In-breeding: Breeding brothers and sisters together.
Line-breeding: Breeding son to mother or daughter to father.
Apparently there has been some confusion on relations of rabbits (unrelated, line-breeding, in-breeding). There is no such thing as completely "unrelated" rabbits of the same breed. In-breeding was used intensely to develop each breed of domestic rabbits. Then line-breeding was used to continue to capture the desired qualities, while letting gene diversity into the pool. And when there were enough rabbits out there, "unrelated" was practiced, or at least unrelated for several generations, for the purpose of vigor. But if you know what you're doing, in-breeding and line-breeding is extremely powerful in perfecting your herd and maximizing good qualities. ALL the best breeders do it via selective breeding and generous culling. But if you don't know what you're doing, it can be a dangerous habit, as traits (good and bad) are maximized through in-breeding.
Here at AZ Rabbits, we don't in-breed because most of our customers are afraid of the term and we want to offer the diversity demanded. We try to be honest and up front on our breeding practices. However, we have many more does than bucks (obviously). Because of this, it is impossible to purchase a large number of rabbits without having some of them with the same father (although all mothers may be different). We will always try to limit this, but if it does happen, we make sure to select the best of the best so the great qualities are amplified and undesirable qualities removed. Is this in-breeding? No. But like previously mentioned, we know our customers want the most diverse lines possible, so that's what we strive to deliver.
But remember, when you have a good herd and practice selective
breeding, in-breeding and line-breeding is a strength and not a weakness. You want diversity, but
not to spread yourself so thin that it makes it impossible to capture
the best qualities and pass them on to the offspring. So after you obtain your foundation stock from AZ Rabbits and are building your herd, use wisdom and common sense. Do not fall prey to the phobia that breeding cousins will result in 2 headed bunnies. It's simply not true.
We do not sell runts nor rabbits displaying less-than-optimal qualities. We only sell the best of the best. Because of this, you can be confident that what you are getting is the best possible combination, which the customer's best interest in mind. Be careful when listening to the ignorance of the many outspoken bloggers and learn the truth about optimal breeding practices with rabbits!