English Angora Rabbit


English Angora Rabbit covered in wool from stem to sternEnglish Angora Rabbit covered in wool from stem to stern

English Angora Rabbit: Description, grooming and care. Interested in raising English Angoras for their luxuriant wool? Plus, info on spinning the angora wool.

The English Angora is the smallest of the 4 angora breeds recognized by the ARBA.  Acceptable weights are 5 - 7 1/2 lbs (2.3 - 3.4 kg).  They come in a full rainbow of colors, including brokens - white with any acceptable color.

Get an overview of angora rabbit history and various breeds at Angora Rabbits.


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Angoras are typically very gentle and easy-going. They’ve had millennia of domestication, and through the ages each animal has been handled frequently in order to be groomed, plucked, sheared, and cleaned.

Are you interested in an English Angora as a pet? Personality-wise, great. But please, also realize that they’ll require significant grooming each week. Are you good with that?

ARBA Recognition of English Angoras
For years, English and French Angoras were lumped together and called "Angora Woolers." But as selective breeding continued within each breed, their differences became magnified. In 1944, the ARBA recognized these differences by according each breed separate recognition. 

Grooming the English Angora Rabbit

English Angora wool is silky and luxuriant due to a lower percentage of guard hairs. The breeder pays for this luxury with time.

This is the breed requiring the most grooming to ensure no mats.

  • From 8 weeks old to 4 months, groom once a week.
  • From 4 months to 5 months, groom every 4-5 days.
  • From 5 months to 10 months, groom twice a week.
  • If done regularly, each grooming session will require 15 minutes or less per animal in order to blow out the coat with a powerful blower and then comb through the areas such as the feet, belly and face with a steel pet comb.
  • By the time the rabbit is 10 months old, it will be ready for its first shearing.
  • Once the rabbit is older than 12 months, the guard hair content tends to rise and therefore may mat less and need less grooming.

These guidelines are distilled from the website of the owner and breeder of the winningest English Angora rabbit in America, Betty Chu of California. Her English Angora rabbit, Chu’s Sweet Sixteen, won 20 Best of Breeds and 12 Best in Show, one of these being the ARBA National Convention and Show in 1992. Her winning ways continue with a barn full of grand champions.

Are you Lucky Enough to Have a Non-Molting English Angora Rabbit?

Ms. Chu has been at the forefront of selective breeding efforts that may have recently isolated a non-molting gene in English Angoras.

What this means:

  • A non-molting English Angora requires less care than a German Angora
  • The fibers grow very long (7+") without molting, matting, or a rigid grooming schedule. Ms. Donna Deter of D'Lynn Wooly Bunnies has several non-molting English Angoras, and asserts the ability to go 7-8 months with "no special care at all." She does occasionally find a few minimal mats by the ears and mouth. This is despite the very soft and luxurious fiber of the English angora.
  • The rabbit stays in 'prime' for longer periods of time. Coat retention for up to 14 months has been recorded.
  • English angora fiber production is very strong. It doesn't exceed that of the German angora, however the English are smaller animals and eat as little as half as much as German angoras do.
  • Spontaneous non-molting qualities are cropping up in other herds around the USA, and breeders are beginning to selectively fix this quality in their English angoras.
  • If yours is a non-molting English angora, you may not need to adhere as rigidly to a grooming schedule, however all angoras require monthly 'bottom checks' to ensure cleanliness.

Extra Care Required, plus
Spinning the Wool

The English Angora requires a few extra considerations. When in full bloom, temperatures over 75 degrees F (24 degrees C) result in added stress. When sheared and for 2 months thereafter, the English Angora rabbit is extra sensitive to temperature fluctuations.

For more information on temperature, and other special tips for English Angora care, we recommend a visit to Ms. Chu’s website: http://bettychuenglishangora.com/

Another great resource in the UK: www.angoras.co.uk




Learn to Spin with a Drop Spindle:
http://eweporium.webs.com/howtospinstepbystep.htm

DEMO of Kick Wheel Spinning:









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