The Silver Marten Rabbit Breed
The Silver Marten Rabbit Breed originated in France. This breed is a sport of the original Chinchilla rabbit breed. A sport is rabbit kit that has an unusual color not found in the breed that produced it. Breeders created the sport when they tried to improve the color of the Chinchilla by cross breeding Chinchillas with the Black and Silver Marten rabbits. It is basically a Silver Marten rabbit minus the yellow coloring of the Silver Marten breed. It was at first referred to as the Silver Fox when introduced during its first show in America in 1921.
The ARBA recognized this rabbit under the Silver Marten name in 1929 at which time, only the black and blue colors were acceptable. By 1934, the chocolate, in the early years known as the Silver Beaver, and Rex Sable were recognized though the Rex sable has since been dropped and the Silver Beaver is now only considered chocolate. Today, the black, blue, chocolate, and sable are the only accepted colors.
The difference between the Silver, Silver Fox and Silver Marten is the Silver has silvering along the tips of the fur with slate blue or dark blue guard hairs. The Silver Fox has longer hair that remains upright when brushed from back to front with silver tips on the fur and guard hairs. The Silver Marten has rich solid coloring on the fur with silver tipped guard hairs running from the belly color up the sides and rump. The back has no silver tipping or white hairs.
Senior Bucks of this breed weigh between 6 and 8 1/2 pounds with an ideal weight of 7 1/2 pounds. The Senior Does weigh between 7 to 9 1/2 pounds with an ideal weight of 8 1/2 pounds. Junior Bucks should not be over 6 1/2 pounds with a minimum weight of 3 1/4 pounds with Junior Does weighing not over 7 1/2 pounds and a minimum weight of 3 1/4 pounds.