Angora under coat brush

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Lewis

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Hello! I recently purchased/adopted an English angora. I was wondering what type of brushes I need for his under coat? Thank you!
 

Jowsi002

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The best way to care for an English Angora’s coat is to use a force-air blower. Anything 1HP-2HP is best, and in my opinion finding one without a heat option is safer. Brushing/combing will break the coat and cause matting.
 

hotzcatz

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A lot of it depends on if it's a 'wooler' providing fiber for crafts or if it's a show bunny. As well as how many bunnies you have to groom. If it's a show bunny, then the air blower is the best. However, it is much more expensive than a comb and it's best to blow the coat outside since otherwise you get dust and dandruff and loose hairs everywhere.

Since the herd here isn't for show (we haven't had a bunny show on the island for years now), they get sheared down to near naked every three months or so. After they've been sheared, there's zero coat maintenance for the first several months. Then, a bit of combing with a long toothed steel comb (try the horse section at your local feed store) can get down into the lower layers of their coat and get any tangles there.

There's also a large variation in how much grooming any particular angora will need. We've been selecting easy care coats as one of the breeding criteria and that's made a huge difference as to how much grooming they need. Also, (although my actual hands on experience is limited) any hybrid - even an angora x angora hybrid between different breeds of angora - will have a much harder to manage coat. Some of them almost instantly matting right after grooming.
 

Lewis

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Thank you! I’ll get the a blower for him. L It is just one bunny and his wool will be used for spinning. Is there a recommend type of blower?
 

eco2pia

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@hotzcatz If you were in a cooler climate, would you shear as often? I don't have real winters like our canada friends, but I have weather that gets to the low 20's F. I have been toying with the idea of getting one wooller to play with. And I happened across some satins that were a kid project...they may be garbage, I have not seen them yet but they are pretty crazy cheap. I gather they were pets in a school, and they became a maintenance issue.
 

SixGun

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@hotzcatz If you were in a cooler climate, would you shear as often? I don't have real winters like our canada friends, but I have weather that gets to the low 20's F. I have been toying with the idea of getting one wooller to play with. And I happened across some satins that were a kid project...they may be garbage, I have not seen them yet but they are pretty crazy cheap. I gather they were pets in a school, and they became a maintenance issue.
Satins, depending on the line can breed either molters, or need to be sheared. If it is a natural molter, which most are, you follow the coat for timing. The dense undercoat will start loosening at the neck behind the ears and progress backwards over the whole rabbit. You need to brush or pluck it out as it loosens. Typically this is every 3 to 4 months. French Angora are also molters. English Angora do not shed or molt (always the exception however) and they need to be sheared, and can be done as desired. Angoras that molt usually retain guard hairs and often the next coat coming in, so they are not really 'naked'. However it's at their convenience, not yours, like English.
 

eco2pia

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Honestly I would rather it be at their convenience. I wouldn't want to leave a bunny naked in the winter! :) Thanks for the response.

Somehow the person with the cheap satins did not respond. I should ping them again, the ad is still up. However, I am still on the fence--I really worry about having time for grooming out mats. I would enjoy it, but my life is so busy right now. I might need to finish a few other projects first. This sounds like the kind of hobby to pick up once you are not still building fences, repairing roofs, and working 40h weeks away from home.
 

hotzcatz

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I've heard that in France they use a depilatory feed (which isn't sold outside of France AFAIK) to get the hair to fall out. Then they brush the hair off and have a VERY naked bunny. They keep theirs in controlled climate areas and/or put a coat on them for a few weeks until more fluff grows out.

During wintertime here it can get down to the middle fifties (Fahrenheit) which is plenty cold for small bunnies. During winter, I'll leave about 3/8" of fluff on the bunny so they will be warm. They also have their little houses to go hide in which are warmer. Plus the girls live in big groups, so the one with a haircut can go snuggle up with a fuzzy one.

I'd thought EAs were one of the breeds who molted and it was the other fluffybuns who didn't? Well, whichever way, the EAs here molt and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. If I don't get them sheared on time, they molt and fluff gets everywhere. If they didn't molt, then the time to shear might be longer?
 

SixGun

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I know of a few lines of English molters, but because of the structure of their wool (the least amount of guard hair among the angora breeds) it makes them an even more high maintenance breed than if they hold onto their coat.
The majority of mats that develop in French and Satin is because owner's "miss" the beginning of the molt. All that released wool than clumps up as it is no longer attached to the rabbit, but also is prevented from falling off of the rabbit. The same structure that allows angora to be spun is the same reason it mats.
Angora take time. With lots of experience you can develop lines and habits that save you time, but in the end, angora just take a lot of time. They are labor intensive. Thats why angora is a luxury fiber. If you have the time, there's just nothing more rewarding in my experience.
 

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