Angora Rabbit and Angora Crosses ?

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by GoatNamedDunn, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. GoatNamedDunn

    GoatNamedDunn Well-Known Member

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    At some point in the future I want to raise animals for fiber. I wanted to get some angora rabbits too. I've run into alot of people who dont have straight angora but rather crosses. What are the cross breeds ment to do? I.e. bigger size, more fiber... ect? Also, I would think the biggest rabbits would produce more fiber. Has anyone tried breeding someting like flemish giants to get a big fiber producing animal? Complete newbie here, just some questions that popped into my mind.
     
  2. Lilandra

    Lilandra talk little, listen much

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    I am not sure why others are crossing angoras with other rabbits and what the goal would be. To get a good fiber rabbit, you could cross English angoras with French, satin or Giant Angoras but I would stay with angora family to keep the wool quality. We are planning on crossing our satin angora with a siamese satin to shorten the coat and make it a better pet without the hassles of a thick undercoat.
    look into what each angora type has to offer as far as wool and build your rabbitry on that
    good luck :)
     

  3. RiverPines

    RiverPines Well-Known Member

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    I cross English Angoras with French Angoras.
    Why...
    French need less grooming because they matt much less than English. The reason for this is they grow more guard hairs. They also only grow the long wool on their backs and sides. Underneath it stays short.

    English need a lot of grooming because they lack guard hairs and they also grow their wool everywhere.

    My crosses give me great fiber that isnt as matt free as French but not as easily matted as English. I have very little guard hair.
    They also grow the wool mainly on the backs and sides and only a little longer on the underneath. But that fiber on those backs and sides is 2 times as thick as the French and its full coverage, but still the quality of texture of the English.

    I also get they meat of the French but just a little smaller bone structure.

    Here is one, 7 month old cross, in her 'summer' wool.
    This is before her grooming session.
    [​IMG]

    Here is another cross. She too is 7 months and ungroomed in summer wool.
    [​IMG]


    Why anyone would cross to a non-angora breed is beyond me. It only takes away from the quality of fiber. They are only good then for non-fiber, but fuzzy pets.
     
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  4. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    I'm a little curious about angora rabbits -- how much grooming do they require? And how hard is it to clip them? What kind of equipment do they need? In what other ways does their care differ from meat rabbits?

    Thanks!

    Kathleen
     
  5. rabbitgeek

    rabbitgeek Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Check out Betty Chu's web page on Angora Care
    http://home.pacbell.net/bettychu/care.html

    Also see the online Angora Technical Manual
    http://www.angorarabbit.com/angora/angora-rabbit-manual/index.htm

    If you want to clip them, you should be able to
    do it with a pair of scissors and some patience.

    Try to keep the wool so you can spin it or sell it to a spinner.

    Angora wool is luxurious and super warm!

    I'm somewhat of a purist when it comes to Angora breeding,
    preferring to see them kept as separate breeds. The Giant
    and Satin Angoras are already rare breeds without diluting
    the bloodlines.

    The unique traits of each breed should be preserved and
    nurtured.

    Properly bred Angora rabbits should not be prone to matting,
    no matter what the breed is. If the rabbit is prone to mats,
    that trait should be bred out of the line.

    Crossing to other breeds introduces new sets of "wild
    card" genes to the mix. Like taking two decks of cards
    and mixing them together. So many factors to keep
    track of.

    Many angora breeders have "closed herds", meaning they
    use line breeding, father/daugther, mother/son, to develop
    the desirable traits while culling out the undesirable.

    They bring in "new blood" only when they there is a trait
    they need improvement on. This method helps to develop
    reliable, repeatable results in the nest boxes.

    This development using line breeding doesn't take any
    more time than using cross breeding methods and is more
    reliable over the long term.

    Have a good day!
    Franco Rios
     
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  6. RiverPines

    RiverPines Well-Known Member

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    All angoras are prone to matting if not groomed enough.
    French need only be groomed once a week but English every few days.

    Breeds like the Jersey wooly are the easiest as they can go weeks without grooming and not matt. They also have the most gaurd hairs and lowest quality of fiber.

    I dont clip my fibers. Rabbits always have new and older growth on them. They shed all the time lightly with a heavy shed once every 3 months. If clipped, you will be clipping the tips on the new fiber growth. The quality of clipped is lower than plucked.

    I pluck all my fibers.

    I clip my rabbits once a year during the heat of summer. One clip, one time, and all the wool is tossed from that. I only do it to help cool the buns, not to harvest that fiber.
    I get plenty fiber all the rest of the year when I pluck.
     
  7. ladysown

    ladysown Well-Known Member

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    For those wondering why there are angora crosses. Some folks use them as a base for getting a lionhead. Lionheads are HIGHLY popular among the pet crowd. They are very cute. :) Angoras and Jersey woolies are both used for this purpose. The battle is to get them to breed true.
     
  8. rabbitgeek

    rabbitgeek Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Here a page with some history on Lionheads
    http://www.rarebitsandpieces.com/Liionhead.htm

    Lionheads are currently working on being recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association.

    At this time, it is NOT recommended to cross Lionheads with Angora breeds as it leads to the development of excessive wool on the flanks, which is undesirable.

    Better is to find some good show quality stock and use those for breeding, selecting the best for your breeding program.

    Have a good day!
    Franco Rios
     
  9. Beaniemom

    Beaniemom Well-Known Member

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    I crossed my SA buck to my chin SF mix doe, LOL I wanted to get him warmed up before I used him on my SA doe!

    I may keep a doe though, they have just gorgeous body type, and I think you need a decent "base" to hang the wool on. Course I wasn't going to keep the SA, but I think I've changed my mind.

    I clipped mine (tried clippers, then just sheared them) Is there a trick to getting nice even lengths of wool off them? People don't want to buy different lengths, do they? LOL

    My sis in law tells me I should just spin it myself, I don't know if I want to do that though!
     
  10. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    If I got angoras, it would be to have the fleece for my own use, so I'd be looking for good quality fur. I don't have a lot of time for grooming, though, so I'm going to think about it for a while, and do more research before jumping into anything.

    Thanks for the links, Franco.

    Kathleen
     
  11. rabbitgeek

    rabbitgeek Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You have to love playing with wool to keep Angora rabbits. Grooming and shearing are essential activities. Wool is the reward.

    A good afternoon or evening activity for my lovely wife Tracy is to hang out with the rabbits brushing and blowing the coats prior to shearing or showing.

    I shear with scissors, starting along the back and clipping short sections of locks. I clip a path about 3/8 to 1/2 wide, leaving about 1/4 to 3/8 of length on the rabbit.

    The best wool is found along the back and sides. The best wool should be set aside as prime wool for spinning. The other wool sheared from the rabbit should be set aside for felting or other projects.

    There is a guide to grading wool for international use
    http://www.fao.org/docrep/x5082e/X5082E0h.htm#The Angora

    If grooming does not sound like fun, you can always buy wool from an Angora breeder. Buy from different breeders to sample the differences in offerings from various breeders.

    Have a good day!
    Franco Rios
     
  12. nutsburg

    nutsburg Well-Known Member

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    I herd consist mostly of German Angoras. They have amazing dense wool that is almost matte free. I was shocked the first time that I sheared my GA buck. I got 6 times the amount of wool from the GA vs the satins that I have. Not only do they give you tons of wool, matte free coats, but they also do this on the same amount of feed as a satin/French. They are also as easy to handle as a English. And also they have a meat type of body, so if you are looking for a dual rabbit I think IMO that a GA fits the bill.
     
  13. rabbitgeek

    rabbitgeek Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The triple coat of the German Angora is marvelous. It's a breed that does not molt, but grows wool continously. This means it should not be plucked. It should be clipped every 90 days or so.

    Some German Angoras have been crossed with French Angora to add color to the traditionally white Germans, so some of them WILL molt due to the French influence. Crossing the French into German also created Germans with double coats instead of triple coats. Culling the double coats and breeding for triple coats is desirable.

    We've had some lovely German Angora rabbits and think they are an excellent example of breeding for a specific purpose.

    International Association of German Angora Rabbit Breeders
    http://www.iagarb.org/

    Website seems to be down, try again in a couple of days

    Have a good day!
    Franco Rios
     
  14. rabbitgeek

    rabbitgeek Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Dawn,

    Ordinarily I would agree with crossing breeding Satin Angora to something to improve body type. Using a Silver Fox is not what I would choose.

    Introducing the silver gene to the color mix will cause headaches. Silvering needs to be evenly distributed to be proper. Very difficult to breed out too.

    The standard for Satin Angora emphasizes wool over body type and the body type has suffered in some lines. Crossing then selecting for body type and density will bring in the desired improvments.

    The cross for Satin Angoras with the highest probablility of success is to use a Satin (the breed) with great body type and dense fur. Good solid color would be a plus.

    First generation offspring are short hairs.
    Breed back to SA and 2nd Gen will be long furs and maybe an angora.
    Breed to other SA and 3rd Gen will have more angoras and long furs.

    It takes two years to breed the Satin (your cross) off the pedigree so the offspring can be ARBA registered.

    I hope this info helps.

    Have a good day!
    Franco Rios
     
  15. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    I've spent the last couple of hours reading online about angoras, and like the Germans, but man are they expensive! Maybe next year....If I can find a breeder who isn't too far away (because I shipped a puppy a couple of years ago, and can't imagine that it's gotten any cheaper since then!).

    Anyone on here in Southern OR/far Northern CA who breeds German Angoras?

    Kathleen
     
  16. rabbitgeek

    rabbitgeek Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Post a message on yahoo groups Angora Rabbit List
    General Angora Rabbit Discussion
    All breeds, show bunnies, pets, and woolers
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AngoraRabbitList/

    Lots of breeders from the northwest on there.

    Shipping is expensive. Plus airlines won't accept rabbits for shipping during the summer months. Too hot.

    Have a good day!
    Franco Rios
     
  17. Beaniemom

    Beaniemom Well-Known Member

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    The silvering gene is recessive, so the kits don't have any silvering. If I have a free cage (ha!) I may save a doe to play with and see what happens. I may have to keep my eyes open for a nice Satin doe, lord knows I so don't need yet another rabbit project going on here. I need a bigger rabbit barn!

    I'm hoping that the purebred kits will be nicer though, the buck has better type than the doe, doe has better wool. I was so hoping for a nice combination of the two, but I'll probably get some of both, my luck the perfect one is one of the two I lost!

    Same thing with my LH litter, I was sure that I would get "perfect" kits, nope, I got some of one, some of another, and I think there may be ONE out of six that has the combination I was breeding for!
     
  18. rabbitgeek

    rabbitgeek Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Recessive genes are a pain because they are recessive. They can be invisible in a current generation and come back to bite you in future generations.

    Just when you start getting the body type you want, these half-silver critters start popping up.

    Have a good day!
    Franco Rios
     
  19. nutsburg

    nutsburg Well-Known Member

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    Try www.iagarb.com

    Go to their breeder section on their site. There are breeders in both OR & CA, and also you can get GA cross/hybrids that are amazing wool producers that will cost you a fraction of the cost of a pure breed. I have a 64.5% that has beautiful cream color wool that is almost the same density as a GA.
     
  20. rabbitgeek

    rabbitgeek Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Dot COM! Doh!

    Thank you!
    Have a good day!
    Franco Rios