Category Archives: Silver Marten

To Warm a Bunny…

10 just born Silver Marten babies.

10 just born Silver Marten babies.

We woke up this morning to 10 Silver Marten babies! This is great news – but we’re also a little nervous because this is the mama’s first litter.

Proof she’s new to this whole “baby” thing? She didn’t pull fur and had the babies in the nestbox, but not in the hole. This resulted in 10 chilly baby bunnies.

Without even thinking about it for more than a moment, I pulled my first true rabbit breeder move and loaded all 10 of those suckers close to my skin and then went about the rest of the chores. By the time everyone was fed and watered the babies had warmed and we were able to tuck them back into the nestbox.

Because the mama didn’t pull hair, we lined her hole with dryer lint then pulled hair for her. Pulling it from the tummy helps stimulate milk production, but I’ve found it’s easiest to get clumps of hair out of the rabbit’s flank area. (Left to their own devices the doe will pull hair from any part of her body she can reach, specifically her dewlap and tummy.)

As of tonight we have warm babies and a mama who is looking quite skinny now that all those offspring are out of her tummy. Time to enjoy watching them grow!

Nesting & Birth!

We caught the nesting and birthing on video! Dallas was an amazing mom and we have 8 new little ones!

Each baby has its own birth sack and placenta, which mom eats. Dallas got all but two and that’s what you can see her eating in the video.

The video isn’t professional quality, but it’s more than you usually see. Enjoy!

(Also need to mention these are not her normal quarters! This is a special cage we’re using because we had to bring her inside. It was -6* last night! We will move her back to her big space as soon as we can without losing all of them to the cold weather.)

My name is Brick and I’m a stud.

Dear admiring public,

My name is Brick.

I’m the newest stud around Mad Hatter and, well, I don’t mean to brag, but I’m really quite a catch.

brick

If you look closely here, you’ll see eight pounds of handsome Silver Marten specimen captured in this body, excellent eye rings, great silvering up my sides, and a well-filled haunch. I’m a pretty cool buck.

I came to live in the mountains this weekend with my sweetheart, Bonfire. She’s a great gal, we’ve got a few kits running around. She’s two, which is getting a little old for a lady rabbit, but me, I’m still in my prime!

What I don’t understand is this cute little bun bun I met once I got here. Her name is Peppermint and she’s a fox! Great hair, good silvering, she’s the type of gal I want to spend some quality time with, if you know what I mean. When we met yesterday I thought in my head, “Yeah! I’m gonna get me some of that!”

She rejected me. It’s never happened to me before. I always make a positive impression on the ladies! I don’t know if it’s because of her age or my newness or what, but… but… that girl… she bit me!

peppermint and brick

She must not know my pedigree. She must not have heard of my winnings at the shows. She must be naive.

This simply cannot be. I demand an opportunity to pursue my romantic inclinations again! I have a purpose in life and that purpose is to procreate! Bonfire is not enough for me, I need Peppermint to complete my reputation!

I don’t know where this leaves me. I hope I’ll be singing a different tune in the next 24 hours. I cannot be beaten by a sassy young thing named Peppermint. It must not happen.

Sincerely,

The Brick, a.k.a. Stud Muffin

Preparing Your Hutch for Winter

Now that winter is upon us, we take a few different precautions winterizing our rabbits. Rabbits thrive in cold weather, but it still makes sense to make sure you don’t wake up one morning after a frigid night and discover your livestock frozen solid!

Our hutch is a double-decker, lean-to style. The sides are made of T11 insulating material with¬†corrugated¬†fiberglass interiors. We’ve attached a heavy tarp to the front of the hutch that can be dropped down in driving rain, super snow, or during our terribly windy spring days.

We also give each of our rabbits a box stuffed with hay for the below-freezing weather.

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Silver Marten Rabbits

Silver Martens are recognized by their silver-tipped fur.

Known for his cute expressions, unique coloring and charming personality, the Silver Marten breed of rabbit has been a favorite for nearly a century!
The Silver Marten HistoryThe Silver Marten breed of rabbit was originally a naturally-occurring mutation in the coats of Chinchilla-colored rabbits. Some say these strangely-marked little black rabbits occurred early on, while others say it was the cross-breeding of Black and Tan bloodlines that created the Silver Marten. According to the Silver Marten Club, these mismarked Chinchillas occurred on their own, but that the Black and Tan was later introduced, in an attempt to improve the clarity of color and markings on these bunnies. This seems a logical explanation, particularly when one sees the similarity between the Silver Marten and Black and Tan markings.It was in 1924 that the Silver Marten rabbit was finally given his name and, by 1927, they had developed a working standard for the black and chocolate Silver Marten. These were accepted by ARBA (American Rabbit Breeders Association) and the first breed club came into being. A third variety, the blue, was accepted in 1933 and sixty years later, in 1993, the sable silver was approved. Silver Marten rabbits can also be found in lilac – a light dove gray – but the color is not registerable at this point in time.

The Silver Marten Breed Description

A compact breed, the Silver Marten rabbit usually weighs in between 6.5 and 8.5 pounds as a senior (a mature adult, 6 mos. or older). Their ears are held upright and are of a medium thickness with good length. The Silver Marten’s eyes are alert and bright, and should compliment their variety – the darker shades having dark brown eyes and the diluted shades having blue-gray eyes.

The body of the Silver Marten is firm without being bulky and should be well rounded from the shoulders and up over the hips, having an almost half-moon appearance when properly posed. Their hips are well-developed and should not pinch in at the table. They often have a muscular look that makes them seem larger than what they actually are.

The Silver Marten comes in 4 recognized varieties: the black, the blue, chocolate and sable. All possess the same characteristic white around the eyes and nose, inside the ears, the underside of the rabbit and the light silvering along the sides. The lilac, a dilution of the chocolate Marten genes, often occurs in the breed. This color is not accepted in the breed standard, however, though these bunnies do make fantastic pets.

The Silver Marten Personality

The Silver Marten is known for being a charming little clown and terribly curious. They can, however, be a bit on the skittish side and startle easily – for this reason, one may look for a calmer breed if they are looking for a first bunny for a younger child. They are a delightful companion for older children and adults though, and their markings give them a cute appearance that few can deny.

Silver Marten rabbits, like most other breeds, are notorious chewers. If you are intending to have a bunny as a house pet, be forewarned that you will definitely have to “bunny-proof” your house. This means getting down on the floor and looking at anything and everything that could possibly chewed. Some examples of tasty treats, that bunnies love (and that will have you pulling your hair out about) include wood furniture legs, electrical cords, stereo/DVD/computer wiring, or important papers. Don’t ask me how they know what papers are the important ones, but they do…and they will chew them (or leave bunny tracks on them), if you leave them within reach. Fortunately, products like Bitter Apple are available to help discourage chewing, but the best discouragement is keeping things out of reach.

Silver Martens can be litter trained, like most other breeds, though they will usually leave a few bunny tracks around the house. These are NOT to be mistaken for Coco Puffs cereal and just require a little sweep or vacuuming to clean them up.

Sources:

Personal experience breeding and showing rabbits

http://www.silvermarten.com/ РThe Silver Marten Rabbit Club

American Rabbit Breeders Association

http://voices.yahoo.com/rabbit-breed-profiles-silver-marten-6441150.html?cat=53