The Argente St Hubert is a stunning French silvered chestnut agouti breed rabbit, and is one of the oldest show breeds of the French rabbit species. This wonderful pet rabbit is massive and could weigh around 2.72 kg or 6 lb. on the average. Its eyes are large, deep brown or dark brown-blue, and the nails are grey-black.
The Argente St Hubert’s coat is the primary appeal of this breed. Its coat is of exceptionally stunning quality, extremely dense, with a high sheen, feels very smooth, soft and silky, and lays relatively flat against the body. Its coat evenly comprises of dark blue or chestnut agouti and undercoat hairs are white tipped or silvered. The undercoat is the normal dark slate blue-grey of the chestnut agouti, which is unaffected by the silver gene. This division of the coat caused by the silver tipping gives the breed an even interspersed creamy-white effect, with the orange and chestnut banding showing through, especially at the nape and anywhere the fur has parted. In effect, this rabbit breed displays a very attractive and stunning appeal that attracts rabbit collectors worldwide.
Behavior and Temperament
The Argente St Hubert Rabbit is a docile pet, friendly and loves to interact with people. It is gentle and seems proud to parade its magnificent color. It can be very friendly with children, too. However, just like all rabbit breeds, owners should be aware of its behavior when agitated or startled. Generally, the Argente St Hubert is an ideal pet rabbit which can be a source of happiness and delight.
In terms of diet, Argente St Hubert requires more than the usual food supply due to its large size. Aside from the usual rabbit food, other diet options include fresh fruits and vegetables. Constant supply of water is also a must to prevent dehydration.
Compared to other rabbit breeds, the Argente St Hubert does not require constant grooming since its silky coat does not matt and is surprisingly quite dirt-resistant. Furthermore, gentle stroking and brushing of its coat will strengthen the bond between pet and owner. Its nails, however, require regular clipping to avoid accumulation of dirt that can lead to diseases.
It should also be provided with lots of vitamin laced foods or fresh meals which are deemed good for its diet. There are commercially available pet foods for rabbits which can be bought from various pet shops. In addition, cuddling with this wonderful pet can be very satisfying because of its soft, smooth, attractive, and silky coat.
The Argente St Hubert will shed off its fur twice a year, which usually occurs during spring or summer. During this period, it will “blow” its coat and will shed large clamps of fur while a “band” will be noticeable between the old coats. The new coat is solid chestnut agouti in color, with no silvering.
The silvering of the coat usually begins to develop at the time of its first baby molt, which begins at about two months old. It will have its second molt when it reaches four to six months old. Argente St Hubert ages, the coat develops and becomes more and more impressive.
History and Background of the Argente St Hubert Rabbit
The Argente St Hubert Rabbit was originally created around 1880-1885 by Rene D’Hauteclaire, who aimed to develop a sturdy, stocky rabbit. He focused on producing a breed that has quality coat and color for fur-trade. He was successful in producing his desired breed by mating Argente Champagnes with Belgian Hares, half-silver, half-wild European rabbits and various French meat rabbits. The breed was very popular until the 1920s, when the Argente St Hubert declined in terms of popularity and became almost extinct by the 1950s.
Fortunately, the breed was re-created in the 1980s and 90s by Charles Leclaire, who was an enthusiastic rabbit show judge and an active member of the Federation Francaise de Cuniculture (FFC). He cross-bred Argente Champagnes and Belgian Hares and came up with a unique bred that is now known today as Argente St Hubert. After a few years, it was recognized as a legitimate breed in France in 1993 and is now one of the most sought after pet rabbits in the world.