Rabbits are some of the most popular pets and companions after dogs and cats, and this is largely due to their extremely docile and gentle temperament, apart from their sheer cuteness. The American sable rabbit breed was developed by Otto Brock in California in 1924 and was first recognized as a breed by the American Rabbit Breeders Association in 1931. The breed was developed by cross-breeding chinchilla rabbits (which it still shares a similar body shape with) with others and eventually led to the two becoming biologically separate enough to not be able to procreate. In a homely setting, however, American sable rabbits do not mind hanging out and playing with chinchilla or silver marten rabbits. While the head, feet, and tail are a lighter tan hue, this rabbit breed's face, ears, and neck are usually black. Due to this combination of colors on its coat, it looks almost identical to the Siamese cat! During shedding season, a good amount of this coat will inevitably be found in various different places in your house, even though it is relatively short-haired compared to other rabbit breeds. The American sable rabbit has been described as having a commercial body type and body shape, just right for pet owners to hold easily, at an average weight of around 8 lb (3.5 kg) and also find amazingly cute, which makes sense, seeing as it is a breed that was specially developed with an end goal in mind. The American sable rabbit's diet is similar to most other rabbits and mostly consists of hay. A lack of hay in its diet can lead to overgrown teeth, a condition no rabbit should ever have to go through. As a pet, they can prove challenging to potty train, but not impossible. Unlike cats, they need several litter boxes spread out throughout the house. The American sable rabbit usually spends most of its day sleeping but does enjoy the companionship of its owner. It loves running around and will do so regardless of whether it is inside your house or out in the yard.
If you enjoy this article on the American sable rabbit, do check our articles on other rabbit breeds like the swamp rabbit and the Rhinelander rabbit.
American Sable Rabbit
What do they prey on?
What do they eat?
Average litter size?
How much do they weigh?
7.7-10 lb (3.5-4.5 kg)
How long are they?
8-12 in (20-30 cm)
How tall are they?
6 in (15 cm)
What do they look like?
Dark brown and black coat
What are their main threats?
What is their conservation status?
Where you'll find them
Grassy plains, homes
Oryctolagus cuniculus domesticus
American Sable Rabbit Interesting Facts
What type of animal is an American sable rabbit?
The American sable rabbit is one of the cutest breeds of rabbit.
What class of animal does an American sable rabbit belong to?
The American sable rabbit is a mammal, belonging to the biological class Mammalia, meaning its female gives birth to live babies and breastfeeds them until they are ready to find their own food.
How many American sable rabbits are there in the world?
While the exact number of American sable rabbits in the world is not known, they are quite abundant in the wild, though their population is thought to be gradually decreasing due to their increasing popularity in the meat industry.
Where does an American sable rabbit live?
The American sable rabbit can be found in the wild grassy plains but is most often seen in people's homes kept as a pet and companion.
What is an American sable rabbit's habitat?
The American sable rabbit's habitat consists of warm fields and yards of the United States, with Ohio having the highest density of American sable rabbits.
Who does the American sable rabbit live with?
American sable rabbits are comfortable living around humans and also other similar rabbit species like the chinchilla and the silver marten.
How long does an American sable rabbit live?
While the exact American sable rabbit lifespan can vary drastically between individuals, its average lifespan is between five to eight years.
How do they reproduce?
The American sable rabbit reproduces through sexual intercourse, just like any other rabbit. The female is infertile for only three days in a month and will produce an egg as and when she mates with a male. As a result, she can have a litter of around five babies every single month in a year! Clearly, the rabbit's reputation for producing a lot of babies is not misplaced.
What is their conservation status?
Since the American sable rabbit is a specially developed breed, it is quite abundantly found both in the wild and in people's homes, despite its increasing popularity as a source of meat. It is a species of Least Concern according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
American Sable Rabbit Fun Facts
What does the American sable rabbit look like?
The American sable rabbit has a relatively small frame, around 8-12 in (20-30 cm) in length, and weighs around 8 lb (3.5 kg). The female weighs slightly more than the male. While their face, ears, and neck are black, the rest of their body is a lighter brownish tan color. The American sable rabbit color is very similar to that of a Siamese cat, causing several owners of the at breed to try and get an American sable rabbit to go with the cat. The rabbit breed carries an albino gene, meaning a completely pale American sable rabbit also exists. Besides, a tan pattern was developed in the later stages of its breeding cycle, and these rabbits were assigned as a type of marten rabbit and not an American sable rabbit. They have soft and fluffy fur and will shed a bit of it during the summer. They may need to be groomed a little more than other breeds of rabbits due to the fact that they have a very dense coat that requires extensive brushing to remove shed hair.
How cute are they?
The American sable rabbit is extremely cute and cuddly and is quite popular as a pet as a result. Its long ears and dreamy eyes are sure to melt your heart in a matter of seconds! They love your companionship and will calmly sit beside you, pondering over very important rabbit matters.
How do they communicate?
The most common form of communication between American sable rabbit individuals is body language and silent cues. Their mood as well as position in the American sable rabbit society can be conveyed by their body language alone, but they will also use verbal communication tools like whines, buzzes, and growls to try and communicate with rabbits and humans as well.
How big is an American sable rabbit?
The American sable rabbit usually measures around 8-12 in (20-30 cm) in length, and at this size, it is around half the size of a European rabbit, and almost exactly the same size as the Foxface rabbitfish.
How fast can an American sable rabbit run?
The average sprint speed of the American sable rabbit is a whopping 22 mph (35 kph)! This is almost the same as a Snowshoe hare, and the pair of animals are actually a part of the slower bunch of rabbits!
How much does an American sable rabbit weigh?
On average, the American sable rabbit weighs in at around 7.7-10 lb (3.5-4.5 kg). However, the female American sable rabbit is known to consistently weigh in at the higher end of the weight range, and males at the lower end.
What are the male and female names of the species?
Both the male and female of the American sable rabbit breed can be referred to by the same name. However, a male rabbit is often called a buck, and a female a doe. As such, a male of this breed can be called an American sable buck, and a female an American sable doe.
What would you call a baby American sable rabbit?
Baby rabbits are referred to as kits or kittens, meaning baby American sable rabbits can be called American sable kits or American sable kittens.
What do they eat?
An American sable rabbit's diet is similar to any other rabbit breed and consists mostly of hay, apart from green, leafy vegetables and fruits.
Are they poisonous?
No, the American sable rabbit does not produce any harmful toxins and can be kept in a home near children and the elderly without any worries. This is, of course, provided the individual is completely healthy and free of infection.
Would they make a good pet?
Yes, absolutely! Not only are they extremely cute to look at, but their silky soft fur is also a joy to touch and cuddle with. They are docile and enjoy being with their owners, and will also patiently play with kids. Their diet does not pose too much of a challenge, since 70% of their entire food intake is hay.
Did you know...
The American sable rabbit is most active at dusk and dawn, that is, around the times that the sun sets and when it rises, this is called crepuscularity. This is an evolutionary trait that is not needed anymore but is present in them nonetheless. It is found in several other prey animals and originated due to the fact that when the sun is low in the sky, predators are easiest to spot, making it the safest time of day for them to leave their burrows and socialize, find food, mate, and graze.
How did American sable rabbits get their name?
The etymology of the name of the American sable rabbit is simple. It was first developed and continues to be found largely in the United States, thus prompting the country's demonym being in its name. Also, the dominant color of the rabbit breed is sable, a dark shade of brown. Thus the name, American sable rabbit.
History of the American sable rabbit
The American sable rabbit was first developed by a breeder named Otto Brock based in San Gabriel, California in 1924. The breed was obtained from the cross-breeding of Chinchilla rabbits and several other species until eventually, Brock reached the look he was aiming at. The American sable rabbit has a completely different color from the Chinchilla but shares many similarities in size, weight, and shape. Seven years later, in 1931, the breed was recognized as biologically distinct and healthy by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA). This caused a massive spike in interest in the breed, but unfortunately, it would not last long. At the 1981 convention organized by ARBA, only one American sable rabbit was exhibited. It was due to the efforts of the Ohioan Al Roerdanz, who tirelessly championed the comeback of the breed by spreading awareness and marketing it as the perfect rabbit pet, that the breed was able to return to mainstream popularity. To this day, Ohio remains the largest stronghold of the American sable rabbit, although it is definitely making inroads in the rest of the country as well as the rest of the world.
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