The Silver Fox is a beautiful rabbit known for its gentle and docile nature and extremely dense “standing coat”. Developed in the United States, the Silver Fox rabbit is a very versatile breed raised for meat, fur, and rabbit shows.
But, are Silver Fox rabbits rare? Yes, the Silver Fox breed is a rare type of domestic rabbit. In fact, this multi-purpose rabbit breed is considered threatened by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. Furthermore, the Silver Fox rabbit is also featured in a catalog of U.S foods in danger of extinction.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know before welcoming a Silver Fox rabbit into your home.
What Is a Silver Fox Rabbit?
The Silver Fox rabbit is a large and docile breed, best known for its gorgeous standing coat that resembles the pelt of a Silver Fox in the Arctic. The extremely dense and short fur is one of the most exotic and attractive traits of this breed.
When the Silver Fox rabbit’s fur is stroked from the tail to the head, it will stand up straight until stroked in the opposite direction. This trait is unique for Silver Fox rabbits and it isn’t found in any other rabbit breed.
Silver Fox Rabbit History and Origin
The Silver Fox rabbit was developed by Walter B. Garland of North Canton Ohio and is the third breed of rabbit that originated in the United States (source).
No one knows for sure which breeds were used to create the Silver Fox rabbit. But, many believe that Garland crossed the Checkered Giants, Champagne D’Argents and English Silvers, or American Blue rabbits to create a new breed.
In 1925 this breed was recognized by the American Rabbit Breeder Association in both blue and black variations.
At first, this breed was known as the American Heavyweight Silver, but the name was changed to American Silver Fox in 1929 and later to Silver Fox.
During the 1970s the Blue Silver Fox rabbits were dropped from the American Rabbit Breeders Association Standard due to low numbers in rabbit shows. From that point on, only the black variety of the Silver Fox rabbit can be shown.
The Silver Fox rabbit is known as one of the rarest breeds in the U.S and is considered threatened by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.
Characteristics of Silver Fox Rabbit
The dense and short standing coat of the Silver Fox rabbit makes this breed truly unique in the rabbit world. Mostly raised for meat, shows, and fur, this multi-purpose breed makes a great pet for people of all ages and families with children.
Size, Weight, Shape
The Silver Fox rabbit is a large size breed of rabbit that weighs from 9 to 12 pounds. This breed has a commercial body type, with well-filled, straight hindquarters and short shoulders.
As mentioned previously, only black Silver Fox rabbits can be exhibited at shows currently. However, this breed of rabbit can come in a variety of colors including chocolate, lilac, white, and blue color.
The blue variety was previously included in the breed’s standard, but due to the lack of rabbits being shown, Blue Silver Fox rabbits were excluded from the standard.
The Silver Fox rabbit’s coat is the breed’s most exotic and unusual feature. This breed has a standing coat, which looks a lot like the coat of Silver Fox from the Arctic.
Short and dense, the Silver Fox rabbit’s coat stands up straight in the direction it is stroked and won’t come down unless stroked in the opposite direction. This unusual trait is unique for Silver Fox rabbits and can’t be seen in any other breed of rabbit.
Despite this unusual characteristic, the coat of a Silver Fox rabbit doesn’t require any special treatment and is fairly easy to maintain. Use a slicker brush to groom your rabbit twice a week to remove dirt and keep the shedding to a minimum.
Remember, you shouldn’t bathe your Silver Fox rabbit or any other type of rabbit for that matter (source). To avoid any undue stress, only use a damp cloth to spot clean your rabbit when their coat is dirty.
Silver Fox rabbits have an average lifespan of seven to 10 years which is a good life expectancy for a domestic rabbit. When cared for properly, some Silver Fox rabbits may even live longer.
The Silver Fox rabbit is a multi-purpose breed raised mainly for its fur and meat. However, these rabbits also make great pets to people of all ages, including singles or families with small children.
Silver Fox rabbits are known to be laid back, docile, and gentle pets that get along well with kids and like to be petted. This breed also has a very compassionate nature and makes amazing mothers or surrogate mothers to baby rabbits.
When properly socialized from an early age, Silver Fox rabbits can make excellent pets that get along with everyone and can even live in harmony with cats and dogs. If you have any other pets, make sure to introduce them slowly and in a controlled setting.
If you decide to keep your pet rabbit indoors, consider training your bunny to use a litter box. Although cats and dogs are easier to litter train than rabbits, you can still teach your Silver Fox how to use a litter box.
Silver Fox Rabbit Care
Like any other breed of rabbit, the Silver Fox also needs a dedicated owner who has the time and energy to take care of a pet or show rabbit.
Being a large size breed, the Silver Fox rabbit needs a large enclosure to lead a comfortable life and thrive. If you decide to keep your rabbit outside, get a wood enclosure instead of a wire cage, and make sure that it’s raised from the ground.
Indoor enclosures, on the other hand, should have wire sides and a plastic bottom where you can place clean bedding. Spot clean the bedding once a day and remove it completely once a week to keep your bunny’s cage clean and sanitary (source).
When kept as pets, Silver Fox rabbits like to spend plenty of time outside their cages, exploring their surroundings and hopping around. Letting your bunny outside the enclosure can help them become more friendly and involved in family activities.
Silver Fox Rabbit Health
Silver Fox rabbits aren’t predisposed to any genetic health problems and are considered healthy. They can, however, suffer from health issues that are commonly seen in rabbits, including ear mites, flystrike, and overgrown teeth.
To prevent ear mites and excessive waxy buildup, inspect and clean your rabbit’s ears regularly. Furthermore, inspect your rabbit’s teeth and mouth once a week to check for overgrown teeth.
Feeding your Silver Fox rabbit a diet that consists of 70% hay is the best way to file their teeth naturally and prevent painful dental problems. The rest of your rabbit’s diet should be a mix of pellets, vegetables, and fruits.
Don’t hesitate to take your bunny to the vet if something seems out of the ordinary. Loss of appetite, lethargy, or unusual behavior warrants a trip to your veterinarian or a visit to the emergency vet clinic.
Silver Fox Rabbit Uses
Without a doubt, the Silver Fox rabbit is truly a multi-purpose breed. Mostly raised for meat and fur production, Silver Fox rabbits are also great pets and show animals. Furthermore, this breed is also a good option for the commercial rabbit farming business.
Where to Get Silver Fox Rabbit Breed?
Whether you want to buy a Silver Fox rabbit as a pet or show animal, look for reputable rabbit breeders. While there are plenty of pet stores that sell Silver Fox rabbits, there’s no way of knowing if the rabbit in question is completely healthy or not.
The Silver Fox rabbit is one of the rarest breeds of rabbits in the United States and you might have trouble locating a reputable breeder in your area. Nevertheless, spend some time researching reputable breeders and don’t buy a rabbit just anywhere.
Silver Fox Rabbit Price
The average price for a Silver Fox rabbit starts around $65 and can be well over $100 depending on many factors. Coat color, pedigree, sex, and the quality of the rabbit are just some of the factors that can influence the exact price.
The large and docile Silver Fox rabbit is one of the rarest breeds in America. Mostly bred for meat and fur production, these rabbits are great show animals and make calm and loving pets to people of all ages and families with children.
Best known for their unique standing coat, Silver Fox rabbits are fairly easy to maintain and don’t have any specific grooming or care requirements. Suited for both indoor and outdoor living this rabbit breed likes to explore and to spend time interacting with their human family.