- Average weight: 7-10 lb.
- Lifespan: 5 - 10 years
- Size: medium to large
- Who are they suited for: Families with older children, singles, couples, seniors and first-time owners.
- Where can you keep them: Apartment, house, indoors or outdoors cages
- Similar breeds - American Chinchilla and Silver Marten Rabbits
History and origin
The American Sables was developed by Otto Brock of San Gabriel, California in 1924 by crossbreeding purebred colored Chinchilla rabbits whose recessive genes led to a bunny with a new color. In 1929, the American Sable Rabbit Society was formed to help promote them.
More than half the population of these bunnies live in America, and ARBA and the American Cavy Breeders Association recognized them in 1931 where the lighter Siamese Sables and shaded Sables were included.
Although the tan-patterned sables (Martens) also exists in the US, they were recognized as Silver Marten rabbits and not grouped in the American Sables.
The second possible origin is Liverpool, England where Mr. David Irving, imported some Chinchilla rabbits from France in 1910s and bred them.
Although Mr. David Irving was not impressed with the sable-colored bunnies, breeders in England bred them, and in 1927 the British Sable Club was formed. This bunny was later accepted to the British Fur Rabbit Society.
The British Rabbit Council (BRC) has registered their Sables as Siamese Sable and Marten Sable, and they come in dark, medium or light shading.
In the 1970s there was a decline in the American Sables with only one available for show at the ARBA National Convention Conference in 1981. To help save them from distinction, Al Roerdanz of Ohio dedicated his effort in locating these bunnies for breeding and his effort helped find seven more that were bred to stop the rabbit from being extinct.
Colors, body type, and size
They have a muscular commercial body type that resembles the Chinchilla rabbits with their main difference being their coat color.
According to Wikipedia, “the head, feet, ears, back, and top of the tail are a dark sepia, while the coat fades to a lighter tan over the rest of the body.” This gives this bunny a color resemblance to the Siamese cat.
They are of medium body size with senior bucks weigh 7-10 lb while senior does weigh 8-10 lb. When compared to other commercial rabbits, the American Sables are slightly smaller.
Also, they have a “rounded body, and the top line of their body is defined by a smooth and continuous curve, from the base of the neck to the tail, just like chinchilla rabbits,” notes, Petponder.com.
Finally, their eyes are bold and bright dark colored with a coloring that is deep ruby red and their heads are round, and ears upright.
The American Sables can be used for meat, fur, and as pets.
Their coat comes in a sepia brown tone with their tail, ears, face, back and feet darker than the rest of their coat.
It has a dense, silky soft rollback fur. It requires more grooming than other short haired bunnies but not as much as the long-haired ones.
Caring for the American Sables
They take longer to shed their fur and sheds in patches making them require more attention when grooming them.
Grooming will include brushing them with a slicker brush once a week. This will help prevent matting. Brush them more during molting 1-2 times a week or as it may be required, especially if they are indoor bunnies. This will reduce their fur ending up on your furniture, carpet or clothes.
Their diet will include hay, some high-quality pellets, leafy greens, small treats of vegetables and fruits as well as enough clean drinking water. The greens should not be treated with pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers or any other chemicals.
You could keep them indoors or outdoors with the outdoor enclosures raised, secure, and weatherproof. A slightly windy area under shade will be ideal.
Like the outdoor cages, the indoor ones must have a solid base, spacious enough and a sleeping area. We have a guide to help you decide on the right size of your cage.
Ensure they take some time outside their cages such as in a secured area in your backyard and that they spend some time with you to help flourish their great personalities.
No health issue is specific to the American Sables. Common health issues will include sore hocks, dental problems including overgrown teeth, respiratory infections, wool blocks, mites, fleas, ticks and so on.
Give them rabbit gnaw toys, hay, and other roughages to help grind down their overgrown teeth as well as prevent this problem.
Let your bucks be neutered and does spayed unless you need to breed them. This increases their lifespan as well as reduces the chances of reproductive organs related diseases.
Temperament and behavior
These rabbits are docile, and they spend much of their day sleeping (but active at sunrise and sunset).
They do enjoy the companionship of other bunnies and pets such as dogs, cats, guinea pigs, etc. They can also enjoy their owner’s company whenever they feel like and love attention.
If you distress them, expect a grunting noise or thumping of their back feet to try scare what is disturbing them and thus not suited for families with small children. However, they make great pets that can be handled with ease.
Buy them rabbit toys (small dog toys and those for cats will also be ideal) to keep them company.
If they freely move into your house, let it be rabbit-proof, and finally, if you are patient, you can train them to use their litter boxes.
American sable rabbit for sale
These are not very popular rabbits, and their population is relatively low. Therefore, you might be required to travel long distances to where the American rabbit breeders are, at rescue centers as well as rabbitries that have them.
Begin by searching online to get any locations near you.
Their prices will vary, and purebred and pedigreed ones will be more expensive. Prices range from $20 to $100+ with the more expensive ones being of show quality and pedigreed.