Relatively new mom of 4 angoras

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punkknitter

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Hi everyone,

I'm pretty new to raising bunnies and my family ended up with 4 angoras. I sent my husband to look at the bunnies since we were thinking about getting 2 and I knew I would want to buy all 4 that were for sale. Welp, he still came home with 4 lol! We have 3 juniors (I think that's what you call 5 month olds?) and 1 adult. Their previous owner had told us that the 3 young ones were a mix of French and Satin angoras. The adult buck was thrown in as the owner changed her mind about selling the doe of the litter and was apparently looking to get rid of that guy so I'm am not sure about his background, since I wasn't there and my husband didn't ask. I'm also pretty convinced that he was the dad since one of the little guys has the same coloring/markings.

Just wanted to say hi and show off some bunnies. I'm looking forward to playing with angora fur and am currently building a wheel since I'm a bit cheap and I also enjoy the challenge of making things.
 

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PSFAngoras

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Congrats on the new rabbits! They do look like happy buns.

I would venture to say that Mr. Marshmallow may be mixed with german or giant, or maybe English if he's not very large. It's not often that pure French (or Satins and crosses thereof, for that matter) have such prolific ear tufts. They aren't supposed to have any, but some light tufting is often over looked on the show table. Some of my original stock had giant in the far background and had similar tufts to Marshmallow.

Also, being as they are Satin and French mix, they may mat easier than straight French. My first buck was a cross of the two and although he had a fair bit of guard hair, I always had to check behind his ears and around his nethers for mats. His wool had a great texture for spinning though! It still had the halo that French are known for, but it was softer than what I get from my pure French. I'm sure you'll be very happy with what your buns produce. :)
 

punkknitter

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Marshmallow is definitely a bigger guy, I think, since I don't have much of a reference for rabbit size lol. I would say that he is about the same size as an average cat. And I was interested in his tufts since I did not see any on any other pictures I've seen of both French or Satins. His hair also has a easier to work with and has less fluff compared to the other 3. His hair is definitely easier to groom, which is good since he's my grumpy bun. He's not aggressive per say, but he gets annoyed easily when I handle him too much or hold him too long, which made my first harvest, interesting lol.

The other three have really thick and fine hair which is proving to be difficult to get a comb through close to their skin. But overall, I've been able to keep them mat free fairly easily with grooming once a week, although when we got them they were only a few weeks from molting and I ended up grooming them 2-3 times a week to keep it under control. I'm hoping that will improve with age since I've read that their hair tends to be finer when they're babies.

I was wondering, with the two young bucks, what color do you call that? Also would you guys recommend harvesting their fur by shearing or hand harvesting? I tried both methods and I am unsure which I preferred. I am hoping to harvest for the purpose of spinning yarn if that changes anything?
 

PSFAngoras

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Its a bit hard to tell with the lighting but they look like creams (Fawn) or maybe torts. I'm having a hard time trying to figure out wether the eye circles are white or just a lighter cream. Are their bellies white?

I prefer to harvest the wool by plucking and brushing vs shearing personally. Some lines don't molt and must be shorn, but in lines that do molt (which most do depending on breed) I think it's better to pluck as shearing leaves some fiber on the rabbit, shortening the over all length of the fiber. Also, in my experience, Angora is much harder to spin if it's been shorn unless you intend to blend it with other fibers. It doesn't draft as nicely since the root of the hair isn't there to catch and pull more fiber out of your cloud or rovings or however you spin. At least that how it was explained to me, I've never actually looked for the roots, but it does draft nicer.
 

punkknitter

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The eye circles are a lighter cream color and their bellies are a light cream color, but they have no white at all on them. Both of their faces are a darker reddish brown which lightens up on their body. They actually have patches of color on their backs/sides that vary between a cream and a light reddish color. One of them is lighter overall then the other, which is the only way I can tell them apart lol. That and one is trying to grow ear fluff, but very poorly.

That was kind of what I assumed with plucking vs shearing. I plucked Marshmallow and he took FOREVER! Partially since he is a slow molter, but I could also spend an hour and only harvest a small part of his back/side. I believe it took me two weeks to pluck his back and sides working on it every other day (I did shear his chest, belly, and legs since that seemed easier). I sheared the babies since I heard spinning their hair was difficult and I figured I could felt it instead. I am a bit worried about how long it will take me to harvest from 4 by hand though lol since they all seem to molt within a week of each other.
 

hotzcatz

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Aren't French and Satin generally non-molting angoras? I mean, all rabbits will molt eventually, but with the molting lines of the English, you can easily pluck or even when it's 'ripe' comb a lot of the fiber off the bun. If it's taking that long to pluck them, perhaps the coat isn't ready or perhaps they aren't from molting lines?
 

PSFAngoras

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French and Satin both molt as a general rule, but there are lines out there that don't, and each Line is different on how they molt and how easily it is harvested. My original line blows its coat all at once, often leaving a bald rabbit, and produces a lot of fiber. The newer line I brought in, both the rabbits molt very slowly, and although they feel like they have dense coats they don't produce much fiber, but they did come from a show specific home, so production wasn't a top priority.
 

hotzcatz

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Do you know of any genetic study on molting in rabbits? If blowing the coat is a dominant or recessive trait or anything along that line? I've got one line that slips their coat easily, I've been trying to breed for that among other characteristics.

I just got a Satin and a hybrid Satin/German and so far they've not molted, but I've only had them a few weeks. I'm not sure how big the hybrid Satin/German is gonna get, he's still at the lanky teen age stage. I'm not even sure what the breed standard is for Satins or Germans. I think it says 'commercial' body type for the German, but I don't even quite know what that is. All I've ever paid attention to is the English. I could show the Satin, I guess, not that there are all that many bunny shows around here.
 
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