Champagne D Argent Rabbit – information and facts about the Champagne D Argent Rabbit Breed. Learn more about Champagne D Argent Rabbits in this article. Breed photos are included.
One of the most interesting names in the world of rabbitry is Champagne d’Argent, which means ‘Silver Rabbit of Champagne’. Champagne is a place in France where the rabbit breed was developed. Another fact to trick with your interest is that Champagne d’Argents are one of the oldest rabbit breeds.
In status quo, the American Rabbit Breeders Association recognizes two varieties of the ‘Argente’ breed: Champagne and Crème. At least 7 breeds of the variety is still present today. The beautifully silvered Champagne d’Argent will be our main focus of discussion today.
Champagne D Argent Rabbit Facts
Champagne is the oldest of all the varieties of Argente rabbits. And to top that, Argente is one of the oldest breeds of French show rabbits. Judging from this alone, we can really say that Champagne d’Argent has been there through the years of growth of rabbit history. While most documentation cannot trace where the rabbit breed really originated, majority of them acknowledge that the breed has started in France around mid-1600s.
The general Champagne d’Argent would reap 55 out of 100 in the ARBA standard. And the ideal coating that the breed has contributed to this merit. Basically, the color would carry 20 points, fur carrying 15, and then the condition of the fur bringing in 10 points.
However, the ideal coating that the breed has today is not the original version of Champagne d’Argent’s coat. Way back in 1912, when they were first brought to the United States, these have these long and loose coats, not unlike those of the silver fox or canine.
The silver coloring of their coat that the Champagnes have gave way for the breed to be originally called ‘French Silver’. Despite being classified as a common breed, it was once awarded for its pelt.
2. Characteristics and Appearance
Weighing approximately 8 pounds, Champagne d’Argentis a substantially large animal. It could even weigh up to 12 pounds. It is a six-class breed. It has showing groups for senior, intermediate, junior and pre-junior bucks and does.
The body type of Champagne d’Argents is commercial, which makes it really suitable for the market. They could stand at par with the quality of Californians and New Zealand.
The fur of Champagnes conforms to the commercial fur standard set by ARBA, which is the close-lying flyback. Ideally, it should not be harsh, thin, wooly or too short. They have well-developed hindquarters and their backs are slightly arched. They also have broad heads and they front legs are straight. They are short and fine in bones as well. Because of these amazing characteristics, being full in shoulders and deep in headquarters, Champagnes exemplify an ideal commercial, meat rabbit.
Dubbed as ‘silver plated’ rabbits, they really seem to look like they’re wearing a shining armor while they grow. This silvery tone is best viewed from a distance. When they are born, they have a solid black coloring. But as time goes by and they reach the age of maturity, they slowly develop silver hairs. One of the major reasons behind this is hereditary. Champagne d’Argents are black rabbits but they have a silver gene, which is symbolized by si. Since the si gene is recessive, a rabbit that has one copy of silver gene and one copy of the normal gene would appear ‘lightly silvered’.
In about 3-6 weeks, transformation would begin, starting from the underside, then way up to the body. When they reach 6 and 8 months of age, the back and face portion would also turn to silver. From this point forward, they will just continue to lighten until they reach the ideal color that looks like silver plating or a shade of silver gray. The muzzle, feet and tails will have darker shading than the rest. Sometimes, however, the si gene can cause the rabbit to develop white spots. Such an event could result to disqualification based on the ARBS Standard of Perfection. Champagnes’ undercoloring is described dark slate blue. And its body is bluish white.
Their coats are at least an inch long (generally 1 ¼ to 1 ¾ inches), glossy and also dense. Because of this density in coating, the rabbit coating could not lay flat and you can only see the silver coating to the shadowy dark underfur.
During the rabbit shows and fairs, the following can be considered as faults: dark ears, creamy or yellow tint, often seen around the neck and cheeks area. Judges would also discourage the presence of a large paunch, or a bony or angular frame. They will also discourage too dark or white-topped exhibits for these rabbits. For both does and bucks, the presence of dewlaps is considered a serious fault. White toenails are considered a minor fault.
3. Personality and Traits
Champagne d’Argents are known as excellent pets. This is because of their good nature. Many rabbit enthusiasts prefer to raise Champagnes for pets, and then sell them. They are best described by families as calm and well tempered.
Despite not being too popular, many rabbit enthusiasts continue to breed the Champagnes. It’s safe to claim that they are far from extinction. Champagne rabbits are raised all over the world. The variation is on the extent of the silver coloring, its most remarkable feature.