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Angoras – Rabbit to Fiber

March 15, 2014

Yesterday I mentioned having a short video, which I’m posting now to show what I do in getting angora fiber off the rabbit.  It can be scissored, clipped or stripped…each depends on the handler and the rabbits.

Some invariably criticize wire floors – wire allows urine and manure to drop down away from the rabbit, reducing health issues caused from sitting in it especially with the angora wool.

Many claim angora is abusive but it doesn’t have to be.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 18, 2014 4:40 PM

    does it hurt the rabbit to be clipped?

    • March 19, 2014 10:59 PM

      Not at all. The exception, of course, is if the handler accidentally snips skin with the fiber. Just the wool is like a haircut – no pain. However, care must be taken because rabbit skin is so thin that it’s not hard to make accidental snips which does, of course, hurt for a bit. With “Peaches” she plucks off so completely she’s almost bald where I’ve combed…that’s not pulling hard, just combing. Muffin,on the other hand, has distinctive not-as-soft coat left – a distinct difference in two animals of the same breed. It’s a little bit tricky to get the legs and face – both have a tendency to get small matted areas just in day to day living. If it’s kept up it’s not so bad, but these are definitely animals that take time and maintenance, not just clipping and selling wool. I use a solid surface and take a lot of time around sensitive areas like flanks, genitals, face, etc – no rush. I also try to limit ‘patience points’ to 15-20 minutes both for the rabbits and for me. 🙂 They understand it’s uncomfortable for a short while but it is just a short while. More uncomfortable from being held on their back (think of it as their natural prey instinct to run is taken away) immobilized than physical pain. That and special care to try to never physically hurt them – that’s a trust point.

      • March 20, 2014 12:47 PM

        That’s good to know. I love angora sweaters (they are like my favorite thing).
        Thanks for going over the process. I live in NYC so working with rabbits is not something I get to do very often!

      • March 20, 2014 4:06 PM

        There are some bad videos coming from other countries about cruel methods used but there *are* alternatives to that. We don’t tie up our rabbits to confine them (I admit it would be easier sometimes! Only so many hands!) to get the wool. Rabbits have a high percentage of muscle, low in bone. That means they can make a good meat animal but also means their skeleton can be fragile – a break to the back can happen from kicking and there’s no good way to correct it. I can only speak to what *we* do here and show the way I do things…that may be different from others. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! And thanks for wearing angora! It gives a reason for what we do!

      • March 21, 2014 12:15 PM

        I did find it a shame that big companies like H&M are saying they won’t carry angora because of shearing methods. It is good to know that methods don’t have to be cruel to rabbits. I hope there is not angora ban–and I hate to say it but I like fried rabbit with honey mustard,too!!! Thanks so much for taking the time to tell me more about rabbits.

      • March 21, 2014 1:09 PM

        Knowing sources can make a difference – unfortunately some want to ban all angora and not tell people there are alternatives. Rabbit is a lean and tasty meat – also good in enchiladas and heavenly in curry! 😉 Our secret! As much as some disagree with that, we know even our meat rabbits are treated well and have one bad day at the end. We know our rabbits don’t end up abandoned or left in shelters, where too often they will die anyway. And we added fur from the meat rabbits to our craft shares to make use of the whole rabbit and not waste. Appreciate a chance to share! Thank you.

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