Angora hay feeding question...

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Laci, Mar 4, 2004.

  1. Laci

    Laci Well-Known Member

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    Oregon
    I have two angoras that I use for fiber. One is English/Satin, the other is French. I have had them for 4 and 2 months, respectively.

    I ran out of the timothy hay that I had been feeding them last week, and went to buy more from the feed store. All the feed store carries are the "mini-bales" which only last my two bunnies about 1.5 weeks, and they cost $4.99 each!!! Where do I find larger amounts of timothy hay, or can I just give them any kind of hay?

    Marcy

    PS~For various reasons, I can't obtain timothy hay from the person that I got my last bale from.
     
  2. nans31

    nans31 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Laci! I have 3 Angora's now, so I know what you are going through! I understand that grass and oat hay are the ones that provide the roughage that is necessary to prevent woolblock. I get bales at a local ranch supply place. They have a wonderful variety. I'm not sure where you are, but I buy the hay at K Bar T Ranch in Cathlamet, WA. The normal "feed stores" don't carry the quality hay I look for.

    Nan
     

  3. wynterwren

    wynterwren Active Member

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    Hi...

    I have a herd of English Angoras (18 now!!)...it's a common misconception that you have to give them timothy hay or oatmeal hay...both are good...however... If you're using a high protein feed--16-17% you can use good coastal. I use coastal/alfalfa mix and I've had no problems with it.

    Are you using straight pellets or do you have a mixture of grains added into your feed? I have a recipe made up grains and pellets I use to ensure they're getting plenty of roughage--along with their hay..and I give them all a few pieces of dried pineapple daily. Pineapple tidbits and papaya tablets are good sources of papain and bromelain--enzymes that break down wool in the tummy.

    I live in a heavily agricultral area in Texas, so finding good hay isn't a real problem. But if you can't find good hay locally, you can order it online at http://www.oxbowhay.com I know of several to breeders who use their products.

    Suzi
     
  4. Laci

    Laci Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the tip on where I can buy hay online. Also, I have been doing papaya tablets, but I never would have thought of dried pineapple! What a great idea. Right now I am feeding my bunnies straight pellets, but only until I can get to the feed store (today) to pick up some grains. I usually mix in some cow feed with the bunny food.

    Marcy

     
  5. tobo6

    tobo6 Well-Known Member

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    We use regular grass hay with our angora's. We have never had any problems with woolblock. We do feed 18% too.

    Nan-you must be pretty close to me. I'm in Rainier OR, across the border from Longview. :)

    mljjranch
     
  6. Laci

    Laci Well-Known Member

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    Wow, there seems to be quite a few of us angora keepers in Oregon. Do you all raise them for fiber? I have some angora spinning questions, if anyone spins.

    Marcy in Lafayette



     
  7. nans31

    nans31 Well-Known Member

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    Hello! Yep, I'm in Rosburg, we are very close!! How many Angora's do you have? I'm new to them, have 3 now. One is 9 months, gentle as any rabbit I've seen. The other are 2 sisters just 10 weeks old, and are very skiddish. Do you notice that they mellow with age and handling, or is it just the temperments?
     
  8. Laci

    Laci Well-Known Member

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    We should get together, so you fellow Oregonians can show me how to properly handle a bunny. My two bunnies are the first ones that I have had. I am kind of leery of them, which I know is BAD. One of my bunnies, they French Angora, the lady that bred and raised her (she is 11 mo old) said that she was bottle fed, and very tame and sweet, and she seemed to be, when I picked her up. The lady had me help her to shear the bunny. But, now, when I groom her, she won't hold still, she tries to hop away, and about a month ago, she actually BIT me (though I admit that she could have been mistaking a green logo on my shirt as lettuce, <grin>). Now, I am actually kind of scared of her. The other bunny, the English/Satin boy, is very sweet, but I can't seem to get his tummy groomed. He flips back over every time that I try to get him upside down to brush. I do, eventually get him groomed on his tummy, but it takes my hubby holding him, and me brushing, which is kind of a pain.

    Marcy
     
  9. tobo6

    tobo6 Well-Known Member

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    We have 5 angora's now. Down from 15 this winter, luckily we knew a few 4H kids that wanted them. :)

    I think all bunnies go thru a skittish phase, unless you work with them every day. I know there are some people who believe you have to brush/or blow angora every day, but we don't. We brush them once a week, sometimes once every 2 weeks depending on which bunny.

    This is what we do when we brush. We bring them in the house, for some reason that makes them a little frightened and they hold really still. If we try and put them on top of their cage or on the grooming table in the rabbitry they try and run away. We put a rug on the table inside and my daughter puts her arm on the table and the bunnies head in her armpit so the rabbit feels like it is hiding. I can then brush her back, and sides. They never move when I do this either. To brush the stomach takes practice and I'm not sure if I will explain this right but I will try. You know how you pick up a rabbit by the skin on the back of the neck....well, make sure you have their ears tucked in the hand you use. You are not pulling their ears at all, but it makes your bunny hold really still. (This is the way the 4H project books tell you to do it too). When you have a good grip on its neck take your other hand and put it on its rump and lay it down on the table on it's back. Do not let go of it's neck. His head will be higher, of course, than it's rump. You can then brush it's tummy. Sometimes it works better if you have someone else hold the rabbit and they can also hold their legs straight so you can brush it better.

    We don't use the fiber, except to give a lady in town some to use in her spinning class and to sell to her students. I can't even tell you if it's good fiber or if I collected it the right way, lol. They seem happy with it though. I would love to spin, but I don't know how.

    We raise California, NZW, Dutch, and recently got Hotot's, but by far the cutest babies come from the angora's. They look like little stuffed bunnies!

    mljjranch
     
  10. Corgitails

    Corgitails Well-Known Member

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    Neat thread! I am hoping to get an angora or two this year.

    Cait
     
  11. nans31

    nans31 Well-Known Member

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    I felt this way the first time I handled rabbits. I was afraid I would do something wrong. But, they are smart-- if you let them get away with something once, they'll try it again and again. You have to be firm, if she hops away from you, put her back on her carpet, or where ever she was at. I bunch them up a little, like with my hand on the face, and on the rump. They'll learn.
    I am just starting to use the blower on my yound ones.They hop around and wont sit still, but I keep putting them back on the carpet.
    Is there a 4-H program around you? I learned tons from a 4-H group when I got my first rabbit (mini-rex). maybe you could sit in on a class.
    Nan