The Silver Fox rabbit is a rare and unique breed of domestic rabbit that originated in North Canton, Ohio. Developed by Walter B. Garland in the 1920s, this breed was initially bred for meat, show, and its distinctive fur. Recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association, the Silver Fox rabbit is the third breed to be developed in the United States and has since garnered interest among rabbit enthusiasts due to its friendly nature and striking appearance.
These large, commercial-type rabbits can weigh between 9 to 12 pounds when fully grown, with females typically being slightly heavier than males. The Silver Fox rabbit boasts a medium-length body, with well-developed hindquarters and shoulders. Their most eye-catching feature is their “standing coat,” which closely resembles that of the Arctic Silver Fox, giving the breed its name. Despite their size, Silver Fox rabbits are known to be friendly and docile, making them suitable pets for many households.
There are several rabbits named “Silver Fox.” This article is about the US Breed. There is also a Fox-Silver UK breed and a Norwegian Silver Fox Rabbit.
- The Silver Fox rabbit is a rare American breed developed in the 1920s for meat, show, and fur.
- They are large rabbits weighing between 9 to 12 pounds, featuring a distinctive “standing coat” similar to that of the Arctic Silver Fox.
- Known for their friendly and docile temperament, Silver Fox rabbits make suitable pets for many households.
Table of contents
- Key Takeaways
- History of Silver Fox Rabbits
- Physical Characteristics
- Behaviors and Temperament
- Care and Housing Requirements
- Health and Lifespan
- Silver Fox Rabbit as a Pet
- Use in Meat Production
- Conservation Status and Recovery Efforts
- Showing and Exhibition
- Community and Online Resources
- Buying Silver Fox Rabbits
- Frequently Asked Questions
History of Silver Fox Rabbits
The Silver Fox Rabbit is a unique breed that has its origins in North Canton, Ohio, United States. It was developed by an American breeder, Walter B. Garland, during the 1920s. Garland’s aim was to create a rabbit that had an attractive coat with a silver fox color, while also being of a practical size for a meat rabbit.
The process of developing the Silver Fox breed took 14 years and involved the crossbreeding of existing rabbit breeds such as Checkered Giants, Champagne D’Argent, and either English Silvers and/or American Blue rabbits. The breeds used in developing the Silver Fox are still a topic of dispute among breed enthusiasts and historians. However, it is generally accepted that Checkered Giants and Champagnes were certainly involved.
In 1925, the Silver Fox Rabbit was officially recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) during their convention in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Initially, the breed was named American Heavyweight Silver. In 1929, the name was changed to the American Silver Fox, and later on, it became simply known as the Silver Fox.
The Silver Fox breed is a true multi-purpose rabbit, raised for both its meat and fur. Although primarily bred in the United States, the Silver Fox’s unique appearance and characteristics have led to interest from rabbit breeding enthusiasts around the world. Over the years, the breed has gained a reputation as a versatile, attractive, and practical addition to the rabbit breeding community, making Walter B. Garland’s efforts to create the breed a success.
The Silver Fox rabbit is a large, docile breed known for its unique fur that closely resembles the pelt of a silver fox. Adult males, or senior bucks, typically weigh between 9 to 11 pounds, while adult females, also known as senior does, usually weigh from 10 to 12 pounds. Their lifespan ranges from 5 to 8 years, making them suitable pets for families, singles, seniors, and first-time rabbit owners.
Their dense fur is a striking feature of these rabbits. The most common fur color is black, with a remarkable silvering that becomes apparent as the rabbit reaches around 4 months of age. The silvering is present in the form of silvery guard hairs that contribute to their distinct appearance and texture. As of now, there are no known documented Silver Fox rabbits with blue, chocolate, white, or any other fur color.
Silver Fox rabbits possess a commercial body shape, which has contributed to their history as being raised for both meat and fur. First developed in the United States by Walter B. Garland of North Canton, Ohio, the breed was recognized and a standard was approved in 1925. It initially went by the name of American Heavyweight Silver, but later, in 1929, the name was changed to the Silver Fox.
In summary, Silver Fox rabbits are well-known for their large size, dense fur, and unique silvering appearance, primarily found in black coats. Various factors such as rabbit breed can influence the weight of a bunny. These gentle, docile, and patient animals make excellent pets for a wide range of individuals, thanks to their striking physical characteristics and accommodating temperament.
Behaviors and Temperament
Silver Fox Rabbits are known for their gentle and docile nature, making them an ideal choice for pets. They tend to be friendly and easygoing, getting along well with their caretakers and other animals. As a result, they are suitable for a variety of households, including those with children, first-time rabbit owners, and even seniors.
These rabbits have a calm temperament and are known to love attention, which adds to their charm as pets. They are not typically skittish or anxious, making them easier to handle and interact with compared to some smaller rabbit breeds. Due to their large size and patient nature, Silver Fox Rabbits are also a popular choice for showing.
Silver Fox Rabbits have certain dietary needs that should be considered when caring for them. They primarily consume dry, fresh, clean timothy hay, which plays a crucial role in keeping their sensitive stomachs in balance. It is essential to provide them with a proper diet to ensure their overall health and well-being.
One fascinating aspect of rabbit behavior is their sleep patterns. Like most rabbits, Silver Fox Rabbits sleep for an average of 11.4 hours a day, with periods of rest often occurring during daylight hours.
In conclusion, Silver Fox Rabbits are a gentle and docile breed that make wonderful pets due to their friendly and easygoing nature. By providing them with the appropriate care and understanding their unique behaviors and temperament, owners can enjoy a rewarding relationship with their Silver Fox Rabbit.
Care and Housing Requirements
Silver Fox Rabbits are known for their unique appearance and docile temperament, making them an ideal pet for first-time rabbit owners. One of the important aspects of taking care of a Silver Fox Rabbit is proper housing. Outdoor rabbit hutches can be a viable option, but they must be secure to prevent escape and ensure that no predators can access them. As these rabbits require ample room for exercise, opting for an indoor enclosure might be a better solution. An ideal indoor cage for a Silver Fox Rabbit should be at least 4 ft x 4 ft in size.
These rabbits are active animals that need a nurturing and healthy environment to thrive. They require a dedicated play area in which they can roam freely. Allocating a minimum of a 100 square foot space for this purpose is highly recommended. It is essential to be mindful of the flooring in their habitat since Silver Fox Rabbits have delicate toes. Avoid using bare wire at the bottom of their enclosure.
A Silver Fox Rabbit’s diet primarily consists of hay, which should make up 85-90% of their daily intake. Supplementing their meals with a small amount of high-quality pellets provides additional nutrients to keep them healthy. Adding leafy greens to their diet can also benefit their overall wellbeing. It is essential to measure the quantity of pellets in accordance with the rabbit’s size and weight to maintain a proper diet. You may also offer rabbits berries such as raspberries and blackberries in moderation and occasionally bananas as a treat.
Grooming is necessary for maintaining a Silver Fox Rabbit’s coat, especially during the shedding season. Regular brushing can prevent excessive hair intake and decrease the chances of hairball formation. Moreover, rabbits require a litter box in their enclosure for proper waste management. Regular cleaning of the litter box and the entire enclosure helps maintain a hygienic environment for the rabbit.
By adhering to these care guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to providing a comfortable and healthy living space for your Silver Fox Rabbit, enabling them to lead a happy and fulfilling life.
Silver Fox Rabbits are a versatile and multi-purpose breed known for their unique fur, gentle temperament, and suitability in both show and meat production. Breeding these rabbits requires an understanding of their genetic makeup, litters, and care for the breeding bucks and does.
When breeding Silver Fox rabbits, it is essential to select bucks and does that exhibit the desired characteristics like healthy fur coloration and size. Among the recognized fur colors in Silver Fox rabbits are lilac, blue, and black. Healthy adult Silver Fox rabbits generally weigh up to 12 pounds. Breeders should aim for a balance between their rabbits’ size, fur quality, and overall health.
It is crucial to ensure that both bucks and does are healthy and mature before breeding. Proper care of breeding bucks and does, especially during gestation, is paramount for the successful breeding of Silver Fox rabbits. Litters typically consist of multiple kits, requiring breeders to have ample space for the growing rabbits. Ensuring that the rabbits are housed, fed, and cared for properly will result in thriving litters.
A meticulous approach to breeding will promote the health and diversity of the gene pool of Silver Fox rabbits, a breed recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association. While rabbits do not strictly mate for life, their breeding strategies should still be intentional and well-planned to preserve the sought-after characteristics of this remarkable rabbit breed.
Health and Lifespan
Silver Fox Rabbits typically have a lifespan of 5-7 years, but with proper care, some may live up to 10 years. Maintaining their health is essential to ensure they live a full and happy life. This breed is generally robust and does not face significant health issues, but regular check-ups, vaccinations, and proper care should never be neglected.
A balanced diet plays a significant role in a Silver Fox Rabbit’s health. Fresh hay forms the foundation of their diet, while vegetables, pellets, and some fruits can be given in moderation. Providing fresh water daily is crucial for their overall well-being. As rabbits are prone to dental problems, providing wooden chews or toys to satisfy their natural instinct to gnaw can help prevent dental issues.
Silver Fox Rabbits require regular exercise to maintain their physical and emotional health. Providing a safe and secure environment for them to move around and explore is essential. They enjoy running and digging; therefore, offering an outdoor enclosure or a dedicated area for them to exercise will contribute positively to their quality of life.
Proper grooming is crucial to maintain the Silver Fox Rabbit’s stunning fur, which is known for its distinct silvering color. Regular brushing minimizes ingested hair and reduces the risk of hairballs, which can cause digestive issues. Gently brushing their coat also helps maintain its sleek appearance and promotes their health.
To summarize, Silver Fox Rabbits have a general lifespan of 5-7 years, with the potential to reach 10 years with proper care. Providing a balanced diet, regular exercise, grooming, and routine health check-ups will ensure they remain healthy throughout their lives.
Silver Fox Rabbit as a Pet
Silver Fox Rabbits are known for their docile and gentle temperament, making them an excellent choice for families with children and those seeking a calm and affectionate pet rabbit. They have a friendly personality and can become a beloved family pet when given proper care and attention. While they were originally bred for their fur and meat, Silver Fox Rabbits have grown in popularity as pets due to their charming traits and unique appearance.
These rabbits require a moderate amount of exercise to stay healthy and happy. Providing them with a spacious and secure living space, whether indoors or outdoors, is essential for their well-being. Make sure to include hiding spots, toys, and items to chew on, which will help keep your Silver Fox Rabbit mentally and physically stimulated. Regular interaction and handling are also crucial to maintain their social skills, allowing them to become a more loving and sociable companion.
Despite their larger size, Silver Fox Rabbits can happily live indoors, as long as they have ample space to move around freely. They can be litter trained, making it easier to maintain a clean living area for them inside your home. When introducing your Silver Fox Rabbit to family members and other pets, always ensure that interactions are supervised, especially with younger children or more energetic animals. By doing this, you can help prevent injuries and create a harmonious home environment for your pet rabbit.
Caring for a Silver Fox Rabbit includes a well-balanced diet, consisting of high-quality hay, pellets, and fresh vegetables. Ensuring they have access to a constant supply of clean water is also vital for their health. Regular grooming helps to keep their fur in good condition, and since they are not a hypoallergenic breed, it is essential to note for those with allergies.
In summary, Silver Fox Rabbits make wonderful and endearing pets for families and individuals alike. Their gentle and docile nature, combined with a friendly personality, makes them an outstanding choice for those seeking to welcome a rabbit into their home. By providing proper care, exercise, and social interaction, your Silver Fox rabbit can thrive as a beloved indoor or outdoor family pet.
Use in Meat Production
The Silver Fox rabbit is a multi-purpose breed that has been developed for meat, fur, and show purposes. As a meat rabbit, it has commercial qualities and live weight that make it suitable for meat production.
These rabbits have a good meat-to-bone ratio, making them efficient producers of meat. They have also been praised for their mothering instincts and high milk production, which results in litters of just under 8 kits that can be raised to slaughter age with relative ease. This feature contributes to the overall meat production potential of the Silver Fox rabbit.
In addition to their efficient meat production, Silver Fox rabbits are known for their low feed consumption, which has been passed on from their purebred ancestors. This trait makes them cost-effective to raise, as they require less feed to reach their market weight.
In terms of flavor, the taste of Silver Fox rabbit meat is generally similar to other rabbit breeds; however, slight variations in taste may occur depending on their diet. Nonetheless, their meat is tender and a popular source of protein for those who consume rabbit.
In summary, Silver Fox rabbits prove to be a valuable breed for meat production, with commercial qualities such as good meat-to-bone ratio, high milk production, and low feed consumption. These characteristics contribute to their effectiveness as a meat breed and make them a sought-after option for those looking to raise rabbits for meat purposes.
Conservation Status and Recovery Efforts
The Silver Fox Rabbit is a rare breed that has been facing challenges in maintaining its population. The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy currently classifies the conservation status of Silver Fox Rabbits as “recovering,” which means that various efforts have been put in place to help increase their numbers and preserve the breed.
One of the primary organizations working towards the conservation of Silver Fox Rabbits is the National Silver Fox Rabbit Club. This club raises awareness about the breed, promotes its conservation, and provides information and support to breeders and enthusiasts of Silver Fox Rabbits. Their work has played a vital role in creating a community dedicated to the preservation of this unique breed.
Key to the conservation of the Silver Fox Rabbit is the genetic diversity it displays through variations such as the Blue Silver Foxes. These rabbits exhibit a different color variation and maintaining diversity in Silver Fox rabbit populations is essential for the overall health and survival of the breed.
Multiple stakeholders, such as farmers, ranchers, conservation research zoos, and non-profit organizations, have come together to support the recovery efforts of Silver Fox Rabbits. Their dedication and collaboration have given the breed a fighting chance to thrive and avoid potential extinction.
Efforts in conserving Silver Fox Rabbits include the creation of conservation-focused farms and breeding programs. An example of this is Brownie’s Bunnies, a farm in Kingsville, Maryland, dedicated to breeding and conserving Silver Fox Rabbits. Such initiatives both help increase the population of the breed and educate new breeders and enthusiasts in best practices for raising and maintaining healthy Silver Fox Rabbits.
In summary, the conservation status and recovery efforts of the Silver Fox Rabbit are promising due to the support from various organizations, the dedication of individuals such as breeders and enthusiasts, and the strong sense of community built around the breed. The commitment to preserving this rare and unique breed is apparent, with ongoing efforts and collaborations among stakeholders playing a crucial role in its recovery.
Showing and Exhibition
Silver Fox Rabbits are a popular choice for showing and exhibitions due to their unique fur and impressive size. The American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) has a Standard of Perfection in place for the breed, setting guidelines that help breeders and judges evaluate the rabbits’ quality. The National Silver Fox Rabbit Club (NSFRC) also plays a crucial role in promoting and improving the breeding and exhibition of the Silver Fox Rabbit.
When preparing for a show, Silver Fox breeders must ensure their rabbits meet the requirements specified by the ARBA Standard of Perfection. Some essential aspects include body weight, fur quality, and markings. Adult male Silver Fox rabbits typically weigh between 9 and 11 pounds, while adult females should weigh between 10 and 12 pounds. Judges evaluate the rabbits’ fur based on texture, density, and the unique silvering effect.
Exhibiting a Silver Fox rabbit requires regular grooming and handling to maintain their overall appearance and condition. Particular attention should be given to their fur, as it is a vital characteristic of the breed. Proper grooming techniques help to maintain the fur’s density, luster, and ensure the silvering effect is visible and consistent. Additionally, handling the rabbit frequently before a show is essential, as this will make the rabbit more comfortable and manageable during the exhibition.
To participate in a show or exhibition featuring the Silver Fox breed, breeders should keep an eye on the event calendar provided by the NSFRC. The club sanctions various shows throughout the year, allowing members to showcase their rabbits and compete for awards. NSFRC also organizes specialty shows and hosts annual events, providing a platform for Silver Fox enthusiasts to come together and share their passion for the breed.
In conclusion, showing and exhibiting Silver Fox rabbits is an essential aspect of promoting and maintaining the breed’s quality. By meeting the ARBA Standard of Perfection and participating in NSFRC events, breeders can contribute to the exposure and continued success of the Silver Fox rabbit breed in competitive show environments.
Community and Online Resources
The Silver Fox Rabbit community offers numerous resources to support breeders and enthusiasts in their journey of learning about and raising this unique rabbit breed. A prominent organization within this community is the National Silver Fox Rabbit Club, dedicated to promoting, encouraging, and improving the breeding and exhibition of Silver Fox Rabbits according to the Standard of Perfection accepted by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA). Membership is open to anyone interested in the Silver Fox Rabbit.
Finding a network of breeders and enthusiasts online is made easy with the active presence of the Silver Fox Rabbit community on social media platforms, such as Facebook. These online spaces provide a valuable venue for exchanging information, discussing issues, and sharing experiences related to the breed. The Livestock Conservancy also offers heritage breed resources like archived Facebook chats, microgrants, webinars, book downloads, and charts for comparing breed attributes, which can be beneficial to anyone interested in Silver Fox Rabbits.
In addition to online resources, regional and local clubs often host rabbit shows sanctioned by ARBA, where Silver Fox Rabbit breeders can exhibit their rabbits and receive feedback from experienced judges. By participating in these shows, breeders can enhance their skills and knowledge, and also connect with fellow enthusiasts.
To find rabbit breeders in various locations, such as North Carolina, a simple online search can provide valuable information on breeders and their expertise. Connecting with these breeders can also help expand your network and provide additional support in raising Silver Fox Rabbits.
In conclusion, the Silver Fox Rabbit community offers a wealth of information and resources both online and in person. Participating in these networks can greatly enhance the experience of raising this unique and beautiful breed.
Buying Silver Fox Rabbits
When looking to buy Silver Fox rabbits, there are several options available for potential owners. One of the best ways to find Silver Fox rabbits for sale is through reputable breeders. Breeders who specialize in Silver Fox rabbits can provide healthy and well-bred rabbits for purchase. You can find breeders in various locations, such as Indiana, Washington, California, Arkansas, and Oregon.
Another option to consider when looking for Silver Fox rabbits is joining the National Silver Fox Rabbit Club. This club provides valuable resources for breeders, owners, and enthusiasts, including listings of available Silver Fox rabbits for sale and contacts to network with other rabbit lovers.
It is essential to research and connect with reputable breeders when buying Silver Fox rabbits. Ensure the breeder follows proper breeding practices, and the rabbits are in good health and meet the breed standards. Reputable breeders will be knowledgeable about the breed’s history and requirements, and they should be willing to provide support and advice to new owners.
As for online options, some websites specialize in listing Silver Fox rabbits for sale. It’s important to be cautious when buying online, as it can be challenging to verify the rabbit’s health and living conditions. Always ask for pictures and request information on the rabbit’s background and health history before committing to a purchase.
In conclusion, when looking for Silver Fox rabbits to buy, make sure to research breeders, join the National Silver Fox Rabbit Club, and explore online options. By doing so, you can ensure that you are buying a healthy and well-bred rabbit to join your family.
The Silver Fox rabbit is a rare and unique breed, originally developed by Walter B. Garland in North Canton, Ohio. They are considered a heritage breed, with exceptional qualities for a multipurpose rabbit. With their large size and impressive meat-to-bone ratio, they provide value as a homestead rabbit and meat source, while their attractive fur and distinct silvering color make them suitable for show purposes as well.
Both male and female Silver Fox rabbits exhibit a significant size, with males weighing around 9 to 11 pounds, and females at a slightly larger 10 to 12 pounds. They are available in blue and black color varieties, making them an appealing addition to many rabbit enthusiasts and breeders.
In conclusion, the Silver Fox rabbit is a versatile and distinctive breed worthy of attention. Whether for meat, fur, show, or simply as an addition to a rabbitry, this American-developed breed is a testament to the dedication of rabbit breeders who have contributed to its existence. By promoting the conservation and awareness of this breed, rabbit enthusiasts can help ensure the continued survival and success of the Silver Fox rabbit.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the pros and cons of owning a Silver Fox rabbit?
Pros of owning a Silver Fox rabbit include their gentle, docile, and patient temperament, making them suitable for first-time owners and families with children. They are known for their beautiful fur, which closely resembles that of a silver fox, and their exceptional mothering skills.
Cons of owning a Silver Fox rabbit involve their size, as they weigh between 9-12 pounds and require ample space. Additionally, they are not hypoallergenic, which can be a concern for those with allergies.
Where can I buy a Silver Fox rabbit near me?
To find a Silver Fox rabbit near you, consider searching online for Silver Fox rabbit breeders or checking with local rabbit clubs and organizations. Always ensure the breeder you choose has a good reputation and follows ethical breeding practices.
What are the different colors of Silver Fox rabbits?
Silver Fox rabbits are predominantly black with a unique silvering color over their fur. However, there are other color varieties like blue, chocolate, and lilac, though these are less common.
What is the origin of Silver Fox rabbits?
Silver Fox rabbits were developed in the United States and are considered a heritage breed. They were created as a multi-purpose domestic rabbit breed for their pelt, use as meat, and show suitability.
How quickly do Silver Fox rabbits grow?
Silver Fox rabbits grow at a moderate rate, typically reaching their full adult size between 8-12 months of age. Keep in mind that their growth may vary depending on factors such as genetics, nutrition, and overall health.
How much do Silver Fox rabbits typically cost?
The cost of Silver Fox rabbits can vary depending on factors such as the breeder, the rabbit’s age, and location. Prices can range from $50 to $200 or more. Be sure to research reputable breeders and be cautious of prices that seem too low or too high.