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Bald spots after plucking?

Keeping rabbits for their wool and methods of using it.
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Bald spots after plucking?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby LBMBarbalooski » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:02 pm


I am still a newbie to this raising French Angora rabbit thing. I was so excited when we got our first rabbits and have set about grooming our two on a regular basis. Late last November I thought my chocolate tort was ready to harvest her wool. I got an awful lot of fiber off her using a steel toothed comb. I wasn't certain if I had really harvested all her wool since it was still really long even though I had a large bag filled with it from her weekly grooming.

Fast forward to mid January and I realized that I had indeed not plucked her very well. I could see the new coat coming in when I blew into her coat so I set up some time to really pluck her well. Since I'm not really certain how to do it, I watched several videos online about it. I still primarily used the steel toothed comb and got vast more quantities of fiber than I had back in November. I finally did get the hang of plucking and did it over several days, partly because I didn't realize how much work it took and partly because she seemed to need a break after so long of me messing with her. She's never been the content type of rabbit to just sit there for long periods like my rew does.

Now she is properly plucked except that she has these patches here or there where you can see her pink skin and other patches were there is a new coat growing. Then there are the long comb over strands that just never seemed to get plucked. After all is said and done, I see now why so many people just shear their rabbits. She is acting like a joyful little rabbit now, kicking and jumping around during play time and making all sorts of "messes" in her cage with tossing her toys around. She's a feisty little thing.

My question is, why did I end up with bald patches on her? Was I plucking too much or not enough? Having never done this, I wasn't too sure how much to take. Once I saw the new coat coming in I realized I must have tried to harvest her wool too soon the first time. With my REW, I won't have that ability since she is pure white. But still, the bald patches on my chocolate tort look horrible. I know it will all grow back in a few weeks but she is looking pretty rough right now. Any advice or words of consolation for this newbie making her beautiful angora so rough looking?
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Re: Bald spots after plucking?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Dood » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:54 pm


I dont have angoras but regular furred rabbits usually moult in a wave pattern staring at the head and feet and finishing up at the rump once the moult is over.

The bald spots may just be areas that had not yet started to grow in new fur.

If you are worried about them catching a chill then perhaps next time pluck over several sessions and not in one or two sittings.

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Re: Bald spots after plucking?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Mary Ann's Rabbitry » Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:41 am


try not to use a comb on your rabbits.. It pulls out the fiber before it is ready..I was doing the same thing.. Now i blow there coat and use a brush just on there tips of there fur and the comb on there face and belly.. If you keep doing this.. the coat will not come in as dense.. I didnt believe this when i as told .. then i seen what i was doing and seen the big difference.

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Re: Bald spots after plucking?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby skysthelimit » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:56 pm


Yes and Yes. Sometimes the whole body does not molt at once. Sometimes they molt down to the skin. I would not use a comb, I'd pluck by hand, you can judge the amount of pull needed better by hand in my opinion. Unless you shear close to the skin, you are always getting hair in different stages of growth at different lengths in the coat.
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Re: Bald spots after plucking?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby LBMBarbalooski » Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:31 pm


Ok. Thanks for your comments. This does all make sense. I have put off getting a blower but will look into one this weekend. I was using a comb to harvest the fiber and I see what you mean about pulling too much fiber out with it. I will get braver and pluck next time.
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