Champagne D'Argent


Champagne d’Argent means ‘Silver [rabbit] of Champagne’. Though the specific origins are unknown,  the breed may have been present in France by the mid 1600s. Prized for their unique “silvery” pelt and meat producing qualities, the Champagne is a frequent winner on the show table. – Maximum weight 12 lbs.

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The Champagne dArgent rabbit is a medium breed that is known for it’s silvery color. As the name suggests, this breed was developed in the Champagne region in France but has since become known throughout the world. While it isn’t in the top 10 most popular rabbits, these bunnies are still commonly seen as pets and, thanks to their good temperament, make a great companion to the family..


If you’re interested in learning more about the Champagne d’Argent and seeing whether they might be the rabbit breed for you, keep reading below.

History Of The Champagne d’Argent Rabbit

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The name “Champagne d’Argent” means “Silver [rabbit] of Champagne” and today there are at least seven breeds of “Argente” rabbits worldwide. The American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) recognizes two of these seven breeds: Champagne d’Argent and Crème d’Argent. The Champagne rabbit is the oldest of them all. 

What you should Know

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Breed Origin
The exact origins of the Champagne d’Argent is unknown, but documents suggest that these rabbits were present in France in the mid 1600s. They were originally known as French Silvers in France, but were called “Argente de Champagne” when exported in large quantities to England around 1920.
In 1912, this breed was also exported to the United States. However, these bunnies had long, loose coats such as that of a silver fox (the dog) and their coats were improved, so the standard became a short, soft coat. Alongside the new coat, the breed also became bigger than the English or French Champagne Argenetes.
Between 1955 and 1959, the “e” was dropped from the name by the ARBA’s Standard of Perfection and most breeders abbreviate the breed’s name to “Champagne”.


Characteristics Of The Champagne d’Argent Rabbit
The Champagne d’Argent is one of the oldest breeds of French rabbit, and was originally designed to be used as a show rabbit. This is down to their unique silvery coat that grows in once they are born. They have also been used as meat rabbits.
Genetically, Champagne rabbits are black with the silver gene, symbolized by si. The gene is incompletely recessive, meaning that rabbits with one copy of the silver gene and one copy of the normal gene will appear lightly silvered. This gene can also cause solid white spots, which would disqualify them according to the ARBA Standard of Perfection.
These bunnies are a medium to large breed of rabbit that usually weigh between 9 and 12 lbs. They have a commercial body shape with full shoulders and deep hindquarters. Their long ears stand erect on top of their head.

The Champagne d’Argent has a short, soft coat that is flyback fur. This means that when the fur is stroked from the opposite direction, it returns to its original position.
They do not shed very much and therefore do not require much grooming, unless it is shedding season. We will go into more detail about grooming your Champagne d’Argent later on.
As we have mentioned above, the Champagne d’Argent has a silver color. Their ears and noses are usually darker than the rest of their bodies.
Champagnes are actually born solid black and the silver hairs develop as the rabbit matures. They silver out from the underside up, finishing last over the back and face between 6 and 8 months of age. The color will continue to lighten as the rabbit matures.
These French silver rabbits are often compared to a well-mannered cat — they will enjoy spending time with you when they want to, but can also be independent and will want to spend time alone. While they are not particularly affectionate, this doesn’t mean that they won’t enjoy a cuddle every now and again.
The Champagne d’Argent needs to be socialized properly with their family from a young age. Once socialized, they will feel very comfortable around you and will like to be close to you, even if this isn’t time spent in your lap!

Like any with rabbit, you should always respect your Champagne’s personal space, especially when they are new to your home. If they are afraid or frightened, then they might try to bite.
The Champagne d’Argent has an average life expectancy of between 7 and 9 years, although they can live longer when cared for properly.
Known Health Issues
Fortunately, the Champagne is not susceptible to any breed-specific health problems. However, they are prone to many of the same issues all breeds are prone to. We have laid out the main health concerns below.
– Malocclusion — this is when the upper and lower teeth are misaligned so that the normal process of chewing doesn’t wear down your rabbit’s teeth. Regular dental checkups are very important. You should also make sure your rabbit eats plenty of hay.
– Ear Mites — this is a common parasite of pet rabbits. You may see your rabbit shaking their head a lot if they are affected. Your vet will be able to treat them.
– Flystrike — this is when flies lay their eggs on soiled patches of fur and, when their eggs hatch, they begin to eat the rabbit from the inside out. Symptoms include seizures, loss of motion (listlessness) and skin irritations. Always ensure your rabbit’s rear end is clean, especially as they get older.

Like all rabbits, they can also suffer from back issues if they are mishandled or accidentally dropped, particularly because of their large size.
Regular vet checkups will ensure that you catch any health problems before they become too serious. You should also make sure that you are buying from a reputable breeder.

Daily Life
Now we know all about the traits and characteristics of the Champagne d’Argent rabbit breed, it is time to take a look at what living with one of these rabbits on a day to day basis is really like. We will cover their food and diet, their exercise needs, their grooming requirements and their living space requirements.
Food And Diet
The exact amount you feed your Champagne d’Argent rabbit should be based on their size, age and activity level. Of course, you are going to be feeding them more than you would a smaller rabbit, purely because they are a medium to large breed! However, you should be careful not to overfeed them as weight gain can be detrimental to their health.
They should be eating a portion of hay that is at least as big as their body size every day, alongside pellets and fresh vegetables. Fresh water should also always be available to them.
Hay is very important as it helps to keep your Champagne’s digestive system moving, as well as helping to wear down their teeth so they are less prone to dental issues. At least 70% of your rabbit’s diet should be hay.


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