Silver Marten Rabbits

Learn more about the Silver Marten Rabbit Breed. Discover cool facts, pictures, resources and find information about caring for Silver Marten Rabbits.

This rabbit breed information page is part of our rabbit breeds article series.

Silver Marten Rabbit Resource Links: Free Rabbit Breeders Newsletter | Silver Marten Rabbit Breed Info | Silver Marten Rabbit Information and History | Silver Marten Rabbit Care | Silver Marten Rabbit Resources

Silver Marten Rabbit Breed Info

Silver Marten Rabbit BreedRecognized colors: black, blue, chocolate, sable

Size: 6-9 pounds

National Specialty Club:

Silver Marten Rabbit Breed Photo Credit:

Silver Marten Rabbit Information and History

Silver Marten is both the name of a breed and a color. The breed came first, and then was used to introduce the color as a variety in a number of other breeds, such as the Netherland Dwarf, Jersey Wooly, and most recently, Mini Rex.  This has occurred a number of times: the Lilac, American Sable, Standard Chinchilla, and Chocolate Havana are all examples of breeds that began with a new color mutation, and then lent their genes to produce a new variety in already-accepted rabbit breeds.

 Few can deny that Silver Marten is one of the most striking of rabbit colors.  The top color of the rabbit is a dark rich self variety that provides high contrast with silver-white markings underneath.  In this breed, the top color can be black, blue, chocolate, or sable, which is beautiful shaded sepia.  The markings consist of a white belly, chin, underside-of-tail, inside-of-ears, nostril markings, and eye circles.  Silver Martens should also have some “silvering” or white ticking up the lower sides of the rabbit, edging the belly marking.  This is simply a result of the Marten marking pattern, and not to be confused with true silvering found in the Silver or Silver Fox breeds.

 The Silver Marten is one of the smallest breeds placed in the “commercial” body type category, ideally weighing only 8 pounds.  The type is supposed to be about the same as in the Californian, though it will be a little shorter.   A high quality Silver Marten is sure a looker, often gaining success on the Best in Show table.  Its coat is a glossy flyback.

The Silver Marten pattern is exactly the same as the pattern found in the Tan breed.  The only difference is that Marten has the chinchilla gene instead of the normal full color.  This means that the yellow factor in tan rabbits is changed to white; the difference between tan and marten is the same as the difference between chestnut and chinchilla. 

Silver Martens first appeared as sports in the Standard Chinchilla.  In the 1920’s, breeders in the US crossed Tans into their Chinchillas in order to improve the Chins.  Rabbit genetics were not well-studied at that point, and they didn’t realize they were introducing the recessive tan pattern to their agouti Chinchillas.  Before long, tan pattern carriers were bred together and Silver Martens came to be.  The breed was accepted by the forerunner of the ARBA in 1927 in black and chocolate.  Blues were recognized in 1933, but the sable color did not come for another sixty years.

Silver Marten Rabbit Care

Here is a list of resources to help you care for your silver marten rabbits…

Silver Marten Rabbit Resources

Here is a listing of silver marten rabbit resources to help you out with your rabbit project…

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