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which is really the right way of doing this..

Keeping rabbits for their wool and methods of using it.
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which is really the right way of doing this..

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Mary Ann's Rabbitry » Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:16 am


I was just told i wasnt doing my rabbits right... this person mentioned that i shouldnt comb my rabbits because it loosens the fibre and they can get wool block because they lick themselves... Isnt that the reason why you groom your rabbits.?????
The other thing.. I should clip them when they are six weeks old. Then dont touch them for 3 months .. then harvest anyway i want after that........
My god.. the poor rabbits will be so matted. I guess maybe thats why they clip them at 6 weeks to get away from that.. I dont know.. Really someone explain this to me.. I dont show if that helps any.. I know sky ,, how do you do it ??? I was told combing was the worse thing for them.

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Re: which is really the right way of doing this..

Post Number:#2  Unread postby PSFAngoras » Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:58 am


Every line is different and there is no right or wrong way to do things so long as your rabbits are in good condition, body and coat.

Not grooming for three months may work on some lines, but I know my line would mat up for sure too. I brush also, and I know that in my lines it is only pulling out the fiber that is already loosened. My rabbits do loose fiber in between moltings as well. It's not nearly as much as when they molt, but it is enough that if left there it would create serious matting and cause wool block.

Yes, they will always ingest fiber too, but whether your brushing or blowing out the coat this will happen. That's why I run my slicker brush over the rabbits a second time after I run the rake through ther coat to catch most of the fiber the rake left behind. That, and a high fiber diet. I haven't had a case of serious wool block (outside of the doe who gets it every time she's bred, and she kindled last month) in well over a year since I adjusted the rabbits' diet to include papaya tablets twice a week and free access to hay. I do see some fiber moving through their systems, certainly now when every single one of my rabbits over twelve weeks of age has decided to all blow their coat at the same time (I spent about four hours looking like an angora myself last night trying to groom!) but it's natural to see the fiber moving through their system. It when I don't see that and they stop eating that I worry.

Sounds like you just ran into someone who is very opinionated about how angoras "must" be cared for, and think their way is the right way. They probably mean well, but I wouldn't fret over it if your rabbits are healthy.
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Re: which is really the right way of doing this..

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Mary Ann's Rabbitry » Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:04 am


thanks PSf.. I just wonder when i use a comb if i am pulling out fibre that shouldnt be.. Maybe i should go to something else.. What kind of brush should i try.. I do have a blower ,but only use it in the summer

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Re: which is really the right way of doing this..

Post Number:#4  Unread postby PSFAngoras » Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:27 am


Like I said, it's all line dependent, but you have to pull pretty darn hard on my rabbits to pull out any fur that isn't ready to come out. I know for a fact that my brushes aren't putting that much strain on the wool that its coming out too soon, or I would have bald bunnies and never see each of them in a good coat.

Actually, the lady I bought most of my beginning stock from tried to only groom once very six weeks, and they looked a bit shabby, but hey, I was new and didn't know better. Now, after two years in my care, (granted it took me about a year to figure out my Own best care regime without a good angora mentor around and then I keep them shorn in summer with the heat here) I'm seeing the best coats I've ever seen on these rabbits.

As far as a brush, I'm not sure. I use a slicker and then a rake, but one that you would use on a cat or small dog, so the tines are a ways apart. I have tried the little sideways combs that almost look like flea combs, but I found that they did get stuck on the small pills and try to pull out fiber that wasn't ready yet. I can post a link to a pic of the type of rake I use, but it may take me a few minutes to find it.

I would probably try a blower if I could afford one, simply because they are quicker, but I know that certainly my starter rabbits were bred towards being easily maintained by brushing, so I don't know how that would work.

__________ Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:27 am __________

The grooming rake I use is much like this one, but smaller for cats and small dogs...
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Re: which is really the right way of doing this..

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Mary Ann's Rabbitry » Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:43 am


ok.. thanks.. I am just going to keep playing with this to see which is the best way for me... My older does are less work than the younger ones.. I found when they are loosing the baby coat.. that is what is a mess if you dont keep up with it. When i comb them.. I do get quite a bit off of them.. I am just afraid if i leave them on there.. they will get wool block.. I guess this person was trying to tell me that i loosen it and cause wool block.. I havent seen that yet.. And i hope i dont.This will be my second summer with them and i will be doing a breeding with three of my best does ,, so i will shear when the heat hits here.. I think in july and august then leave grow out for the fall weather.. In canada the temp is up and down allot and my rabbits are outside
I dont pull on the fur.. I like when they have lots on them.. They look so pretty..

Ok. I see.. so you use this type of brush so you dont loosen any fibre .. you dont use anything else... what ages are your rabbits and just curious ,, how many do you have??

__________ Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:42 am __________

I was just on your website Psf...I can see why you can get away with just using that type of brush.. Mine line has way more of a dense coat that what i can see of yours.. Like you said .. every line is different.. I think i will continue of what i am doing..
If you look at the rabbit in my Avator.. Her coat there want done growing before she blew her coat.. You can see in the pic the dense of her coat.. All of my rabbits are like that.. they are really thick

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Re: which is really the right way of doing this..

Post Number:#6  Unread postby PSFAngoras » Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:13 am


My rabbits look like that too usually, I just never can find time to get a good pic when the time comes! :) And they may not look like it due to the crappy pics (all of those pics were taken either after I got them or over the course of last year, this year has been hell...), but they are very dense. The only new pictures are of Sage and Indigo. I know certainly the pic of the white doe looks otherwise, but that was after she molted and then pulled for a litter. She usually gives me six ounces a molt!

The majority of the rabbits I keep on he property are adults. When I do have kits like right now, they are a PITA to groom, it's just the nature of their coat, but even with a brush, I have never had a kit with wool block. The only other brush I use is a dog slicker.
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Re: which is really the right way of doing this..

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Mary Ann's Rabbitry » Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:36 am


thanks for the information.. I will look out for that type of brush and try it.. You can never have enough of different types when you have this kind of breed. :)

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Re: which is really the right way of doing this..

Post Number:#8  Unread postby skysthelimit » Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:26 am


Thanks PSF, I was going to say the same thing. Clearly Mary Ann cannot get away with what I get away with. I don't have a 90 cycle. I usually don't clip the FA at six weeks, but I do for the Jersey Woolies, who have the more traditional FA type coat than the FAs I have. The clipping sometimes forces a different textured coat to come in (sometimes).

I don't clip the FAs, I've gone till 4-6 mos before the first clip and have spun the baby wool. When I comb them, I don't do it from root to tip, just the tips, the blower does most of the work.

I can't imagine why some one would say combing takes out the hair, yeah, then we all would be bald. It picks up loss hair (keeping the rabbit from ingesting).
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Re: which is really the right way of doing this..

Post Number:#9  Unread postby Mary Ann's Rabbitry » Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:29 am


exactly.. that was my point.. If you dont comb them or brush or what ever.. they would digest it more .. so i think.. If it isnt ready to comb out.. it isnt going to come.. ... now if you live in china.. I heard a different story there.

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Re: which is really the right way of doing this..

Post Number:#10  Unread postby lonelyfarmgirl » Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:23 pm


I will chime in here. How you need to groom is dependent on what you do with your rabbits.

I brush bellies, legs, feet, face furnishings and back of the neck. I also use a cat slicker to carefully brush out any tips tangles, but I hold the locks so I dont pull out any hair from the skin, otherwise I NEVER touch the wool with a brush. Any wool from the shoulder blades to the tail and from the floor over the back to the floor never gets touched with a brush except on the very tips. I have all 4 breeds of angora plus a german hybrid. Meaning I have those that molt every 90 days and those that never molt. I want the largest possible amount of fur to stay ON the rabbit, not in the brush.

Brushing reduces density. I show, so I need the maximum possible density. If you are exclusively a spinner and can spin what comes out in the brush, by all means brush, but if you have a blower, brushing only creates more work. If you blow them out once a week (seeing you have french) then brushing isnt something you have to mess with except those pointed areas I mentioned at the beginning of the thread. 5 minutes per animal under the blower, 5 minutes brushing legs, face, belly.

Blowing also keeps the skin clean and gets rid of dander and felting. I blow year round, even when below freezing, I just keep sessions as short as possible when its very cold.

Rabbits will groom themselves no matter what you do. Wool block only is really a danger during molting time. Feed plenty of hay and keep what ends up on the cage floor cleaned up and it shouldnt really be an issue.

I would never recommend someone not groom at all. Thats lazy and poor care, plain and simple.
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Re: which is really the right way of doing this..

Post Number:#11  Unread postby Mary Ann's Rabbitry » Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:32 pm


thank you lonelyfarm girl... What about babies up till the time they start to loose there coat..

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Re: which is really the right way of doing this..

Post Number:#12  Unread postby skysthelimit » Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:03 pm


I'm curious- when do your babies start to lose coat?
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Re: which is really the right way of doing this..

Post Number:#13  Unread postby Mary Ann's Rabbitry » Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:00 pm


sky,,, who are you asking??

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Re: which is really the right way of doing this..

Post Number:#14  Unread postby skysthelimit » Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:59 pm


Everyone. I haven't had baby FAs blow coats like the baby Jersey Woolies do. The coat just grows and I sheared them at 6 mos.
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Re: which is really the right way of doing this..

Post Number:#15  Unread postby PSFAngoras » Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:28 pm


My kits blow their coats at 12 weeks, and then every twelve weeks again until they kick the bucket. I have only ever had one doe so far who took five months to loose her first baby coat, and she well had a junior coat grown in by that time. It was like she lost them both at the same time.

She did look like a flippin marshmallow before that first molt though...
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