The Harlequin is an older breed of rabbit, having first been exhibited in France in the late 1800s. They originated from a Dutch rabbit cross, and are a dual purpose meat/fur rabbit. Harlequins today are scored heavily on fur markings, and the quality of fur and body type of the rabbit are worth minimal points (in fact body type in Harlequins is only worth as much as condition is in some other breeds!).
We got started with Harlequins this year (2012) and are looking forward to this challenging breed. Getting the colors correct on a Harlequin is very difficult and requires patience and skill. In the meantime, we will be selecting for animals with good conformation and body type as these rabbits are meat first, show animals second at this point in time .
Upcoming Harlequin Litters
First litter – July 6th, 7 kits (4 black? japanese harlequin, 3 blues) – This litter is out of our black Japanese harlequin doe and a blue NZ meat rabbit buck. The buck is large with good depth and overall commercial type. We know this will mean starting pedigrees over from scratch but because quality Harlequin stock is difficult to get ahold of in the PNW I am going to start with this cross then breed back true to breed. The harlequins I started with are all lacking in depth, width and overall body type so I am hoping this cross might add a bit more of that into this bloodline.
Will add photos as soon as available! Should get some blue split Japanese kits with this litter.