To be honest….I never wanted to get into breeding rabbits however I LOVE rabbit meat and this was the next step into expanding our journey into having a more self sufficient homestead. Billy did a ton of research into finding the perfect breed to fit our needs. I wanted something for meat and fur but my biggest requirement was it had to be a calm and gentle breed. You are probably wondering why was finding a calm and gentle breed important to me if I was just going to eat it. Well…..
I had a mini lop when I was younger and she was a spawn of the devil! She would attack, growl, bite and kick just by opening the her cage door. I remember when it came time to show her for 4-H fair standing holding my growling bunny in a death grip as she tried desperately to escape my grasp. I had on long sleeves and gloves and worked up quite a sweat. Of course my peers gave me plenty of space as they all stood around in their cute summer tops with their calm snugly bunnies. That was an experience I was not wanting to repeat!
Anyway, back to the silver fox rabbit, after doing my own research on this breed I agreed to add rabbits to our small homestead. Silver fox are a multi-purpose breed that has been around since 1925 and were the 3rd breed developed in the United States. They weigh up to 11 to 12 pounds dress out up to 65 percent of their live weight. They have a beautiful thick fur that resembles the pelt of a silver Artic fox hence the name, Silver Fox Rabbit. This breeds fur will actually stand up when it is brushed in the opposite direction which is a trait found in no other breed of rabbit. They produce large litter and make excellent mothers. As a bonus, especially after my traumatic rabbit past, they are known for their calm and docile nature!
Silver Fox rabbits came close to being extinct in the 1970’s. At one point they were listed among the 15 rarest rabbit breeds. While they are no longer facing extinction it was important to me to find pedigreed rabbits to do my part in preserving this beautiful breed. With the help of the internet I was able to locate 2 does and a buck fairly quickly. One of my Facebook friends actually had the 2 does and with a quick search I was able to find my buck about 45 minutes away. I also joined a few Facebook groups such as Silver Fox Rabbit Breeders, Backyard Meat Rabbits and Feeding Rabbits Naturally.
Providing my animals with the healthiest foods I can find is important to us. If I can grow them or find them in nature that is an added bonus for me. Not only will they eat healthier but it will save me money in the long run. This is a topic I will save for another post though as I need to get off of here and go take care of my rabbits!