also known as
Coat Type :: Genetics: Sm Dominant gene
Silvermane is a coat type. It is a Dominant gene (*a dominant gene is when a gene only needs to come from one parent, to be expressed. It can not be carried). It does not have an official gene but most of us use Sm
Silvermane is called D'Argent by AFRMA
Description: Silvermane is a very unique & striking look that looks best on dark colors such as black, agouti, russian blue, mink, chocolate and generally best on unmarked for the overall appearance but that is personal preference.
Silvermane is a coat type as stated. It has a silver appearance that is caused by the end of the hair shafts being translucent/empty.
Silvermane also causes a dark mask on the muzzle. Babies start out unsilvered but the base color they are, then at anywhere between 12 days - 12 weeks (depending on the line and sometimes just weird luck) the muzzle will begin to show the telltale sign. They also begin to "silver" out their coat as they age, generally around 4-6 months they really begin to look great.
The coat on the Silvermane is extremely soft! Most likely because of the empty hair shafts. It is truly heavenly and you will want to pet them all day!
I have found males tend to have nicer silvering. Silvermane can sometimes have funky looking molts as they get their adult coats and look absurd. There has also been some discussion on spotting in Silvermane, where the coat has "spots" of a slightly different shade. Funny story- a breeder made a post asking if anyone else had seen said spotting, I had not. Very soon after one of my Silvermane does began showing the spotting as well! I have seen changes in my female's coats while they are pregnant - generally some spotting and better silvering!
Silvermane is not currently standardized by AFRMA
Renamed D'Argent by AFRMA
D’Argent rats to be shown in Black, Chocolate, Mink, or Russian Blue only. Eye color to correspond to the base color. Rats to have a solid undercolor with silver-white tips to the hairs giving an overall heavily silvered look. Rats will also have a facial mask (darker muzzle and eye area). Coat to have a soft, silky feel with a sheen. Color, mask, and development like the D’Argent rabbits. Not to be confused with silvered, Roan, or Frosted. To be shown in AOC class only.
Faults: Molting, patchy, uneven, or not enough silvering; too much undercolor showing through.
Genetics: unknown (dominant gene); pheomelanin (red) colors are diluted
History: Silvermane is a quite new variety. It was discovered in 2012 by a Rattery in North Carolina named Squeaks and Nibbles Rattery. From there it was shared with a handful of select breeders as they worked to create a standard for it.
There is much debate on the name of this variety.
They were originally named Silvermane by the breeder who discovered them but the AFRMA decided to rename them for their club as D'Argent (a name of a rabbit breed that looks similar. Read my blog post on it HERE.
Silvermane is more commonly used, but both are acceptable (depending on whom you ask as some are still not happy with that!)
Health/Issues: When Silvermane first began to spread it was so striking, unique and new that there were some breeders who let their ethics slide to be the first with Silvermane or the first selling or the first with Silvermane in this color/markings. This did lead to some temperament issues and the variety having a bad name temperament wise.
There are breeders who have bred responsibly and carefully and have amazing sweet Silvermane.
I have heard of some lines having possible heart issues, though this does not seem to be an issue in the majority of the lines or very common at all.
Silvermane can be combined with other coat types!
The above picture has two Black Silvermane brothers, the top is Silvermane-Harley, the bottom just Silvermane.
The start of my lines:
I got my first Silvermane from Great Star Rattery in early 2016, a male named GSR Alucard (very first pic above under title). In early 2017 I received a Silvermane from Taboo rattery a female named TABOO Gypsy. These first two lines were works in progress (which I knew getting them). My line began very much in need of temperament work. I had some pure evil devil babies even lol There were a few times I definitely wanted to give up, but I kept working at them and today they are way better.
The Taboo line gave me my blues & will be my Blue/Russian Blue Variegated line.
The GSR line was combined into my Harley line.
I did have a health issue pop up in a litter where they had kinked tails. Those babies were not bred and I have not seen it since.
In mid- 2018 I received a male and female pair of Silvermane-Velveteen from Enchanted Hills Rattery. I named them Vader & Beyonce. This line is absolutely lovely from the start!
Currently, I have Silvermane coats in my Marten Downunder line and my Agouti Line