You just know that any rabbit named after a luxuriously soft fabric is bound to be special – and the Satin rabbit breed definitely does not disappoint. The happy outcome of an unintended breeding experiment, these rabbits have an incredibly lustrous and reflective coat.
With their signature shine, Satins have become all the rage to crossbreed. You’re just as likely to find a purebred Satin as one of many “Satinized” breeds of other popular rabbits.
Today, we’re going to be looking at the humble origins of this uniquely furred rabbit, as well as some helpful tips on keeping them happy and healthy as a pet. So, when you’re ready to learn more about this friendly and attractive rabbit breed, let’s get started!
History and Origin of the Satin Rabbit Breed
The Satin breed originates from a rabbitry in Pendleton, Indiana, circa 1934. Here, a breeder by the name of Walter Huey was attempting to inbreed his Havana rabbits to produce offspring with a deeper brown color and plusher fur.
A dedicated Havana breeder, Huey knew that the rabbits in one of his litters were something special: With extremely shiny, almost translucent edges on their fur, these rabbits immediately caught Huey’s attention. Sending one away to Harvard University for genetic testing, test results confirmed that this genetic mutation would continue producing rabbits with an amazing shine and texture to their coat.
After the first Satins were taken to shows, breeders quickly jumped on this unique genetic trait to crossbreed with more recognized rabbits. A wave of “Satinized” rabbit breeds spread across the nation in the ensuing 20 years, making them a staple of rabbit shows to this day.
At a healthy adult weight of 11 pounds, the beautiful Satin is equally well-suited as a fur, meat, show, or pet animal. Because the sheaths that surround each of their individual hairs have a glass-like clarity, their coats can be seen to shimmer in the presence of even a small source of natural light.
Because of their quick popularity, Satins also gave rise to a miniaturized variety: The Mini Satin. With all the same characteristics as their larger forebears, they make excellent pets for living situations without as much space.
Nutrition and Health
Satins are as simple to care for as a domestic rabbit can be. Their moderate weights and pleasant demeanors make them grateful for constant sources of food and water. Provide them with plenty of filtered water and fresh timothy hay, as well as a daily portion of kibble and dark, leafy greens, and they’ll live to be happy and healthy throughout their lifespan.
Though they’re far from being giant rabbits, Satins are still on the large size of standard. Be sure that their enclosures are large enough for them to stand and move around in, and that they partake of regular daily exercise.
- High fiber hay supports digestive health
- Lower protein and calcium supports urinary health
As opposed to many other rabbit breeds known for their fur (we’re looking at you, Angoras), Satins require no more maintenance for their coat than any other breed. Simple weekly brushings will suffice for most of the year, though you may want to increase this to every other day during their shedding season in the spring. Just be sure and use the right brush to make it a pleasant experience.
Because of their breeding from the ever-popular Havana, Satins make for very mild-mannered pets. Their size lends them towards being docile and friendly, though you may want to be careful while introducing them to other animals. Handle them early and often in their life, and they’ll enjoy being groomed and held for the rest of your time together.
Final Thoughts on the Satin Rabbit Breed
The world of rabbit breeding is no stranger to happy accidents. Because of their frequency of breeding, rabbits are constantly able to surprise and delight us with new colors, textures, and styles. If a shiny, friendly, docile pet sounds right up your alley, definitely consider bringing a Satin into your life!
Featured Image: Wikipedia