The Champagne d’Argent Rabbit is a French breed that comes from the region of Champagne and is known as the French Silvers breed in its home country of France. It is known to have originated in the 17th Century, although it could have been bred earlier than this. The breed has a silver coat, was exported to England in the early 20th century.
They get along with other rabbits and, with early socialization, can be affectionate and loving with humans, too. They are known for being a hardy breed and do not suffer any conditions specific to the breed but are susceptible to the same illnesses as other rabbits.
Quick Facts about Champagne d’Argent Rabbits
|Species Name:||Champagne d’Argent|
|Climate:||Indoor or Outdoor|
|Lifespan:||6 to 8 years|
|Size:||9 to 12 pounds|
|Diet:||Hay, Pellets, Leafy Greens|
|Minimum Hutch Size:||6ft x 2ft x 2ft|
|Hutch Set-Up:||Hutch, Run, Bedding, Bowls, Toys, Litter Tray|
|Compatibility:||Gets On Well With Others|
Champagne d’Argent Overview
The Champagne d’Argent is a French breed of domesticated rabbit. It is one of the oldest recognized breeds, although its exact history is somewhat debatable. The breed had become popular by the 1700s and documentation shows that it certainly existed in the 1600s.
In the early days of the breed’s development, it was prized for its pelt as well as its solid meat. Today it is bred as a companion pet and is popular because it is an attractive-looking rabbit and because it is a friendly and sociable animal that will get along with other rabbits, other animals, and with the people in your home.
You will need a decent-sized hutch to ensure that your rabbit has enough space to comfortably move about. They need a run because it offers more space for exercise.
The breed is quite popular but standards do vary around the world. There are two accepted color styles in the US, but five in the UK, for example, and these only really matter if you’re showing or entering your rabbit in competitions. If you’re looking for a loving and caring pet that will mix well with the whole family, including pets, it makes no difference whether you have a blue or a cream variant.
How Much Do Champagne d’Argent Rabbits Cost?
The price you pay for a Champagne d’Argent rabbit will vary according to whether it is purebred and whether it has show rabbit breeding. Expect to pay between $50 to $100 for a good quality Champagne d’Argent but be prepared to pay more than this for a show rabbit from winning stock.
The breed is popular which means that it shouldn’t be too difficult to find litters of kittens. It also means that this breed can be found in local shelters. The cost o adopting varies but is usually between $20 and $50.
Whether you buy or adopt, there are other costs associated with keeping a rabbit. Expect to pay at least $200 to $300 for a hutch and other initial accessories, and about $20 per month thereafter.
Typical Behavior & Temperament
The French Silver can be a loving and caring addition to the family. They are considered friendly, and you can ensure friendliness by socializing your rabbits from a young age. Spend time with them every day, get them out of the hutch and let them get used to the noise and seeing you around. This can prevent them from being jumpy and nervous when they age.
With socialization, the Champagne d’Argent will usually become an accepting and even loving pet. It will enjoy spending time with you, although it will be independent enough that it will also enjoy time alone.
Appearance & Varieties
The Champagne d’Argent will usually grow to weigh between 10 and 12 pounds as a fully grown adult. It has full shoulders and medium to long ears that sit upright from the head.
When the rabbit is born, it will have a black coat. The silver color will only develop once it reaches maturity. The silver markings first appear on the belly and eventually reach the back and face at around 8 months. The color will continue to lighten as the rabbit ages. They have a slightly curved back and solid flesh.
In the USA, only two color variations are recognized: Crème and Champagne, while in the UK, five variants are Blue, Brun, Crème, Noir, and Champagne.
How to Take Care of Champagne d’Argent Rabbits
Caring for this breed means offering a similar setup to other breeds, but the Champagne d’Argent can be kept indoors or outdoors, as long as it has an appropriate hutch that provides shelter from wind and rain. It requires room and, although it is considered a healthy and hardy rabbit breed, the Champagne d’Argent also needs a good diet and ongoing access to fresh water whenever it wants. If you are considering getting this breed, you will need to consider the following care requirements.
If you will keep your rabbit indoors, you need to rabbit-proof the area in which it will live. This includes removing or fully covering any wires and cables because rabbits do love to chew and will chew items to investigate what they are. You should also provide a litter tray after the rabbit has been toilet trained, and you will want to ensure that the indoor hutch is kept somewhere that the rabbit will be able to enjoy some peace, especially when trying to sleep.
The general recommendation is that a rabbit needs twice its full stretch in length. For a breed like the Champagne d’Argent, this means that its hutch should be 6 feet long. It should be 2 feet wide, which allows enough room to comfortably turn around and move, as required. It should also be 2 feet high. Your rabbit requires a separate area to sleep and, if it is kept outdoors, approximately three-quarters of the hutch needs to be fully covered against the wind and rain.
A run should offer 24 square feet of space, which means that it can measure 12 feet by 2 feet or 6 feet by 4 feet, according to the type of space you have available. Bigger is better if you have the room. If you can combine the run with their living quarters, by allowing permanent access to it, this offers a beneficial method for your rabbit to get his daily exercise. Otherwise, you should aim to provide a minimum of four hours per day in the exercise run.
The hutch requires a soft layer of bedding. Straw, sawdust, or hay are the most commonly used bedding materials, and this should be offered to a depth of about 5 inches. Spot clean by removing soiled areas and replenishing the amount of bedding needed. Over time, you can litter train a rabbit, which will minimize the amount of spot cleaning needed but will require the addition and cleaning of a litter tray.
For a bed, offer a box or other container filled with soft straw. You will need one or two bowls for food, a bowl or bottle for water (bowls are better, especially for outdoor rabbits), and offer toys like cardboard tubes and even balls with bells in, according to your pet rabbit’s preference.
Do Champagne d’Argent Rabbits Get Along with Other Pets?
Rabbits are sociable animals, in general. They can live in groups of other rabbits of the same breed and same-sex, but you should avoid keeping males and females together unless you are prepared for the regular arrival of litters or rabbit kittens.
The rabbit is natural prey for a lot of animals, which means that the basal instinct of species like cats and dogs might kick in if left alone with the Champagne d’Argent, so you should never leave it alone with these or other larger pets.
What to Feed Your Champagne d’Argent
The Champagne d’Argent, like other rabbits, needs a diet that consists of 70% hay. Hay offers the fiber your rabbit needs, and the grinding action that is required to eat it, also helps control the rabbit’s teeth, which grow continuously throughout their lives.
You can also feed pellets. Pellets are made of hay but they also incorporate vitamins and minerals that your rabbit will not be getting from its hay and vegetables. However, pellets should not replace natural hay.
Leafy green vegetables make up the remainder of a rabbit’s diet, and you can also feed some other foods as an occasional treat.
Keeping Your Champagne d’Argent Healthy
The Champagne d’Argent is not prone to any breed-specific conditions, but it does need a healthy diet, fresh water, and regular exercise to avoid becoming ill. You should also ensure that it is not exposed to rain or wind if kept outdoors.
The breed does shed. For the majority of the year, you should brush the rabbit once a week. During shedding season, which you will recognize because you will be covered in rabbit hair after you’ve held your furry friend, you should brush every day. Do not bathe, but do a spot clean with a damp cloth if your Champagne d’Argent gets mucky.
Rabbits are notoriously heavy breeders. They start breeding from a young age, will interbreed with siblings, and they have litters of between 5 and 14 kits. There is already an overabundance of unwanted pet rabbits, so be sure that you have homes or are willing to keep the entire litter if you breed and are unable to sell the rabbits on. Also, bear in mind that you may only make a few dollars per kitten, after considering all the costs, so rabbit breeding is not a fast track to wealth.
Are Champagne d’Argent Suitable for You?
The Champagne d’Argent is a popular breed of rabbit that can be found in countries throughout the world, although originates from the Champagne region of France. Known as French Silvers in their homeland, they have a beautiful silver coat that comes in at the age of eight weeks. They are hardy animals, make good pets because they are tolerant of human attention, and can be affectionate with regular socialization and handling. The Champagne d’Argent is, therefore, suitable for anybody looking for a rabbit and that is willing to dedicate the time to rearing one.
Featured Image Credit: Eric Isselee, Shutterstock