Owning rabbits is not all fun and games. It’s also vital that you get to know them and their breed. For example, if you want to care for a silver marten rabbit, you would need to research and study them. This is very helpful as it would help you build a positive relationship with them.
Silver Marten Rabbit Guide Chart
|Breed||Oryctolagus cuniculus (Silver Marten)|
|Life span||5 to 8 years|
|Weight||6 to 9 pounds|
|Country of origin||United States of America|
|Habitat||Gardens, farms, homes|
Silver Marten Rabbit Origin and History
In the past, breeders wanted to improve a particular breed named Chinchilla rabbits. They have been focused on producing an improved color, and so the process involved breeding rabbits with colors black and tan genes. And so, breeders have come up and created the Silver Marten rabbit breed.
These fascinating black and tan rabbits first appeared in the United States and have existed since 1921. Silver Martens was also called strange little black rabbits. These rabbits continued to fascinate breeders, and in 1924, they were bred into the Silver Martens we know today.
Getting To Know More About Silver Marten Rabbit
The Silver Marten rabbit is normal-sized and is considered to have one of the most beautiful coats out there. Their coat is soft and shiny black, having silver streaks along their chin, under their tail, and belly. The white streaks also include the rims of their eye circles, the inside of their ears, and nostrils.
And so, the silver-white coat adorns the selective bottom part of their body, distinguishing them from other rabbit breeds. They got their breed name ‘Silver Marten’ because they have the same coat pattern as mink-liked wild Marten. There are four recognized Silver Marten rabbit varieties. These varieties are as follows:
- Black Silver Marten – This color variation is perhaps the most popular color as it features a jet-black topcoat and a beautifully placed silver tip at the bottom of the coat. Rabbits with this color have dark brown eyes. They are also likely to have a blue underside.
- Chocolate Silver Marten – Chocolate Silver Martens, are distinct because of their brown eyes and their rich dark-brown colored coat.
- Blue Silver Marten – Blue Silver Marten, is also one of the famous color variations with a dark blue coat all over. Their eyes are typically blue-gray that’s adorned with sharp markings.
- Sable Silver Marten – Sable Silver Martens is the latest type of Silver Marten rabbit. These Silver Martens have a medium sepia color and a saddle. Noticeable color contrast is made by the difference in the rabbit’s dark sepia ears, face, lower legs, the exterior of their feet, and tail.
Silver Marten rabbits are popular among pet shows and are known to showcase their beautiful coats. They are also ideal pets because of their lovable and charming personalities. On the other hand, Silver Marten Rabbits are also showcased on agricultural shows and are sources of good meat sold.
Silver Marten Rabbits Temperament
As already mentioned above, Silver Marten rabbits are popularly raised as pets. This is because of their excellent temperament and attitude. These rabbits usually are labeled lovable and charming. To specify, these rabbits are calm and, at the same time, playful.
They are also easy to take care of, so they do not require too much effort from their owners. However, while they can be active, they also tend to be reserved and shy, especially during the first few weeks with you. Rabbits are pretty reserved and alert because they are prey animals, so they must always be careful, especially around unfamiliar places.
They can start as shy, calm, and timid. However, your relationship can change as time goes by, and they spend more time with you. It can take longer for them to develop a strong trust, but they will open up more and be more active in playing games with you once they do.
You can tell when they finally find you comfortable when they start inviting you for fun, specifically throwing their toys around trying to get your attention or simply feeling comfortable around you.
It’s good to note that these rabbits are pretty shy, and it can be challenging when you try to get close to them. This is why it’s helpful to get baby rabbits used to you and the people inside their environment.
It would be best for you to socialize with them as much as you can to build a healthy relationship starting from when they are babies. Rabbits are pretty particular with smell, and as they have been exposed and used to experiences and people at home, they develop trust and are less frightened by the everyday happenings around the house.
A well-socialized Silver Marten partnered with an owner who knows how to handle them proves to be an excellent combination, and indeed, a well-socialized rabbit turns out to be more playful and less shy around humans.
Care Guide For Silver Marten Rabbits
Silver Martens are pretty playful, so you might need to provide them with as much space as they need. The recommended space would be at least 12 square feet in an enclosure. At the same time, they also need a space to exercise, and you can provide them with an extra 30 square feet area where they can explore and exercise.
The rest of your home space is okay as long as they are safe and feel safe going around you. These spaces can either be indoors or outdoors. Silver Marten Rabbits are adaptable, and they can tolerate weather changes.
The only thing required is to put them outside in a dry space for them to take shelter in, significantly when the weather changes. Their space should also be a haven against possible predators.
These rabbits do not require too much effort, including their lighting. You can just let your rabbit have the same lighting at home. Just make sure that they get time under the sunlight. Natural light is also better for rabbits as it helps them follow their sleep schedule and the changing seasons.
Your rabbit’s comfort space should be easy to clean, especially if you opt to keep them in a cage with limited space for them to use. Because of their frequent pooping, you need to ensure that their droppings can be easily separated and cleaned.
You can do this by lining up the bottom of some paper boxes or newspapers. You can easily retrieve the bottom lining and quickly dispose of their waste by doing this. This method is both easy to make and inexpensive. You can save money and recycle used dry paper you might have planned to dispose of.
What Do Silver Marten Rabbits Eat
Like other rabbit breeds, Silver Marten Rabbits are herbivores. Therefore, their diet is composed of quite a shortlist of the menu. The main item of interest on their menu is hay which is 70% of their overall diet. This percentage is strictly recommended because they can cause overgrown incisors that can be oversized for the face and jaw.
When this happens, they need to visit a veterinarian for a shaving session. While hay is the recommended food for Silver Martens, this should not be enough to supply all necessary nutrients for their body. The remaining 30% of their menu can provide them with supplementary nutrients.
They can consume a variety of leafy greens, different vegetables, fruits, and rabbit pellets. As for leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits, you need to limit them because too much sugar is not ideal for your rabbit. You would need to look into how much is the recommended amount per food.
Usually, the serving of these types of food for your rabbit is minimal and in small doses. Some of this food, especially fruits, are just meant to be occasional treats.
Silver Marten Rabbit Health
Silver Martens are not very vulnerable compared to other rabbit breeds. They are usually healthy. However, their overall health still depends on their growth and how they are taken care of. Nevertheless, they are not the type to quickly get sick. But like any other rabbit, they are not inherently immune to rabbit diseases and health issues.
While baby Silver Martens are still in their baby years, it’s good to have them checked and vaccinated with the essential shots. The vaccinations they will require are typically against the common rabbit diseases.
There is not much to worry about, as when you bring your rabbit to the vet, they will run the necessary tests. These tests are done to assess and see if your rabbit is in good condition or if they have underlying health issues that need to be addressed.
Of course, as an owner, you have a considerable contribution to the health status of your rabbit. Therefore, you need to be alert and observant too. Typically, health problems come with earlier signs. This means you need to be aware of what signs indicate danger and what signs are typical for their growth.
If you happen to observe something different about your rabbit, it’s best to confirm by reading or researching. However, the best step will always be to ask an expert, perhaps your trusted vet.
Health issues do mean not only internal problems but also external ones. These external issues can include ticks, mites, and fleas which can infest your rabbit’s fur and skin. This being said, it’s essential to watch your rabbit’s environment and make sure their surrounding is clean and neat.
These parasites like hanging around dirty areas, and if your rabbit’s cage and environment are dirty, they are more likely to stay around them and eventually get to your pets. Although these are external problems, they can escalate and cause more severe problems in the future if left untreated.
All in all, it’s essential to check on your rabbit regularly. Some of the main things you should check are their discharges, changes in their appetite, sleep, behavioral changes, and constipation.
Silver Marten Rabbits Training
Cage and hutch
Silver Martens like to play and hop around, especially if comfortable enough. This being said, their cage and hutch should be well constructed and spacious. This is because it’s important to train them when they should come home and when they can go out to a bigger area to play.
But first and foremost, it’s important to inform them of their house or their hutch. So it would be best if you made their cage as comfortable as possible, having all the necessary things like food supply and water. These things will help in reminding them when to come home.
Installing a lock should also help keep them in when they need to. Locks would create limits for them and tell them that they can’t just go in and out anytime they want to. In a way, this method instills the “house rules” you want to teach them. You can then create intervals of what times you lock and unlock their cage until they get used to it.
This is perhaps one of the crucial pieces of training your rabbit would need to undergo. Unlike other pets like dogs or cats, it’s pretty challenging to train rabbits on where they should poo. However, despite being more complex, they will be easy to potty train if you start potty-training them as young as possible.
To do this, you can start by making sure their droppings are inside their litter box. Perhaps they drop some outside, and you need to pick them up and place them inside the box. Rabbits are sensitive to odors, and by doing this, they learn by aroma and habit.
Once they note the location of the scent, they are made aware of where these types of odors go. They like their space clean, so you should make it a habit to empty and clean up their litter box now and then. In training rabbits where to poop, you might need extra patience.
It may take some time for them to master this. Some rabbits are faster learners than others, so the time required is not guaranteed. All in all, it will be worth it in the end.
Raising pets is fun, but this also requires being responsible and passionate about the decision. Rabbits are more complex animals than people think. They have their personalities and are different in their way. These basic things about raising a Silver Marten rabbit should help you begin your journey.