Silver rabbits are unique because of their silvery coats. Aside from that, they also have the densest flyback coat of all the rabbit breeds. In terms of their behavior, these bunnies are calm yet sociable. They are also active breeds that love to exercise and play around. A Silver rabbit breed is ideal for all owners because of its care needs and temperament. Is it the right one for you? Find out now!
Facts about Silver Rabbits
4 lbs to 7 lbs
7 years to 10 years
Black, fawn, brown
Havana rabbit, Satin rabbit
Best Suited for
Seniors, singles, couples, families with children
Background and History
One of the most ancient breeds, no one can tell the exact origin of Silver rabbits. Many theorized that Sir Walter Raleigh brought the breed from Siam to Portugal in 1552. Many said he hid the bunnies in the Nappa warren in North Yorkshire. The breed started to spread throughout Europe, especially in Lincolnshire.
The arrival of the Silver rabbit breed in America was unknown. However, the bunny was already in the country before the boom of Belgian Hares in the late 1890s. The National Pet Stock Association, known as ARBA today, recognized the breed in 1910. Three varieties were approved: grey, fawn, and brown. But throughout the years, they changed grey into a black variety.
Silver bunnies are listed by the American Livestock Conservancy as threatened breeds. The original Silver types could only be found in the United States and the United Kingdom. They are also considered rare varieties. Silver Sprigs, Millers, Riche, and Lincoln Silver are some of the names called to the breed.
Features of Silver Rabbits
This bunny has a medium-sized body weighing between 4 lbs to 7 lbs. Its compact body is rigid and stocky. The body of a Silver rabbit breed is almost proportionate but with a slightly arched back. Its erect ears are short and stand vertically, forming a V shape. The breed also has bold and bright eyes.
Of all rabbit breeds, the Silver rabbits have the densest flyback coat. Thus, it looks tight and snappy. Their coats have no markings, but they have white guard hairs, resulting in a silvery luster. The silvering is evenly distributed all over the head, ears, tail, and feet. ARBA only recognized three varieties of this breed. They are black, brown, and fawn colors.
Temperament and Behavior
A Silver rabbit breed is an excellent choice if you are looking for a wonderful family pet! It has a calm demeanor, yet it is always eager to socialize. Hence, it can get along with all family members, including children and seniors. It is one of the breeds that thrive when interacting with its owners. You can expect it to sit on your lap and ask for some cuddles.
These bunnies are social animals, so you should get at least a pair of them. They improve their relationship with their rabbit companions by grooming them. You can also breed these bunnies since the does are easy keepers and great mothers. But if you don’t intend to have many bunnies, ensure they are neutered or spayed.
Although Silver rabbits are gentle, they are active. Thus, it is necessary to let them exercise and play outdoors. Keeping them inside their hutch for a day can frustrate them. It may lead to destructive behaviors like chewing their furs. These bunnies also love to interact with other household pets. But make sure that you have calm and friendly cats or dogs.
As an intelligent breed, a Silver rabbit breed is easy to train. It also loves to play with toys since they can be mentally stimulating. But like other rabbit breeds, you must respect its privacy. A frustrated Silver bunny can bite you. This breed is ideal for seniors, singles, couples, and families with children.
Grooming Silver Rabbits
Despite the dense flyback coats of the Silver rabbits, they don’t demand much grooming. However, you must brush their coats at least once a week with a slicker brush to remove the loose furs. If they are molting, you need to groom their coats more often. Since bunnies groom themselves, they can ingest their furs. It may result in woolblock.
Since Silver rabbits are active, they can quickly get dirty when playing outdoors. But you should never bathe them. It may stress them, or they may suffer from hypothermia. The best way to clean their coats is by wiping the dirty spots with a damp cloth. If you want to make its coat lustrous for a rabbit show, rub a small amount of conditioner. But make sure that the vet prescribes the conditioner.
Trimming your bunny’s nails is essential to its safety. A rabbit with long nails is prone to scratch itself and limit its movement. You can cut its nails using rabbit nail clippers. If it’s your first time, you may need a partner to hold the bunny. Also, avoid cutting the nails too short since you may injure your pet.
Besides its coats and nails, you must also ensure that your pet has healthy teeth. Giving it enough hay can help trim and wear down your pet’s teeth. You must also provide it with chew toys and twigs.
For your bunny to live a long life, you must ensure that it has a proper diet. The primary diet of your pet must consist of hay. It is rich in fiber that helps improve your pet’s digestion. Aside from that, hay keeps your rabbit’s teeth strong and healthy. However, you must choose the appropriate hay to feed your pet. Also, ensure that it is fresh and pesticide-free.
To provide your pet with enough vitamins and minerals, you must add leafy greens to its diet. They are excellent sources of Vitamin A and B vitamins. Some also have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, protecting your pet from diseases. They are also rich in electrolytes, keeping the bunny hydrated. Since leafy greens have mineral salts and protein, they help alkalinize the body.
You can also add pellets to your bunny’s diet. But you should only give them a small amount. Your bunny may stop eating hay if you are feeding it with too much pellets. Also, make sure that the pellet is high-quality. It must have at least 22% crude fiber, 14% protein, 1% fat, and 1% calcium.
As much as possible, provide your bunny with healthy treats like fruits. You can give treats once or twice a week to your pet. It must be one to two tablespoons per five pounds of the rabbit’s body weight. Nectarine, papaya, and pear are also good for the bunnies.
Habitat for Silver Rabbits
Silver rabbits are medium in size, so they must live in a hutch at least 24” by 36”. But a larger cage is better since it provides more space for the rabbit to stretch, hop, and move around. Your pet can have better ventilation if the sides of the hutch are made of wire. Since bunnies are prone to sore hocks, you must ensure that the cage has solid flooring.
If you plan to keep your pet outdoors, you must put the hutch where there is enough shade. Rabbits are sensitive to hot temperatures. They may suffer heat stress when exposed to the sun’s direct heat. It is a condition that is dangerous to your pet. You must also place the hutch where the environment is quiet. Loud noises can frighten the bunny, leading to stress and extreme terror.
You can also keep your Silver rabbit breed indoors. But you should ensure that your home is rabbit-proof. Chewing is part of a bunny’s instinct, so keep away the wires and electric cables. It may also chew the furniture pieces inside your home. You can rearrange them so that your valuables are inaccessible to your pet.
Walking and exercising are essential activities for your pet. Thus, you must ensure your yard is safe enough for your bunny. Rabbits can jump high to escape, so the fence must be tall. Also, place toxic houseplants where your bunny cannot reach them. The pavement must also not be too hot since it may injure your pet’s hocks.
Health Issues of Silver Rabbits
Gastrointestinal Stasis (GI Stasis)
Gastrointestinal stasis (GI stasis) is not caused by hairballs or ingesting foreign objects. Once the bunny stops eating, the bacteria inside its cecum become imbalanced. Rabbits may also get GI upset if their diet is high in carbohydrates but low in fiber. When neglected, the growth of gas-producing bacteria may increase. It may lead to pain, organ failure, or death.
Symptoms of GI stasis include bloatedness and stomach or intestines filled with gas. Your bunny may also suffer from dehydration, and it may also show pain. If you observe these signs, bring your pet to the vet. He will diagnose the bunny by conducting a physical examination, bloodwork, and X-ray.
Treatments may include anti-inflammatory medications, pain relievers, and antibiotics. Fluid therapy may also be conducted to rehydrate your pet. The vet may have to feed it with a syringe if it is not eating. Motility-modifying drugs will also be prescribed to improve digestion.
Urolithiasis is a rabbit condition caused by too much calcium intake. Hence, urinary tract stones are formed on the bunny’s kidney and bladder. The stones are called sludges because they are thick with toothpaste consistency. Some of the symptoms include the presence of thick, white, and gritty urine. You may also notice that your bunny is losing its appetite, is lethargic, and is unwilling to move. Blood in the urine may also be present.
Vets diagnose the condition through blood and urine test. The only option is to remove the stones surgically. It is better to prevent the disease by increasing your pet’s fluid intake and giving it enough exercise. Your bunny must also learn how to use its litter box.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find a Silver rabbit breed?
A Silver rabbit breed is hard to find since it is already rare. But there are original Silver bunnies in the United States and the United Kingdom. You can also contact rabbit organizations to inquire if they have the breed.
How much do Silver rabbits cost?
Since Silver rabbits are rare, the lowest price is about $50. It is higher compared to other domesticated bunnies. If you are looking for a show-quality bunny, expect a higher price. Also, ensure that you buy the bunny only from a reputable breeder.
What is the lifespan of a Silver rabbit?
The average lifespan of a Silver rabbit is seven to eight years.
Silver rabbits have unique features and adorable behaviors. Their dense, silvery coats are gorgeous yet don’t demand much grooming. These bunnies are hardy pets, so they don’t typically get sick. With their personality, they need owners who will love them in return. Cuddling, bonding, and attention will make them happy and satisfied.