- Size: French Angora rabbit is a large bunny
- Lifespan: French Angora lifespan is 7 to 12 years
- Average weight – It weighs 7.5 to 10.5 lbs (3.4kg to 4.8kgs) with 8.5 lbs their ideal weight
- Who can have them: Single, a family with children who are older, they can also be house, indoors or outdoors rabbits
- Similar breeds – English Angora and Giant Angora rabbits
- Purpose: Angora wool, rabbit meat and as pets. Their wool makes mittens, sweaters, millinery and baby clothes. The wool is warmer than that of a sheep.
History and origin
Like all the other Angora rabbit breeds, i.e., the Satin, English, Giant Angoras, it originated from the present-day Ankara Turkey (then Angora). It is the closest in features to the original Angora rabbit that French sailor brought from Turkey in 1723.
Before 1939, they were regarded as an Angora Woolers but due to breed variations with the English Angora; they were split to French and English Type. Later, in 1944, the ARBA named them as different breeds, i.e., the French and English Angora.
Physical characteristics – identifying it
The French Angora rabbit has a commercial body type with a sturdy and strong frame without facial furnishings. Its head is oval and proportional to its body size.
They have “two coats of hair: a coarse guard hair, which extends past the undercoat, and a thick, crimped wool coat.” (source – lovetoknow.com). The wool can grow up to six inches in length, but it should not be less than 2 inches.
Since it has smooth, silky textured fibers, spinning is not easy but not impossible. The most desired fiber should be light-weight, pure white and warm.
When compared to the English Angora, it does not have furnishings, i.e., the thick wool that covers its feet, face, and ears. Its wool is mainly on its body with ordinary fur on its face. The legs, up to its ankles also do not have wool.
It is common to notice some wool tufts on its rear legs as well as ears, but this is not encouraged during animal shows.
Their colors are determined by the color of their tail, feet, and head which must be the same. During the ARBA shows, you either be having bunnies classified as white or colored breeds.
Their toe color depends on their color. White toes for a white one and colored if it is a colored bunny. Their toenails should be a single color.
French Angoras have a long list of colors and markings which can be grouped as pointed white, self, agouti, chinchilla, shaded, wideband, and ticked groups.
Care and maintenance
In general, the French Angora rabbit is a low maintenance breed especially on its food and beddings compared to other Angora breeds. Some of the maintenance routines may include:
- Cutting or harvesting its wool 3 to 4 times a year
- Regularly brush its wool with a slicker brush on a need basis, i.e., it could be daily up to once a week and blow dry it to avoid detangling. You need to take good care of it to ensure it is mat-free.
- Its toenails should be clipped after every two weeks or whenever they grow long using a rabbit nail clipper.
- Ensure its diet has enough roughages to help avoid wool blocks since they may be ingesting some as they self-groom. Wool blocks can accumulate in their digestive tract and block it.
- Their diets should have at least 18% proteins. Give them hay, pellets, fresh greens, vegetables and fruits. Let your vet help you if you have young rabbits on their food requirements.
- Whether yours are indoors or outdoors rabbits, ensure they have enough time outside their cages to play and socialize. A secured or fenced backyard garden will be ideal or let them freely play in the house in case there is no backyard garden.
- Check for any overgrown teeth, and in case they are overgrown, give them more hay, gnaw toys and softwood to chew. These will help wear out their teeth.
- Have does spayed at about 4-6 months while bucks at about three and half
Enclosures and cages
Their enclosures should be spacious to allow your bunny to stand upright, stretch and still have more room. See guidelines on the correct rabbit cage size.
For outdoor French Angoras, ensure their cages are raised, safe from predators such as raccoon, coyotes, and wolves.
Spot clean the enclosures daily and remove any dropping. At the end of every week, change your rabbit’s beddings.
Like most rabbits that have a long fur on their coat, wool blocks is of significant concern. This can be prevented by giving them high fiber pellets, hay and plenty of water.
You will know if they have a wool block if you notice symptoms such as loss of appetite and thirst, reduced urination, fewer droppings that may be clumped together with fur as well as lethargy.
In case of these symptoms, seek help from your veterinarian to avoid the furballs killing your sweet bunny.
Also check for fleas, ticks, fur mites, and any other symptom of illness. Report anything abnormal to your vet.
Why you should have a French Angora rabbit
The main advantages of these rabbits are they can be used for show, wool, meat, and breeding. Also, their maintenance costs are low, and they are temperament is gentle.
Temperament and personality
They are described as ‘mellow and gentle’ and they become even-tempered and friendlier the more they get used to their handlers. As their handler grooms them, harvest wool, play and feed them, they become more gentle and sweet.
They need love, affection, and attention. However, we do not recommend these bunnies for small kids since some of them may not know how to handle them since they are large.
Like other rabbits, they can be trained to use their litter boxes, but this will take much longer. Rabbit-safe toys, wood is also recommended besides keeping away anything you think they may chew.
French Angora rabbits on sale
You have an idea of what it takes to have these pets including their health and care concerns. We assume you know the rabbit hutch size they need and daily feeding requirements.
If you are considering buying them, try the following:
There are also many reputed breeders and rescue centers where you can get them. Use social media and search engines to know those around you.
A French Angora rabbit costs anything from $20 to as much as $ 300 depending on some factors such as whether it is pedigreed or not, purebred or for show.
Unless done in a controlled environment, breeding is done seasonally since baby Angoras are sensitive to cold yet grown ones are sensitive to heat. See more on breeding Angora rabbits.
References and further readings