In 1932, Mr. Walter Huey of Indiana, first discovered the Satin mutation by chance in a litter of chocolate Havanas. In the beginning, these shiny Havanas were exhibited alongside the normal Havanas, causing much protest. Soon the new coat mutation was given the name Satin Havana. By 1946, the name was changed to Chocolate Satin, the American Satin Rabbit Breeders Association was formed, a Breed Standard established and Satins were recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (A.R.B.A.).
Satins are categorized as a large commercial breed; raised for show, pets, meat and their unique fur. The average adult weight ranges from 8.5 to 12 pounds, with Does weighing slightly more than Bucks. There are eleven accepted colors (varieties): Black, Blue, Broken Group (which is any recognized variety in conjunction with White), Californian, Chinchilla, Chocolate, Copper, Otter Group, Red, Siamese and White, with Lilac currently in development.
Satins are known for their lustrous, glossy fur. The 1 to 1-1/8 inch, glass-like hair shaft is translucent and fine, thus highly reflective of light, giving the coat it’s brilliant sheen and depth of color. The fur is dense with beautiful flyback. For years, Satin fur has been used as the “faux mink” in the fashion industry. One touch and you’ll see why!
Satins have friendly often comical personalities. The Does are easy breeders, make excellent mothers and foster mothers, kindling from 5-15 Kits, easily nursing them all. Bucks are usually calm and easy to handle, too. They are great for 4-H and FFA projects, although because of their size, not recommended as pets for very small children.
Popular on the show circuit among both Open and Youth exhibitors, most Satin varieties are well represented. Attend a rabbit show near you to get an up close and personal view of the unforgettable Satin rabbit!
“The body is of medium length, with depth and width approximately equal throughout the animal, showing a slight taper from hindquarters to shoulders. The top line is to be smooth, continuous curve, starting at the nape of the neck rising gradually to a high point over the center of the hips, then falling in a smooth curve downward to the tail. The ideal fur should be silky, fine, dense, thick, and soft to the touch, due to the interspersed dense undercoat of the animal. The sheen of the animal, due to clarity of the glass like hair shell and its ability to reflect light, emits brilliant richness of color. Senior Weights: Ideal: Bucks 9-1/2 lbs. Does 10 lbs. Registration: Bucks 8-1/2 to 10-1/2 lbs. Does 9 to 11 lbs.”
From “Official Guide Book, Raising Better Rabbits & Cavies”- A.R.B.A.