Lop breeders in the country. We are very excited about raising this color!
There are several terms you will see in a Blue Eyed White breeding program:
BEW - Blue Eyed White. Which is a solid white rabbit with blue eyes.
VM - Vienna Marked, also known as "Sports". Which means that a rabbit carries the gene and shows it. For example: a solid black rabbit with white spots or patches, white toenails, blue eyes, ect.
VC - Vienna Carrier. Which means the rabbit carries the gene, but doesn't show it.
As for showing - BEW's & VC's are showable, but VM's are not. VM's are sold only to be used in a BEW breeding program or to be sold as a pet.
Here are some examples of Vienna Marked (VM) Holland Lops:
(click on a picture to make it bigger!)
How do I get a BEW?
The Vienna gene must be present in both parents in order to get a BEW. Here are a few crosses that could be made and the results that you should get...
Colored Rabbit (VV) x BEW (vv) = All (Vv) - all will carry the gene, but no BEWs.
Colored Rabbit (VV) x VM or VC (Vv) = 50% will carry the gene & 50% will not. This is not a desirable cross, as you will have a good chance of not knowing what carries and will likely waste cage space & time.
VM or VC (Vv) x VM or VC (Vv) = 25% BEW, 50% carriers, & 25% non-carriers. In this case there is a chance that you will not know which are carriers or non-carriers. It is advisable to not use the rabbits from this cross because you cannot tell whether they carry or not - again, a waste of time & space.
BEW (vv) x VM or VC (Vv) = 50% BEW, 50% carriers - marked or not.
BEW (vv) x BEW (vv) = 100% BEW!
Photo Credits: The photo of the BEW Holland Lop was found on Google & the photos of the VM Holland Lop juniors are from Rev's Rabbits.