I’ve realized that I haven’t done a blog regarding our primary breed of rabbit, the Silver Fox. I have taken information from personal knowledge, as well as the ARBA, NSFRC, and TLC.
The Silver Fox rabbit is the third breed of rabbit developed in the United States, in North Canton, Ohio. They are noted as being one of the true multipurpose breeds, providing tasty meat and high quality fur. Originally two colors were approved, blue and black, however in the 1970s, blues were dropped and the only current color that is approved for the breed is black. This simply means that only blacks may be shown for points and towards legs (championships). Despite this, the breed also comes in blue, chocolate, lilac, and red-eyed white (REW). Blues and chocolates can currently be shown as a COD (certificate of development), in an effort to have both color varieties added to the breed standard.
– Quick color overview: the basic gene for the base color is B, each rabbit has two copies of the B gene, either B or b. BB and Bb display black color. bb displays chocolate color. The secondary gene is dilute, D, again two copies either D or d. DD or Dd displays the original base color (either black or chocolate), and dd modifies the base color to a dilution. Blue is a dilution of black and lilac is a dilution of chocolate. So blue and lilac rabbits are both homozygous recessive for the dilute gene and display dd. Lilac rabbits are also homozygous recessive for the base gene and their genetic color makeup is ALWAYS bbdd. White is an exception and works as a “cover up” gene, therefor a rabbit can display the white color but have any combination of the base and dilution genes, which it will carry and pass to offspring.
The Silver Fox is a large breed of rabbit, with senior (adult) does weighing 10 to 12 lbs and senior bucks between 9 and 11 lbs. Body should be medium length with filled, meaty shoulders and hindquarters. The most important breed features are the long fur and an evenly silvered coat. The coat displays a slight coarse texture and when brushed backwards, should stand erect and not fall back down into place.
Silver foxes are known for superior mothering ability and have a gentle, calm disposition. Litters generally range between 4 to 8 kits, and kits should be able to easily reach 4 lbs by 8 weeks, minimum. The breed was originally produced to dress out at 65% live weight, and current breeders strive to achieve this goal (including myself) with their grow out stock.
Origins of the Silver Fox are speculated to include Checkered Giants, Champagne D’Argents, and American Blues. They are suitable for the novice rabbit keeper, and are generally a healthy breed.
I choose to breed Silver Fox due to their size and temperament. I fell in love with the breed when I lived in SC, and I purchased a purebred doe who was already bred. She herself wasn’t the kindest rabbit, however her silvering was gorgeous. She kindled four blacks and a blue – the blue rabbit was my keeper, a buck whom I named Blueberry. He became like a dog, and was one of only two rabbits that trekked from SC to GA with me (he and Delilah, my first breeder doe ever). Sadly, I lost Blueberry to heat stroke about 2 summers ago, and since then I have been working in an attempt to develop a more heat-hardy breed, with larger litters, displaying the same beauty and general qualities of the Silver Fox.
6 thoughts on “Silver Fox Rabbits”
I am a breeder of silver fox rabbits. I have raised new Zealand and Californian in the past but the silver fox breed is my favorite and will probably be my main breed from now on. If you ever wish to contact me look me up on Facebook Wilson farms Rabbitry..
I just started with the Silver Fox. I have a blue doe and a black doe due in the next few days, I have had Champagne De’argents, for a while but love the Silver Fox, I just got some Cream De ‘argents and have a doe due as well
I am trying to locate Silver Fox breeders. Very hard to find.
Do you still have the breed?
I do. Check out gasilverfox.com there is a Marketplace there which lists some breeders. The site also has a FB group which is VERY active.
I breed Silver Fox in Maine. We have a FB breeder’s group for Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and upstate NY. We have had visitors from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island come to see and buy Silver Fox. I have driven to Virginia to get stock before, and have stock from Ohio and New York as well as Maine! Please keep going with the Silver Fox, they are worth it.
I bought a beautiful silver fox buck from Edy Kizaki. She is a wonderful kind lady! His name is Zack. He comes from champion lines. This breed is so mellow and gentle. He has produced a litter recently of 3 bucks and 3 does. Beautiful coloring, temperament and body. I am new to the breed, but am enthralled by their beauty and temperaments. I hope to learn as much as possible about the breed, and showing. I highly recommend the breed. It is a very rewarding experience compared to other breeds. It is important that we preserve this rare breed with responsible breeding. It has been a rewarding experience, though I have just begun. I feel it is important that we don’t lose sight of what is important during these challenging times. That we must not lose this wonderful breed. As simple as it seems, in these scary times, Preserving a rare American Heritage breed is indeed a noble goal. When things out there are scary and we are afraid to go out, it’s really healing to go out and hug and care for such a “Special Bunny” And know that you are doing something very important! : )