The Mini Satin rabbit is the smaller version of the Standard Satin rabbit, created by breeding the Standard Satin with a Netherland Dwarf or Polish rabbit. These bunnies are a rare breed and are the latest rabbits to be recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA).
Like their name suggests, the Mini Satin has a wonderful, satin-like coat and a great personality to match! They make an excellent pet for many different people, including families with children. If you’re interested in learning more about the Mini Satin rabbit and seeing whether they might be the rabbit for you, keep reading below.
History Of The Mini Satin Rabbit
While the Mini Satin rabbit is a relatively new breed, the Standard Satin has been since the 1920s and is a very popular breed. Their satin fur is the result of a simple recessive gene mutation that narrows the diameter of the hair shaft and results in translucent fur.
To understand where the Mini Satin rabbit originated from, we can take a look at the origins of the Standard Satin.
The first “satinized” rabbits were Havana rabbits, bred by Mr. Walter Huey in 1934. Many breeders were very intrigued by their unique coats and wanted to breed other rabbits with the Havana. This was done and, by 1946, the satin gene had expanded well beyond just the Havana rabbit. These new Satin rabbits were recognized by the ARBA.
In the late 1970s, Ms. Ariel Hayes tried to breed the Mini Satin, but was unsuccessful. She gave up in 1982 and sold her rabbits. However, other breeders persisted from the 1980s to 1999, when Mr. J Leo Collins obtained a Certificate of Development. He created two varieties of the Mini Satin: the red and the albino world.
The red-eyed white Mini Satin was accepted by the American Rabbit Breeder’s Association in 2006. Since then, there have been many other varieties of the Mini Satin accepted by the ARBA.
Characteristics Of The Mini Satin Rabbit
The Mini Satin rabbit has many of the same traits and characteristics of the Standard Satin rabbit, although they are much smaller. These rabbits are usually born in litter sizes of between 2 to 4 kits and a Mini Satin rabbit costs around $50.
The Mini Satin rabbit has a compact body that weighs between 3 to 4.5 lbs when fully grown. They are short, well rounded and have a round, full head. Per the breed standard, their ears are not allowed to be over 3.5 inches long. The ears of Mini Satin Rabbits are upright and covered in their distinctive fur.
These rabbits have a very unique coat that gives them their special name. The result of a recessive gene, both the Standard Satin and the Mini Satin have beautiful, shiny fur! This fur is short and it does not require too much grooming. We will go into more detail about grooming your Satin rabbit later on.
There are a number of color varieties that are recognized by the ARBA for the Satin breed. These include blue, black, white, red, chocolate, chocolate agouti, chinchilla, opal, tortoise, broken, siamese and otter.
The Satin rabbit has a wonderful temperament. Gentle and friendly, they will make a great addition to any home. They’re a calm bunny who will happily go along with the flow, but can also be very playful at times!
One thing to note with the Mini Satin is that they can be skittish around humans that they don’t know and so must be socialized properly. If friends visit the house, you may advise them not to touch or pick up the Mini Satin until they are comfortable with them.
You should always respect your rabbit’s personal space, especially when they are new to your home. If they are afraid or frightened, then they might try to bite.
The Mini Satin rabbit has an average life expectancy of between 5 to 8 years, although they can live as long as 12 years.
Known Health Issues
Fortunately, the Mini Satin rabbit is not prone to any breed-specific health problems. However, they can be susceptible to many of the same health concerns that other rabbits are. We have laid out the most common issues below.
– GI Stasis — this is a potentially deadly condition in which the digestive system slows down or stops completely. Symptoms include loss of appetite, small or no fecal pellets and lethargy. It can be treated if caught quickly.
– Ear Mites — this is a common parasite of pet rabbits. You may see your rabbit shaking their head a lot if they are affected. Your vet will be able to treat them.
– Flystrike — this is when flies lay their eggs on soiled patches of fur and, when their eggs hatch, they begin to eat the rabbit from the inside out. Symptoms include seizures, loss of motion (listlessness) and skin irritations. Always ensure your rabbit’s rear end is clean, especially as they get older.
Like all rabbits, they can also suffer from back issues if they are mishandled or accidentally dropped.
Regular vet checkups will ensure that you catch any health problems before they become too serious. You should also make sure that you are buying from a reputable breeder.
Now we know all about the traits and characteristics of the Mini Satin, it is time to take a look at what living with one of these rabbits on a day to day basis is really like. We will cover their food and diet, their grooming needs, their exercise needs and their living space requirements.
Food And Diet
The exact amount you feed your Mini Satin rabbit should be based on their size, age and activity level. As a smaller rabbit, they are not going to need as much food as larger rabbits, and you should monitor their weight so you can be sure they don’t become obese.
They should be eating a portion of hay that is at least as their body size every day, alongside pellets and fresh vegetables. Fresh water should also always be available to them.
Hay is very important as it helps to keep your Mini Satin’s digestive system moving, as well as helping to wear down their teeth so they are less prone to dental issues. At least 70% of your rabbit’s diet should be hay.
High-quality supplementary pellets help to provide extra vitamins and minerals that keep your rabbit healthy. Take a look at a supplementary pellet food we recommend below.
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We recommend the Kaytee Fiesta rabbit food for the Mini Satin rabbit. This is a nutritionally fortified diet made of a premium blend of fruits, vegetables, seeds and grains. This food contains prebiotics and probiotics to support digestive health and the rich ingredients list gives your rabbit variety.
With larger kibble pieces, these pellets help to promote your Mini Satin’s dental health as they chew. This food also contains antioxidants for immune system support and, being made in the USA, you can ensure this food is safe for your bun.
In the wild, rabbits run around three miles a day. Therefore, it is very important that you give your pet rabbit enough exercise every day to keep them active and entertained. They should have at least three hours of free-range time, whether this is out of their hutch in the garden or just around the house.
Thanks to their small size, the Mini Satin rabbit does not need as much exercise as a larger rabbit. However, this doesn’t mean that they should be kept inside their hutch all day! Give them space to move around, otherwise they can become bored and destructive without exercise and this can reduce their life expectancy.
Mini Satin rabbits are often kept as house rabbits to keep them safe from predators. However, they enjoy time outside just like any other bunny. If you have the space, you can buy a large enclosure for them to run around in the yard during the day time. This will keep them safe and secure and you won’t need to be monitoring them all the time.
Exercise is very important for the well-being of your rabbit. It helps to keep their joints moving, keeps them entertained and ensures they stay at a healthy weight.
Family Compatibility and Trainability
These rabbits make a great pet for everyone — individuals, couples, families and the elderly. They are very good-natured and calm, but can also be playful and are great with children. Their small size means they also do well with apartment living and do not need a lot of room.
The Mini Satin rabbit is trainable, but you must have patience with this breed. You can teach them to use their litter tray but it may take them a while to learn. Never get angry or upset with your rabbit as this will make them afraid of you.
It is up to you whether you keep your Mini Satin rabbit as an indoor or outdoor rabbit. It is often recommended you keep them as a house rabbit with their hutch indoors, purely because of their size. These small bunnies are much more likely to be eaten by predators than large rabbits if they spend a lot of time outside without supervision, especially overnight.
Because the Mini Satin is small, they don’t need a lot of space but their hutch should be large enough that they can easily move around inside. Try to stay away from hutches with wire floors as these can cause sore hocks within rabbits. Take a look at the hutch we recommend below.
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We recommend the the Petsfit indoor rabbit hutch for the Mini Satin. This hutch will provide the Mini Satin with enough space to move around and there are two levels and ramps that allow them to easily move between. The top and side entrances and exits also provide easy access in and out of the hutch for your bun as well as easy access for you to clean.
Even better, there are side wall guards that stop hay and bedding from falling out and a removable bottom tray that is not only waterproof but also easy to clean and replace after cleaning. There is also a “hideaway” feature of this hutch, giving your Satin rabbit a space to sleep or just to spend some quiet time in!
Despite being known for their coat, the Mini Satin does not require too much grooming. You should brush them twice a week with a slicker brush to keep their fur in good condition. During shedding season, which will happen twice a year, you may need to be brushing them more.
You should very rarely bathe your rabbit. It is not really necessary, unless they are really dirty. Bathing can also be a traumatic experience for them. You should also trim their nails as and when is needed.
Mini Satin Rabbit FAQ’s
How big should my rabbit’s cage be?
The rule with rabbits is: the bigger the better! If you have the space for a big hutch then your rabbit will always appreciate the extra room to roam and exercise. No one wants to be stuck in a cramped space!
If you do not have a lot of space, then the cage should be at least 4 times the size of the rabbit. A guide is 24″ by 36″ for smaller rabbits (less than 8 lbs) or 30″ by 36″ for larger rabbits. Hutches with multiple stories are also popular as they give your bun more space.
Why should I keep my Mini Satin inside?
It is up to you whether you keep your Mini Satin inside or outside. Often, owners of Mini Satins keep their bunnies inside purely because it is safer. The Mini Satin is a small breed and is therefore more prone to being eaten by predators when left alone unsupervised outside.
However, if you do not have the space to keep your Mini Satin indoors, you can always purchase an extra secure outdoor hutch!
The Mini Satin rabbit breed is a smaller version of the Standard Satin and, although these rabbits aren’t as popular or well-known, they can make a wonderful pet! With their gorgeous satin fur, these bunnies are a fantastic breed that don’t require a lot of grooming. They’re also laid-back, docile and friendly with those that they know and don’t take up a lot of space! Make sure you keep these bunnies inside or in a secure enclosure to keep them safe and they can live for up to 12 years. Do you think a Mini Satin might be the breed for you?