3. Our start with recessive mutations

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Our philosophy was to wait until we had a strong herd of standard animals before embarking on recessive mutations. In 1992 Richard had a yearning, indeed passion for the Sapphire mutation and acquired the only Sapphire animal available at the time, a Sapphire male which was small, weakly furred but was blocky and blue.

The very best females from 1991/2 breeding seasons were mated to this male and the progeny awaited with interest. Spring 1993 saw the first Sapphire carriers born and in 1994 the first Sapphire male ED94M006. He won a first ribbon at the NCS North Region show that year and we were delighted with the progress. A target of producing a Sapphire to become Show Champion within ten years was set, which has since failed to be met, although we have produced one Sapphire of particular note – ED96F093. This was a huge Sapphire female with wonderful fur qualities, who unfortunately was never exhibited due to her late birth-date. This female took us a huge leap forward, but alas, she bred just twice with a Standard male; firstly littering a Sapphire carrier female, and then littering SIX Sapphire carrier kits, which proved too much for her and we lost her… It was at this point that our dedication to the Sapphires wavered, and we considered selling them up, but thankfully we persevered and used the remaining carriers she bred to establish the herd I have today, with the principal chin being ED97M129, a Standard Sapphire Carrier male.

Our sapphires have won Best Mutation and Reserve Best Mutation spread over the years. Recently at the 2004 National NCS Show a young Sapphire female was awarded Reserve Best Young Mutation (4 to 7 months old - the second best Mutation in her age range at the show!). Also during the year a Black Velvet carrying Sapphire was awarded Show Champion, so we are getting closer! Both of these are good animals and we will be looking to improve on them in the near future. We never breed Sapphire to Sapphire, preferring to use Sapphire to Standard and then using these Sapphire carrier crosses together to produce the Sapphires. Our Sapphire herd comprises of a reasonable number of chinchillas, in addition to our Standard and Dominant mutation herd. Most of the Sapphire section comprises Sapphire carriers, with the Sapphires and Royal Blues (TOV Sapphires) being paired back to Standards. We have found that the long route is very often the shortest when breeding quality animals.

 

Home... Contents... 1.Birth Of... 2.Improving & Est... 3.Our Start... 4.Our Units... 5.Our Involvement... 6.Show Success...