Selection of Russian sable has been around for more than 70 years. The wild sables" color is extremely variable depending on its habitat, moreover, wild sables differ visibly in their sizes. High mutability of the fur coloring of wild sables, as well as their diversity in size and fur structure were the main incentives for the artificial breeding of this creature in captivity and the acquisition of sable with the most valuable fur characteristics.
The first artificial sable litter was successfully conceived in 1929. At the same time a large sable farm at the "Pushkinskij" state fur farm was organized, animals were brought there from different districts of Siberia, the Urals and Tuva. And in 1931 the industrial breeding of sable started here. The majority of the livestock was a selection of the best animals from different fur farms, and in addition 130 wild barguzin sables were introduced. These animals served as the foundation for the creation of a new pedigree breed - black sable, which in its sizes resembles Kamchatka sable but is dissimilar in fur quality and colour. Black sable is evenly coloured, without any lightening of fur on the head and often even without the red spots near the ears, which are typical for wild black sables. However, in the geniture of pedigree sables cubs with lighter fur can sometimes appear.
One more sable species was conceived at the "Salikovskij" pedigree fur farm Outwardly it doesn"t differ much from "puskinskij"s" sable, but at the genetic level the difference is such, that both of these animals are categorized as different species. In the same place they are working on creating a sable species with strongly marked grey streaks. At pelt auctions grey furs are considered extremely valuable - on the same level as black sable.
Sable"s vital functions in the wild, as well as in captivity, depend on its environmental conditions - the light and the natural ultraviolet emanation. In captivity sables are kept in sheds, which scarcely protect them from the influence of weather conditions.
The average body size of males is 42 centimeters, of females - 38 centimeters.
This animal eats both vegetable and organic fodder. Today sable"s food ration at fur farms consists of 70% meat and fish products (horse-flesh, beef, liver, meat subproducts, fish and so on). Besides, a forage mix includes milk, non fat curds, grain, mixed fodder, apples, potatoes, and different vitamins - in total 8-10 components.
The reproductive period for sables lasts from the middle of June till the beginning of August; female sables allow males sables to approach several times. After a coition a very curious phenomenon occurs, which initially made it difficult to figure out the time of the breeding-period for these animals and delayed their rearing in captivity: foetus growth almost stops on the initial stage, and only at 7. 5 - 8 months real pregnancy begins. Coming into the world at the end of April, the sable"s cubs avoid the influence of a severe Winter. In a sable litter in captivity there can be 1 to 12 cubs, but most frequently there are 2-3. Sable"s live expectancy in captivity is 15-18 years, in the wild this creature lives for several years less.
Female sables become most fertile at the age of eight-nine years old and breed normally up to 12-14 years old. But, in comparison with another animals sables reach puberty rather late: of sables, bred in captivity, on average only 25% of females copulate at the age of 15-16 months, and the overwhelming majority of them remain unfertilized. Sable"s behavior resembles the of cat"s, and although special selective work in order to tame sable hasn"t yet been carried out, it is clear, that it is only a matter of time.