Silver Fox Rabbits
Silver Fox are rare and beautiful rabbits, classified as a threatened species and are different from other commercial breeds. The Silver Fox rabbit is a docile and gentle breed that is sometimes called the “Teddy Bear” of rabbits. Even though a large rabbit, that weighs between 9 and 12 pounds, they have a very gentle temperament, easily handled, love attention, affection and are very calm when petted. The does are easy breeders, have large litters, produce lots of milk and are excellent mothers and foster mothers. They tolerate various climates very well and adapt to wide fluctuations in temperature. Silver Fox Rabbits are a very versatile, odor free and low maintenance breed that make great pets for adults, children and recommended therapy animals for those with physical and mental challenges, as well as providing high quality meat and fur.
The coat is evenly silvered throughout the body, head,feet and tail. The young are born either solid black, blue or brown and begin to show silvering of their fur at about 4 weeks. The silvering begins to appear on kits around 8 to 10 weeks, reaching peak in an adult coat at the sixth or seventh month. Their fur is one of the most attractive and unusual features of the breed. The fur is extremely dense and is 1 ½ to 2 inches in length. The fur is called a standing fur that will stand up when it is stroked backwards and will return when stroked toward the back. This trait is found in no other breed and greatly resembles the pelt of the Silver Fox of the Artic. The Black Silver fox has black toe nails. Currently the Black variety is recognized by ARBA, but the extremely rare Blue and Chocolate varieties are in the developmental stage of being accepted and readmitted to ARBA . The blue and chocolate variety were dropped decades ago, because of low numbers. The fur is highly prized as well as the meat, because of the smaller bone density,produces approximately 65% return,of live weight. cleaned high quality and fine texture meat. Many people call the Silver Fox the “Filet Mignon” of rabbits.
By American Livestock Breeds Conservancy
The Silver Fox Rabbit is the third breed developed in the United States. It was created by Walter B. Garland of North Canton, Ohio. The Silver Fox is truly a multipurpose breed, raised for meat and fur. The breed was recognized and a standard approved in 1925 under the name American Heavyweight Silver. In 1929 the name was changed to the American Silver Fox and later to Silver Fox. The breed has always been recognized in two varieties, the blue and black. During the 1970's, however the blues were dropped from the American Rabbit Breeders Association standards due to lack of numbers being shown. The genetic makeup of the breed has never been divulged. What is known is that Garland was one of Americas earliest breeders of the Checkered Giant breeds and kept Champagne D' Argents as well. It is likely that Garland used self colored Checkered Giants for the very large size and Champagne D' Argents for the silvering, fur length, and meat qualities and perhaps an infusion of American Blue to improve on the meat producing qualities and the blue color.