D.Campbells Silver Foxes

The American Silver Fox...
      ...also known as the Teddy Bear of the Commercial World, it has been our main breed since March 2009.

Meet the breed's newest colors...

Photography subject courtesy of Wylde Hare's Rabbitry for the sake of a non-moulty pic...

Originally created through crossing a chocolate Satin into the breed, the chocolate Silver Fox is shunned by some due to it's "impurity", despite the fact that it has achieved purebred status with the American Rabbit Breeders Association.  However, there are a lot of people out there that seek out this beautiful new variety.  At the moment, the standard calls for milk chocolate color, but my goal is to use the lilacs to make dark chocolate and push for a standard change so that it will be more consistent with the other color standards both for chocolate and for Silver Fox varieties.

The Chocolate Silver Fox

     The chocolates were recently created by Meara Collins through crossing in a chocolate Satin and breeding for them for several generations.  She worked on them for some time before she Finally came up with a specimen she liked - Collin's Floor Fox, a doe appropriately named for her escapade as a barn floor bunny.  She escaped as a junior, and one day Meara caught her and liked her.  Floor Fox's chocolate carrier black son, Collin's Starbuck, became the star of the show, and now all or almost all chocolates go back to him, usually at multiple points on the pedigree.

     The chocolates have a Certificate of Development on them at the moment and are going for acceptance...so far, this is their history:
- 2010, 1st try at 1st showing, fail
- 2011, 2nd try at 2nd showing, pass
- 2012, 1st try at 2nd showing, fail
- 2013, 2nd try at 2nd showing...
In order to become accepted, they must pass three times within a five year period, and they have two chances at each showing.  If they pass this year and next year, they will become recognized.  If they fail one of the showings, the COD will go to someone else.

     While the chocolates are Silver Foxes, which are a fairly easy breed to raise successfully, they are still a challenge.  If you are gettiing into chocolates, you should also raise blacks, as the chocolates still need work on the fur and type.  This is due largely to how inbred they are, and as a result, they must be outbred to acheive the goals you are aiming for.  At the moment, my program features a good many chocolate carriers, and my chocolates all come out of blacks x black matings.  This is to ensure that I'm not inbreeding too tightly.  The goal is to reduce all chocolates to 25% or less Collins blood before using a good many of them to actually produce chocolate offspring so that I can better counter the inbreeding.  This will be done using the best blacks in my herd...at the moment, the key animals in this venture are SR's Beren and another animal I have access to, Wylde Hare's Zeus.  I'm also using white does in the program, and chocolate "maybe babies", which are animals that have been produced off black x black matings involving chocolate carriers and therefore may or may not carry chocolate.  Keep in mind that if you use chocolate carriers and produce off black x black matings, you will most likely have to repeat the breedings quite a few times before you actually produce something you like.

     Believe me, it's worth it to be patient.  And it will take patience on the chocolates, as their fur is not up to standard and they often have pinched / narrow hindquarters, which can be very difficult to breed out.  Please pay close attention to these traits if you raise them.  Also, be alert for split penis, cow hocks, and malocclusion and please put animals with all these in the freezer, even if it's only to a small degree that these faults occur.  Also, please do not sell anything with a DQ just because it is a fancy color, either.  It's not good for the variety, or the breed in general.

     My program may soon feature an outcrossing program to create a new line of chocolates in addition to the one I have now.  This is not a program for someone whose head spins when reading / talking about genetics.  This is only for those who understand how genetics work.  I do not recommend crossing for beginners unless you are only planning to do meat, as what you do can make or break the breed.