Which Breed of Angora?

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Sinenian, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. Sinenian

    Sinenian Well-Known Member

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    Out of English, French, Satin and Giant do you perfer?

    I currently have 1 English buck, and 2 English does.
    I sell my Fibers, and most of my buyers tell me they perfer the English fibers to any other breed.

    How about succesful crossbreeds of these 4?
     
  2. Sinenian

    Sinenian Well-Known Member

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  3. holleegee

    holleegee Well-Known Member

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    Well, I prefer english angora fiber (because I have english angoras!) But I really have no experience with the other angora breeds. I love the look of the satin angoras but I have read that you don't get very much fiber from them.
     
  4. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

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    Also, the satin's fibre is very fine and mats easily. They do, however, have the fibre with the richest coloring, and it is, of course, ultra shiney. Very nice.

    I like English Angora fibre. I believe that Meg Z raises French Angoras. Let's hope she drops by and tells us about their wool.
     
  5. Sinenian

    Sinenian Well-Known Member

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    Thanks.
    Yes, Meg Z could help.

    I was actually considering trying a French-English mix. If I ever do mix.

    From what I hear crossbreeding rabbits has too many disadvantages to match the advantages.
     
  6. southrngardngal

    southrngardngal Well-Known Member

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    I have a question. The fiber you are speaking about is it used for yarn? How is it gathered? Not meaning to sound DUH. I am always looking for ways to earn money from raising animals. Just wondering.

    Do angoras do well in the hot south? Sure wouldn't want to bring in an animal that would suffer and/or die from the heat.

    Thanks.
    Jan
     
  7. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

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    yes, anything made out of "Angora" is from the rabbit. It is spun into yarn.

    It is harvested either by plucking (pulling the fibres loose, takes a long time) or clipping with electric clippers (dont' get as good a price for it, but much less labor intensive).

    It would be possible to keep angoras in the South, but you would have to be careful, and clip their fur short in the summer. Also, lots of frozen pop bottles!
     
  8. Sinenian

    Sinenian Well-Known Member

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    Yes - It spins into a yarn. Much more valuable than sheep wool. But of coarse less is gathered at a time than a sheep.

    You gather it either from plucking or clipping/shearing. We pluck ours, our buyers pay alot for plucked English Angora wool. It depends on if you have alot of time to spend with your rabbits.

    Yes, you can make money off rabbits. I keep a folder on my rabbits.
    Figure out the expenses (Feed, Housing, Ect), which are much cheaper than some people's becaues I make my own hutches (which there are ALOT of advantages if you want some :) ). The only thing I'd say you can't really make cheaper is feed. I've heard meat breeds can live of weeds, not sure if that's true, but I wouldn't try it with my Angoras.
    I generally make my money of selling the fibers, offspring, and hutches.


    If you want to keep them in the south here are a few tips:

    -Keep them well groomed, especially during the summer keep them clipped so their wool doesn't overheat them
    -Add icecubes into their water bottles to keep the water cool.
    -Keep track of the Tempature. If you beleive it is reaching a dangerous tempature, bring them inside if possible.


    Angoras are great fun if you have the TIME.
    + make an extra dollar or two if you know how.
     
  9. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    My angoras are german cross. I chose the breed over the English because I heard they required less grooming and are friendlier.
    I don't have an English to compare them to, but they ARE easy to keep and they
    are wonderfully friendly.

    I just bought a little satin doe and she's a bit of a snit about her "space". I don't know it this is genetic or if she just wasn't handled much. She's ok once I get her out of her crate, though.

    If you want them spinning, choosing the breed should be easy if you know what kind of result you want.
    They say the more guard hair on the bunny, the more halo in the fabric.
    If you like the really furry look, then french or germans would be great.

    If you like the softer, more velvety effect, stick with the English.

    The satin coat is not very dense but WOW, what's there is amazing!
    Soft AND lustrous. My little one is nice and crimpy, too. I just blended it with some kid mohair and I couldn't keep my hands off of it. Fairy-tale fiber!
     
  10. southrngardngal

    southrngardngal Well-Known Member

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    Thanks all for the information. I will some more research on angoras before deciding what to do. I have the meat rabbits (NZW) at the moment but they aren't old enough to start breeding yet. Only have 10 does and three bucks for meat and then some other mixed breeds for selling for pets.
     
  11. southrngardngal

    southrngardngal Well-Known Member

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    Do any of you who own angora rabbits sell the raw wool? If so who are the buyers and is it profitable? I have been reading articles on the internet but would like to have any books you can recommend to read also. Thanks.

    Jan
     
  12. TerriA

    TerriA Well-Known Member

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    I have FAs, EAs and even AFLs (American Fuzzy Lops). I have tried Jersey woolies but gave them up.. they are "pets"... too small to be dual purpose. I only have 3 AFLs (all does) and if I can't find a buck for them soon to breed to, will give them up as well...they are originated from holland lops and english angoras.. give a bit of wool but too small to be dual purpose as well (unless you like small rabbits).

    I personally prefer the Frenchies and here is why... the bodies are built more like New Zealand Whites. They give a pretty good amount of meat if they are not good woolers, or if I "had to" breed a rabbit to eat. So far, I haven't eaten any of them but a friend of mine has them and butchers anything she doesn't sell/keep for new stock.

    Same friend has Satin Angoras. Gives much less wool, she sells it for less per ounce, but they have the "commercial body" like French angoras. I like the looks of them and hers are more "tame" than the French. My French are pretty tame but the English are even more laid back/friendly.

    I guess it depends on what you are looking for. EAs has no "guard hair" and that causes more matting than FAs.. FAs have the guard hair and make "spikier" yarn. Still incredibly soft though.

    EAs are smaller than FAs.. less solid in the bone.. more "floppy". Cute as can be but they take a lot more work grooming than the FAs...

    Just my .02!!

    Terri
     
  13. Sinenian

    Sinenian Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Southern, I sell all my wool raw.
    There are some crafts clubs around my area that are willing to pay alot for my wool. I don't know the amount of clubs around your area, but look to offer to as many as you can and sell to the best offer.

    Terri, thanks for the info. My English's don't mat alot, because I groom very often.
    You said satins get less per ounce? When the spinners I sell to talk to me, they say that Satin and English are the most disirerable.

    So should I try Frenches, or add on to my Trio of rabbits with another English? Or possibly get a French to try an English x French?
     
  14. TerriA

    TerriA Well-Known Member

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    I started out with some EA/FA mixes... most looked more FA but had the finer wool like the EAs. I bred some and thought someone would want them but NO one did... seems if you are going to sell rabbits, you should have "show quality", fully pedigreed, bunnies that fit the "Standard of Perfection". Unshowable colors are ok to sell as "pets/woolers".. but I had a hard time GIVING them away when I found I had a bunch of loveable mutts.

    Since I am trying to make this enterprise a bit profitable, or at least self sustaining, I had to get rid of all my culls (found a home for them all through freecycle... lost tons of money on them too since I had over 20 I had bought at "show quality" prices). I bought 7 VERY nice solid, show quality rabbits with excellent pedigrees from top USA breeders. I hope to buy a couple more does later this winter/spring and will start breeding in January.

    My friend who raises Satin angoras says the satins don't have nearly as much wool to harvest... and it is shorter on average than the other angoras as well. I have looked at them .. and am still looking at them.. may decide the "cute factor", and the "being different/more rare" would be worth getting into but it also depends on the market. The bodies are nice and solid and if nothing else, could "feed us" if I could get over my squeamishness of butchering. The wool is a nice "plus" but I think the real way to MAKE money or at least not lose tons of money is to have stock for sales to others.

    I haven't sold any of my wool yet.. still hoarding it! <G>.. but my friend has a market for hers built up over a few years. I know she has different price points.. the matted/combed stuff is for felting/stuffing and she gets less for that quality. I just throw out all that unless I need some for nestboxes. I have only the prime, plucked wool... and I guess I should have saved some of my "clipped/less than 3" stuff" for my own blending with wool.

    I think I would look into what market you are trying to get into.. if local, then call around and find what the prices are, if there is a market for which breed of bunny, etc.

    Oh! BTW, those crossbreeds I mentioned above?? The breeder I bought them from took her BEST buck to a show.. he was too bony to impress the judges.. was told by one to crossbreed a NZW rabbit into that line to make a better body on the offspring. She ended up not doing that but is upgrading her lines as well by buying only good show quality rabbits as well. It would take a lot of time, cage space and money to "remake" a rabbit line.. though the challenges are out there for those who like to do that sort of thing..

    Terri
     
  15. DMC_OH

    DMC_OH Well-Known Member

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    I raise and show French Angoras and also I am getting into English Angoras as well. From what I have seen and in my own opinion. You get more wool from a french then you do from and english (evcen more from the germans or giants). Englsih have a softer coat less or very little gaurd hair and requires more grooming more of a faded color to the coat. French have more gaurd hair and need less grooming and more color. Example. I will need to groom my EA at least two days out of a week where as my FA will need to be groomed 1 every two weeks or so. As I have mentioned I do show and this method is very succesful for minimal grooming for the show table a quick use of the blower and they are ready. I do believe that you can groom too much and break the fiber. All angoras have a natural sheen (not as much as the Satin) to the coats when properly groomed and cared for. I do NOT use clippers on my angoras. I pluck if the wool is ready or I use a GREAT pair of sissors. I have not heard of any prefrence to which breed has the better wool. Angora is angora and unless it is the satin with the little extra sheen in it, it all looks pretty much the same when spun up.
    If I were you and interested in cross breeding I would get a French Angora and see how the coat is first and if you still choose to cross breed then do so. Here in Ohio we have all four breeds and we all show together. the rabbits sell anywhere from 40 and up, the wool people buy it at anywhere from $3-$6 an ounce. I have seen it higher in other states. Good Luck in your search for the perfect fiber rabbit. Again this is all in my own opinion. DMC_OH
     
  16. DMC_OH

    DMC_OH Well-Known Member

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    just a another quick note I had just plucked (like two weeks ago) one of my French does and she gave me 4 oz of wool and still has a 3 in coat on her today it is her new coat. They molt I would say on average every three to four months and some go longer and some will molt more often. Also wool amount has been a factor based on the breeding behind the rabbit as well as the molt process. DMC_OH
     
  17. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    Wow...I guess I haven't been checking in here often enough!

    I've got French angoras. I've got two fiber types, one of which I'm trying to eliminate. That one has a tendency to mat underneath, ruining the wool. My best rabbits have a lovely, silky coat that hardly mats at all, but will felt on command! :D (I'm learning to felt, as arthritis doesn't go well with spinning)

    Even in the South, I can comb, not clip, if I'm careful about other things. A fan in the rabbit barn, to keep air moving, but not directly on the animals. No direct sunlight on anybody, no matter which way the sun tracks. Fresh water at all times. Ice bottles on hot days.

    I do keep them because of them being dual purpose, though.

    Meg
     
  18. bill not in oh

    bill not in oh Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Satins - but I guess we're not entirely impartial... These were only about 3 mos when the pics were taken and their coats have matured nicely.
     
  19. holleegee

    holleegee Well-Known Member

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    If you are anywhere near Missouri the Mid America Angora club is have a specialty show along with the Missouri State Rabbit Producers Association in Sedalia Missouri on December 3. I'm not sure how many angoras they are expecting but I'm sure it will be fun!
     
  20. southrngardngal

    southrngardngal Well-Known Member

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    Bill your bunnies are gorgeous!!!

    Jan