Tuesday, August 3, 2010


The Angora rabbit (Turkish: Ankara tavşanı) is a variety of domestic rabbits bred for its long, soft hair. The Angora is one of the oldest types of domestic rabbit, originating in Ankara, Turkey, along with the Angora cat and Angora goat. The rabbits were popular pets with French royalty in the mid 1700s, and spread to other parts of Europe by the end of the century. They first appeared in the United states in the early 1900s. They are bred largely for their long angora wools, which may be removed by shearing, combing, or plucking. There are many individual breeds of Angora rabbits, four of which are ARBA recognized.They are English, French, Giant and Satin. Other breeds include German, Chinese, Swiss and Finnish, to name a few.

Coat and appearance

Angoras are bred mainly for their wool because it is silky and soft. They have a humorous appearance, as they oddly resemble a fur ball. Most are calm and docile but should be handled carefully. Grooming is necessary to prevent the fibre from matting and felting on the rabbit. A condition "wool block" is common in angora rabbits and should be treated quickly.These rabbits are shorn every three to four months throughout the year.

Medical Considerations

Rabbits are unique because they do not possess the same allergy-causing qualities as many other animals. The average rabbit can live for about 5–7 years when kept indoors and well-cared for. However, many outdoors rabbits have a shorter lifespan. Maintenance is a must. The Satin Angora has a much lower guard hair count and their wool becomes easy tangled. Regardless of breed, all Angoras must be monitored to prevent wool block, a condition where their innards become clogged with hair.


There are four different ARBA-recognized Angora rabbit breeds: English, French, Giant and Satin. The German Angora is also common, but is not ARBA recognized. It has its own association; the IAGARB.


  • Weigh t: 2.0–3.5 kg (4.4–7.7 lb).
  • ARBA-accepted varieties: Ruby Eye White, Pointed White, Self, Shaded, Agouti

Prior to the 1939, there was one breed of "Angora Wooler".

In 1939, ARBA reclassified "Angora Wooler" into "English Type" and "French Type". In 1944, ARBA officially separate Angora rabbit into two breeds: English Angora and French Angora.

Rabbits of the angora breed are adorned with "fur," growths of wool on the ears and the entire face except above the nose, and front feet, along with their thick body, and wool. They are gentle in nature, but they are not

recommended for those who do not groom their animals. Their wool is very thick and needs to be groomed twice a week.

This is the smallest Angora rabbit of the four breeds recognized by ARBA. This breed is more common as

a pet because of the facial features that give it a puppy dog or teddy bear look. If the texture of the wool is correct, the maintenance is relatively easy; if the texture of the rabbit is cottony, it requires a great deal of maintenance.

The English angora can be bred to have broken colors, (ex: the rabbit is white with black spots.) This is not accepted by ARBA standards and would lead to a disqualification when showing the rabbit. When showing an English angora rabbit the toe nails should also be only one color, the ears could be folded over at the tips, and the furnishings on the face may cover their eyes.The English Angora rab

bit is the only rabbit that has hair covering its eyes.


  • Weight: 3.5–4.5 kg (7.7–9.9 lb).
  • ARBA-accepted varieties: Agouti, Pointed White, Self, Shaded, Ticked, Wide Band, and Broken.

This breed has a preponderance of guard hair

on the surface, with wool as an undercoat. If the texture is correct, it requires less maintenance than other Angora breeds. Small ear tufts are allowed but not usually preferred by breeders. ARBA recognizes the same colors as with English Angora, plus

broken. They are shown at ARBA shows using the types "white" and "colored" (broken being a colored). As with other ARBA shown rabb

its toe nails should also be only one color.

The French Angora is one of the large Angora breeds at 7½ to 10 lbs, with a commercial body type. It differs from the English, Giant and German Angora in that it possesses a clean face and front feet with only minor tufting on the rear legs. The color of a French Angora is determined by the color of its head, feet and tail (all the same color)


The Giant Angora is the largest of the ARBA accepted angora breeds, having been created by Louise Walsh, of Taunton, Massachusetts to be an efficient wool producing rabbit sustained with 16-18% alfalfa based rabbit feed & hay and living in the standard

size all wire cages used for commercial breeds. Its coat contains three types of wool: soft under wool, awn fluff, and awn hair; the awn type wool exists only on the giant and German angora. This breed should have furnishings on the face and ears. Many people confuse German angora with Giant angora, but they are not the same.

This is the largest of the four ARBA recognized Angora breeds. The only color ARBA officially recognizes for Giant angora is REW (Ruby Eyed White), or as more commonly referred to as

an "albino"-indicating the absence of color pigment in the genetic makeup. The Giant Angora produces more wool than the French, Satin or English Angora. Unlike the German angora Giant Angora rabbits do molt. But it is a partial molt when the coat is approximately three months old. Some of its wool can be harvested by plucking. The remaining wool which is not easily removed in that manner may be cut or shorn. Like the German Angora, They require their wool to be harvested at least once every 90 days.

Since rabbits ingest their wool when they groom themselves clipping off of their wool at least once every 90 days is considered a must in order to prevent "wool block" from occurring. the wool swallowed by the rabbit can not be coughed or vomited up and will cause the rabbit to slowly starve to death as its digestive system and intestinal tract fill up with their ingested wool, if left untreated wool block can lead to death. It is widely held among serious angora breeders that along with ample cage space to exercise and feeding fresh horse quality hay on a daily basis will help keep the wool moving through the system and prevent wool block. it is also widely he

ld that feeding both bromaline (found in fresh pineapple) and papaya occasionally will aid in breaking down the ingested wool, and aiding in its passage through the rabbits system.

Like many other "giant" breeds of rabbits the Giant Angora grows slowly. A senior doe usually takes 1+ yr to reach full maturity (size and weight). A senior buck, can take up to 1.5 years to fully mature (size and weight).


  • Weight: 3.0–4.5 kg (6.6–9.9 lb).
  • ARBA-accepte d varieties: Agouti, Pointed White, Self, Shaded, Ticked, Wide Band

The Satin Angora is derived from a cross between a Satin and a French Angora. This breed is named for the extremely soft texture of its wool. It has no furnishings on face, ears, or feet, and it is also easy to groom compared to the English variety. Satin Angora's wool is said to be stronger for spinning than other varieties of Angora.

They are shown at ARBA shows using the types "white" and "colored"(broken not approved). As with other ARBA shown rabbits toe nails should also be only one color. The color of a Satin Angora is determined by the color of its head, feet and tail (all the same color).

This breed does not produce as much wool as other breeds of Angora rabbits. This trait is being improved upon by selective breeding. The wool should have a silky texture with good guard hair for ease of maintenance.


Angora Rabbits are active, playful and social with lots of personality. They enjoy the attention of their owner, as well as the companionship of other rabbits and often house angora will nap with a docile mannered cat. They enjoy having toys, for example a plastic ball, a pine cone, a piece of soft wood, a stuffed sock, or an old glove.

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