Angora rabbits

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Caelma, Mar 7, 2005.

  1. Caelma

    Caelma Well-Known Member

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    Greetings Everyone.
    I have rabbit experience with other breeds and now
    would like to get into spinning.
    Would love some advice and information on Angoras.
    Also what the difference in English, French and German Angora are?
    Cage sizes for this breed?
    Dietary requirements?
    Thank you in advance for any info and advice.

    And also info on beginning spinning?
     
  2. bill not in oh

    bill not in oh Well-Known Member

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    Hey, don't forget Satin Angoras!!! LOL

    My wife (and I, apparantly) have recently begun raising satins. They are beautiful animals, well tempered, and so far pretty easy to harvest the fiber (you just have to really love brushing/plucking them) We have them in 24"X36"X18" high cages. I've been told they can be raised in smaller cages, but Claire wouldn't hear of it! We feed them a premium feed (Heinhold Wool formula with papaya something in it) and they seem to do just fine.

    I'll leave the difference between the other three breeds to someone with some experience with them, but I will tell you how we decided on satins. When she first got the idea to raise these creatures (Angor rabbits in general), the capitalist in the family (me) started to do some research. All the animals on our farm serve a purpose and contribute in some way to the total enterprise. So agreeing with that concept, she started researching at the library, on the internet, joined a couple of bulletin boards, made a few contacts, ta da, ta da, ta da. We went to a couple of rabbit shows and a couple of 'wool gatherings' (odd events...), talked with breeders and show folks. At the first wool gathering we went to I happened to stop and watch a craft spinner making yarn. Fascinating process - requiring far more patience and dexterity than I would even want to have. Seeing an opportunity to 'pick her brain' I struck up a conversation. She mentioned that the fiber she was currently spinning was from a satin angora rabbit, and was among the finest fiber she had ever worked with. I was ready for 'the pitch' (I figured she raised them and would happily sell us a breeding pair or two). She then surprised me by saying that the biggest drawback to this particular fiber was finding it in sufficient quantities to fulfil her need for it. The light went on... I got Claire, took her to this person so she could see the fiber being spun and talk to this gal. We have since found two other spinners familiar with satin angora fiber and they both loved it. Won't pretend to be able to give you any technical reasons for the preference, but it was compelling enough to cause Claire to decide on satins. We now have three just becoming old enough to breed and are going Thursday to get another doe that is old enough. 2 bucks X 2 does = about two zillion rabbits in a few months - and I get to build all the cages... She swears she only wants 5-6 bunnies, but I know how this works.... I'm already looking for sources to buy bulk wire for cages and have secretly started plans to build the **** barn!!! LMAO

    Good luck with your research. Hope I've complicated it slightly for you....

    Bill
     

  3. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    I raise French Angoras. They're dual purpose rabbits, so we eat them, as well as use the fiber.

    You will hear the terms 'shear' and 'pluck' or 'comb' in regards to harvesting the wool. I have a couple that I can comb. When they're in molt, they let go of their wool like a Golden Retiever in the springtime! Others I have to shear. I won't pluck. It seems to me that it would be painful to do that, and there are reports of it messing up the hair follicles.

    I have my rabbits in 24 x 36 x 18 inch cages as well. When I can find 30 inch wire, I'll move does to larger cages, and keep that size for bucks. The cages hang over a worm bed, so keeps the work down. You'll have to check on that, because in some parts of the country, that's not practical. I'm in the South, so don't have the rabbits closed up over their waste in the winter; it's pretty open.

    I use an 18 % protein feed. They need the higher protein to make all that hair! They have timothy hay at all times.

    I quit spinning a few years ago. I still felt, and use the wool for that. It does have a really huge shrinkage rate, compared to sheeps wool, but is extremely warm stuff! And pelts from meat animals are useful as well.

    I suggest you visist the American Rabbit Breeders Association web site to get links for more information.

    I also suggest searching for info on using a drop spindle. You can see if you like spinning, for a very small investment, before you take the plunge!

    Meg
     
  4. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    ROFL!!! This is just how it works! DH had to build sheep pens, though, not rabbit...yet!

    I've also been wondering about adding a breeding pair or trio of angora's to our menagerie here. Anyone in the WA area with info/breeding stock?
     
  5. Caelma

    Caelma Well-Known Member

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    Kesoaps where abouts in Wa are you?

    Ok what is the difference in the fibers and quality
    english vs german vs satins vs french angoras?
     
  6. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    Bellingham... Have I good cause to become mildly excited???
     
  7. Caelma

    Caelma Well-Known Member

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    Well, is 3 hours away reason to get excited? :)
    I travel up there frequently.
    Use to live up there.
    When I get my rabbitry finished you'll have to come down for
    a tour and talk rabbits over lunch.
     
  8. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    Ooooh...I'd say so! Where 'bouts are you?