Table of Contents
The Silver Fox rabbit is a breed apart from other rabbits and always stands out amongst them.
They were the first large breed of rabbit that could on occasion dress out at around 65% of their live body weight.
They are well known for the wonderful gentle natures and for being wonderful mothers to their young. They also make excellent foster mothers and will adopt an orphaned baby rabbit or two.
They are also a breed that is only recognized in the United States of America where they were developed. The Silver Fox breed that is found in the United Kingdom, Australia and America is the breed that is called the Silver Marten in America.
BREED PROFILE OVERVIEW
|Breed Name:||Silver Fox|
|Other Names:||American Silver Fox or American Heavy Weight Silver|
|Country of Origin:||United States of America|
|Breed Purpose:||Meat, fur, show, and pets|
Female/Doe: 10 to 12 lbs.
Male/Buck: 9 to 11 lbs.
Black is the only color that is accepted by the American Rabbit Breeder Association but there are other colors that are not:
The Silver Fox has the most unique fur coat. It is extremely dense and gets to between 1 ½ to 2 inches long. The fur has a tendency to stand out when stroked and will not go back until it is stroked in the opposite direction. A trait that is found in no other rabbit breed but is similar to the fur trait of the sliver and Arctic fox.
They have a long body type, with a wedge-shaped face and medium length ears that are set apart on the head and stand erect ending in points.
|Temperament:||Docile, friendly and calm. They are good with children and a great companion for the elderly.|
- They have a decent sized litter and the females make very good mothers. Most rabbits have good maternal instincts and some breeds can be a bit testy and protective when they have young. They can also be uncharacteristically moody during mating season.
- Their young open their eyes around 7 to 14 days with an average of 10 days after birth. When their eyes have opened, they can start to be introduced to food such as alfa pellets and water.
- Even when the young start to eat it does not mean they are quite ready to be weaned from their mothers. The mothers will know when it is time to wean her young. It is important for the baby rabbit’s health, growth, immune system and development of a proper digestive system that they do not be removed from their mother for at least 8 weeks. They usually require her milk for a minimum of 8 weeks after birth.
- Their average lifespan is 5 to 8 years although there have been some breeds that have lived to 10 years with the proper care.
|Good Pets?||They are good as pets for the novice, elderly, families with children and can be both indoor or outdoor pets.|
|Child Friendly?||Children should be supervised around animals and properly taught how to look after them and handle them. Rabbits can bite and scratch|
|Ideal Climate:||All climates – rabbits should never be left outside without proper shelter and housing that must be raised off the ground and predator safe.|
|Conservation Status:||Listed by the *ALC
Status/Rarity: Threatened / Rare
|Recognized by the ARBA?||Yes, they were accepted into the American Rabbit Breeders Association in 1925 but they were called American Heavy Weight Silver. The name was changed to the American Silver Fox in 1929 and later is became the Silver Fox. At first, there were two varieties that were recognized by the Standard and they were the Black and the Blue variety. The Blue variety of the breed was dropping in the 1970s due to not many of them being shown.|
|Rabbit Associations/Clubs:||National Silver Fox Rabbit Club|
|Where to buy them?||It is best to find registered breeders by contacting the National Silver Fox Rabbit Club. The USA Rabbit Breeders Directory is a useful resource to find breeders, clubs, and information about the breed.|
|Note: *ALC stands for American Livestock Conservancy|
For a slicker more glossy or shiny pelt, it is advisable to groom them every two to three weeks. During the molting season, it is advisable to groom rabbits every week to remove stray hairs.
Rabbits can be quite lively and energetic and need quite a bit of exercise and stimulation. It is a good idea to have a nice safe and secure run for them to play in and stretch their legs.
Toys, tubes and various obstacle courses for them is a good way to help them expend some of their energy and they are really fun to watch at play.
They are also sociable animals that do like to have a friend or two to play with.
Regular health and critter check once a week or every second week should become a habit. This will help to keep your rabbit(s) in excellent condition and health. Grooming does not require a lot if their coats are low maintenance. But it is a good idea to give them a nice gentle brushing to help remove any excess hairs regardless of the length of their coats.
It is also a good idea to check on the state of their teeth to ensure that they are not too long and causing the rabbit any discomfort.
Rabbits teeth never stop growing and getting fresh hay on a regular basis helps to control the growth of their teeth.
Rabbits need a good diet of quality pellets that are filled with their daily nutritional requirements. They do love dandelions, cabbage and various fruits as a nice tasty treat.
Rabbits that have quite a short coat are not really at risk for most of the digestive problems long fur seem to cause rabbits. They can still get other ailments such as flystrike, ear mites or overgrown teeth. These can all be controlled/maintained or avoided altogether with the proper health and grooming care of the rabbit(s).
If you have two rabbits and do not want to breed them it is possible to spay female rabbits and neuter male rabbits.
The females can be spayed as young as four months old, but vets prefer to wait until they are at least six months old before doing so.
The young males can be neutered as young as found months old.
Rabbits, just like any other pet, should be dewormed on a regular basis. Check with your local vet for proper guidance on the administering of worm medication to your animals.
The Silver Fox breed was developed in the early 1900s by Walter B. Garland who resided in North Canton, Ohio at the time.
The Silver Fox rabbit breed was the third rabbit breed to have been created in the United States of American and the actual genetics of the breed have never been divulged.
However, it is believed that Champagnes and Checkered Giants could have played a part in the Silver Fox rabbit breeds genetics. They are a rare breed and are listed with the American Livestock Conservancy.
- American Rabbit Breeders Association
- Fur Commission USA
- North American Meat Institute
- American Livestock Conservancy
- Animal Shelter (ASPCA)
- American Veterinary Medical Association
- American Animal Welfare Society
- American Animal Control
- American Society of Animal Science
- United States Department of Agriculture
- United States Department of Agriculture – Rabbit Meat