Welcome to the December 2021 edition of Rabbit Rhythms!
December's Breed of the Month is the German Angora Rabbit, those stout-carrot-lager-drinking Hessian Hares that don't care that they are not yet recognized by ARBA!
Winterizing Your Rabbits: It's that season during which it takes a little more effort to ensure your rabbits' comfort during the coldest days.
Consider Chipping Your Rabbit! If, God forbid, your rabbit disappears, a chip may increase the odds of being reunited with you and your family.
Check out the Raising-Rabbits BUNNY BAZAAR online shopping mall! This is a venue where rabbit owners that make and sell stuff can market their products. Plus we've rounded out the offerings with rabbit-y items from Amazon. Yes, we receive a bit of "kibble" from Amazon, but there is no additional expense to you our valued visitors.
Meet Zipper! Zipper is a ruby-eyed white Jersey Wooly adult doe. She is clearly enjoying the fall season!
Even better, Zipper is our latest photo contest winner, which comes with a grand prize of a full pound of Bunny Bran! Soon she will be munching happily on each day's Bunny Bran treat (it doesn't take much - just a couple teaspoons a day for small rabbits), and the munching will last well past Christmas, and possibly into February!
We've heard from many rabbit owners who love what Bunny Branola does for their rabbits; we have not heard about a SINGLE rabbit that did not LOVE their branola treats or rabbit owners who did not love what branola does for their rabbits. Learn more about Bunny Branola here.
Rabbits, with those dense fur coats, don't typically have any difficulties surviving the winter months. Out in the wild, they just take a deep dive into their burrows during blizzards and sub-zero temperatures. For rabbits that live with people, they will take refuge in the cages and hutches we provide. Part of providing a good home for bunnies is providing them with a good home, a secure hutch or cage that is sanitary and can be winterized. We have ebooks on building your own rabbit habitats to keep bunny happy and healthy, such as Pet Rabbit Living Spaces, DIY Livestock Rabbit Housing, or our master book which has everything, Ideal DIY Rabbit Cages For All Rabbits. Our bookstore has all of our great books at your fingertips.
For your caged rabbits which have no burrows, the colder temps can become a problem for them and their owners, and by "colder," we mean temperatures dropping below minus-5 or minus-10 degrees Fahrenheit.
The rabbit owner can easily ensure the safety of his rabbits in three ways.
All of the details are on the Outdoor Rabbits in the Winter page.
With the onset of winter weather, Rabbit Rhythms pays homage to the festively fluffy Angora.
Angora rabbits come in several varieties, such as German or Giant. Today we will focus on German Angoras. If you are looking to purchase one, our friends at Whatnot Farm in Massachusetts have Giant Angoras. If you would like to learn more about Giant Angoras, check out our October 2020 Newsletter.
German Angoras are what happens when you take the German love of efficiency and selectivity and apply it to rabbits. German rabbit breeders started with English Angoras in 1920 and they had a specific goal in mind: UBER-HASEN-FLUFFEN!
Lured away from Great Britain during Oktoberfest by promises of stout carrot lager and hay pretzels, English Angoras settled into their new homes, wearing lederhosen and hopping along to oom-pa-pa music.
German breeders focused on quality wool and rabbit size, in that order. The Rabbit Reich concentrated on issues like softness, coloring, molting, matting, and stylish monocle wearing.
The original English Angoras produced under a half-pound of wool per year, but by 1963, the Bavarian Bunnies were producing over two pounds per year. Currently, German Angoras produce over four pounds per year!
German Angoras aren’t accepted by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) as an independent breed due to lack of exact conformity to body standards. The Hessian Hares don’t give a thump though; they have formed their own breeder club, International Association of German Angora Rabbit Breeders (IAGARB), complete with competitions.
(Check out IAGARB.com! IMHO, it is the best rabbit breed website. It will make you want to raise German Angoras.)
ARBA competitions tend to be beauty contests, but IAGARB events focus decidedly more on talent. The points are specifically distributed to prioritize their coats vs body shape, which includes a 90-day performance review of wool quality and production. The one purely aesthetic criteria is that the rabbit must be monochromatic, with Ruby Eye White (REW) being the most common.
German Angoras make great pets, even for families with children. They have mellow temperaments, like to play, are easily litter trained, and will come when called. Their fur, while long, is not prone to molting or matting as long as they are sheared every 90 days. They shed very little despite being so furry, and require little to no grooming until the 4 month mark. Once their coat is 4 months old, it will begin to more easily mat, so to keep your bun happy and healthy, take them to the salon every 3 months.
Because they self-groom and their hair is very long, they can be prone to wool block. A great treat to protect your Angora is Bunny Branola which helps keep digestion moving along. It is available in 4 delicious flavors: Original, Pumpkin Spice, Cranberry Crunch, and Merry Mint.
If you would like to learn more, check out these links:
HOLIDAY SALE!!! All of our ebooks are 30% off! Give the gift of knowledge!!!
Quality healthcare is an extremely important issue for
rabbit owners, and one service to seriously consider is getting
your pet rabbit microchipped. The process itself is quite quick, the same as getting a
shot. It can be combined with any other veterinary or spa visit; just check with
your provider. The chips are small
enough that they can even be used for dwarf and very small breeds.
The Humane Society estimates that less than 10% of lost pets that get turned over to shelters get reunited with their families. That number will be even lower since rabbits aren’t commonly chipped. However, over 60% of chipped pets that get admitted to shelters are reunited with families. Tattooing is one method that does get used to identify rabbits, especially for 4H and show rabbits, however, tattoos can fade, distort, or be altered due to scarring or other injury.
Chips can also help recover bunnies in case of theft or pet-napping.
In the Pacific Northwest, there was a recent outbreak of 4H rabbit thefts, and there are stories all over the country of other thefts and pet-nappings for ransom. Without bills of sale, the pet thefts are nearly impossible to prove, but microchipping and registering can be used to prove ownership. Finally, sometimes a beloved pet gets loose and comes to a tragic end. When local animal services deal with the situation, they can scan the remains and notify families.
When you want to provide the best care for your rabbits,
consider all your options.
Maybe your friends would too...
Your friends at Raising-Rabbits.com wish you a wonderful Christmas and December, 2021.
Enjoy your rabbits!