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 recognized and a standard 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.
The genetic make-up of the breed has never been divulged. What is known is that Garland was one of America’s earliest breeders of the Checkered Giant breed and kept Champagne D’ Argents as well. Crosses in more recent years using Champagne D’ Argents with self-colored rabbits have produced reasonably nice examples of a Silver Fox type rabbit. It is likely that Garland used self-colored Checkered Giants for the very large size; Champagne D’ Argents for the silvering, fur length, and meat qualities; and perhaps an infusion of American Blue to improve on the meat producing qualities and the blue color.
The Silver Fox is a beautiful rabbit, which stands apart from other breeds. It was the first large breed produced that on occasion can dress out up to 65% of its live weight with exceptional individuals. 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.
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