Rabbit Rhythms October 2020: Our theme for this month is Angoras! These rabbits are known for their extremely long fur and wool production. Check out the largest of this breed: the German Angora!
Owning an Angora comes with certain complications due to their long fur such as grooming, shearing, and wool block. Did you know that an Angora's diet can be optimized to increase their wool production?
Looking for some new apparel? We've got hand-knitted caps made from wool blends including angora! Additionally, some awesome raising-rabbits.com T-shirts!
Rabbits in the News: Recent fires in Eastern Washington devastate the endangered pygmy rabbit population. Read about it below.
PSA: If your rabbits are not breeding right now, it may be due to the autumn rest period. We will not be covering this topic in this month's newsletter but if you would like to learn more, check out the September 2019 newsletter.
Breed History and Standards
The Giant Angora originates from the German Angora breed, which in the 1900s was considered to be too similar to the English Angora. Breeders added Flemish Giant and French Lop genes to the German Angora which resulted in the Giant Angora, which was later accepted as an official breed by the ARBA in 1988.
The history on Angoras in general is a bit more complex, as they have been domesticated for almost 2,000 years. Check out our Angora Rabbits page for more history on how this funky bunny came to be so popular.
Breed Information and Temperament
Giant Angoras are the largest Angora breed, and produce the second most wool out of the Angora breeds, the first being the German Angora. Unlike the German Angora which does not molt, the Giant Angora has a partial molt, and their coats must be harvested every 3 months.
Their temperament is more calm and reserved than many rabbits, but still need play from time to time. Like most Angoras, this breed does great with handling.
Giant Angora wool is easier to care for than English Angora wool, but still needs to be brushed often. Angoras in general are are susceptible to overheating, especially in the summer due to their thick coats. For more information on this breed, check out our Giant Angora page!
Introducing our new Raising-Rabbits.com t-shirts! Don't like blue? They also come in a wide array of colors! The cotton blend is soft and of high quality, and is light-weight, perfect for warmer climates. The logo on the front memorializes our love of rabbits. It is a line-drawing of a group of young rabbits living in a "rabbit tractor" at Aurora Rex Rabbit Ranch. These t-shirts should last for years.
Q: What is different about caring for Angora rabbits than for the typical average rabbits?
A: The long wooly fur on Angora rabbits complicates their care for several reasons: dietary concerns, the need for regular grooming, risk of fur block, and the need to shear periodically.
Nevertheless, there are many reasons for keeping Angora rabbits: Their wool is light weight and incredibly warm. Angora woven with wool from other species makes for garments that will keep folks warm in even the coldest climates. If you enjoy knitting, an Angora rabbit can keep you company, and provide you with a free wool source. It's a win-win!
In fact, Angora wool is so awesome that the Romans were keeping Angora rabbits during the entirety of their empire. History indicates that they have been around since at least 5000 BC, so this breed has had plenty of time to be refined for wool production and temperament.
The many benefits of the wool that the angora rabbit provides so liberally, more than offset the additional care that the angora rabbit owner must provide these wooly rabbits. Find a brief summary of the dietary needs of wool rabbits on our Feeding Rabbits page.
Additionally, Rabbit Raising Problem Solver addresses concerns and questions about how to care for Angoras:
The recent fires all across America haven't just affected the human population, but wild rabbits too. The endangered pygmy rabbit species, which had been steadily recovering, was recently devastated by forest fires in Eastern Washington. About half the population was wiped out by fires in Cold Springs and Pearl Hill; vital habitats for their recovery.
After the last of the rabbits were captured in 2001, they were bred in captivity and released in three different locations to protect them against natural disasters such as these. The largest of the three, the Jameson Lake population, was completely devastated.
While this is a huge setback for the recovery of Pygmy rabbits, there is still hope for the other two populations of Pygmy rabbits, and if they do well, perhaps the Jameson Lake area can be re-populated by a small colony of Pygmies.
Visit https://www.ecowatch.com/washington-wildfires-endangered-rabbits-2647857158.html to learn more about the state of this precious wild rabbit.
Maybe your friends would too...
Your friends at Raising-Rabbits.com wish you a wonderful October 2020.
Enjoy your rabbits!