Why English Angoras? - About the breed, and why we chose them

kateeee.jpg

Size and characteristics

English Angoras are the smallest of the four ARBA (American Rabbit Breeders Association) recognized breeds: English, French, Satin, and Giant. They are from 5 to 7 pounds for mature does, and 5 to 6 1/2 pounds for mature bucks. They are also the only breed to have the adorable "facial furnishings" of wool on their cheeks, top of the head, and ears. They have a wonderful silky texture to their wool and the least amount of guard hairs in the four breeds. They are a compact body type breed, and just look huge because of their beautiful coats! 

Grooming and shearing

All angoras are definitely a higher maintenance breed than your average short-haired rabbit, but English typically have more grooming requirements than the other breeds, partially because they have wool everywhere. Everywhere. A well bred English should not be overly difficult to take care of, and regular (but not too frequent!) grooming should keep them in good condition. The best grooming tool will be a grooming blower that is a minimum of 4.0hp. Another needed tool is a slicker brush (I highly recommend the doggeyman slicker brushes). You will also need a pair of cat nail clippers. 

English Angoras can be shaved a couple different ways. First, you need to know the distinction between molting and non-molting lines. I work strictly with non-molting angoras - meaning they do not release their wool every 3-4 months like molting angoras, and they can hold their show coat for 9-12 months, and any coat after that easily for 3-6 months or until you decide to shear them. They can be plucked once the coat is past prime, but typically shearing is the way to go. They can be shaved using just a pair of sharp, blunt-ended scissors, or you can use electric clippers (I recommend Wahl Bravura cordless clippers, #40 blade). Molting angoras can be sheared, or you can pluck them when their wool naturally releases - this doesn't hurt them! The wool is already loose, so a gentle pull is all it will take. 

Color Variations

There are a variety of ARBA accepted colors - colors of English Angoras that can be shown, should they be of good quality. 

Selfs: Black, Blue, Chocolate, and Lilac
Agouti: Chestnut, Chocolate Agouti, Lynx, Opal, Chinchilla, Chocolate Chin, Lilac Chin
Shaded: Pearl, Sable, Seal, Smoke Pearl
Tortoiseshell: Blue Tort, Chocolate Tort, Lilac Tort, Tortoiseshell (Black Tort)
Whites: Ruby-Eyed White (REW), Blue-Eyed White (BEW), Pointed White
Wide Band: Fawn, Cream
Ticked: Blue Steel, Chocolate Steel, Lilac Steel, Steel

English Angoras can also be found in broken varieties, but are not yet accepted by ARBA to be shown. For more specific information on angora colors, and body conformation, purchase the ARBA Standard of Perfection. 

why we chose English Angoras

I've always loved rabbits, ever since I became the owner of a couple of Lionhead/Mini Rex crosses a number of years back. After they were gone, and I wanted to get back into rabbits, I wanted to find a breed that had a purpose. I've been a knitter for a long time, and when I found out about English Angoras, and spinning their wool, I immediately loved them. One of the key things for me was size - I didn't want large rabbits. I liked the size of the English, and after owning and spinning their wool for a while, I can definitely say that the lack of prominent guard hairs has been another great factor I've liked from them. I also wanted a rabbit that could hold a coat - which is why I'm working with non-molting lines. I also love their personalities! Half the time it's easy to forget that my buck Cairo is, in fact, a rabbit. He's got a personality like a bouncy, loving puppy and they have been a way more affectionate breed than any rabbits I had before. So in September of 2015, I purchased my first English Angora doe, Bungalow's Acadia, a 6 month old black doe.  She was considered brood quality - a rabbit that could be bred, should I have ever chosen to. 

tasshaedit.jpg

She was... an experience. A good angora to learn with, for sure. So with her, I learned to groom, to take care of something more difficult than a short-haired rabbit, and eventually, she was the first rabbit whose wool I spun. At the end of 2015, I started learning to spin on a drop spindle, and didn't purchase a wheel until early 2017. 

When I started searching for a buck in late 2015/early 2016, I was introduced into the world of showing angoras, which was completely different from what I'd been planning. Which turned out to be a good thing. 

2016 was the year of purchasing my first buck, raising my first purebred angora litter, and showing my first rabbits in ARBA shows. This was a turning point on my perspective of English Angoras - originally what I'd just intended to be a fiber only project turned into wanting to continue breeding, raising, and showing competitive angoras in the Midwest, alongside the fiber and spinning aspects of the breed. I've loved every minute of it! 

I am a member of the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) and the National Angora Rabbit Breeders Club (NARBC).

 10 month old Kate filling up the judging coop with her beautiful coat!

10 month old Kate filling up the judging coop with her beautiful coat!

 

english angora does

Meet our angora does! 

 

english angora bucks

Meet our angora bucks! 

 
IMG_3583.JPG

english angora nest box

Updates about current and planned litters!