Rabbits

Things to Consider Before Getting an Angora Rabbit

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Ready to add Angora rabbits to your farm or family?  Things to consider before getting Angoras

I admit I have a huge weakness for all things fluffy. The fluffier the better! So I might be a little impartial when I say that Angora rabbits are hands down the cutest rabbits around! How can you not love this fluffy little face?!

But all that fluff comes at a price. Angora rabbits are not for everyone. They require a bigger time investment than a short haired rabbit. Below are some things you should consider before you add an angora to your family.

You should be comfortable handling animals

You are going to be spending a fair amount of time handling your rabbits for grooming. You will need to be able to move & hold the rabbit in various positions to get to all areas on her body. She will likely protest when you try to groom her belly, feet & face. She will not sit still while you hold her paws to trim her nails. This will require you to cradle her safely so she doesn’t hurt herself while trying to escape. Rabbits have very strong legs that can injure you as they kick away. They are strong enough that they can actually break their own back if picked up/handled incorrectly and they try to kick out.

An angora rabbit is not a good animal for a first time animal owner, and is definitely not for a child under 12 (unless there is a grown up willing to do most of the grooming). My angoras are the first rabbits I have ever owned. I have had dogs, cats & other various fluffy animals my whole life and felt confident with my grooming skills going into rabbit keeping. Even so, the level of grooming surprised me.

The texture & density of their fur makes brushing more challenging than any long haired cat or dog I’ve ever had. You should plan on devoting about 20-30 minutes a week per rabbit to grooming. If you aren’t comfortable handling animals then you should line up a good, rabbit friendly groomer before you bring your bunny home. Starting with young bunnies is the best way to ease into the grooming schedule. Young rabbits do not shed fur at nearly the same rate as adults. Starting good grooming habits and handling when they are young get both you and the rabbit used to a lifetime of grooming. Click here to read about grooming angoras

There will be fur on everything

This is especially true if your rabbit lives indoors. It doesn’t really matter how often you brush them. It seems like there is always loose fur on the rabbit. It will be on your furniture and all over your clothes. If you spend any time snuggling with your rabbit, you will be absolutely covered in no time. My rabbit’s favorite place to snuggle is to get up on my chest and sort of wrap around the front of my neck. It’s adorable and I love snuggling them, but after they hop down my clothes is covered with fur and there is a fine layer of angora all over my face and in my nose and mouth and hair. It’s a good thing I don’t have animal allergies! Owning an angora means you will be well acquainted with your vacuum and lint roller.

things to consider before getting angoras

All that wool piles up fast

You should make a plan for all the wool that you collect when grooming your bunnies. Maybe you aren’t interested in doing anything with it, you just want the rabbits as cute pets. That is fine, but it would be such a waste to throw it away! Angora wool is highly prized by spinners, and can be quite expensive to purchase. If you don’t plan on using it yourself and you don’t want to get into selling it, I am sure you can find some local spinners who would be delighted with the donation! Try asking at your local yarn store for suggestions. If you aren’t going to spin it yourself, you can also sell raw Angora wool on sites like Etsy for $5-$10 ounce.

If you know how to spin, you can turn the wool into handspun yarn and sell for a lot more. Angora wool is also great for felting, and all sorts of accessories can be made from felted angora wool. When I got my bunnies I thought for sure I would spin the wool into all sorts of wonderful knitted garments. I bought a second hand spinning wheel and took a class on how to spin…..and that is about as far as I have gotten! It’s a lot harder than it looks and I just haven’t had the time to devote to learning it. So I have over a dozen bags of wool waiting for me to figure it out.

things to consider before getting an angora

They poop. A lot

The average rabbit can drop up to 500 poop pellets a day! Despite all of that pooping, they are actually very clean animals. They like to keep their living areas clean and can be taught to use a litter box (click here to learn about litter box training rabbits). I highly recommend litter box training your rabbit, for both indoor & outdoor rabbits. In any event, be prepared to clean up after them daily to stay ahead of it. A well trained rabbit can go hours without using their box, so once they are trained you can let them hang out with you without fear of a trail of tiny poops everywhere.

They are independent animals

With all this time you spend caring for them, you might think they feel dependent on humans and grateful for your presence. Every rabbit has it’s own personality, but in general, they are not people pleasers like dogs. They don’t live to make us happy. They are much more like cats. They enjoy our presence, they enjoy the food we give them, they enjoy feeling like they rule the roost, but they like their space. They will come sit with you when they feel like it and will let you know their displeasure if you try to force it. Bonding with your rabbit is all about going slow, having patience, and letting them take the lead. Click here to read tips on playing with your rabbit

That wiggly nose will wiggle it’s way into your heart

Don’t let me scare you away from adding a sweet angora or two to your life! There is nothing better than relaxing on a chilly winter day with a huge bundle of fluff on your lap. Rabbits are so peaceful and quiet, something about being around them quiets my brain and brings a sense of calm to my crazy day. On busy days, I like to go outside and just sit in the grass in the rabbit yard and simply be with the bunnies. Did you know that rabbits “purr” like cats when content? It’s not a purr noise like a cat’s, the sound comes from them gently clicking their teeth together. Just like a cat’s purr is soothing to humans, rabbit’s clicking has the same effect.

And don’t even get me started on that cute little wiggly nose – how could you not fall in love?!

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15 Comments

  1. CLARENCE WILLIS says:

    QUESTION, U SPEAK OF FUR BUT DO U RAISE ANY RABBITS FOR MEAT?

    1. I do not raise my rabbits for meat. If you are looking for info on meat rabbits, I would recommend you check out my fellow homestead blogger at https://farmingmybackyard.com/rabbits/

  2. Hi Liz!
    Your bunnies are adorable 🙂 and this is great info for anyone interested in raising them for fiber!

    I’m visiting from your Homestead Hop and would love to have you share on Farm Fresh Tuesdays…you are welcome to share a link to your hop in the comments 🙂

    1. Thanks Lisa!

  3. Oh my goodness, the fuzzy adorable factor is off the chart! We have plain rabbits and have always talked about sheep for fiber, but I never even considered an angora until reading this. It is really good info!

    1. thanks Ann! They really are crazy adorable 🙂

  4. Celeste Everitt says:

    Loved reading this. Thanks so much. I’m hoping going to be getting my first Angora rabbit in a few months (purely as a pet). Can’t wait! This is all very helpful. 🙂

    1. Yay! Enjoy your new fluffy friend!!

  5. I enjoy reading your blog. I have a question about how you deal with any caught poops in your angora rabbit’s hair. Do you proactively trim the fur around their bottoms, or anything? My Jersey wooly occasionally gets cases of clumped rabbit poop, and while I can control much of that with diet, I’ve wondered how best to remove or prevent the fur catching them. Thanks!

    1. For the most part, there shouldn’t be poop squishy enough to make a mess of your bunny’s fur. The majority of their poop is the hard, round balls which shouldn’t get in her fur. The cecotropes are the squishy poops that look a bit like blackberries. They are actually like mini vitamins the rabbit produces in her gut, packed with nutrients that needed a second trip through the digestive system to absorb properly. In a healthy rabbit, they generally eat these as they come out. But if your rabbit is overweight, old, or injured they could have a hard time reaching around to get them so they could get tangled in their fur. If their diet is off they could also be producing too many of these and they don’t eat them all, leaving them on the floor of their cage to get stepped or squished into later. But also every rabbit is different, maybe your bunny just happens to grow extra fur around their bum. I haven’t had to clip my rabbit’s fur for this purpose, but I do have to give my collie breed dog sanitary trims occasionally. She has a large amount of “butt fluff” as we call it, and it can get in the way sometimes. So I would suggest you first look into her diet to make sure everything is good, but if not trimming the fur in the general area should make her (and you) more comfortable!

  6. Troyalwood says:

    I’m interested in raising angora rabbits,I’m hoping to get them in February can any one help me out? I’m a cat and dog groomer for the last 25 years I love hair and animals

    1. Being a groomer will certainly come in handy with owning angoras! I would suggest you check out my general rabbit page, there are lots of helpful articles on caring for angoras https://thecapecoop.com/backyard-rabbits/
      If you are interested in raising them as dual purpose (fiber & food), I would suggest you focus on some of the larger angora breeds like Germans or Giants. You can read more about the different angora breeds here: https://thecapecoop.com/what-breed-angora-rabbit-is-right-for-you/

  7. Troyalwood says:

    Meat rabbits are also something I’m interested in. I would love to feed my dogs a raw food diet and I also would enjoy a meal of rabbit.

  8. Hi, is angora bunny good pt for kids?

    1. Rabbits in general are not great pets for small children. They don’t particularly like being picked up (they like to be pet, but to keep their feet on the ground). Rabbits can be spooked by lots of loud noises, and they can be seriously injured by rough handling because of their fragile spines. If your children are older (over 10), rabbits can be good pets, but it is unlikely that they will be able to handle the grooming requirements of an Angora. Angoras need grooming at least twice a month (but weekly is better). They can actually die of a condition called wool block if they aren’t groomed regularly and they end up ingesting too much of their fur. Mats can also form quickly, which are uncomfortable for them. The grooming needs to include gently working out and removing mats, and their fur is quite thick. Brushing their underside and trimming their nails requires gentle but firm handling as you turn them on their back while supporting their spine. So I would say IF your kids are over 10 they can be good pets. The kids can be in charge of cleaning the cage, feeding, watering (if they are responsible enough), but it is likely you or another adult will need to be in charge of the grooming.

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