CARE TIPS FOR ANGORA RABBITS:
Now i am experienced,i would recommend you to
buy Giants or pure German Angoras.These are the biggest,some weigh in at 15 lbs.They are
easy keepers,need only a little brushing to maintain and you get a lot of fibre.A top quality giant will give upto 2 lbs of fibre per year.
This is the rabbit for anyone who wants to produce their own fibre
for spinning.A Giant rabbit from a reputable breeder will cost you
around $250.00 canadian.Quality stock is never below this price.
And often higher for champion stock.
BUY A Source BOOK.
LESLEY SAMSON=ANGORA RABBIT GURU!
I strongly suggest if you are considering keeping Angora rabbits that you purchase a book.A good one is Completely Angora by Kilfoyle and
Samson.Its an American-Canadian production and full of useful
tips.Look for this book anywhere they retail spinning equipment.If
you have no luck,call me and i will get you a copy.It is essential
that you know how to look after these rabbits before you buy.
Angora rabbits are special and require more care and management,they are not like other rabbbits.
Angora rabbits need to eat hay daily.Good quality hay with no dust
and 18 to 20% protein not only saves on the grain but gives the animal important fibre for good digestion.If you have a dairy farmer near you,pay them a visit and ask what the protein count is on the hay-never buy hay from the pet store.
When choosing a breeder to purchase stock from-DO not buy
from a person who will not let you into their barn to choose your
own rabbits.These kind of people usually have a very dirty barn
that lacks good sanatary management.Rabbits from these places have poor health and often die from lung diseases.If you can get into the barn take note of the odour in the air.Strong urine smell means these people are not clean.Rabbits that are kept in rancid conditions will not do well-they have poor health and you will only be buying problem rabbits.
A good place to meet Angora breeders are rabbit shows.Buy stock
from those breeders who have champion stock,they usually come
with a guarantee to be healthy or they will be replaced.
RABBITS ARE INTERNAL HEAT PRODUCERS:
If you live in a very warm climate where temps are in the + 80s and your rabbits are in full-fibre(not clipped down) and you only have a few rabbits -bring them in doors to help keep them cool.If you have too many to bring in, then you need to invest in a good air-conditioning system.Best temp for angoras is 65 degrees.Rabbits that are over heating should be given a bottle of frozen water.This
can be placed alongside the rabbit and will bring some much needed relief.Also using a cold wet cloth on the ears can help too.
If possible bring the rabbit indoors to a cool location.If you have doubts call your vet-he will tell you what to do.
WINTERTIME CLIPPING:in canada its ok to clip your rabbits in the dead of winter if your barn is well insulated and heated.This is of little point if you dont have good quality doors or windows to conserve the heat.Barns should be as draft free as possible,with little variation on temps and a good system of fans to take out the spent air.If it is not possible to clip,then you will have to brush daily and remove some hair by plucking.Removing this dead hair will prevent your next clip(in 3 months time) from being ruined.If you do not have the luxury of a heated barn you should clip your rabbits in the late fall to prepare for the winter.
GRAIN AND MINERALS:
When feeding Angora rabbits,do not buy from the pet shop.They are expensive and not very fresh.Your local feedmill
will be happy to order in Purina high performance rabbit pellets.This is the best and rabbits love it.Minerals are something else to consider.Your feedmill will also order these for you.OR if you only have a couple of bunnies you can buy mineral wheels from the pet
section at your local walmart.Minerals are an important part of the
health of your bunnies and are often overlooked.
LUMPS AND BUMPS.Rabbits are such that they often develop a
problem with cyst.This can happen anywhere on the body,but it is usual around the face or under the chin.You should check your rabbits for these on a monthly basis.If you are not capable of treating these yourself then you need your local vet asap.
Bunnies that have long wool can become stained with urine and
droppings-this attracts flys.The flys lay eggs on the Fibre and as you can imagine they can do a lot of damage.If you are not using the animal for showing keep the Butt and tail area clipped down.Trimming this area to allow the air to circulate and keeps your rabbits more comfortable.
This is one of our Fresh-feed pastures.We cut a line at a time
with the tractor and hay cutter.The kids gather into feed bags all
of the gorgeous dandelions.Rabbits adore this time of year because the feeding is so varied.Dandelions are also a good way
to prevent wool block.Sadly these flowers and leaves only last
for about 2 months-so we have to make the most of it for the
sake of the rabbits.we keep a section in our hay loft so we can store the Dandilions to dry,we them bag them for use over the Winter months.
These little guys are about 3 weeks old.They are a french-Giant cross. When they become adults these will produce upto 2. lbs of Angora fibre each,each year.Look at that cute little face and so cute ears.........its easy to see how i got hooked!