While the exact origin of this rabbit breed is unknown, it has been mentioned in the French paper as early as 1877. The Creme d’Argent Rabbit was imported to the United States in the 1920s by several different breeders, particularly around the New York state area. The imported rabbit was much smaller and longer than the Creme d’Argent rabbit we know today.
One particular breeder by the name of Mr. Harry Clauss of Canadiagua, New York, took a special interest in the rabbit, wanting to develop it for both meat and show. He developed the breed to give it a commercial body shape and also weeded out common faults such as dark ear lacing. This “Americanized” version of the Creme d’Argent Rabbit was recognized by the American Rabbit Breeder’s Association (ARBA) around 1940.
Once considered a rare breed, the Creme d’Argent Rabbit is no longer in the “watch” category according to the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy; however it is still in the “recovering” category due to its slowly increasing population.
The Creme d’Argent rabbit has a unique orange-silver fur that shimmers.
The Creme d’Argent has a commercial-sized body shape and usually weighs anywhere from 8.5-11 lbs, with does usually weighing slightly more than bucks. They have full shoulders, medium-sized ears and deep hindquarters.
Like most Argente rabbits, the Creme d’Argent Rabbit has short, rollback fur. They don’t need regular grooming (as rabbits tend to groom themselves), but if your rabbit is shedding more than usual, an occasional grooming with a slicker brush should eliminate most of the stray hairs. Under no circumstances should you give your rabbit a bath, as baths make rabbits anxious and can cause cardiac problems. To clean off dirt, spot-clean your rabbit’s coat with a damp cloth or towel.
The Creme d’Argent rabbit as an orange-silver or orange-fawn color. Its silver gene gives the rabbit its beautiful shade, as white guard hairs increase in number with age. This is the only color combination currently accepted by the ARBA.
The Creme d’Argent rabbit is docile and easy to handle.
Like any other breed of rabbit, Creme D’Argent rabbits require a diet consisting of at least 70 percent hay. The rest of its diet is made up a healthy balance of pellets, leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables. Be aware of what kind of leafy greens you feed your rabbit, as some of them (such as iceberg lettuce) contain little vitamins or nutrients. Also be careful of what kind of vegetables you feed your rabbit, as some of them are simply harmful (such as beans, cabbage, potatoes, etc.) and other fruits contain too much sugar.
This rabbit breed does well in indoors or outdoor enclosures as long as they are not exposed to extreme heat or cold. Outdoor enclosures should be lifted from the ground to protect them from potential predators and have a ramp to a fenced bottom so they can hop about on the grass below. Indoors rabbit cages (not unlike outdoor ones) need to be large enough so the rabbit can easily stretch out and play with toys. Enclosures should be made of wire and a have plastic/metal bottom to hold bedding, which need to be spot-cleaned every day and completely replaced at the end of every week.
The Creme d’Argent Rabbit is not susceptible to any particular disease and is, overall, a healthy rabbit. The inside of their ears should be regularly checked for ermines or excess buildup of wax, and must be cleaned periodically. Like most other rabbits, they should also have their mouthes checked for overgrown teeth, as they do not stop growing when they get older. Rabbits that have a correct balance of hay, fruits and vegetables, should have no problem with overgrown teeth. A pea-sized amount of de-worming paste twice a year is also recommended to keep them healthy and protected all-year round.
Creme d’Argent rabbits do well in indoors or outdoor enclosures as long as they are not exposed to extreme heat or cold.
Because this rabbit breed has been developed mostly for meat and show purposes, they are docile and easy to handle. Their large size makes them good pets for singles, seniors or couples who are looking for a medium-sized animal and don’t want the maintenance of a dog or cat. While they can be good pets for families with children as well, their large size may be hard for younger children to handle. Older children who are careful with a larger sized rabbit will happily find that this breed is a sweet, loving pet who will enjoy being petted on its head, ears and back.
Pet rabbits who are out of their enclosures generally need some toys to keep them occupied. This can be as simple as a few rolls of empty toilet papers rolls they can chew up and destroy, to as elaborate as a mentally stimulating toy from your local pet store. As with any pet, be sure you rabbit-proof your room.
Rabbits are not impossible to litter train, but they are significantly more challenging than training other pets such as a cat or dog. They have the tendency to “go” anywhere they please. Litter training requires plenty of patience and lots of litter boxes. Place a few litter boxes around your home where you find your rabbit tends to do the deed and with lots of hard work (and rewards!), you should be well on your way to litter-training your rabbit.
Photo credit: Three Little Ladies Rabbitry