Lily Valley Rabbitry


About the Breeds I Raise

Posted by Layla on August 19, 2014 at 11:00 AM

I have gotten many questions lately about why I breed Mini Lops, Silver Martens, and Himalayans, as well as occasionally having other breeds. The general answer to this question is simple: I love the temperaments! What I look for most in my rabbits is a lovable, friendly temperament that will be suitable for a family life. Of course, the most popular pet bunnies are my lop eared ones; Mini Lop babies are usually all sold in a week! However, there are also some other breeds that I raise that are less well-known yet just as friendly and adorable!


The first is the Silver Marten Rabbit. It comes in four colors; black, blue, chocolate, and sable, with black being the most common. These striking rabbits have a line of silver ticking going around their sides and rump as well as a white underbelly and white eye circles. They weigh in at about 6.5-8.5 lbs, making them a medium sized breed. They are mostly used for showing and as pets, though they are sometimes used for meat or fur. However, they're not entirely economical for meat because they do not grow as fast as a Californian or a New Zealand. Silver Martens became a breed in 1924 by crossing Standard Chinchillas and Tans. They are friendly if socialized from a young age. I noticed if they're not socialized from birth they tend to be skittish.


The second is the Himalayan Rabbit. This interesting breed is relatively small at about 2-4 lbs, and known for its unique body shape, called cylindrical type. They are the only breed with this shape, which is akin to a tube sock. They come in four colors as well; black, blue, lilac, and chocolate. They were one of the first rabbit breeds. No one is sure of their origin, though theories suggest they did not actually come from the Himalayans. Their unique colored markings are located on their nose, feet, tail, and ears. The markings are temperature sensitive and get darker in cooler weather and lighter in the heat. This is by far one of the friendliest breeds of rabbits and are often used in 4-H for young children who might not be able to handle a more active rabbit.


The third breed I mainly raise is Mini Lops. This popular breed is a medium sized rabbit with an ideal weight of 6 lbs. They became a breed after Bob Herschbach travelled to Germany and discovered a rabbit called the Klein Widder. They weighed about 8 lbs and were not popular when brought back the US because of their big size. So, Herschbach downsized them to the Mini Lop we know today and they became a breed in 1980. They come in numerous colors including solid-or self (black, chocolate, lilac, blue, and white), agouti (chinchilla, chestnut, lynx, and opal), broken (blanket pattern, patches pattern, &spotted pattern), tri colored (black, blue, chocolate, & lilac), pointed white, shaded (frosted pearl, sable, sable point, seal, tortoise), ticked (silver/silver fox & steel), and wide band (cream, fawn, orange, and red). They are known for their laid-back and friendly personalities, and are one of the most popular rabbit breeds.

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