Kaninchen Farm

Working to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Silver Foxes

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 multi-purpose breed, raised for meat and fur. The breed was originally 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 - blue and black. During the 1970s, however, the blues were dropped from the American Rabbit Breeders Association standards due to lack of numbers being shown.Currently there is only 1 recognized color, black, but blue, chocolate, lilac and white silver foxes have been bred.

The Silver Fox is a beautiful rabbit, which stands apart from other breeds. It was the first large breed produced that dressed out at 65% of its live weight. Does have large litters, produce plenty of milk, are excellent mothers, and make wonderful foster mothers. Silver Fox are known for their docile and gentle nature. The young are born either solid black or blue and begin to show silvering of their fur at about 4 weeks. The silvering process takes 4 months to complete. The fur is one of the most attractive and unusual features of the breed. It is extremely dense and 1 1/2 to 2 inches in length. When the fur is stroked from tail to head, it will stand straight up until stroked in the opposite direction. This trait is found in no other breed and greatly resembles the pelt of the silver fox of the Artic.

The Silver Fox is a large breed with bucks weighing up to 11 pounds and does reaching 12 pounds as adults. The breed is not recognized in other countries, although in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom there is a breed called Silver Fox, which is actually the same rabbit breed as the Silver Marten in America. - http://www.livestockconservancy.org/index.php/heritage/internal/silver-fox


In terms of type, the Silver Fox has a heavy commercial body, producing a fryer that can dress out at 65% of its live weight. Silvering is caused by a recessive gene, indicated by the symbol si.  There are four breeds recognized in the US that always show this gene: the Crème d’Argent, Champagne d’Argent, Silver, and of course the Silver Fox.  Each breed’s standard calls for a little bit different type and degree of silvering.

It’s thought that the Champagne d’Argent was used to introduce the gene to the Silver Fox. http://rabbitbreeders.us/silver-fox-rabbits


Silver Fox are a gentle breed and have been dubbed the Teddy Bear of the commercial type. The does are easy breeders, over milk-producers, and are excellent mothers. They seem to adapt to any climate and sudden changes in temperature does not appear to bother them, however direct, long term sunlight will “burn” their beautiful fur to a rust color. They are easy to handle and they like attention, making them a wonderful selection for 4H members or youngsters. A high dress out percentage with a predominantly small boned carcass makes them a very desirable meat breed rivaling about any other.

http://www.freewebs.com/riverwindrabbitry/aboutsilverfoxrabbits.htm


Breed Facts
Status:
Threatened

Use:
Meat, Fur

Adult Weight:
9 - 12 lbs

Temperament:
Docile

Experience Level:
Novice


Notes:
Fast growth, fur stands upright and does not fall back like other rabbit coats


Links

The Livestock Conservancy - This site includes information about breeds that are in danger of becoming extinct. You can view the conservation priority list, breeders directory, breed comparison chart and find some information about breed clubs and associations as well. 
The National Silver Fox Rabbit Club - This is the group for Silver Fox. The website includes information about the standard of perfection (SOP) and a breeders directory.

American Rabbit Breeders Association - This site includes information about rabbit health and showing rabbits along with a breeders directory.

Global Pedigree - This is a global pedigree project. They also include herd management software and a breeders directory.