Restraints for shearing angora

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by minnikin1, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    Does anyone have instructions for making a shearing board for bunnies?

    I have a male who has become too wiggly to shear safely. I have to make a way to keep him still while doing the underside.
     
  2. rabbitgeek

    rabbitgeek Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Try this method of shearing, the message was written by Germaine Pidgeon and she has given permission to forward as needed for educational purposes.

    It was a reply to my adventure in trying to shear an angora and I had to settle for plucking him.

    HOW TO SHEAR AN ANGORA

    From: "GERMAINE PIDGEON" <fancy@t...>
    Date: Mon Aug 30, 2004 6:05 am
    Subject: Re:How to shear an Angora


    Hi Franco
    The first time you clip a bunny it is like breaking a horse. I wear a
    jacket or sweatshirt to protect my person from scratches. Never reward the
    bunny for struggling. Wait until he is cooperating to put him down again.

    I put the rabbit on its back in my lap, with it's head tucked under my
    elbow. If you cover their eyes and hold them secure they settle down. The
    first task I perform is a blunt cut to the toe nails, be sure not to cut the
    quick but do take away the weapons.

    I start to clip at the hind legs. Tilt the rabbits hind end to the side
    and begin to cut where the wool is naturally parting over the knee. Pick up
    the wool in thin layers, that allows you to know where the blade is . Turn
    the blade away from the skin and make your cut. This should give you a
    quarter inch of fur left on the rabbit and will help to prevent you from
    cutting the skin. Once you have your opening started work in thin rows
    towards the tail. I hold the tail between my fingers and use them as a
    cutting guide to prevent injuring the tail. I then rotate the rabbit onto
    its back and gently snip away the wool between its legs and around the
    genitals. Put your fingers between the blade and the tender parts to
    prevent injuries to the rabbit. That completed, rotate the rabbit's back end
    to the opposite side and repeat the process. When the legs are free, lift
    the hind quarters toward you, hold the tail toward you and cut in rows as
    far down the back as you can get. Then let the rabbit lay flat in your lap
    and clip as far up the belly and sides as you can get.

    I then flip the rabbit right side up and pull the fleece over its head while
    I continue to cut in rows progressing to the neck area. Pull on the skin
    slightly, enough to take the wrinkles out while you cut.

    To get the front and bib areas I put the rabbit on its back and lay it with
    its ears between my knees. If it struggles I drop it lower until it quits
    struggling. When it quits struggling I let it back up. The rabbit catches
    on quickly if I lay still I get a comfortable position. Still, is necessary
    when you get near the throat and eyes. I hold the front legs between my
    fingers and snip away the knots. From there just move the front legs as
    needed to get access to the areas you need to cut. I will sometimes need to
    shift the rabbits lower body between my knees and while I hold its head in
    my left hand I can get the cheeks and under the chin.

    The first time rabbit takes a while to clip. When I am working with a
    cooperative animal it takes 15 minutes to clip.

    I maintain a dual purpose French Angora herd for meat and showing and have
    to keep the population within the 175 holes I have. If I count the litters
    with mothers, I have an average herd of 200 to 250. Less than perfect
    juniors leave with the meat man at 8 to 10 weeks and are housed in large
    weanling pens until I sort out the keepers. I have to shear all the rabbits
    I ship to the meat man just before they go. I ship on average 50 rabbits a
    month. I can shear 25 a day using the described method. The rabbits I
    sell are from my show stock and perform well because I cull aggressively.
    The day I decide I wouldn't breed it, it leaves the herd. My culls pay for
    the feed bill.
    *end article*
     

  3. RiverPines

    RiverPines Well-Known Member

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    I hope this is a really large breed Angora rabbit.

    I know English and Frenches can be done no matter how nasty tempered they are by just laying them on your lap, on their back, and holding either their ears or head between your knees.

    My 10 yr old. petite daughter can manage unruly buns the same way.
     
  4. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    Thank you for the replies but I'm really looking for info about the board.
    I'm not a beginner at shearing bunnies - I have physical limitations nowadays and dealing with the squirmy ones makes me ache.
     
  5. RiverPines

    RiverPines Well-Known Member

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    You didnt state those facts originally. How is anyone to know that your not new to angoras or have limitations?
    With all I know you never heard of holding a rabbit upside down with its head between your knees.
    People cant read minds on a forum.
     
  6. patience

    patience Well-Known Member

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    I don't have any instructions but I've been trying to figure out how to make something like this
    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRKFuQRhLb4[/ame]
     
  7. rabbitgeek

    rabbitgeek Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sounds like the rabbit does not fit your requirements.

    Rather than build a restraint and risk breaking a rabbit leg or back I would remove this rabbit from the herd and replace it.

    Just my opinion. You mileage may vary.

    Have a good day!
    Franco Rios
     
  8. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    I didn't ask you to read my mind. I asked a very direct question. :shrug:
     
  9. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    This video clip had very clear photos about how the ties are applied. Those quick release clamps are really interesting. I wonder where I can find those? Thanks for the link.

    I don't thing I'd want the device that turns them like a rotisserie, though. I can't figure out how that can be done without creating some potential for injury.

    The bunny is obviously relaxed. Since most of them seem to like the feeling of getting the hair off - I'm sure they get used to this quite quickly. It's just one of life's uncomfortable annoyances - kind of like a woman doing the necessary but tedious pap smear...

    However, I know that the sight of a rabbit tied this way is just the thing that animals rights activists tend to freak out about - so it would have been nice if the woman who tied him had gotten on with her business instead of yakking and giggling while bunny had to wait.


    This website has some info about the shearing patterns used with this technique. See figure 4.3:
    http://www.fao.org/docrep/v9384E/v9384e08.htm

    I think using the ties as indicated in the video, and a suitable surface for supporting his back , I can put something together now.