The Silver Rabbit breed is an ancient breed of rabbit of which their origins are not too well known. They are a small to medium sized rabbit breed that are full of energy and fun.
They make great pets and are good for exhibition although they are quite a rare breed to come by these days.
BREED PROFILE OVERVIEW
|Country of Origin:
|Unclear it is either Siam (early origins) or Europe (more recent)
|Pets and exhibition
Female/Doe: 4 to 7 lbs.
Male/Buck: 4 to 7 lbs.
|Black, brown or fawn
|There are three color varieties that are recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association
|They are very affectionate little rabbits that are gentle, active and inquisitive
- 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.
|They are active and curious making excellent pets for families, elderlies, singles and novices.
|Children should be supervised around animals and properly taught how to look after them and handle them. Rabbits can bite and scratch
|All climates – rabbits should never be left outside without proper shelter and housing that must be raised off the ground and predator safe.
|Listed by the *ALC
Status/Rarity: Threatened / rare
|Recognized by the ARBA?
|Yes, they were recognized into the first book of standards and there are three recognized color varieties.
|The National Silver Rabbit Club
|Where to buy them?
|The The National Silver Rabbit Club is a good place to find registered breeders that can supply the Silver Rabbit breed. 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 Rabbit is one of the oldest recorded rabbit breeds. It is said to date back to the 1500s where they were introduced to England from Portugal and kept in large plots of land surrounded by walls that are called warrens around 1552 and 1618.
It is not known exactly when the Silver Rabbits arrived in the United States of America except that it did so around the time of the “great Belgian Hare boom” in the 1890s
Some of the varieties of the Silver rabbit were recognized in the first book of standards and a few years later the Grey Silver rabbit variety was renamed to Black. The original Silver type rabbit is only being bred in the United Kingdom and America and is today considered to be a rare rabbit breed.
They are listed as a threatened breed by the American Livestock Conservancy. They are an active, lively breed of rabbit that are very friendly rabbits. They do, however, like to live in large colonies and it is suggested that they are better suited to living in large warren type enclosure as they did historically when they were first taken to England.
- 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