While Britannia Petites and Checkered Giants are Daybreak's main breeds and thus priorities, I do devote a fair amount of time, energy, and resources to each of my secondary breeds: Siamese and Tort Satins, Mini Lops, and of course the Havanas. Below you will find information both historical and factual in basis on both current and various breeds I have raised over the years, as well as personal knowledge I have gained from my own encounters with them.
Yet another 6 Class breed, Satins come in a range of colors including Black, Blue, Chocolate, Chinchilla, Californian, Copper, Otter, Red, Siamese, White, and Broken. They make a very popular meat rabbit, doing especially well in meat pens and fryer classes at Fairs and Conventions, and are most notable for their intensely shiney "Satin" fur. Originally a mutation from the chocolate Havana, it is no surprise that at least a few of these animals have made their way into my barn. From that first mutation in 1934 in Walter Huey's barn, right here in Indiana, has risen a veritable wave of Satinized rabbits, in all continents across the world. From the original Satin Havanas stemmed the breed we know and love today as purely the Satin, as well as the Satin Angora, Mini Satin, and Satin Netherland Dwarfs in Europe, among others. Today, the American Satin Rabbit Breeders Association holds both Satins and Mini Satins under its wings as one parent club.
Satin is a recessive gene which causes the fur to change its structure. Traditional rabbit fur is of medium length and has some degree of natural luster but the guard hair shaft itself is opaque. In Satin fur, the guard hair shaft is transparent, causing a much greater amount of light to reflect off of the hair and thus giving the whole rabbit a deep brilliance appearance when the light hits it. This is different from natural luster, which does not have this luster. Satin fur also has a very fine, silky feel to it, making it doubly appealing for its pelt. Recessive means that both parents must carry the gene in order to create a Satin-furred rabbit; so if you get a Satin-furred baby out of two normal-furred parents, you know each of them carries the gene. Recessive to recessive breedings will create littes of 100% Satin offspring.
As a breed, Satins are typically more high-strung and flightly than others. Although many may hear breeders call them "(Mini) Satans," I do not think this is necessarily an apt name. Yes, they do require a firmer hand than, say, a dumb Mini Lop which will sit and take anything you dish out to it (and I say this with all respect to the Mini Lops currently residing in my barn) but they are not so bad as to deserve a demon label. Mini Satins in particular are quite easy to handle just based on their sheer size. A small flightly rabbit is much easier to manuever than a large one. That being said, Satins make great moms, give large litters, and are generally easy breeders, and they can be a truly rewarding breed for the one who decides to work with them for meat, pet, or show. A good Satin is absolutely stunning on the show table.
The Siamese variety of Satin is a shaded animal. This means that babies will come in a gradient of color - all the way from so light they appear Californian, to so dark it's difficult to distinguish their creamy white undercolor without pulling back the fur. There is no equation for hitting the medium shade the SOP calls for, and in fact, different judges and regions will prefer different degrees of shading on the table. Siamese Satins can be bred to Siamese, Black, White, Chinchilla, and Californian varieties, with genetic preference in that order. It should be noted that there are varieties within the Siamese color group, including black, blue, chocolate, and lilac. Because only black Siamese is recognized in the Satin breed, breedings to chocolate or blue animals or carriers should be avoided.