Silver Fox genetics...?

Rabbit Talk  Forum

Help Support Rabbit Talk Forum:

Keag

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 22, 2022
Messages
76
Reaction score
60
Location
Maine
If I have Silver Fox in my rabbits mixture is the white hair down the whole shaft or is there banding? Just wondering since 5 of my 7 have white hairs scattered throughout their coat like the Buck. Some more extensive than others. My "Rex" coat from this litter has no white hairs & the "Lilac" I cannot tell due to the light coloring of the coat and seems longer than the others so hard to tell.
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2022
Messages
365
Reaction score
601
Location
Alaska
If I have Silver Fox in my rabbits mixture is the white hair down the whole shaft or is there banding? Just wondering since 5 of my 7 have white hairs scattered throughout their coat like the Buck. Some more extensive than others. My "Rex" coat from this litter has no white hairs & the "Lilac" I cannot tell due to the light coloring of the coat and seems longer than the others so hard to tell.
Silvering is a combination of white hairs and possibly some tipping as well. So, silver foxes (also the Champagne d'Argent, Creme d'Argent, Argent Brun, and the Silver) have white hairs throughout, to a greater or lesser degree. White tipped hairs only usually come from a steel gene - it looks more like banding. Strangely, you can also get white hairs (usually more in patches than equally distributed) from a harlequin gene combined with some others.

Also, silvering increases dramatically with age. Silver foxes, Champagnes and Silvers are all born jet black and start developing the silvering as they grow. Here is a 7-week-old Champagne d'Argent, showing the silvering developing on his feet, chest, ears and jaw:
204_2041 (2).JPG
Although it is one of the oldest known genes, the silvering gene is not well-understood. Sometimes it is recessive, other times it seems to be partially dominant (a rabbit carrying one copy of the gene can have no white hairs, or some white hairs). Some people suspect that there is more than one gene that causes silvering.

However, rabbits can have scattered white hairs without carrying the silver gene. This rabbit is a purebred Satin (for at least 8 generations), but has extensive scattered white hairs:
Foxy.jpg

Another sign of silver fox possibly playing into the mix is unusual hair texture. Crossbreeds don't necessarily have the stand-up coat that purebred silver foxes do, but they are often "different" in texture. This coat type comes from a different gene than the silvering.
The way to tell for sure is to breed your buck to a silver fox and see what you get. If he is carrying a silver gene, you should see about half of his kits start black and end up silvered, with the unique fox texture (though maybe not on the same kit).
 
Last edited:

Keag

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 22, 2022
Messages
76
Reaction score
60
Location
Maine
Thank you. I will get pictures. These kits are 9 weeks old. The most extensive white hairs are on the Otter marked, while the 2 Blacks do have white throughout. The Chocolate few, Rex fur no white hairs & the Lilac seems to have a longer, stand up coat. He looks really big but then you weigh him & he is 1 of the lighter ones. 1 kit is already 5lbs 5 oz, 3 are 4lbs 11oz. Very happy with their growth rate.
 
Last edited:

Keag

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 22, 2022
Messages
76
Reaction score
60
Location
Maine
Silver fox rabbits are supposed to have silvering.
I don't think my post was clear. I was sold Satins. I have 2 that bred. 2 litters. 2nd litter I have a Rex coat, a "fluffy" coat and some with a good deal of Silver hairs scattered like the breed Silver Fox. I was trying to determine if there is Silver Fox in my "Satins?",by looking at the offspring & the white hairs. I already know the parents are a mix because of the Rex coat in 1 of the kits.
 

Secuono

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 5, 2011
Messages
4,478
Reaction score
394
Location
Virginia
Silver fox white hairs are supposed to be solid white all the way down the shaft. They're guardhairs, last I heard, and why rex coated rabbits shouldn't be able to have this silvering.
 

Secuono

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 5, 2011
Messages
4,478
Reaction score
394
Location
Virginia
The 5lb 5oz Dark Chocolate kit. 9weeks old.
What makes you say this is chocolate? Ears are jet black on my screen, rest looks black, too.
Marten with minimal scattered white hairs
Silver Martens, and others colored as martens, get those scattered white hairs at the border of white and color. Its not silvering. Idk their breed standards on if those hairs are allowed or wanted.
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2022
Messages
365
Reaction score
601
Location
Alaska
Silver Martens, and others colored as martens, get those scattered white hairs at the border of white and color. Its not silvering. Idk their breed standards on if those hairs are allowed or wanted.
The ARBA Silver Marten standard says the surface color should be "interspersed with evenly distributed silver-tipped guard hairs showing very conspicuously above the regular color of the body coat. Silvering is to be carried well up the sides and rump."

So they call it silvering, though it is not derived from the gene that produces silvering in the fox, silver, and argent breeds, but from the gene that codes for the tan pattern.

It's an interesting observation, so I flipped through my ARBA Standard of Perfection. It turns out that the other breeds with marten and otter/tan patterns are a mixed bag regarding the silvering, which is known as "ticking" in those breeds.

Netherland Dwarf (otter and marten) and Satin (otter) SOPs call for "prominent ticking" to be "evenly distributed along the chest, sides and lower hindquarters." Holland Lops in both otter and marten need ticking to "extend well up into the body color along the sides, flanks and rump."

But the Tan SOP calls for markings to be "clear cut," the Mini Rex standard says "No ticking is preferred" for both otter and marten, and the Rex otter SOP wants a "distinct border of tan" and faults for "white or tan hairs in other than the patterned areas."
Silver fox white hairs are supposed to be solid white all the way down the shaft. They're guardhairs, last I heard, and why rex coated rabbits shouldn't be able to have this silvering.
The Silver Fox standard says the silvering includes "white or white-tipped hairs." My friend's SF have both.

Rex do have guard hairs, they are just ideally about the same length as the undercoat. The Rex SOP says, "Guard hairs are to be very plentiful and evenly distributed, but not too noticeably protruding." In fact rex fur has 2x-3x as many hairs per follicle as normal fur. I don't see why rex couldn't have silvering, but it might not be very attractive in the rex coat type. (I'm guessing that's why the rex breeds discourage "ticking" in their marten and otter varieties.)
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2022
Messages
365
Reaction score
601
Location
Alaska
I don't think my post was clear. I was sold Satins. I have 2 that bred. 2 litters. 2nd litter I have a Rex coat, a "fluffy" coat and some with a good deal of Silver hairs scattered like the breed Silver Fox. I was trying to determine if there is Silver Fox in my "Satins?",by looking at the offspring & the white hairs. I already know the parents are a mix because of the Rex coat in 1 of the kits.
The photos are a great help. Yep, I think you're probably right. The "scattered white hairs" look suspiciously evenly distributed, even on the ears. The marten looks like a well-marked marten, but given the others and the "shaggy" lilac (which looks a bit like it might be a lilac tort), I'd put my money on silver fox in the mix.

Incidentally, none of them really look like they have satin coats at all. Satin is recessive, so it can "hide" behind a normal coat in a mixed breed, but a rabbit can't be "a satin" if it doesn't have sheen. Although it is pretty hard to get a picture that depicts satin sheen well, it usually shows up at least a little. Here's sheen:
LadyBlue1.JPG Black Star 2-2022a.jpg Blue2.JPG 4205crop.jpg
That last one is a young black satin with scattered white hairs... :) It's the only photo taken outdoors, and you can see that in the sunlight, the sheen makes them look nearly iridescent.

In addition to the sheen, the other thing about Satin fur is that it has a smaller diameter hair shaft than normal fur, so it looks finer. All of your bunnies pictured look more normal-coated in that way, too.

In fact, since none of the bunnies are satinized, it makes me wonder if your "satins" have any satin in them at all! :( Did your first litter have any satinized bunnies in it?
 
Last edited:

Keag

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 22, 2022
Messages
76
Reaction score
60
Location
Maine
The photos are a great help. Yep, I think you're probably right. The "scattered white hairs" look suspiciously evenly distributed, even on the ears. The marten looks like a well-marked marten, but given the others and the "shaggy" lilac (which looks a bit like it might be a lilac tort), I'd put my money on silver fox in the mix.

Incidentally, none of them really look like they have satin coats at all. Satin is recessive, so it can "hide" behind a normal coat in a mixed breed, but a rabbit can't be "a satin" if it doesn't have sheen. Although it is pretty hard to get a picture that depicts satin sheen well, it usually shows up at least a little. Here's sheen:
View attachment 32816 View attachment 32820 View attachment 32819 View attachment 32821
That last one is a young black satin with scattered white hairs... :) It's the only photo taken outdoors, and you can see that in the sunlight, the sheen makes them look nearly iridescent.

In addition to the sheen, the other thing about Satin fur is that it has a smaller diameter hair shaft than normal fur, so it looks finer. All of your bunnies pictured look more normal-coated in that way, too.

In fact, since none of the bunnies are satinized, it makes me wonder if your "satins" have any satin in them at all! :( Did your first litter have any satinized bunnies in it?
I totally agree. I did purchase pedigreed stock of Satins & their coat is different. I was told these 3 were Satins but even I questioned that when I got them home & noticed how small they were to the age I was told. All 3 have great personalities but I definitely see a Mix in them & confirmation off said offspring.
 

Keag

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 22, 2022
Messages
76
Reaction score
60
Location
Maine
What makes you say this is chocolate? Ears are jet black on my screen, rest looks black, too.

Silver Martens, and others colored as martens, get those scattered white hairs at the border of white and color. Its not silvering. Idk their breed standards on if those hairs are allowed or wanted.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20221130_111616873_HDR.jpg
    IMG_20221130_111616873_HDR.jpg
    3.3 MB · Views: 0

Keag

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 22, 2022
Messages
76
Reaction score
60
Location
Maine
I will have to get them in the sunlight & put them aside by side. I will find baby pictures so you can see the difference but a very dark Chocolate.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20221005_114552230_HDR.jpg
    IMG_20221005_114552230_HDR.jpg
    1.1 MB · Views: 0
  • IMG_20221005_113935153_HDR.jpg
    IMG_20221005_113935153_HDR.jpg
    2.9 MB · Views: 0
  • IMG_20221005_114756373_HDR.jpg
    IMG_20221005_114756373_HDR.jpg
    3.6 MB · Views: 0

Keag

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 22, 2022
Messages
76
Reaction score
60
Location
Maine
The photos are a great help. Yep, I think you're probably right. The "scattered white hairs" look suspiciously evenly distributed, even on the ears. The marten looks like a well-marked marten, but given the others and the "shaggy" lilac (which looks a bit like it might be a lilac tort), I'd put my money on silver fox in the mix.

Incidentally, none of them really look like they have satin coats at all. Satin is recessive, so it can "hide" behind a normal coat in a mixed breed, but a rabbit can't be "a satin" if it doesn't have sheen. Although it is pretty hard to get a picture that depicts satin sheen well, it usually shows up at least a little. Here's sheen:
View attachment 32816 View attachment 32820 View attachment 32819 View attachment 32821
That last one is a young black satin with scattered white hairs... :) It's the only photo taken outdoors, and you can see that in the sunlight, the sheen makes them look nearly iridescent.

In addition to the sheen, the other thing about Satin fur is that it has a smaller diameter hair shaft than normal fur, so it looks finer. All of your bunnies pictured look more normal-coated in that way, too.

In fact, since none of the bunnies are satinized, it makes me wonder if your "satins" have any satin in them at all! :( Did your first litter have any satinized bunnies in it?
Here are the 3 from the first litter.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20221130_112248380.jpg
    IMG_20221130_112248380.jpg
    4 MB · Views: 0
  • IMG_20221130_112136529.jpg
    IMG_20221130_112136529.jpg
    5.3 MB · Views: 0
  • IMG_20221130_112039697_HDR.jpg
    IMG_20221130_112039697_HDR.jpg
    3.9 MB · Views: 0
  • IMG_20221130_112024431.jpg
    IMG_20221130_112024431.jpg
    3.4 MB · Views: 0
Top