Peanuts, Max Factors and Hippo Babies
Some breeders prefer to humanely cull the peanuts at birth because they may suffer and are doomed anyway.  
Or some folks let them die off on their own.  If you choose to let them die on their own, it's especially
important to check the nestbox daily to remove any dead so that it doesn't soil the nestbox and cause problems
for the other babies.  

They can be heartbreaking, but peanuts are definitely a part of life when breeding dwarf rabbits.  

The "Max Factor" gene was first identified in the Netherland Dwarf - by a fellow named Max, imagine!  We have
not seen this mutation in our Holland Lops, but it's occurred in our Netherlands.  Some say they have seen it in
their Hollands.  These babies are just plain strange looking.  They are born with their eyes open and feet all
twisted inward.  We have always put them down humanely.  I cannot imagine they would have any quality of life,
being blind and unable to move properly.  IF they lived long.  Their eyes have to be very susceptible to infection.  
Some claim that the ND with a thick tuft of fur between the ears are Max Factor carriers.  And also that Max
Factor carriers have better coats.  It doesn't seem to be a great advantage to me.  Netherland litters can be
very difficult - sometimes you get a litter of two peanuts and a max factor.  They take tons of patience and
Photos and Text Copyright 2007.  Heidi Brashear of RoseLine Bunnies.
No portion of this site may be used without written permission.

There are several things besides the desired healthy babies which are to be expected in the nestbox when
breeding dwarf rabbits.  By far the most common is when a baby inherits two dwarf genes.  We breeders call
these "peanuts".  

First off - which rabbits carry dwarf genes?  The dwarf breeds are:  Netherland Dwarf, Britannia Petite,
Jersey Wooly, Holland Lop, Polish, Dwarf Hotot - plus some Mini Rex carry the dwarfing gene.  

A dwarf rabbit actually carries one dwarf gene and one normal gene.  The baby inherits one gene from each
parent.  Some of the litter will inherit one dwarf gene and one normal gene, thus maintaining the small size and
type desired by show breeders.  And some will inherit two normal genes, meaning they will be larger in size
(usually over 4.04 lbs) and will not carry a dwarfing gene.  They can be used for breeding if they are nice type,
but are larger than the standard dictates and overweight for showing.  

But some babies inherit two dwarf genes.  This combination is lethal.  The babies who inherit two dwarf genes
will be born much smaller than the normal babies.  It is thought that they cannot grow because they don't
metabolize food correctly.  The heads are usually a bit larger than normal and the eyes are very prominent.  They
usually pass away within a few days, but we have had a couple live for up to two weeks - long enough to open their
eyes.  They are unbelievably tiny compared to their siblings.  

The babies pictured below are a peanut and a normal baby - the same age!  You can see the diminutive size of the
peanut.  This particular baby lived almost two weeks and passed away the day after this picture was made.  It is
a mere three inches in length.