The Silver Fox is a beautiful, large old type rabbit developed and found only in America. A “six class” breed the only recognized variety is black although there is a blue variety that is not recognized officially. At one point they were but in the mid 1970s there were not enough people keeping the blue variety and it was dropped.
The Silver Fox is distinctive in the fur and size. Sometimes confused with Silvers, from which they were developed, the Silver Fox has a somewhat longer coat with white ticking. They are overall a docile breed with commercial body type developed for use as a meat and fur rabbit.
Among the earliest breeders of the Silver Fox developing the breed was Walter B. Garland who also raised Checkered Giants. It is possible that self (solid colored) Checkers were used and possibly Champagne d’Argents and American blues.
The Silver Fox has a high dressing percentage compared to other rabbits with typically excellent mothers. They produce a good fryer rabbit efficiently. The body is of medium length with depth of body the same as width. Plenty of muscle over the top, ribs, shoulders and hindquarters is needed to achieve this.
The Silver Fox coat is from an inch and a half to 2 inches and when stroked backwards remains upright until smoothed. Other breeds typically return quickly or slowly to the normal position, with this trait unique in the Silver Fox as the only “normal” coat to do this. Ideally the silvering should be even without great variations over the body of light and dark.
For registration the Silver Fox must be 9-11 pounds for bucks and 10-12 pounds for does with the ideal 9 and 10 respectively. The quiet temperament make them a good choice for older youth who are ready for a larger rabbit.
The Silver Fox is critically endangered in the US and in dire need of dedicated breeders to expand the breed’s numbers. Although the Silver Fox was developed in both black and blue, the blue was dropped because not enough people were keeping and showing these rabbits by official numbers. This shows just how critical it is before the Silver Fox ceases to exist. There is in motion an effort to re-recognize the blue variety officially and more breeders are needed to maintain this variety as well as the breed in sufficient numbers, including showing at the national level to keep them official.
This is a breed found only in America. There is a breed called “Silver Fox” in the UK, New Zealand and Australia but it is what we call a Silver Marten, not a true USA Silver Fox. The ALBC critical designation means there are less than 200 annually in the USA and less than 2000 worldwide.
The Silver Fox is a beautiful, gentle breed with a history and like no other rabbit in the world. The outstanding temperament makes them ideal for pets or showing, they have a good dressing percentage with small bone ratio for meat rabbits and a one of a kind fur in the rabbit world. They truly can be a rabbit for all reasons.