The Satin rabbit breed originated in the United States in the 1930s and is named for the unique shine and texture of its fur. Satin are gentle, friendly, medium to large sized rabbits with very soft coats.
The Satin rabbit originated in the United States in the 1930s and is named for the striking satin sheen on its coat. The unique shine of the coat is caused by a gene mutation that causes the guard hairs to be transparent, reflecting the light in an unusual way. In nature, mutations occur quite frequently, and many breeds result from a mutation that is fixed through a selective breeding programme. The first Satin rabbits occured in a litter of Havana rabbits, bred by an American breeder, Walter Huey in 1932. When first shown in 1934, they caused quite a stir and became known as Satin Havanas. A national Satin club was formed in 1936 and several more varieties were developed through cross-breeding. Despite the unusual properties of their coat, Satins attracted little interest from the fur industry as their fur was too fine. Another American breeder, Mr. Price of Arizona, attempted to improve the breed by crossing Satins with New Zealand Whites, then the most popular meat breed. By 1938, he had developed an ivory coloured satin, genetically albino like the New Zealand White but with a yellow tinge caused by the translucent texture of the Satin gene. By 1956, the Satin was recognised by the American Rabbit Breeders Association in several colours and more varieties have since been added. The Ivory Satin was exported to Britain in 1947, creating much interest among breeders. The Satin breed in the UK was developed in a much wider variety of colours, mostly through cross-breeding with Rex rabbits. Satins are smaller in type in the UK and regarded as a fur breed, whereas in the United States they are larger and regarded also as a meat breed. Despite this, they are more commonly bred for showing than for meat and are the most popular commercial breed among rabbit fanciers.
The Satin is a medium to large sized rabbit. Satin rabbits are smaller in the UK at around 2.7-3.6kg (6-8lbs), and larger in the USA at around 3.6-5kg (8-11lbs).
Satin rabbits have a medium build, a fairly broad, arched body with strong legs, a broad head and sturdy, upright ears.
Satin rabbits have a dense coat of fine, silky, medium length hair. The coat is soft and shiny with a unique satin-like texture and sheen.
Black, Blue, White, Chocolate, Chinchilla, Siamese, Otter are common to most countries.
Copper, Red, Broken and Californian and are also recognised in the USA
Ivory, Brown, Lilac, Castor, Cinnamon, Lynx, Opal, Havana, Squirrel, Orange, Fawn, Bronze, Beige, Sable, Seal, Smoke Pearl, Fox, Argente, Sooty-Fawn and Himalayan are also recognised in the UK.
Satin rabbits have a calm temperament and are generally very good-natured. They are gentle, friendly rabbits and usually good with children.