Creme D Argent Rabbit – information and facts about the Creme D Argent Rabbit Breed. Learn more about Creme D Argent Rabbits in this article. Breed photos are included.
When people hear the words ‘orange silver’, their immediate reaction is that it’s a weird combination. But this oddity is what makes Crème d’Argents unique in the rabbit world. Despite being less popular and smaller when compared to the breed’s Champagne counterpart, the ‘Crème of the Crop’ of rabbits clearly surpasses the beauty of the Champagnes.
Creme D Argent Rabbit Facts
As early as 1877, these fawn silver rabbits were already mentioned in the Liver Stock Journal, a paper in France, despite not knowing their exact origins. These Crème rabbits would not weigh more than 7 pounds. Around 1920s, in the decade when most original rabbit importations happened, Crème d’Argents were imported on different occasions. During these times, the Crème d’Argent versions are still small and long, when compared to the ones that we have today. It is to be remembered that during these early years, rabbits are preferred to serve two purposes – for meat and for showing. But the Crème d’Argents were most popular in the production of fur trimmings, which were used for fashionable clothing.
These spike in importations captured the interest of some rabbit enthusiasts. Most notably, Mr. Harry Claus of Canandiagua, New York, bought majority of the imported stock of Crème d’Argents. He then worked to develop the breed by crossing the pure Crème with other breeds such as Golden Palomino. In his efforts, he was able to bring up a commercial type breed from the stock that he acquired. Another notable success that Mr. Claus achieved was the removal of common faults in the breed, such as dark ear lacing.
The Crème rabbits were first shown at the Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1936.
The American Rabbit Breeders Association recognized this new version of the breed, or the ‘Americanized’ Crème d’Argent, in the year 1940. In Europe, the old-style Crème was kept and is still being bred today. This also suggests that the breed has already become extinct in all other countries aside from UK and US.
2. Characteristics and Appearance
The Crème d’Argent is a six-class breed, which suggests that they are not considered senior rabbits until they reach 8 months. Also, for rabbits that are between 6-8 months old, they are classified as intermediate rabbits. Deemed to be on the small side of commercial rabbit breeds, the ideal weights for Crèmes are 9 pounds for bucks and 10 pounds for does.
While some Crème d’Argents have a long body and slender physique, there are other Crème rabbits in other areas that have well-rounded and deep body types. The ideal Crème d’Argents would call for a medium length body and well developed shoulders and hindquarters. These are highlighted when shown in rabbit show tables. Their fur is a standard flyback.
The coloring of Crème rabbits is orange-fawn, coupled with a silver gene. In other terms, it can be described as a creamy white with an orange casting carried all over the rabbit’s body fur. This is the only standard color for the breed. The undercoat is bright orange, which carries through the skin. The genotype for this coloring is AA BB CC DD eesisi. This unique coloring resulted from withdrawing a wild rabbit color, which is chestnut agouti, by only two genes. These are the silvering gene, and the non-extension gene ‘e’, which only allows the yellow pigment to show, and not the black. Because of this silver gene, the rabbit’s coating can grow white guard hairs which increase in number as the rabbits age.
If the proper under coloring were achieved, the colors of the muzzle and the ears would appear to be darker than the rest of the body. With every successive molting, these rabbits would tend to lose some colors as it would affect the under coloring that will make the rabbits appear lighter.
Sometimes, there will be an occurrence of black hairs around the edges of the rabbits’ ears. This is what they call lacing, and can be faulted during shows. A rabbit with no lacing is preferred, however, culling should not be strictly done to ensure that the main characteristics of Crème d’Argents are retained.
3. Personality, Traits and Survival
The Crème d’Argents are known as good mothers. They have a relaxed and likeable personality, making them a good choice for beginner rabbit enthuasists.
Aside from being pets, their sweet nature and docile personality also make them a great and stunning show animals. They are calm and enjoy attention.
In the year 2006, a record low in global population of less than 1000 Crème d’Argents were recorded , according to the data provided by the American Rabbit Breeders Association, as well as the Crème d’Argent Rabbit Federation. But this trajectory has changed in landscape in the recent years due to the efforts of some rabbit enthusiasts to ensure a stable population of Crème d’Argents. And they’re slowly growing in numbers.
Now, the increasing population of the Crème d’Argent moved the breed’s category in American Livestock Breeds Conservancy from the ‘watch’ category to ‘recovering.