We are developing our farm to include small rare animals, we have started with Swiss Fox rabbits, they are a rare breed that boasts long silky fur all over its body, while its face and ears have short fur. The fact it’s very rounded and ‘cobby’ makes the Swiss Fox look very much like a ball of fluff. The Swiss Fox is a medium animal which usually weighs in at between 2.5 – 4kg. It was developed in Switzerland in the 1920s from Angoras and Havanas and was the result of an attempt to recreate the fur of the fox, which was very fashionable at the time. The fur of this new breed of rabbit was however, quite different to that of the fur foxes so this new type was not initially popular.
A few years after the Swiss animal made its appearance German breeders also began to see if they could createa rabbit with similar fur to that of a fox. Herr Leiffer put together Chinchillas and Angoras and the resulting animal was shown in 1932 as a Blue Fox. Swiss Fox Rabbits made their way across Europe and were eventually recognised in Holland in 1933. The breed was shown in Britain, but not recognized here until the 1980s.
During the Second World War the breed declined dramatically and disappeared completely in Germany. However because it remained neutral, the Swiss Fox kept a foothold in Switzerland. They are now bred primarily for the showring as interest in their pelts has declined over the years. They are still rare, even in Europe, but there is a loyal band of breeders that make sure the Swiss Fox continues to appear at shows across the UK, on the Continent and beyond.