What's so special about the sterling breed?
Recognized in the United States in three colors: black, brown, fawn.
Allowed adult weight: 4-7 pounds. Average weight between 4.5 and 6.
Short, snappy flyback coat and rock-solid flesh condition.
Babies born solid colored, silvering develops with age.
One of the original breeds recognized by forerunner of the ARBA in 1910. Known in England since the sixteenth century.
Needs the support of willing breeders!
The Silver is one of the oldest breeds of domestic rabbit, dating back to at least the 1500's. Before the colonization of the New World, the Silver grey was kept in warrens in England, possibly introduced there from Portugal by Sir Walter Raleigh. Some references say that Portugese sailors brought Silver rabbits there from Siam*. Early to arrive on the American shores, the Silver was one of the original breeds to be recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (then called the National Pet Stock Association) when it was founded in 1910. Their presence in America certainly pre-dates the "Belgian Hare Boom" of 1900, when the rabbit fancy took off in this country.
Today, the Silver is raised in three varieties: black, brown, and fawn. Many other countries around the world recognize a Silver rabbit of some sort, but the original type is only found in the United States and the United Kingdom. It is a rare breed in both countries. One look at the Silver reveals its ancient heritage. There are no other breeds left that retain the Renaissance body type.
The Silver is a fairly small rabbit, usually weighing 5-6 pounds when full grown. It has a unique athletic type and active disposition. The name "Silver" comes from the silver-white hairs and hair-tips distributed evenly throughout the short snappy coat. The Silver is often confused with a breed called the Silver Fox. We have a page where you can learn the differences between the breeds. You will see that the only common feature is their color!
*source: Domestic Rabbits and their Histories by Bob Whitman
To learn more about the Silver, select an article below.
Judging Silvers by Tom Schubert
Interbreeding Silver Varieties
Rare Breeds -- Rare Opportunities
National Silver Rabbit Club of the United Kingdom
American Rabbit Breeders Association
If you are a member of the NSRC and would like to contribute an article to this page, please let us know! Also, if you participate in the Silver Rabbit Breeders facebook page and see an interesting post, please consider asking the author if we can publish it on the website for all to see. Thank you!