The Silver Marten is a very versatile rabbit, being popular in the pet community as well as the show ring. Silver Martens are quite sweet, but they can be shy. They are considered a large breed of rabbit, so you will need to accommodate them in a larger cage than those commonly used for other smaller breeds breeds.
The Silver Marten’s good looks and sweet personality make them popular as house pets but equally popular in shows. Silver Martens weigh an average of eight pounds at maturity, which makes them a bit larger than many other breeds.
The Silver Marten’s body is medium length, with muscular shoulders and hindquarters. The most popular variety of Silver Martens is black. The black Silver Marten has jet-black fur down to their skin.
They should have silver markings, which give a distinct appearance to their fur. They also have slate blue under fur and deep brown eyes. The second most popular variety is the blue Silver Marten, with blue-gray eyes.
The next commonly seen variety is the dark chocolate color, called the brown-eyed Chocolate Silver Marten. The Chocolate Silver Marten’s fur can fade, so its best to keep them out of direct sunlight.
A more uncommon variety is the Sable Silver Marten, this variety features sepia colored fur on its saddle, which lightens as it travels down the sides of its body. The sable Silver Marten also has dark brown points on its ears, feet, face and tail.
Silver Martens originated from Chinchilla Rabbit “sports”, the ‘sport’ is a naturally occurring mutation that is fairly common in Chinchilla litters. They also have Black and Tan Rabbits in their bloodline since many Chinchilla breeders use the Black and Tan to make the Chinchilla’s coloring and pattern nicer.
Some sports were saved from Chinchilla litters and bred together to make the first Silver Marten. A standard for the breed came about in 1927. At the same time, the first club for Silver Marten was established. In 1929, the blue variety and the sables were accepted in 1933.
Silver Martens require no more care than a normal rabbit other than they must be in very secure cages as they are very smart and good at escaping. Also, they have no qualms about jumping five or more feet to the ground, so never leave one unattended on a high place or in a high open cage. Silver Martens make wonderful mothers and have large litters.