The very first thing neccessary when deciding to breed any rabbits is to buy the very best stock you can afford, thats what I did when I began breeding Champagne D'Argents. My foundation stock, the first 5 does and 2 bucks, cost me around $565. I bought from proven stock that were backed by many years of experience with Champagnes D'argents.
Secondly, you need to have a good idea in mind for the type of rabbit you are going to breed. Since Champagne D'Argents are a meat breed, the first thing I do when checking for the ideal rabbit is that I "pose him" like he would be posed at a show. What I am looking for first is a good pair of shoulders and as my hand moves back it is wider over the rib cage, the loin is next and it needs to be wide and as deep as possible, but in balance with the rest of his body. As I move my hand back and down over his hips they continue to widen to the top of table. The hips are smooth and no bones protrude. Looking at them from the side, shoulders from the nape of the neck start a rise to the top of the hips, called their "top line." The rise point needs to be over the center of the hips rounding down to the top of the table. head and ears just need to balance with the rest of the rabbit. Neck should be reasonably short too.
Finally, don't overlook the fur, because it counts for 35% in total points at a show.If all other rabbits competing are the same in every other way, then best fur wins! Color counts for 20% and there at least 4 shades of Champagne colors. I tend to agree with Mr. Champagne (Oran Reynolds) that they need to be that light silver color, which our bob doe at Louisville was. My opionion is that if they are too dark then it takes away from what ideal we're looking for. I firmly beleive the standard should be changed so that it rewards the right colors, as it is currently too vague. 15% is on density and texture, which is hard to tell at 2 months. I don't do my final culing until around 4 months if they pass on type.
Example on how I breed my herd: I had a Doe that had great shoulders and rib cage, but failed on hips, somewhat, because they stuck out a little. I bred her to a fantastic buck with fantastic hips and if anything because of the hips made him appear to have weak shoulders. They are 2 plus months old right now and appear to be developing into nice juniors.
Ideally, you want to breed rabbits that have no faults, but that is not always possible so you need to know your herd and especially your does, some does have great litters no matter who you breed them with, so know your players. I line breed and inbreed a lot, but only when I am breeding best to best.
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Maximum Weight: 10.5 lbs ARBA-accepted varieties: Standard
The Champagne d'Argente is one of the oldest known rabbit breeds, having existed in the Champagne province of France for over 400 years. At that time known as the French Silver for its silvery coat, it was once prized for its pelt in spite of the fact that it was a common breed. Kits are born pure black and begin turning silver grey at about 3 weeks. By 6 months old they are typically a shade of silver grey. Champagnes are not common in America today, but are increasing in popularity each year.(wikipedia, 2009)
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