So you want to raise and hopefully show Cinnamons. First, some facts about the Cinnamons. It is a rare breed and so therefore is not a commonly found breed. Some of the criteria that determines a rare breed status is the number of registrations documented through the ARBA registration system. For those of you just beginning in rabbits ARBA stands for American Rabbit Breeders Association (arba.net).
The Houseman Family has been credited with the development of the breed by crossbreeding the Chinchilla, New Zealand; Californian and Checkered Giant breeds. Cinnamons were officially recognized by ARBA in 1972.
I have found the Cinnamon to be very unique for many reasons and have been a wonderful challenge to promote the best animals possible. The characteristics and behaviors of the Cinnamon breed make me suggest that this is not a breed for beginners or the faint of heart. The animals tend to have a weaker immune system than many other breeds and tend to handle stress poorly. I compare them to the dog that has so much anxiety during the ride in the car that many times they will become carsick. Rabbits tend to show stress by sneezing and showing symptoms of illness(blowing white snot which some mistake for colds or even worse snuffles), but when they are returned to their cage or their preferred environment they settle back to normal. Even heartier breeds will show signs of snot if left in close quarters with high ammonia, dust and dander. The greenhouse effect of being left in a car too long can be life threatening even if the air temperature outside does not seem to be an issue. Rabbits are fragile creatures. I am sure there are plenty that will disagree with my opinions, but so be it they are my opinions and its not my first time around the block.
Cinnamons can be a very demanding animal as when their needs are not met they will let you know, many times with a poor attitude. If they have all of their needs fulfilled (water, food and adequate cage) they are a very docile breed although very active and enjoy toys in the cage. I keep plastic soda bottles in the cage.
Breeding these animals also proposes some challenges as the does can be very cage possessive when bred and more so when they have kits in the box. Just keep in mind that this is just hormonal. There are some tricks that I have used in the past to keep the kits safe from a mom that seems to be just a little to frazzled and jumping in and out of the box making the newborns scream. I like to remove the box from the cage so she does not injure the babies. Make sure that you can either put the box in an empty cage or somewhere that is free from predators. A side note here...does will feed kits once a day so there is no danger of the babies starving as long as her milk has come in. When the box is returned to her she will immediately jump in the box to relieve her build up of milk. If the doe seems to be upset and over stimulated I may put her back in with the buck and rebreed her (this does settle the doe down), I want to assure you the reader, that this is not a common practice but sometimes necessary and if the doe is in good weight and condition then there is no harm. I have many does that tend to wean off their litters by 4 weeks. It is time to wean when you notice the doe is extremely agitated when the babies try to nurse and may accidentally kick one so hard that it is injured or dies immediately. The kits should be eating and drinking on their own, use your own judgment and perhaps if you have another doe with kits consider fostering. Most breeders use a bunny starter feed and start sprinkling some in the nestbox as early as two weeks. This also encourages mom to hop in and eat the treats even if it means a free feeding for the babies.
If you have gotten past the challenges of breeding and now have furry little wigglers in a fur nest Congrats! Now to see what we have. There are some surprises that might occur and so there are things that you need to know about this breed and breeds in general. Keep in mind that there were several breeds used to make up the Cinnamon breed. There are variations in colors since it is a shaded variety. I am sure there have been other additional breeds added in for one reason or another. I would consider size and the gene pool to be good reasons for this to happen. The results of breeding other breeds to our Cinnamons are what will pop up as recessives. As in most breeds there are oddities that will pop up once in a while. The Cinnamon is no different. What I have experienced to be the most common is what I consider to be a Dilute color. The Dilute color is basically a Cinnamon minus the rufus so is basically something that resembles a Siamese Satin with no sheen. Let me point out that this is not necessarily an indicator that anyone has bred a Siamese Satin into your lines (although possible). These babies at three days old will appear silverish in color rather than orange. There are also instances that you will find babies that look to have sheen like a Satin. If you look at the history of the Satin you will find that the Satin was discovered in litters of Havana and considered to be recessive. I am not saying that there is no possibility of Satin genetics in the background of the Cinnamon because I am sure there have been breeders that have crossed them due to the similar type and the quest to bring size into the lines. I would say that the problem I see commonly is the lack of size and slow growth. This is where culling and selecting good breeding stock becomes extremely important.
When you put everything together it makes the Cinnamon one of the most challenging breeds for the rabbit fancier.
Keystone and Tiana
Oak Trees Candy Corn
GC Scotts Linus
This is the gangly teenage stage that will soon blossom
into a beautiful show animal.
GC Scotts CiCi
Fantastic type although she could have posed better here
Mara Scott with GC Scotts Russell
B6C Huntington IN 2012