Learn more about the Satin Rabbit Breed. Discover cool facts, pictures, resources and find information about caring for Satin Rabbits.
This rabbit breed information page is part of our rabbit breeds article series.
Satin Rabbit Breed Info
Recognized colors: Black, blue, broken, Californian, chocolate, copper, otter, red, Siamese, white
Size: 9-11 pounds
National Specialty Club:
Satin Rabbit Breed Photo Credit:
Satin Rabbit Information and History
For being a medium-large breed, the Satin is quite popular. Probably the only commercial-type breeds with a larger fan base are the Californian and New Zealand. The Satin breed has been highly developed, so top individuals show wonderful body type: well-arched when viewed in profile, and very solid under your hands. The breed comes in a number of beautiful colors, including Copper – a rufus chestnut, and Siamese–a unique color caused by the combination of chinchilla and non-extension genes.
But of course, the most impressive feature of the Satin breed is its amazing shiny coat. Similar to satin cats and guinea pigs, the Satin gene in rabbits produces a hair shaft of finer diameter than normal fur, which causes a delightful silky texture. Not only that, but the hair shell is filled with air bubbles, causing it to be translucent. As a result, light is able to pass through the hair shell, illuminate the pigment and give the coat a noticeable sheen, best seen in natural light. The ideal length of the fur is 1 inch to 1 1/8 inches, which is fairly normal for rabbit hair. In fact, when the satin gene was discovered, samples were sent to Harvard for examination. Geneticists there determined that the satin gene affected fur texture and created the translucent hair shell, but unlike the Rex mutation, did not affect coat length.
The satin gene first appeared in a litter of Havanas born in the Indiana rabbitry of Mr. Walter Huey. In an effort to improve his Havanas, Mr. Huey had started inbreeding them, causing carriers of the new mutation to be bred to one another and produce offspring that showed the trait. At first, Huey showed his new bunnies against the regular Havanas, but other breeders didn’t find that fair. Eventually the American Federation of Havana Breeders decided to sponsor “Satin Havanas” as their own breed. Through the dedicated efforts of many, Satins were bred up in size to commercial weight and eventually recognized by the ARBA in 1956. The first color accepted was Siamese, but others followed quickly. Satin coats have since been put on a number of other breeds: the Mini Satin, the Satin Angora, the Satin Dwarf of Europe, and the Mini Satin Rex of Australia or New Zealand.
Today the Satin is an excellent multipurpose rabbit. Its large size and commercial type makes it well-suited to market pen classes, as well as producing meat for the family table. As a show animal, the Satin is very competitive. And if you’d like a bunny that feels like silk and shines like a gemstone in the sunshine, this is the breed for you.
Satin Rabbit Care
Here is a list of resources to help you care for your satin rabbits…
- How to Raise Rabbits – information and resources on the subject of raising rabbits
- Breeding Rabbits – learn more about how to breed rabbits for show, meat or profit
- Rabbit Supplies for Sale – find rabbit supplies for sale
- Feeding Rabbits – information and resources on the topic of feeding your rabbits
- Rabbit Health – learn more about rabbit health and care
Satin Rabbit Resources
Here is a listing of satin rabbit resources to help you out with your rabbit project…
- Rabbit Breeders Newsletter – be sure to claim your free subscription to our rabbit breeders newsletter in order to start receiving free rabbit information and resources via email
- Satin Rabbits for Sale – use our rabbit classifieds to find satin rabbits for sale
- Satin Rabbit Breeders – locate satin rabbit breeders using our huge rabbit breeders directory
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