Angora rabbit facts
- Angora rabbit lifespan – about 7-12 years
- Angora scientific name: Oryctolagus cuniculus
- Country of origin: Ankara in Turkey (historically referred to as Angora), also the place of origin for Angora cat and Angora goat.
- Weight – ranges from 1.5 – 12 lbs, depending on the exact breed. Giant angora is the biggest weight 12 lb or more.
- Purpose: Angora wool for spinning projects, pets, meat and showing
- Number of strains – Not less than 12 with four recognized by American Rabbit Breeders Associated
- Common Angora rabbit breeds – English, French, Giant, Satin, German, Chinese, Finnish, Japanese, Korean, Russian, St. Lucian, and Swiss Angora
History and original habitat
The Angora bunny is one of the oldest domesticated rabbits due to its long angora wool fibers which are often gathered by plucking, shearing or combing.
Their fur is an excellent alternative source of wool since according to Wikipedia, “rabbits do not possess the same allergy-causing qualities as many other animals.”
This heavily wooled bunny originated from Ankara (then referred to as Angora) which is currently situated in Turkey. They existed when Henry VIII was king of England between 1509-1547 and first taken to France at around 1723.
It is believed French sailors admired the Turkish women woolen shawls made of Angora rabbits and goats wool, and they went with some samples back to France.
By the Mid-18th century, these bunnies had become popular pets in French royalty. Wool from these bunnies was spun to yarn and commercially used. Afterward, they spread to other European parts towards the end of the century. In the US, they were introduced in the 1900s.
Some sources note that the origin of this rabbit breed dates to the 6th century at the Carpathian Mountains.
Appearance and description
We will cover their description in detail as we look at each of their types since each has slightly different characteristics including their sizes.
In general, they come in agouti, self, broken, shaded, red-eyed white main colors and their fur is long and silky soft with its diameter about 11microns making it finer than Cashmere.
They are considered fancier due to their “furball with a face” appearance i.e., they have an appearance that seems round. However, the English Angoras have ears and legs with tufts, and stronger, longer hind legs than front ones.
Grooming and care
It is relatively easy to care for them, and it does not cost so much to buy them food. However, you must be ready to groom them thoroughly since they are wooly, i.e, twice a week. This will help prevent wool blocks and matting.
Grooming might not be as easy as you think since its fur is a fine as that of cotton wool and keeping it mat-free isn’t going to be an easy task. This will involve brushing its wool about two times a week and more when it is molting.
Most people who have reared Angora claim that the German bread is easier to groom since they do not require you to brush their fur.
Where do the Angora rabbits live – Cages and enclosures?
You have the option of going for an outdoor cage or indoor including having one in your basement. You can opt to buy or make yours.
Ensure you clean them regularly to avoid soiling and urine smell. In general, droppings must be removed every day while you can do a thorough cleaning weekly changing their beddings and ensure there is no fur buildup in the cages.
For Indoor cages, you can go for a wire mesh cage floor with a good quality underneath drop pan which you can line with litter box liners for easy cleaning.
For outdoor hutches, ensure they are well ventilated and weatherproof (able to protect them from wind, rain, snow and so on) as well as study and predator proof. Raise the enclosure above the ground and let their front have a wire mesh which you cover during severe weather. If under shade, it should be well lit.
Hutches or cages should be spacious enough to allow them to hop around, fully stretch in any direction or stand upright. Avoid small cages and always go for a correct size of a cage depending on your rabbit’s weight.
If you want them to be free inside your house rabbit-proof it and, keep your clothes, books, cables, wires, shoes and anything else they may chew. Instead, provide them with cardboard tubes, gnaw toys, used tissue rolls to keep them busy.
Also, provide each of your indoor rabbits with a quiet place they can rest such as a dog crate.
Finally, bunnies require to regularly exercise. You should ensure they have ample secure space outdoor area on your garden or inside your house if you do not have a garden.
Since they produce a lot of wool, these bunnies may require slightly higher amounts of protein in their diet. Their diet will consist of commercial rabbit pellets, hay, some rabbit friendly greens, vegetables, and fruits.
According to Leslie Sampson and Sharon Kilfoyle’s book “Complete Angora” (1988) p37, studies in Europe showed that the ideal diet for an Angora rabbit kept commercial use are as follows:
- Protein: 15 to 17%
- Fiber: 14 to 16%
- Fat: 2 to 4%
- Salt: .5 to .7 mg
- Calcium: 1 to 1.2mg
- Phosphorus: 0.3 to 0.5 mg
- Copper: 10 mg
- Iron: 50 mg
- Zinc: 40 to 50 mg
- Cystine & Methionine: 0.7%
- Arginine: 0.6%
- Lysine: 0.5%
- Vitamin A: 6,000 to 10,000 IU
- Vitamin D: 500 to 1,500 IU
- Vitamin E: 20 to 60 IU
Besides, feeding and a safe housing. You need to clip their nails once they are long and spend some time with them to help grow a bond. You can do this during their play time.
Their long and abundant hair make these rabbits vulnerable to wool blocks which can block their digestive track. This happens as they self-groom and if impaction by hairballs occurs, they may die. This means extra-care since unlike cats and dogs that can vomit the hairball, rabbits do not have this ability.
To know if they have partial or full blockage of their digestive systems, they may lose appetite, pass less and smaller droppings frequently which may be held together by some wool, or display lethargy. To help resolve the problem, it is advisable to see a veterinarian for advice.
Their wool must be cut off after every about 90 days as a possible remedy to hairballs. This will also ensure a healthy skin and quality wool.
Ensure they are vaccinated against myxomatosis and viral hemorrhagic disease since these diseases are quite contagious. Also, ensur they are free of ticks, flees and worms (deworm regularly).
Check their teeth regularly to ensure they have not overgrown (a wrong diet such as little hay can cause this problem) and see if they can self-groom well (overweight rabbits may not be able to self-groom well).
Finally, spot-clean any area that is soiled to avoid flystrike, which is common in warmer seasons and if the wool, especially around the bunnies’ bottoms, become dirty and matted. Also, a shot of Ivomec will ensure your rabbits do not have fur mites.
Another possible problem would be a heat stroke in case temperatures go high. This is because their fur makes them very warm.
Temperament and behavior
They are gentle, intelligent and lovable and can play with owners if allowed to get used to them while they are still young. However, if handled roughly, they can be become aggressive and kick you especially if they are fearful.
They love to play with toys, especially the noisy ones and are quite intelligent, and they can be trained to use their litter box.
Although they may like to sit next to get a snuggle, ensure you carry them correctly since picking them wrongly can damage their spine or make them skittish.
If you slowly and patiently introduce them to other pets, they can get along with them well and be a fun and a loving companion.
The French, Giant, Satin, German, English, and others
The above information is general and applies to their various strains. However, each kind may have slightly different characteristics, temperament, care and diet requirements and much more. Let us look at a summary for each bread which includes:
This is a large bunny with a lifespan of 7 to 12 years, weight about 7.5 to 10.5 lbs and has a commercial body type. Learn more about French Angora origin care, temperament, colors and more.
The Giant Angora
They are giant or large rabbits that weigh about 5.5kgs or more, their lifespan is 7 to 11 years and was developed by crossbreeding the Flemish Giants, French Lops as well as German Angoras. Get more Giant Angora rabbit facts, prices, and any for sale.
This is a medium size rabbit that weights between 3.0 to 4.5 kgs with a lifespan of 7 to 12 years distinguished for its shiny satin wool. It was developed by crossbreeding the Satin and French Angora rabbits.
Why is Sating Angora rabbit unique? What colors does it come in? How can you care for it and where can you get it for sale? We have dedicated a post on Satin Angora that answers all those concerns.
Developed for optimum wool production, the German Angoras are large sized rabbits weighing about 2.5 to 5.5 kgs, with a lifespan of 7 to 12 years. They have a cylindrical body shape, and their face and ears have tassels.
See our post on German Angora rabbits for all details including care, temperament, appearance and much more.
English Angora rabbit
This is a mini or small rabbit that weighs between 2.0 to 3.5 kgs. It has a lifespan of about 7 to 12 years with cottony like wool. It has facial furnishings that make it look like a teddy bear, a reason why most people keep it as a pet. Check out details on where to buy these English Angora bunnies and care for them.
Chinese Angora rabbit
Bred for mainly wool, has a high number of bristles but it does not give much wool like the German Angora. As Windsorfarmsrabbitry.com notes, the “Chinese Angora was bred for high bristle count because of problems with felting and the processing of the fiber”. These high bristles are not ideal for soft clothing that will be worn next to your body.
Other Angora rabbit breeds
Angora rabbit wool
This wool is soft, thin and fluffy and it usually is about 2 to 5 inches long. It is warmer than other fibers and has a floating feeling.
It comes in many colors and can be blended with other fibers to make sweaters, socks, scarves, gloves, and provide yarn for knitting.
There have been many criticisms by various animal rights activists on Angora wool stating that the shearing frightens this animal and injures it. However, if done carefully, it does not injure it.
According to PETA, around 90% of Angora wool comes from China, a country that does not have any regulation on how these rabbits should be handled or treated.
If you are interested in the Angora wool, including its prices, where you can buy it, costs and much more. See more details on Angora rabbit wool.
Angora rabbit for sale and prices $50 to 250+
Before we look at Angora rabbit prices or where to buy them, you need to decide on which exact breed you need to have from ones we have briefly mentioned. Each one may have slightly different prices.
Also, consider if it is purebreds, for a show, pedigreed since they will affect its price. Other factors such as locations, breeder reputations, state and condition of the bunny will also influence buying prices.
Once these decisions have been made, you can go ahead to start looking for a bunny of your chosen color from the different listings that are available online or walk to your local rescue centers, reputed breeders, and rabbitries.
On average, the cost of an Angora rabbit will range from $50 to $250+ depending on some of the above factors and many others.
In addition, you can use the major online search engines to locate bunnies for sale near you. Just search for the specific breed you want and your location. For instance, if you wish to get A giant Angora in Michigan, then search for “Giant angora rabbits for sale in Michigan.”
If done carefully, you can rear your Angora for wool and profit, besides having them as pets.