Champagne d'Argent vs Silver Fox

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Hi! So at the moment I'm just starting out with New Zealands but in my research I've come across these two heritage breeds that really interest me fur wise. I understand they've got some differences in coat texture (the Silver Fox has that stand up coat) but I'm really curious to know how the two compare in other ways. What are their temperaments like? What are their growth rates and weights? How do they do as mothers and what are their average litter sizes? Honestly anything I can learn about the two will help me pick which I'd like to someday branch out to. The Silver Fox seems to be getting pretty popular recently but the Champagnes have such a long history (I read they started in the 1600s?) and I'm a historical reenactor with a focus on the 12th-17th centuries so I'm always interested in that sort of thing. Both of them are gorgeous.
 
I have both breeds and a mix of the 2. Silver foxes are definitely a bit bigger. Silver foxes also have multiple colors where as the Champagne's only have the one. I get around 8 kits from my litters. What I like about my Champagne is they seem to be a little more feed efficient and little less demanding in general. Temperament is going to vary by individual rabbit. I've heard a lot about how friendly Silver Foxes are, but that hasn't necessarily been my personal experience. My only rabbit to bite me and draw blood was a Silver Fox doe with kits. I attached a picture of a 3 month old Silver Fox/ Champagne buck I kept.
 

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Hi! So at the moment I'm just starting out with New Zealands but in my research I've come across these two heritage breeds that really interest me fur wise. I understand they've got some differences in coat texture (the Silver Fox has that stand up coat) but I'm really curious to know how the two compare in other ways. What are their temperaments like? What are their growth rates and weights? How do they do as mothers and what are their average litter sizes? Honestly anything I can learn about the two will help me pick which I'd like to someday branch out to. The Silver Fox seems to be getting pretty popular recently but the Champagnes have such a long history (I read they started in the 1600s?) and I'm a historical reenactor with a focus on the 12th-17th centuries so I'm always interested in that sort of thing. Both of them are gorgeous.
My experience with the Champagnes I raise (since 2022) is that they are all over the place in terms of temperament, growth rates and adult size. I've had some bunnies with tremendous growth rates (I had to show a buck who was still a Junior in the Senior class because he weighed over 10 pounds at 19 weeks), while in the same litter I had a buck who never did make senior weight. My does have given me anything from 4-8 kits per litter (although, I've had feed problems in the last year, so that may be smaller litter sizes than would be normal). They've all been very good mothers. I have had some problems with sore hocks, which were solved in the short term by giving them resting boards. I intend to breed that out of them, though, as well as the temperament and growth variations, like I have with the Satins.

There is a pretty small population of most breeds here in AK, and like @olhippityhop says, temperament - and all other traits - will vary by the individual and especially by the genetic lineage. You can certainly breed for temperament; any rabbit that bites or even lunges tends to get pulled from my breeding lineup, and as a result I never have to worry about my Satins now. The Champagnes in my barn are a work in progress. 😁
Gilbert sweet c.JPG
As far as weight goes, the standards for Champagnes and SF are almost identical. Ideal senior weights for Champagnes are 10lbs for bucks, 10.5lbs for does; SF are 9.5lbs for bucks, 10.5lbs for does.

I don't raise Silver Fox myself because I prefer sleek rabbits. :ROFLMAO: Friends of mine who do raise SF say similar things about them - some are big, some are small, some are nice, some are not - except that overall meat type is much better in the Champagnes. SFs up here are all pretty flat.

It's best, if possible, to talk with the breeder of rabbits you're considering, to find out what they expect from their herd. You might find yourself drawn to one breed over another simply because you find some excellent, friendly, helpful people raising that particular breed in your area.
 
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My experience with the Champagnes I raise (since 2022) is that they are all over the place in terms of temperament, growth rates and adult size. I've had some bunnies with tremendous growth rates (I had to show a buck who was still a Junior in the Senior class because he weighed over 10 pounds at 19 weeks), while in the same litter I had a buck who never did make senior weight. My does have given me anything from 4-8 kits per litter (although, I've had feed problems in the last year, so that may be smaller litter sizes than would be normal). They've all been very good mothers. I have had some problems with sore hocks, which were solved in the short term by giving them resting boards. I intend to breed that out of them, though, as well as the temperament and growth variations, like I have with the Satins.

There is a pretty small population of most breeds here in AK, and like @olhippityhop says, temperament - and all other traits - will vary by the individual and especially by the genetic lineage. You can certainly breed for temperament; any rabbit that bites or even lunges tends to get pulled from my breeding lineup, and as a result I never have to worry about my Satins now. The Champagnes in my barn are a work in progress. 😁
View attachment 42118
As far as weight goes, the standards for Champagnes and SF are almost identical. Ideal senior weights for Champagnes are 10lbs for bucks, 10.5lbs for does; SF are 9.5lbs for bucks, 10.5lbs for does.

I don't raise Silver Fox myself because I prefer sleek rabbits. :ROFLMAO: Friends of mine who do raise SF say similar things about them - some are big, some are small, some are nice, some are not - except that overall meat type is much better in the Champagnes. SFs up here are all pretty flat.

It's best, if possible, to talk with the breeder of rabbits you're considering, to find out what they expect from their herd. You might find yourself drawn to one breed over another simply because you find some excellent, friendly, helpful people raising that particular breed in your area.
My Champagne buck must come from small bloodlines. He was the largest in the litter I picked him from and he's 8-9 lbs. His parents were similar in size.
 
Thank you both! Those pictures are lovely, That silver top layer is what drew me to both breeds in the first place. I've had all sorts of animals over the years, everything from cats to chickens to various reptiles so of course I understand that every individual will be a little different but you've given me an idea of the general things. As far as talking to breeders go it is great advice that I followed with my NZs when I got them but I don't plan on getting a second breed for a while. I want to get my sealegs with the NZs so to speak before taking on another. From what I found there is a SF breeder about four hours away but I really can't seem to find anyone in in the state with Champagnes. Most people in my area either do NZs or Californians (which I have ruled out solely because I have Siamese cats and it was just a little too close to home for a comfortable culling experience). I'm up in the north west quarter of the state which unfortunately limits how far I can reasonably travel with an animal in the car. If I could find them I might lean towards the Champagne though.
 
I also fell in love with Champagnes, great size, superb temperament. My trouble was that my bucks were all so laid back, they had no interest in the ladies. Can't tell you about litter size, neither of my bucks ever bred anyone. It wasn't that they were sterile due to heat, they never bothered to try to mount, just snuggled and napped. It was a short-lived experiment. Such fabulous bunnies to work with, loved people. But. . .

My husband chose Silver Fox in black and blue. He preferred black, but the blue buck would breed anything successfully in seconds. Sure a change from my Champagnes. I think that individual rabbit traits and herd traits selected for make a huge difference. You can tell this from the answers here, some have large lines, some small. That goes for mothering ability, temperament, conformation as well. Choose your breeder well, see what they deem important, and if that meshes with your goals as well.
 
From what I found there is a SF breeder about four hours away but I really can't seem to find anyone in in the state with Champagnes. Most people in my area either do NZs or Californians (which I have ruled out solely because I have Siamese cats and it was just a little too close to home for a comfortable culling experience). I'm up in the north west quarter of the state which unfortunately limits how far I can reasonably travel with an animal in the car. If I could find them I might lean towards the Champagne though.
You might find an ARBA show reasonably close by and arrange to meet a breeder there. The ARBA website lists all upcoming shows, https://arba.net/show-search/

You could contact one of the officers of national Champagne club https://www.cdarf.us/ for help finding a Champagne breeder who would be willing to meet you at a show in northern CA, southern Oregon or western NV. I don't see any Champagne Federation sanctions in any of those states, but it doesn't mean there won't be Champagne breeders at the shows.
 

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