A Silver Fox rabbit has the beautiful silver coloring of an Arctic silver fox.
It has speckles of silver throughout its cost of black, blue, lilac, chocolate, or (very rarely) white.
And this relatively large rabbit has a sweet, docile nature that makes it the perfect cuddle bunny for children of all ages.
It’s not easy to find a Silver Fox rabbit. There are only about 2,000 Silver Foxes in the world, and only about 200 are offered for sale every year.
But if you can find a Silver Fox, you will have an affectionate pet that can give gentle companionship for years to come.
And if you are interested in showing rabbits (for instance, at 4-H shows), you will have a show-stopper that is sure to get lots of attention.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about keeping Silver Fox rabbits happy and healthy.
We will tell you about their history, how you can expect them to look, and the finer points of maintaining them.
We will end with the answers to some frequently asked questions about Silver Fox rabbits. But first, let’s go over some essential facts about the breed.
Essential Facts About Silver Fox Rabbits
Colors: Silver ticking on a base of black, blue, lilac, chocolate, or white. Only black Silver Fox rabbits are permitted at shows.
Coat distinctive: Coarse hair that stands up after it has been stroked. You have to pet or comb your rabbit in the opposite direction for its fur to lie down.
Body type: Commercial. Short shoulders, straight hindquarters.
Ears: Long, erect.
Eyes: Medium-sized, brown.
Size: Relatively large. 10 to 12 pounds (4.5 to 5.5 kilograms) for adult females and 9 to 11 pounds (4 to 5 kilograms) for adult males.
Litter size: Usually 6 kits per litter.
Temperament: Easy-going, can get along with anyone who cares for them.
Diet: Mostly dry, clean, fresh, timothy hay.
Housing requirements: The bigger, the better. Each rabbit needs about 3 feet by 4 feet (1.3 square meters) of floor space in its cage or hutch, plus a protected 100 square foot (10 square meter) playspace. These rabbits have delicate toes, so the bottom of the cage should not be bare wire.
Silver Fox does make unusually attentive mothers to baby rabbits.
Which Silver Rabbit Is the Silver Fox?
In the United States, there are three rabbits with the term “silver” in their name, the Silver rabbit, the Silver Fox rabbit, and the Silver Marten rabbit.
There are also varieties of other breeds of rabbits identified by the color “silver marten.”
Silver Fox rabbits are often described as the teddy bear of rabbits. They are larger than the other silvers, and they usually have an especially easy-going personality.
The Silver Fox rabbit is the only rabbit that has fur that will stand on end after you stroke it.
Adding to the confusion, you can find references to Silver Fox rabbits in which they are called:
- The American Black Silver Fox Rabbit
- The American Blue Silver Fox Rabbit
- The American Heavyweight Silver Rabbit,
- The American Silver Fox Rabbit,
- The Black Silver Fox Rabbit,
- The Blue Silver Fox Rabbit,
- Silver Fox Rabbit,
- American Black Silver Fox Rabbit
- American Blue Silver Fox Rabbit
- American Heavyweight Silver Rabbit,
- American Silver Fox Rabbit,
- Black Silver Fox Rabbit, and
- Blue Silver Fox Rabbit.
Just know that the Silver Fox is the big, friendly rabbit with the fur that stands on end.
And if you keep rabbits in Australia or the United Kingdom, the breed they call “Silver Fox” is the breed called “Silver Marten” in North America.
History of the Silver Fox Rabbit
Rabbit historians disagree about which was the first breed created in the United States and which was the second, but there is general agreement that the Silver Fox rabbit was the third rabbit breed made in America.
Silver Foxes were created by a rabbit breeder named Walter B. Garland in North Canton, Ohio in 1920.
We don’t really know which breeds he crossed to make the Silver Fox rabbit, but it is known that he worked with Champagne D’ Argents (possibly contributing to the genes for coat color), American Blues (possibly contributing to the body size, and meat qualities), and Chequered Giants (possibly contributing the size).
Some rabbit experts theorize that he achieved success when he bred an unusual, black Chequered Giant doe, which had lots of silver hairs on its body, to an English Silver buck, and they produced exceptional offspring.
The American Rabbit Breeders Association accepted the breed as the American Heavyweight Silver in 1925 and renamed it the Silver Fox in 1929. Originally, there were just black and blue Silver Foxes.
The American Rabbit Breeders Association decided to exclude all colors except black from competition in 1970, when the blues had become almost extinct.
In the 1970s, eighteen rabbit breeders formed the National Silver Fox Rabbit Club (NSFRC) to try to save the breed.
With their efforts, Silver Foxes have made a slight comeback. The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC) has reclassified the breed from “endangered” to “threatened.”
Appearance of the Silver Fox Rabbit
Color and Fur
Silver Fox Rabbits are a unique and attractive breed known for their remarkable fur.
The coat of a Silver Fox Rabbit is dense, short, and stands up straight when stroked, a trait no other breed has.
Their fur develops a silver color around 4 months of age, giving them their distinctive appearance. The breed comes in various colors, such as black, blue, and chocolate.
Size and Weight
As a relatively large rabbit breed, Silver Fox Rabbits have well-fleshed out hindquarters and shoulders, providing a medium-length body.
With their solid, muscular build, they are an ideal breed for meat production.
Adult Silver Fox rabbits typically weigh between 9 to 12 pounds. Their body width is equal to the depth of their hindquarters, giving them a sturdy and balanced appearance.
A standout feature of Silver Fox Rabbits is their large, upright ears. These ears give them an alert and attentive expression, adding to their overall charm.
Along with their unique fur, size, and color variations, these distinctive ears make Silver Fox Rabbits an appealing and popular breed.
Temperament of the Silver Fox Rabbit
Silver Foxes are uniquely calm and friendly rabbits.
They are large enough that they are comfortable being held and picked up, and they are safe even for small children.
Your Silver Fox rabbit will have a more relaxed attitude toward life if:
- You give it many opportunities to interact with its human family every day. At least an hour is needed for socializing your rabbit with people.
- You protect it from scary encounters with predator animals. If you keep both a Silver Fox rabbit and a dog, it is important that your dog does not have a strong hunting instinct.
Silver Fox rabbits that are protected, cuddled and given adequate opportunities to play make reliably affectionate pets.
And when you are taking care of baby rabbits that have been orphaned, a Silver Fox doe will make an excellent foster mother.
Compatibility with People
Due to their easygoing nature, Silver Fox Rabbits are an excellent choice for first-time pet owners. Their intelligence and adaptability allow them to quickly learn and adjust to their new environment, making them an excellent addition to your family.
Your Silver Fox Rabbit will be a perfect match for children, as they are naturally gentle and patient.
Kids can learn valuable lessons about caring for animals while interacting with their new furry friend.
A few helpful tips for kids to follow for a successful and rewarding bond include:
- Respect their space: Teach your kids to approach the rabbit slowly and calmly to avoid startling the animal. This will help build trust between the child and the rabbit.
- Gentle handling: Encourage your children to handle the rabbit with care, using both hands to support its body properly.
- Supervision: Adult supervision is essential when young children interact with the rabbit to ensure the safety and well-being of both the child and the animal.
As you can see, the Silver Fox Rabbit’s personality and temperament make it a fantastic pet for families, children, and first-time pet owners.
Their gentle, docile, and calm nature, along with their affectionate and friendly disposition, will ensure a rewarding and enjoyable experience for you and your loved ones.
Taking Care of Your Silver Fox Rabbit
Silver Foxes are relatively easy to care for, but they have certain basic needs.
With Silver Fox rabbits, the more room, the better.
You can keep Silver Foxes either indoors or outdoors, but your rabbit will always need a crate or a hutch for overnight protection.
You may have to lock it inside its new home the first few nights so it understands the crate or hutch is its new sleeping quarters.
More than most other breeds of rabbits, Silver Foxes need a high-fiber diet to stay healthy.
They must have a volume of dry, clean timothy hay (not alfalfa or grass clippings) approximately equal to the size of their bodies every day. The fiber in hay prevents two potential health conditions:
- Gastrointestinal stasis, and
Rabbits groom themselves and swallow their hair. The Silver Fox’s long hairs can accumulate in a hairball at the base of its stomach if it does not get enough fiber.
Rabbits cannot cough up hairballs, so they become severely constipated and dehydrated if the hairball gets stuck. Fiber prevents this.
Give your rabbit lots of fresh hay every day to prevent this common problem.
Your rabbit will figure out that it is supposed to use the box.
Rabbits will eat their soft stools the morning after they poop them out. This isn’t pleasant to watch, but it is a natural part of the rabbit’s digestive process.
During the first pass through the rabbit’s digestive tract, feces will mix with bacteria that can transform fiber into essential fatty acids. These bacteria need oxygen to break down the fiber.
After they have done their work, the rabbit eats the soft stool, which travels to a different part of its intestines where the fats are released.
Brushing and Grooming
Though the Silver Fox Rabbit is a relatively low-maintenance breed, regular brushing is necessary to maintain their beautiful fur.
Aim to brush your rabbit once or twice a week, as it will help reduce shedding and keep their coat in good condition.
Senior bucks may require more frequent brushing due to hormonal changes, which can cause additional fur growth.
Disease Conditions of Silver Fox Rabbits
If you give your Silver Fox rabbit a high-fiber diet, you will avoid most of the health problems common to the breed.
Make sure your rabbit does not come into contact with wild rabbits that can transmit RHD, rabbit hemorrhagic disease, a viral infection for which there is currently no treatment.
Silver Fox Rabbit as a Meat Rabbit
Silver Fox rabbits are known as a multi-purpose domestic rabbit breed.
They are not only bred for their unique fur, but also for their use as a meat rabbit.
As a meat rabbit, the Silver Fox is quite desirable due to several key characteristics.
Firstly, Silver Fox rabbits typically have a high live weight compared to other livestock breeds.
This means that you can expect a good return on your investment, as your rabbits will provide you with a substantial amount of meat per animal.
Their rapid growth rate is another advantage of raising Silver Fox rabbits for their meat production.
These rabbits reach maturity quickly, allowing you to raise more rabbits in less time. This fast growth makes them ideal for people who wish to raise meat rabbits in a timely manner.
The meat quality of Silver Fox rabbits is also appreciated by many.
The rabbits offer tender, flavorful meat that is perfect for grilling, roasting, or slow-cooking methods. Their meat is lean, yet still quite juicy, offering an excellent eating experience.
In addition to their meat production, the Silver Fox is recognized by the Livestock Breeds Conservancy for their unique fur and overall rarity.
This makes these rabbits not only practical for meat production but also a valuable addition to any rabbit breeding program.
By raising Silver Fox rabbits as meat rabbit, you’ll promote the conservation of this rare and historically significant breed.
Overall, the Silver Fox rabbit is an excellent option for those looking to raise a meat rabbit.
Popular Bunny Names for Silver Fox Rabbits
Here’s a table with popular Silver Fox Rabbit names, reflecting their breed characteristics.
The Silver Fox Rabbit is known for its dense, silver-tipped black fur that resembles that of a silver fox.
They have a docile and gentle nature. Their unique appearance and calm demeanor inspires these names.
|Boy Bunny Names for Silver Fox Rabbits
|Girl Bunny Names for Silver Fox Rabbits
These names emphasize the silver-tipped black fur and gentle temperament of the Silver Fox Rabbit breed, making them fitting choices for your rabbit.
Also read: Popular Rabbit Names (Girl/Boy)
Frequently Asked Questions About Silver Fox Rabbits
Q. Where can I find a Silver Fox rabbit?
Q. How much will I have to pay for a Silver Fox rabbit?
A. Professional rabbit breeders will charge US $65 and up for a single rabbit, but may give you a discount if you buy an entire litter.
Q. The breeder showed me a rabbit they said was a Silver Fox, but it doesn’t have any silver in its coat. Will thes silver color come in later?
A. Silvering takes about four months to develop in Silver Fox rabbits. There won’t be any silvering at all until the rabbit is about four weeks old.
Q. Can Silver Fox rabbits live with cats and dogs?
A. Silver Fox rabbits are unusually relaxed around larger animals they have had a happy relationship with.
You will need to introduce your rabbit to other pets gradually, and separate them at the first sign of aggression toward your rabbit.
Q. Are there any rabbit shows dedicated exclusively to Silver Fox rabbits?
A. Check out the landing page of the National Silver Fox Rabbit Club.
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