Champagne d’Argent rabbits, commonly called Champagnes, are medium-sized rabbits with silvery coat (also known as the French Silvers rabbit)
It’s one of three Argent (silver-coated) rabbits recognized at shows in the United States.
This group includes:
- The Champagne d’Argent rabbit, the largest of the Argent breeds recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association. It has silver and black hairs in its fur.
- The Argenté Brun rabbit, a slightly smaller rabbit, which has silver and brown fur.
- The Crème d’Argent rabbit, a rare breed with orange silvery fur. It is the smallest of the Argenté breeds
There is also an unrecognized rare breed known as a “groot” silver rabbit, the Argenté Clair, which is found mostly in Germany.
What makes the Argenté breeds unique is something called the silvering gene. When Champagne d’Argent rabbits are born, they are jet black.
Argenté Bruns are solid brown. Crème d’Argent newborns will be a solid orange color.
Four to six weeks after they are born, bunnies of these breeds start developing silver color in their coats.
At first, they seem to be getting white spots in their fur. But if you wait a few more weeks, you will begin to see silver color on the legs and around the eyes.
By the time these rabbits are twelve weeks old, their coat is mostly colored in silver.
In the UK, Canada, Australia, and other Commonwealth countries, this breed is known as the Argenté de Champagne.
Essential Facts About Champagne d’Argent Rabbits
Scientific name: Oryctolagus cuniculus domesticus
Care level, compared to other rabbits: Needs more socialization to be a happy, well-adjusted pet than most other breeds.
Temperament: Considerable individual differences, but almost always, can be trained to become a good pet.
Color: Ideally, silver hairs on a slate-blue undercoat with black guard hairs on the body, black color on the ears, across the face, near the tail, and around the eyes.
Lifespan: Usually 7 to 9 years, occasionally up to 12 years with good care.
Size: Adult does weigh 9.5 to 12 pounds (4.3 to 5.4 kg), adult bucks 9 to 11 pounds (3.9 to 4.9 kilograms).
Litter size: 8 to 10, although does bear smaller litters as they get older.
Dietary requirements: Mostly timothy hay. Needs some dark-colored leaves, stems, or roots (such as carrots). Avoid excessive feeding with commercial rabbit food.
Compatible breeds: Reproductively intact male and female can be housed together, or two spayed or neutered rabbits, but not two females.
Cage size: Champagne d’Argent need cages about 4 times as large as their bodies. although it is always better. A Champagne d’Argent rabbit needs a cage or kennel with 24 inches by 36 inches (609 cm by 90 cm) floor space, and 14 inches (35 cm) room for its ears. Outdoor hutches are best.
History of the Champagne d’Argent Rabbit
Champagne D’Argent Rabbit is one of the oldest rabbit breeds in France, with a history that dates back to the 17th century
The Champagne D’Argent Rabbit was first bred in the Champagne region of France, hence its name.
It is believed that the breed was developed by crossing wild rabbits with domesticated rabbits, resulting in a larger and more docile breed that was well-suited for meat and fur production.
Champagne d’Argent rabbits were known as “French Silvers” when there were only small numbers of them in England in the 1800s.
But, they gained the name Argenté de Champagne in the 1920s when British furriers began importing their pelts in large quantities for making elegant coats.
So, why is the Argenté de Champagne known as a Champagne d’Argent in the United States?
American rabbit farmers started importing French Silvers into the USA in 1912.
However, in the United States, too many consumers made a comparison between the imported Silver French rabbits and the coat of the silver fox, which is actually a dog-like version of a fox.
American rabbit breeders selected larger rabbits with softer, shorter coats, so there are discernible differences between the Argenté de Champagne in the UK and Champagne d’Argent currently known in the United States.
The American Rabbit Breeders Association dropped the “e” in Argente between 1955 and 1959. Many breeders just call them Champagnes.
Champagne d’Argent rabbits are not as popular as some other breeds as pets, because of their size.
They need more room than many other breeds of rabbits. However, Champagne d’Argents are still very popular for shows.
Appearance of the Champagne d’Argent Rabbit
The key identifying feature of the Champagne d’Argent rabbit is its coat color.
As we discussed above, these rabbits develop their silvery coats during their first six months of life.
Ideally, a Champagne d’Argent looks almost blue when it is viewed from a distance.
The undercoat is a gray, almost slate blue. The silver color appears in the shaft of hairs in the topcoat.
There are black guard hairs that protect the rabbit from wind and rain. The rabbit has black ears, a black butterfly pattern across its nose, and black fur around its eyes.
There may also be black color on its rump.
Champagne d’Argents have a “commercial” body type.
They are muscular rabbits that have a half-moon profile when they are lying on the ground, although the high point of the rabbit’s back should be closer to the tail than to the head.
Speaking of feet, Champagne D’Argent Rabbits have strong, sturdy feet that are well-suited for hopping and jumping.
Their hind legs are muscular and powerful, while their front legs are shorter and more compact.
This gives them a unique gait that is both graceful and playful.
Finally, Champagne D’Argent Rabbits are known for their long ears, reaching up to half the length of their body.
These ears are usually upright, giving them a regal and alert appearance.
Their ears also serve a practical purpose, helping them to hear predators and other potential threats from a distance.
Overall, the Champagne D’Argent Rabbit is a beautiful and unique breed that is sure to turn heads.
Whether you’re a seasoned rabbit owner or a first-time pet parent, these rabbits are a great choice for anyone looking for a playful and affectionate companion.
Temperament of the Champagne d’Argent Rabbit
If you are looking for an active, inquisitive, playful rabbit, a Champagne d’Argent may not be the right breed for you.
Rabbits of this breed are not likely to come when you call their name. They usually do not have any interest in playing with toys.
These rabbits are also known for their calm and gentle nature. They are well-mannered and will often nap in a little corner of your home. They are not known to be aggressive or destructive, making them a great addition to any household.
Many owners compare their Champagne rabbits to well-mannered cats. They seldom make a fuss, but they are usually not interested in you.
Nonetheless, they may enjoy snuggling up to you when you get on the floor now and then.
Care of the Champagne d’Argent Rabbit
Champagne d’Argent rabbits need more food than smaller rabbits.
A good rule of thumb is to give them a volume of hay about the same size as their bodies, plus all the green leafy vegetables and crunchy raw vegetables they want.
Don’t give them more than about a quarter-cup (50 grams) of commercial rabbit food pellets every day, to prevent their becoming overweight.
All rabbits need fresh water on demand at all times.
Champagne rabbits are well-suited to outdoor living in a hutch.
Their living quarters always need to be raised off the ground, with access to the ground by a ramp.
Your Champagne d’Argent rabbits will need about 3 square feet (0.3 square meters) of floor space, with enough room over their heads that their ears do not touch the top of the enclosure, or any ventilation fans or heat lamps.
You can keep Champagnes indoors if you provide them with a room to hop around in and a litter box.
As little as 100 square feet (10 square meters) of floor space cleared of chewable furniture and electrical cords is enough.
This breed does not need toys to play with in its space.
Champagne d’Argent rabbits are easy to housetrain. Just pick up their soft pellets and put them in a litter box lined with fresh, dry hay. They will figure out the rest.
Change the hay twice a week and sterilize the box vinegar and baking soda (but not ammonia or any household cleaners) once a week.
Champagne rabbits do not have any breed-specific health concerns.
Making sure that they always have all the hay they want to eat will prevent a common dental problem called malocclusion.
When rabbits do not get enough fiber in their diets to keep their teeth worn down, the teeth can grow so long that they do not fit together.
In this condition, the rabbit cannot close its jaw.
All pet rabbits can pick up parasites when they explore high grass outdoors or they encounter wild rabbits.
You also do not want your rabbit to get into the scat or urine of other kinds of animals, to avoid any diseases they transmit.
Popular Bunny Names for Champagne d’Argent Rabbits
Here’s a table with popular Champagne D’Argent Rabbit names, reflecting their breed characteristics.
The Champagne D’Argent Rabbit is known for its medium to large size, rich silvery coat, and gentle demeanor.
Many of these names are inspired by their unique appearance and calm personality.
|Boy Bunny Names for Champagne d’Argent Rabbits||Girl Bunny Names for Champagne d’Argent Rabbits|
These names emphasize the beautiful silvery coat, medium to large size, and calm nature of the Champagne D’Argent Rabbit breed, making them fitting choices for your rabbit.
Also read: Names for Pet Rabbits
Frequently Asked Questions About Champagne d’Argent Rabbits
Q. Where can I buy a Champagne d’Argent rabbit?
A. Check out the Champagne d’Argent page of Rabbit Breeders US.
Q. How much will I have to pay for a Champagne d’Argent?
A. If you are looking for a pet, you will probably only have to pay US $20 to $50. Show-quality rabbits cost considerably more.
Q. Can I feed my Champagne d’Argent alfalfa?
A. No, this breed needs timothy or Bermuda grass hay.
Alfalfa is too high in calcium, and can cause kidney stones in older rabbits.
Q. Can I give my Champagne d’Argent a bath?
A. Never bathe a rabbit unless it is coated with mud or organic debris. It is better to wipe any dirt off its coat with a damp, warm cloth.
Q. What do children need to know about Champagne d’Argent rabbits before they enter them in a livestock show?
A. Champagne d’Argent rabbits are judged as meat rabbits. Any kind of flabbiness loses points toward the rabbit’s final score.
Children also need to understand that if their rabbit wins the show, they will not be allowed to take it home or ever see it again.
Q. How old does a Champagne d’Argent rabbit be before it is entered into a show?
A. The quality of the fur makes a critical difference in how a Champagne d’Argent ranks at a rabbit show.
Champagne d’Argents need to be “seniors,” at least nine months old, before their fur color is fully developed.
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