red german angora rabbit


french angora rabbit


Texas angora rabbit





Dee Finney's blog

start page July 20, 2011

today's date November 24, 2013

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Please watch this video if you can -  I CAN'T WATCH IT MYSELF.  I'M ALMOST CRYING JUST THINKING ABOUT IT.



The Angora rabbit (Turkish: Ankara tavşanı) is a variety of domestic rabbit bred for its long, soft wool.

The Angora is one of the oldest types of domestic rabbit, originating in Ankara (historically known as

 Angora),Turkey, along with the Angora cat and Angora goat. The rabbits were popular pets

 with French royalty in the mid-18th century, and spread to other parts of Europe by the end of the

 century. They first appeared in theUnited States in the early 20th century. They are bred largely for their

 long Angora wool, which may be removed by shearing, combing, or plucking. There are many individual

 breeds of Angora rabbits, four of which are recognized by American Rabbit Breeders' Association (ARBA)

They are English, French, Giant, and Satin. Other breeds include German, Chinese, Swiss, Finnish,

 Korean, and St. Lucian.


Coat and appearance


Angoras are bred mainly for their wool because it is silky and soft. At only 11 microns in diameter it is finer and softer than cashmere. They have a humorous appearance, as they oddly resemble a fur ball with a face. Most are calm and docile, but should be handled carefully. Grooming is necessary to prevent the fiber from matting and felting on the rabbit. A condition, wool block, is common in Angora rabbits, and should be treated quickly.[1] These rabbits are shorn every three to four months throughout the year.


Diet and wool block


As with all rabbits, abundant and unlimited hay should be provided. The fiber the rabbit gains from the hay helps prevent wool block (also referred to as intestinal impaction).[2] It is also recommended particularly for Angora and other long-haired rabbit species that any pellet diets have at least 13% fiber. Fiber content can be found in the nutritional analysis on the food bag.[3] Additionally fecal impaction can be caused by dehydration, which can be prevented by providing unlimited water as well as a salt lick to encourage drinking water.[4]


Medical considerations


Rabbits do not possess the same allergy-causing qualities as many other animals. The average rabbit can live for about 7–12 years when kept indoors and well-cared for. However, many outdoor rabbits have a shorter lifespan. Maintenance is a must. The Satin Angora has a much lower guard hair count and their wool becomes easily tangled. Regardless of breed, all Angoras must be monitored to prevent wool block, a potentially lethal condition where their digestive tracts become clogged with hair. Proper diet is also crucial in lowering their susceptibility to the block.[5]




There are four different breeds recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders' Association (ARBA): English, French, Giant, and Satin. The German Angora is also common, but is not recognized by the ARBA; it has its own association, the IAGARB.




A ruby-eyed
 white English
Angora doe.
2.0–3.5 kg (4.4–7.7 lb). ARBA accepted varieties:ruby-eye white, pointed white, self shaded, broken.

Prior to the 1939, there was one breed of "Angora Wooler". In 1939 ARBA reclassified "Angora Wooler" into "English Type" and "French Type". In 1944 ARBA officially separated Angora rabbits into two breeds: English Angora and French Angora.

Rabbits of the Angora breed are adorned with "fur", growths of wool on the ears and the entire face except above the nose, and front feet, along with their thick body, and wool. They are gentle in nature, but they are not recommended for those who do not groom their animals. Their wool is very dense and needs to be groomed twice a week.

This is the smallest Angora rabbit of the four ARBA-recognized breeds. This breed is more common as a pet because of the facial features that give it a puppy dog or teddy bear look. If the texture of the wool is correct, the maintenance is relatively easy; if the texture of the rabbit is cottony, it requires a great deal of maintenance.

The English Angora can be bred to have broken colors—i.e., white with black spots—but this is not accepted by ARBA standards, and would lead to a disqualification when showing the rabbit. When showing an English Angora rabbit, the toenails should also be only one color, the ears could be folded over at the tips, and the furnishings on the face may cover their eyes. The English Angora rabbit is the only rabbit that has hair covering its eyes.



A French Angora rabbit

This breed has a big under coat. If the texture is correct, it requires less maintenance than other Angora breeds. Small ear tufts are allowed, but not usually preferred by breeders. ARBA recognizes the same colors as with English Angora, plus broken. They are shown at ARBA shows using the types "white" and "colored" (broken being a colored). As with other ARBA shown rabbits, toenails should also be only one color.

The French Angora is one of the large Angora breeds at 7.5 to 10 lbs, with a commercial body type. It differs from the English, Giant and German Angora in that it possesses a clean (hairless) face and front feet, with only minor tufting on the rear legs. The color of a French Angora is determined by the color of its head, feet and tail (all the same color). This variety of angora fibre has smooth silky texture making it difficult to spin. Desirable characteristics of the fibre include its texture, warmth, light weight, and pure white color. It is used for sweaters, mittens, baby clothes and millinery.



This breed, while not ARBA recognized, is common in the United States and Canada. It looks much like the Giant Angora. The majority of German Angora are ruby-eyed white or albino. In 2006, several black German Angoras were imported to the USA and Canada. They are the only breed of angora rabbit that can't shed its coat, and therefore must be sheared.

Many hand spinners have bred the German Angoras with another type of colored Angora (or other breeds in some cases) in an effort to acquire color in the more dense non-matting German-type wool. These resulting rabbits are called German crosses, not to be confused with the rabbits called German Angora hybrids. Briefly explained, a German hybrid is a rabbit that has a three-generation pedigree with only 100% German Angoras listed as ancestors.

A separate association for German Angoras exists called the International Association of German Angora Rabbit Breeders, or IAGARB. Instead of conformation showing, the emphasis is on both the wool-bearing properties and the body type characteristics of the rabbit for commercial purposes. The rabbit must meet objective standards and perform well on 90-day shearing tests to be officially recognized as a registered German Angora rabbit.

IAGARB will now also recognize colored (hybrid) German angora rabbits, and they may achieve a German registration if they conform to the IAGARB breed standards and prove their wool-bearing ability by passing the judges testing via 90-day wool shearing tests. Since IAGARB registration is independent of parentage or ancestry, any ruby-eyed-white or colored angora rabbit that meets the registration standards of the club can be registered as a German Angora. The notion they come only in white is a common misconception, as the rules have recently been changed to include colored Angoras, as well as ruby-eyed whites.



A Giant Angora buck

The Giant Angora is the largest of the ARBA accepted Angora breeds, having been created by Louise Walsh, of Taunton, Massachusetts to be an efficient wool-producing rabbit sustained with 16-18% alfalfa based rabbit feed and hay, and living in the standard size all wire cages used for commercial breeds. The ARBA wouldn't allow German angoras to be shown because their body type was too similar to other breeds, so Louise Walsh made a new breed from German angoras, French lops, and Flemish giants to create a completely different body type. After several years the ARBA accepted it as a breed and it is now showable. Its coat contains three types of wool: soft under wool, awn fluff, and awn hair; the awn type wool exists only on the Giant and German Angora. This breed should have furnishings on the face and ears. Many people confuse German with Giant Angora, but they are not the same. Technically one could show a German angora as a Giant angora since they have German angoras in their pedigrees, however they are unlikely to score well due to the lack of desired body shape.


This is the largest of the four ARBA recognized Angora breeds. The only color the ARBA currently officially recognizes for Giant Angora is ruby-eyed white (REW), or as more commonly referred to as an "albino", indicating the absence of color pigment in the genetic makeup. The Giant Angora produces more wool than the French, Satin or English Angora. It is easiest to set the rabbit on a standard grooming table, with a "turn table" to do the clipping, or you can pluck the loose fur they are shedding. The Giant Angora Buck in this picture is on a turn table, about to have his summer clipping, (18 oz) You then stay in control of where the rabbit is. Like the German Angora, they require their wool to be harvested every 90 days. When Giants are on a good feeding program, their wool will grow abut 3 cm or 1 inch per month. The coat needs to be monitored after 6 months of growth as it may tend to "die" and easily mat. 12+ ounces of wool is not uncommon per clipping of a good-sized Giant Angora.


Since rabbits ingest their wool when they groom themselves, clipping their wool at least once every 180 days is considered a must to prevent wool block from occurring. A dietary supplement of papaya (from the vitamin section of the grocery store) in their diet helps wool to break down in their digestive tract. The wool swallowed by a rabbit cannot be coughed or vomited up, and will cause it to slowly starve to death as its digestive tract fills up with ingested wool; if left untreated, wool block can lead to death. It is widely held among serious Angora breeders that ample cage space to exercise and feeding fresh, horse-quality hay on a daily basis will help keep the wool moving through the system and prevent wool block. It is also widely held that feeding both bromelin from fresh pineapple and papain from fresh papaya occasionally will aid in breaking down the ingested wool (they areproteolytic enzymes), and aid in its passage through the rabbits' system. Another helpful tip for loose wool control includes giving the rabbit a pine cone to play with. They nibble them, throw them around, and they turn into a good wool catcher in their cage. When the pine cone is all nibbled or full of wool, replace it.


The Giant Angora is the only 6-class animal in the Angora breed. It is to have a commercial-type body with a very dense coat of wool. The head will be oval in appearance that is broad across the forehead and slightly narrower at the muzzle. The Giant Angora will have forehead tufts (head trimmings) and cheek furnishings. The head trimmings are to be noticeable, however, does are not as heavy in trimmings as the bucks. The ears should be lightly fringed and well tasseled. The Giant Angora is also the only breed of angora that is only shown as a ruby-eyed white. The Black Giant Angora is in development, but has not been sanctioned by ARBA.[6]


The Giant Angora coat contains three fiber types for its texture. The underwool is to be the most dominant over the other two types of hair. It should be medium fine, soft, delicately waved and have a gentle shine. The Awn Fluff has a guard hair tip and is a stronger, wavy wool. The Awn Fluff is found between the Underwool and Awn Hair. The Awn Hair, also known as guard hair, is the third type of fiber. The Awn Hair is a straight, strong hair that protrudes above the wool and must be present and evident.

The classification of the Giant Angora is different than the other three breeds due to the fact it is a 6-class animal. The junior buck and junior doe must be under 6 months of age and have a minimum weight of 4 ¾ pounds. The intermediate buck and intermediate doe are 6–8 months of age. The senior buck and senior doe are 8 months of age or over. The senior buck must weigh at least 9 ½ pounds. The senior doe must weigh at least 10 pounds.


In judging the Giant Angoras the majority of the points are based on the wool, which includes density, texture, and length. The points for "general type" include the body type, head, ears, eyes, feet, legs, and tail.


Additional information may be found in the ARBA Standard of Perfection

Like many other "giant" breeds of rabbits, the Giant Angora grows slowly. A doe usually takes more than a year to reach full maturity (size and weight). A buck can take up to 1.5 years to fully mature (size and weight).



A broken satin Angora rabbit.

The Satin Angora is derived from cross breeding between a Satin and a French Angora. This breed is named for the high sheen of the wool, commonly referred to as "satinized", the hair shaft has a semi-transparent outer shell and reflects light, resulting in deep color, high luster, and extreme soft texture of its wool. It resembles the French Angora, having no furnishings on the face, ears, or feet, and it is also easy to groom compared to the English variety, although the soft texture makes matting an issue, and daily combing is recommended. Satin Angora's wool is said to be stronger for spinning than other varieties of Angora, although it is considered more difficult to spin as it is more slippery.

They are shown at ARBA shows using the types "white" and "colored" (broken not yet approved). As with other ARBA shown rabbits, toenails should also be only one color. The color of a Satin Angora is determined by the color of its head, feet, and tail (all the same color).

This breed does not produce as much wool as other breeds of Angora rabbits. This trait is being improved upon by selective breeding. The wool should have a silky texture, high luster, with good guard hair for ease of maintenance.



Angora rabbits are active, playful and social, with lots of personality. They enjoy the attention of their owners, as well as the companionship of other rabbits, and often house Angoras will nap with a docile mannered cat. They enjoy having toys, for example a plastic ball, a pine cone, a piece of soft wood, a stuffed sock, or an old glove.

See also


  1. Jump up^ "Angora Rabbit Breeds - How to Care for Your Angora Rabbit". Archived from the original on 25 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-29.
  2. Jump up^ "Natural Nutrition I: The Importance of Fiber". Retrieved 2011-02-12.
  3. Jump up^ "Natural Nutrition I: The Importance of Fiber". Retrieved 2011-02-12.
  4. Jump up^ "Stopping that Wascalwy Rabbit". Retrieved 2011-02-12.
  5. Jump up^ What is Wool Block
  6. Jump up^ Summary on the description of a Giant Angora, American Rabbit Breeders Association, Standards, spring 2012.

External links


Thinking of buying an angora sweater for Christmas? Read this chilling investigation... Agony of the rabbits plucked alive for your fluffy jumpers


PUBLISHED: 17:07 EST, 22 November 2013 | UPDATED: 17:07 EST, 22 November 2013

When it’s cold outside there’s something irresistible about a warm, fluffy jumper. Never more so than this season, as these sweaters are the height of fashion, lining the rails of every clothes shop on the British High Street. 

Some of these snuggly knits are made from cashmere, others from merino wool or mohair. But there is one fibre that is softer and fluffier than all the rest: angora.

These sought-after knits are produced from the fur of the angora rabbit — giant balls of fluff with tiny faces peeking out, bred for their long, soft wool.


Factory horror: An angora rabbit is tied up by its feet and its skin stretched as it is being cut with an electric shear

Angora fibres are hollow, which gives clothes a fluffy texture. It’s warmer than wool and the fibre is also exceptionally fine — just 11 microns (11 thousandths of a millimetre) in diameter — which means angora is softer than cashmere.


 It is also far cheaper than the luxury fabric, with angora jumpers on sale in Topshop for £36 and scarves in John Lewis for just £30.

But an investigation this week revealed these bargain knits may be coming at an immense cost to the animals that produce this fluffy angora wool.


angora rabbit cages

The rabbit is bent across the woman's knee before being trimmed of its fur using scissors

Animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) released a gut-wrenching exposé into the angora industry in China, which is responsible for 90 per cent of the world’s supply of angora wool.

Investigators went to ten different angora farms and witnessed, they say, appalling abuse of animals at all ten locations. At half of the farms a particularly barbaric form of live plucking is used to remove the fur.

PETA, which is campaigning for shoppers to boycott angora, is not naming the farms to protect its sources, but has documented its hard-hitting findings in video footage. Be warned, neither the still images nor the video make for easy viewing.




Shocking truth: The animals are constantly injured from throughout the plucking as they struggle to break free


Torture: The Chinese fur traders use the plucking technique as it results in better quality fur and more money

Terrified white rabbits, screaming with fear, are stretched prone on wooden boards and held by the neck while that much-prized soft fur is plucked by hand — though scalped might be a more appropriate term. Hair is wrenched from the follicles until only raw, pink skin remains. 

In other scenes, the defenceless creatures are tethered with rope by the front and back legs while they are sheared by men armed with metal scissors, who pay little attention to the cuts they are inflicting on the animals.

There can be little doubt that in this footage, rabbits are treated in a horrifying manner. 

‘After their fur is yanked out, the gentle, sensitive rabbits are left in shock, able only to lie motionless inside their tiny, filthy cages,’ says PETA spokesman Ben Williamson.


Animal cruelty: The angora rabbits are alive throughout the plucking and are kept for several years, plucked every few months, before their throats are slit


Locked up: The cages injure the rabbit's feet and the insanitary conditions see many of them, such as this one, suffer infections and illness

Rather than simply trimming the fur with clippers, as many breeders do, the factory workers are seen wrenching the fur from the root, causing the rabbits incredible pain.  The reason for this cruelty? Simple economics — and expedience.

Angora has a trade value of £22 to £28 per kilogram, but the longer hair that comes from plucking, as opposed to shearing, can sell for more than double that. As for speed, one only needs to watch the footage to discover how quick removing the hair in this manner is.

Angora breeders in the UK told the Mail that plucking a rabbit without causing harm takes up to two weeks of gently removing loosened hair, not the minutes it takes to rip hunks of fur from a terrified animal in the factories visited in China.


Shearing a rabbit takes up to an hour when done with care — but again, the process recorded on these videos was terrifyingly swift.

This process is repeated every three months for the two to three years of the animal’s life.

Angoras can live for five years, or even as long as ten years when well looked after, but farmed rabbits have a much shorter lifespan, which can be as little as two years.

Yet it is not just the manner in which these animals — which are more commonly kept as pets in Britain — have their fur harvested that has sparked animal welfare concerns.

Pictures show forlorn looking rabbits with tattered and partially shaved fur cowering in tiny cages in half-covered sheds.


Pain and suffering: The terror in the animal's eyes is unmistakeable as a worker with a Chinese angora trader stretches it out and yanks out its fur

‘The rabbits are kept in tiny filthy cages, surrounded by their own waste,’ says Mr Williamson. ‘The cages offer little protection from the elements. 

They are forced to spend their entire miserable lives standing on the thin cage wires that constantly cut into their sensitive footpads, never having a chance to dig, jump or run around.’

Once the rabbit’s health fails, they are of little use to breeders.

Those who survive the brutal conditions in these rabbit farms are killed by having their necks broken, and are hung upside down and have their throats slit before their flesh is sold to local markets, PETA says. 

There are thought to be more than 50 million rabbits on angora farms in China, producing more than  4,000 tonnes of fur a year.


Left to recover: After the rabbit had had all its fur yanked out it is thrown into a cage to regrow its fur in complete solitude

It is by far the world’s biggest producer, followed by Argentina, Chile, the Czech Republic and Hungary, which produce the bulk of the remaining 10 per cent of the supply chain.

While plucking of angora rabbits does occur in other countries, the Mail has not found any reports of the particularly barbaric form witnessed in these Chinese factories being employed elsewhere. 

There is no doubt that China has a woeful record of factory farming and animal cruelty, particularly when it comes to producing clothes for the fashion industry, many of which end up on sale on British High Streets.

In 2009, campaigners exposed how down used in jackets and other items was being ripped from the bodies of live geese by Chinese suppliers. 

Two years later it emerged that raccoon dogs were being skinned while still alive to produce imitation sheepskin boots.


No hope: This young bunny is in the process of regrowing its fur while recovering from an eye infection in a naked steel cage

In China, there are no penalties for the abuse of animals on farms and minimal, if any, standards to regulate their treatment. A new law was drafted in 2009, but has not been implemented. 

The UK once had its own angora industry, but it died out after World War II and now remains only as a cottage industry, with producers unable to compete with the cheap angora from eastern countries such as China.

‘We can’t compete with the Chinese, so it’s very much a niche market,’ says Sarah Paul, who breeds and produces angora on a small scale on her farm in North Yorkshire and has raised rabbits for the past 30 years. 

‘I’m one of the few left, there are no commercial producers in the UK any more. As an animal, they are lovely and very easy to keep and the fibre is absolutely gorgeous.’

Her rabbits (all lovingly tended to, nails clipped, and coats combed) mostly live on the barn floor and are clipped, not plucked, every 14 to 16 weeks. Angora rabbits regularly moult, which allows breeders to harvest their hair in this manner.

‘That’s the most labour intensive part,’ says the mother-of-four. She says that, far from screaming and struggling to escape, the rabbits become quite ‘soporific’ as they are groomed and clipped, a  process that can take an hour for each one. 

If a rabbit is not clipped, she says, its fur can become matted, ‘almost imprisoning’ the animal.

Ms Paul, who runs Bigwigs Angora,  sells her rabbits’ fibres to independent wool spinners in small packs of nearly an ounce for £3. 

A single angora rabbit, well looked after, may produce about just over 1lb of fur a year from three to four clippings, which is blended with other fibres to make a 50 per cent angora yarn — enough to make two and a half jumpers.

A single jumper would cost £64 to make with £8 balls of yarn, a far higher price than the mainstream fashion industry can tolerate with its insistence on large profit margins. On the British High Street, the Mail found angora products on sale in every store we visited, most of them displaying labels saying ‘Made in China’. 

While this doesn’t necessarily mean the wool was sourced in China, the vast majority of angora sold in Britain comes from that country. 

Of the retailers approached by the Mail — which included John Lewis, Topshop and H&M — only Marks & Spencer told us where they sourced their angora: China. 

Among the store’s offerings this season are a £39.50 roll-neck jumper, made from 38 per cent angora, and a three-quarter sleeve cardigan in the palest of pinks, made of  55 per cent angora, for £49.50.

A spokesman said: ‘We put animal welfare at the heart of our business and are committed to the highest standards in all our supply chains, including angora wool.’

The store said live plucking did not meet their high welfare standards, while H&M also condemned the practice and Topshop said only shearing and combing were acceptable.

‘As a condition of doing business with us, all our suppliers must adhere to our strict animal welfare policies,’ said the M&S spokesman. 

While this may be the case for some stores, this week’s horrific images of rabbits will surely be enough to give many British shoppers pause for thought when they stop to stroke the fluffy angora jumpers on offer on our High Streets this winter.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2512072/Agony-rabbits-plucked-alive-fluffy-jumpers.html#ixzz2lcgVW0zm 
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