Grey male angora in W. Pa. Humane Society

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by hisenthlay, May 19, 2006.

  1. hisenthlay

    hisenthlay a.k.a. hyzenthlay

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    Hi,
    I haven't posted in this forum before, but I've been tossing around the idea of getting angora rabbits, and watching the rescues to see if they ever have any. I know I won't be able to get rabbits too soon (until I convince certain other people at home that rabbits are a good idea :rolleyes: ), but I thought one of you might be interested in this grey intact male angora at the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society:

    http://www.wpahumane.com/available.html

    I can't seem to link directly to his page, but he's on the third page of "Small Animals" on the North Side.

    Thanks!
     
  2. holleegee

    holleegee Well-Known Member

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  3. trixiwick

    trixiwick bunny slave

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    I think it's safe to say I have enough rabbits for the moment :rolleyes: , but if you want a little advice on helping to "sell" the concept of rabbits to certain less-than-comprehending male household members...maybe better to think about something less fuzzy than an angora. New Zealands are big, non-froufrou rabbits that act goofy and kind of dog-gy, and there are other breeds too that might be good choices. Just something to think about - always happy to conspire to bring rabbits into the lives of people who do not (yet) understand their true worth. ;)
     
  4. hisenthlay

    hisenthlay a.k.a. hyzenthlay

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    I think he's cute, too!

    Thanks for the tip, trixiwick--you figured out the source of the resistance pretty quickly :) . Only problem with that is that I'd like rabbits for 3 reasons, in descending order of importance: 1) fiber, 2) fertilizer, 3) cute and fun new pet (and not for eating). I mean, I like the pet aspect, but the dogs fulfill that role just fine now, so I don't neeeed more pets. My guy isn't too macho for angoras--he's just always reluctant to take on more responsibilities (and it doesn't matter if I tell him he won't have to care for them--he knows he'll feel like he has to once they're here, because that's the kind of guy he is). I just have to wait until he's feeling less stressed, and then I'll make my move... mwa ha ha ha ha... (we need some sort of :evil grin: smiley to put here). But I think he'll come around eventually--he just likes to do things slow. :shrug: Oh, and besides, I'm also trying to decide whether to save up my good will credits for hens or rabbits... so many things to consider.... :p

    Anyway, I hope that little fuzzball finds a good home!
     
  5. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

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    Histhenlay, if you want an angora for fiber it might best to get a purebred. The wool from a crossbred may not make very nice garments.

    If you plan on breeding, I would also recommend a purebred. As evidenced by that site, there is an over-abundance of crossbred rabbits, just as with dogs and cats. Just a thought.

    In the fall, I saved all of the used rabbit litter (wood stove pellets, newspaper, manure and urine) and dumped it on my mom's vegetable garden. When the lawn started to grow again, the grass where the litter was grew to be about 1' (and there wasn't even grass established there in early fall!), whereas the lawn only grew 3" or so.

    If it comes down to rabbits or chickens, pick rabbits! Chickens are nice, rabbits are brilliant. Of course, I have 9, so I might be biased :rolleyes:

    PS. Here is Roxy the Jersey Wooly (when she is moulting so she doesn't look her best) :)
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  6. hisenthlay

    hisenthlay a.k.a. hyzenthlay

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    Awww, Xandra, those are very nice pictures of a very nice-looking rabbit.

    Don't worry--before I get rabbits, I'll be sure to do tons more research--I know very little right now--but how can you tell if a rabbit's a purebred angora if you don't know its parents? To my very untrained eye, that little guy looked purebred to me. I like the idea of doing rescue, and not paying a lot for rabbits, since I don't plan to do a huge breeding program or anything other than spinning for my personal uses. So is it possible to tell purebred from non, or at least the quality of the fiber, just from looking at/touching the rabbit?

    And as for the fertilizer aspect--maybe I'll start out with a couple of "manly" rabbits like trixiwick suggested--purebred or not doesn't matter for that!
     
  7. dixonsrabbitry

    dixonsrabbitry Well-Known Member

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    Hate to break it to you guys. But alot of rescues won't adopt to breeders, anyone who keeps their rabbits outside, and the majority do alter them, and screen the heck out of adopters. Some are fanatics when it comes to animals. Rescues really aren't the best place to go looking for breeding rabbits at. However, rescue is a good thing. But they push keeping them as companion animals. Not livestock.
     
  8. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

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    Hisenthlay, if you buy from a good breeder instead of a rescue you'll get a pedigree and the rabbit should have good quaility wool. You want a very thick, very soft coat. Try to get a minimal number of guard hairs they are slightly coarser and with some varieties they are a different color. If you're going for a purebred you'll probably be looking for an English angora.

    For your first pet bunny, I would recommend an unneutered buck rabbit. Your husband will likely be amused with the rabbit's enthusiasm to screw anything from stuffed animals to cats.


    Ok, weekly rant, going to be long...
    Yes, that is unfortunate, but expected. These people have poured thousands of dollars into rabbits, keep them loose in their houses like a dog or cat and wake up in the morning to wiggly noses. They see rabbits as very intelligent animals (which may partly be their imagination), and they think, just like dog people do about keeping dogs in crates 24/7, that keeping bunnies in cages for days on end is cruel. It is fact that many rabbits that belong to breeders never get to eat moist food, never get to dig, never get to have solid ground under their feet and never get to frolick. When they volunteer at the shelter to help rabbits, they see beautiful rabbits that are put down because some irresponsible breeder sold it to an irresponsible owner. So no, they are not particulary keen to to sell a bunny that will make more bunnies that will either be sold to an irresponsible home OR take up a good home that could've been given to a shelter rabbit that is now going to be euthanized. This is their quarrel with breeders.

    They get plenty of rabbits that have simply been left outside and never handled, and are therefore unadoptable, they've seen rabbits with problems that were never noticed because rabbit was left outside, they've heard story after story where a rabbit has been devoured by a raccoon, and it is a simple fact that the average pet owner isn't going to go outside to let their rabbit out every few days. This is their quarrel with outside homes.

    In the case of dogs and cats, both rescuers and breeders want the same kind of home, and neither want their animals to be slaughtered. That is not the case with rabbits and that is why a relationship between rescuers and all rabbits breeders will never happen. I am going to state clearly that I don't believe that rabbits should be exempt from being eaten, and I don't think that an outside home is automatically an inappropriate one. The only things I don't agree with are keeping rabbits (or ANY animal) locked up it's entire life and breeding mixed breeds for the pet market. Breed for your own consumption or breed to improve the breed.
     
  9. hisenthlay

    hisenthlay a.k.a. hyzenthlay

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    So, Xandra, are you saying that that bunny up for adoption is probably not purebred by the looks of him, or just that he could be, but there are no guarantees?

    I'm with you on the breeding issue. The only way I would ever breed rabbits is if I was committed to keeping all the offspring myself, and the parents were animals whose traits I wanted to live with in the next generation. And the only reason that I would even consider breeding instead of adopting is that this is the first angora rabbit I've seen for adoption around here in the last 6 months of looking (casual looking, I must admit). I would breed instead of buying only because it would be cheaper for me and I would not be planning on putting the offspring on the market to take the place of either pets or more expertly bred angora rabbits, and if someone's going to be breeding angora rabbits for my use, it might as well be me so that I could experience the joy of their adorable baby stage. I guess what I'm saying is that in general I'm personally against breeding any animal that there is a surplus of sitting in shelters, but not in certain other situations, if done responsibly and with a commitment to the animals' welfare.

    But none of this is really important--just my musings about how I want to run my homestead someday. I would have the same strategy towards goats and chickens (breeding as rarely as possible, because I'm committed to providing every animal I help bring into this world a good home), and would never breed dogs, cats, or horses, because I think there are more than enough nice ones dying every day. Just my personal ethic--maybe it's not for everyone, but its the only thing I feel good about.
     
  10. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

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    Lol I just went back for a look-see and it looks as though someone has adopted him- picture isn't there. There is one more but they don't have a photo of him. From what I can remember, he didn't look purebred to me.
    English angoras have their whole face completely and VERY thickly furred, his wasn't (unless he was sheared and it was growing back)
    French and Satin angoras don't have furnishings, he did
    Giant angoras don't come in any color but white

    http://lesliesamson.com/book.htm is what I think is the very best rabbit raising book, and definately the best on Angoras, called "Completely Angora". It covers everything and will get you off to the right start, if you can convince your husband :baby04:

    A mixed angora isn't exactly horrible, but the wool has a higher count of guard hairs and isn't as fine as a purebred angora's. Even within angoras, different breeds have different wool. English have very fine wool with few guard hairs, which means that it is softer and matts quicker. Frenchies have more guard hairs (still not as many as a cross would), but you don't have to brush them as often.

    I don't know if you're familiar with the breeds, but here are some pictures incase you aren't.

    English Angora
    [​IMG]

    Satin Angora
    [​IMG]

    French Angora
    [​IMG]

    Giant Angora
    [​IMG]

    If your computer is on dial-up I think it may have just exploded :rolleyes: Sorry for the large images, which, by the way, aren't mine.

    And I'm not accusing anyone of being an irresponsible breeder, I guess my point was that the rescue people do have reasons behind what they do and that we shouldn't be too hard on them, even if sometimes they are a touch extreme.
     
  11. hisenthlay

    hisenthlay a.k.a. hyzenthlay

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    Oh no, he's gone! Well, good for him--hope he found a nice home. Thanks for the breed pics. I have looked at those before, but I don't have all the characteristics down pat in my head so that I can recognize them by their finer points. I was assuming he was French. If I got Angoras I'd probably want to go with French or Satin--the English ones are just too outrageous to look at every day! Not in a bad way, just a little... wacky. :)

    Thanks for the book recommendation, too. I'll pick it up if (when) I convince the man to go along with it. You couldn't tell it from this thread, but I'm an obsessive researcher, and wouldn't actually go into something like this without reading all I could on it.

    I'd read about the guard hair issue before, and I was wondering, does more guard hairs in Angora rabbit wool make the wool coarser, but not too coarse, almost like cashmere or merino or something? Because that would be fine by me. Or is it really coarse and scratchy? I was also hoping to be able to make things out of 100% Angora (because I don't have sheep, and I'd like to be somewhat self-sufficient). I know that's not the usual way it's done, because the product can be way too warm and maybe too delicate, but I was wondering if more guard hairs might even make the fiber more versatile in that way. Just my uneducated musings on the subject. Am I way off?

    Thanks for the interesting discussion, and all the great pics!
    (now I'll have to go look up what a Jersey Wooly is....)
     
  12. dixonsrabbitry

    dixonsrabbitry Well-Known Member

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    When you guys raise rabbits, you'll quickly find out that you cannot keep them all. thats why we rabbit breeders have to keep our outlets. Albeit pets, food, or selling as show/brood stock. A pet owner can disguise themselves as the most responsible owner in the world. We can offer take back policies. But we cannot always control what they do with the animal. I will not sell to a person that repeatedly allows a bunny to die. Or refuses to learn about them.

    If you breed, and keep all your offspring without doing anything with them, it can get you into alot of trouble down the road. Not only can doing very few breedings make your does go sterile, but keeping all of them is also considered hoarding. There is the saying that you can't always keep them all. So they have to go somewhere. Since i do show, I can offer my stock for sale at rabbit shows. Thats one outlet. Another is a farm place that takes the pet quality babies. Theres also a livestock auction. And a meat buyer that does pickups at rabbit shows in my state.

    As for caging, pet people don't seem to understand that pet and show rabbits are the same species. Those wet diets can be harmful to their digestive systems. And a rabbit will still do just fine kept in a cage that meets its needs 24/7. Even with limitted handling. Mine range from 18x24's to 30x30's(or larger). The rabbits condition well,and are fine. I also handle my rabbits every day during feeding time to keep them friendly and socail. Pet people and rescuers also don't seem to understand that many of their drop offs aren't the breeders fault. The blame lies with the person doing the dumping. Which are mostly pet owners, from what i know.

    Now I can also understand that they can easily get burnt out from what they see every day. And can somewhat sympathize with them on it. But, from what ive found out the majority of them seem to have this attitude that there is only way to care for an animal. And its their way.

    I have been accused of many things by the rescue side. Over population, and animal creulty seem to be the two favorites. others were "shes breeding too many because she sells some as meat rabbits!" Or, "OMG creulty because she keeps them in 'tiny cages' in her garage." I even had one go as far to go into my photo bucket account and retrieve some pictures of a dog attack I suffered through last year, to spread around on the internet to prove to people that i was hoarding them, and keeping them in a filthy nasty mess. When the dogs got in they ransacked everything. Ive also been called a hoarder for keeping a large rabbit herd. But i am breeding too many if I keep a strict culling process within my rabbitry. Ive found the majority of them are fanatics, that would like to see most, if not all breeding put to an end. And us breeders legislated against to control our hobby. I know alot of the rescues in my state are very against breeding. And will have nothing to do with you if you are a breeder. In fact some of them turn down pet adopters for buying pets from petstores. Its crazy.

    And as far as the rabbit overpopulation goes, if you really take a good look at it, its a myth. Yeah alot of bunnies do end up in shelters. Ive been keeping track of whats been listed on pet finder. Ive found that less then 10% are purebreds, or even showable rabbits. The majority are pet bred mutts, that are more then likely sold through petstores, or people letting their pets breed together. And not all shelters take in rabbits. If it were so bad then every single shelter would be over run with them.

    But as far as the population goes, we breeders own the majority of it. For every shelter bunny, you'll find hundreds of rabbits kept by us breeders in yards, barns, and garages. I can see at the most 300 animals at the auction barn on any given saturday. i see close to 2,000 at every show I attend. Which is about 10-20 a year. I have yet to see that many turn up at the area rescues and shelters. In fact the three shelters in my area dont even take in rabbits. The nearest rabbit rescue is at least two hours away.
     
  13. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

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    dixonsrabbitry, please understand that I wasn't meaning to offend anyone. I know rabbits do just dandy when kept in cages, but I can't help but feel, when I see mine graze, run around at top-notch speed and leap 2 feet into the air that a rabbit (show or pet) that is never let out of its cage is missing out on something that seems to be really enjoyable for them. That's just my feeling on the subject.

    When I mentioned rabbits never being handled, I was not referring to a breeder's rabbits. It doesn't matter if they're handled or not. I'm referring to pet rabbits that, when abandoned at a shelter, are often put down because they are so nervous around people that no one wants to adopt them. Even if a rabbit is kept inside and never handled, they are tamer then one that's been in the backyard with no contact.

    I do not think for a second, and neither do the rescuers that I have met, that show breeders are giving their rabbits to shelters. Breeders should be aware of the overpopulation, and even if it's not because of them, they should care enough about the rabbits that they'll do their best to limit the pet rabbit overpopulation. I, personally, do not think it is a good idea to sell through a pet shop or auction barn. You have no control over where your rabbit goes. A pet store usually sells rabbits to whoever will buy them, and many impulse pet owners go to pet shops. Because we want to do our best to make sure that rabbits are not bought impusively (you probably know it does not work out well in most cases), it makes sense not to sell to pet shops.

    I am not a breeder hater. I understand that you can't keep your culls, and I have 0, absolutely NO problem with a show breeder selling the rabbits that just don't cut it in the show ring to pet owners. I don't like people who pop out crossbreds (or crappy purebreds) like there's no tomorrow, and sell them to whoever is willing to take them. This is what I classify as an irresponsible breeder. It is looked down upon in the dog world, cat world, and it should be in the rabbit world. A breeder who tries to better the breed obviously needs an outlet for the culls, but you shouldn't be breeding for pets, pets should be a by-product of show bunnies.

    There need to be breeders, as far as I am concerned. If everyone stopped breeding purebreds (of any species), then the breeds would disappear. Imagine a day when there is no German shepherd dog, no Arabian horse, no Angora rabbit, and we are back to where we started- with a whole bunch of crossbreds.
     
  14. dixonsrabbitry

    dixonsrabbitry Well-Known Member

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    Naw you haven't offended anyone. Don't worry about it. Its ok. We are all entitled to our experiences, and opinions when it comes to raising rabbits. :)

    With my experiences with auction barns it mostly involves farmers, meat buyers, and other area breeders. And sometimes people looking for a pet or 4h bunnies. You can always tell who is responsible breeders that are bringing them in, and who isn't. The ones that aren't usually bringin sick bunnies. And other buyers are usually quick to psot them and tell some of the others not to bid on them.

    But when raising rabbits, they have to go somewhere. And meat pickups are never dependable. Plus they only meat you at shows, or would want to pick up at least twenty rabbits that are brought up to weight.

    The goal of a good show breeder is to produce the ultimate show animal. Sometimes you are going to get non showables. Its not that we aren't trying to perfect the breed. Its just something that sometimes can't be helped.

    There are breeds, like netherland dwarfs that are pretty much non edible anyways. Since most meat buyers wont take anything under 3 pounds. And we can't always hang onto them. So they have to go somewhere.

    I know what you mean on crappy purebreds, and mixes. We have plenty of those around here that sell to the farm place. But the wqay I see it is that I would rather see quality go into places like that, then something thats more then likely gonna die from some illness in the long run.
     
  15. dixonsrabbitry

    dixonsrabbitry Well-Known Member

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    To add to that, I think if we cracked down on petstores, and the people that suply to them, and get them to work with and better educate people, it might help with the pet bunny population. If a breeder is ouletting culls to pet places, they should have a working relationship with the store, and its consumers.

    Oh and cross breeding is looked down on in the rabbit show world, for the most part. alot seem to feel that crossing shouldnt be done unless its for a purpose. Like saving an endangered breed, or to improve type. But its something that has to be carefully done because it can come back to bite you in future generations.

    But when I was stating that about resceurs, i was stating my experiences and not yelling at you. :)if you live in my state, you'd find that som eof them are overly fanatical.