Angora Rabbits Info Page

Angora rabbits are soft, docile, affectionate creatures. They can be wonderful pets and companions for their pet guardians. They require a lot of grooming, but if you knit, an Angora rabbit’s fur can provide you with endless wool to create garments and other items from.

Read all interesting facts and information  about Angora rabbits:

Origin of the Angora Rabbit

Angora rabbits are one of the oldest domestic breeds in the rabbit family. The Angora rabbit’s origin lies in Ankara, Turkey (known as Angora). The rabbits were brought to France in 1723, and became popular pets for the French royalty by the mid-18th century.

By the end of the century, Angora rabbits had spread to many other parts of Europe. Later in the early 20th century, Angora rabbits started to appear in America. Americans breed the rabbits for their wool.

World War II brought an expansion in the production of Angora wool, producing 120,000 pounds a year to meet up with the high demands for the product. People were very interested in the Angora rabbit’s soft and silky wool.1

The Angora rabbit is blessed with a striking appearance, which makes it so distinctive. Up to 5 kilograms brings the rabbit on the scales, which seems to consist only of fur. The Angora rabbit’s body shape can only be checked by palpation, so faults cannot be detected at first glance.

However, despite the flowing mane, the breed standard provides certain guidelines for the Angora’s conformation and shape, which must be adhered to. Thus the rabbit should be of cylindrical stature. The deep, broad stance is complemented by a broad, level back with a well-rounded rear.

The short head is characterized by a full cheek area with a broad forehead and muzzle. Particularly striking are the fleshy, erect ears, which are well furnished with hair and the characteristic fur puff at the tip.

Males and females are alike, although older females may also have a dewlap.

Angora Rabbit Characteristics

Angora Rabbits have mainly been bred over the years for their soft and silky wool. Their wool is comparable to cashmere’s softness and fineness. Angora rabbit wool costs around $10 per 16 ounce of wool.

Ninety percent of Angora fur is produced in China, with small scale production taking place in Europe, Chile, and the United States. Harvesting rabbit fur occurs around three times a year (about every 4 months) and is collected by plucking or shearing fur from the rabbit.

Angora wool is great for spinners and knitters. The fur is used to make many things such as baby clothes, sweaters, hats, scarves, and mittens. 2

Cutest Rabbit In The World | Angora Rabbits

The typical Angora color is that of the white albino, although colored Angora rabbits are also known. When the first albino Angoras were introduced, they were crossed with normal breeds, which resulted in a corresponding variety of colors.

Thus, at the end of the 19th century, there were already black, wild and blue Angora rabbits and later also yellow, fawn, brown and Madagascar Angoras.

From the breeding point of view, it is easy to drown out the albino factor by using color factors. The problem is that not only the albino factor but also the longhair factor is suppressed and requires a special breeding intention.

However, a uniform coloration cannot be achieved since the cover and under color differ in color intensity, which in turn reduces the economic value.

The breeding efforts and the economic losses were taken on by only a few breeders, and so the white Angora rabbit is much more widespread than its colored brothers and sisters.

 * Disclosure: Links marked with Asterix or some picture links on world’s-finest-wool are affiliate links.  All our work is reader-supported – when you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. The decision is yours – whether you decide to buy something is entirely up to you.

What are the different breeds of angora rabbits?

Three funny fluffy white Angora rabbits

There are a variety of breeds of Angora rabbits, but not all of the breeds are recognized by the American Rabbit Breeder’s Association (ARBA).

The various types of breeds include: Chinese, English, French, German, Korean, Swiss, Giant, Finnish, Satin, and St. Lucian. The only 4 varieties that are recognized by the American Rabbit Breeder’s Association are French, English, Satin and Giant.3

The German Angora rabbit has its own association, the IAGARB (International Association of German Angora Rabbit Breeders).

The English Angora Rabbit

English Angora Rabbit Breed History

English Angora Rabbit
English Angora Rabbit

The English Angora rabbit is a gentle and social creature. They aren’t skittish, and are often fine with being around children. It is the smallest breed recognized by the ARBA, and is the only rabbit breed that has hair covering its eyes.

It has small ears with a flat head. The English Angora rabbit weighs 5 to 6 lb. and needs grooming done twice a week to keep its dense wool from tangling or matting. The English Angora rabbit’s thick, wooly coat covers its entire body, including their feet.

This rabbit is not recommended for those who aren’t interested in grooming their rabbit regularly. A wire bristle brush is recommended for grooming and keeping their coat short.

The fur will need shearing 4 times a year. If you visit the groomer to keep your English Angora rabbit looking good, consider a “puppy cut.”  The groomer will shear the body and face short leaving the hair on the ears and feet longer, making the rabbit look almost poodle like.

The English Angora can live indoors or in an outdoor enclosure. Their diet should be comprised of 70 percent hay, and 30 percent equal amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables. They live 7 to 12 years.    

The French Angora Rabbit

The French Angora rabbit has a sweet and docile personality. They are good with humans and other bunnies being around. The French Angora rabbit is larger, with a bigger undercoat, than the English Angora rabbit.

They are also recognized by the ARBA. They weigh 7.5-10.5 lb. The French Angora rabbit does not have prominent hair on its face and ears. They just have little tufts of wooly hair on its rear legs, while the rest of its body is covered in coarse hair and think under coat.

French Angora rabbits require regular brushings, which can range on a per rabbit basis and be defined as an everyday need, or the rabbit may need brushings simply once a week. 

Their hair can grow as much as six inches a season, so it is recommended to shear the coat 3-4 times a year to a length of 2-3 inches long. It is also a good idea to blow dry out some of the rabbit’s excess hair.

Do not wash this rabbit or any rabbit. A bath will make your rabbit anxious and could even cause cardiac arrest. The French Angora rabbit can live indoors or in an outdoor enclosure.

The rabbit’s diet should be comprised of 70 percent hay, with the remaining 30 percent being a balance of fruits, vegetables, pellets, and leafy greens. They live 7 to 12 years.    

French Angora Rabbits Breed History

French Angora Rabbit
Beau lapin Angora français blanc

The Giant Angora Rabbit

Giant Angora rabbits are the biggest of the rabbits recognized by the ARBA. They weigh 9.5-16lbs. Giant Angora rabbits also produce more wool than the English or French Angora rabbits.

They have three different kinds of fiber in its wool: soft underwool, awn fluff, and awn hair. To keep their wool mat-free, it is best to brush them with a bristled brush once every two days or as necessary.

A Giant Angora rabbit’s wool will need to be harvested 3-4 times a year using shears. They can produce 1-2 lbs. of wool per year. Their head is oval shaped, with a broad forehead, and narrow muzzle.

Giant Angora rabbit’s ears look like tassels and have large tufts of extra fur on their cheeks and forehead. Giant Angora rabbits have dense coats of wool. The Giant Angora rabbit can live indoors or in an outdoor enclosure.

The rabbit’s diet should be comprised of 70 percent hay, with the remaining 30 percent being a balance of fruits, vegetables, pellets, and leafy greens. They live 7 to 11 years.     

The Satin Angora Rabbit

Satin Angora rabbits were created by cross breeding a Satin rabbit and a French Angora rabbit. They are recognized by the ARBA. Satin Angora rabbits tend to be good house pets, because they are social, affectionate, and enjoy playing with toys.

Satin Angora rabbits do not enjoy the company of other rabbits. Satin Angora rabbits have oval heads with broad foreheads and narrow muzzles. Their ears are plain, but may have a small tuft on them. Satin Angora rabbits tend to weigh 3.5 to 9.5 lbs.

Satin Angora rabbits do not produce as much wool as other Angora rabbits, but their wool is finer, softer, and silkier. Their fur looks like satin, due to a recessive gene that makes the pigment in each hair seem translucent instead of opaque.

It is recommended that Satin Angora rabbits be brushed one or twice a week with a slicker brush to keep your rabbit mat-free. Satin Angora rabbits have thick fur allowing them to live indoors or outdoors.

Their food should be comprised of 4-8 ounces of daily pellets, subject to their weight and age, and include a handful of hay for their daily intake of fiber. They live 7 to 12 years. 

Satin Angora Rabbits Breed History

The Satin Angora Rabbit
The Satin Angora Rabbit

The German Rabbit

Giant Angora Rabbit Breed History

The German Angora Rabbit
The German Angora Rabbit

German Angora rabbits are recognized by IAGARB. They are wonderful family pets, because they are docile, friendly, and affectionate with humans and other rabbits. They weigh 5.5 to 11.5 lbs.

German Angora rabbits have fluffy fur with upright ears with tassels. Tufts of hair protrude from their face. Their hair is fine and long and resistant to matting.

They don’t need brushing or grooming. They will need to be sheared every three months. The German Angora rabbit can live indoors or in an outdoor enclosure.

While German Angora rabbits enjoy chewing on veggies, fruits, and rabbit pellets, their main diet needs to be hay. They live 7 to 12 years. 

Angora Rabbits and their exclusive wool

Angora Rabbits have mainly been bred over the years for their soft and silky wool. Their wool is comparable to cashmere’s softness and fineness. Angora rabbit wool costs around $10 per 16 ounce of wool.

Ninety percent of Angora fur is produced in China, with small scale production taking place in Europe, Chile, and the United States. Harvesting rabbit fur occurs around three times a year (about every 4 months) and is collected by plucking or shearing fur from the rabbit.

Angora wool is great for spinners and knitters. The fur is used to make many things such as baby clothes, sweaters, hats, scarves, and mittens.

The farming of angora rabbits and the extraction of wool has come under criticism. A video published in 2013 by the animal rights group PETA shows the animals having their wool ripped out while still alive.

The live-plucking and shearing of rabbits screaming in pain was recorded on nine different Chinese fur farms in the process.4

For this reason, one should be very careful that angora wool products come primarily from the USA or Europe, from farms where the breeding complies with all the rules of animal welfare.

Angora-Wool

The Breeding of Angora Rabbits

Breeding Angora rabbits takes preparation and planning. The rabbits used for breeding must be at least 6 months old. A bit older would be better.

The doe, or female rabbit, is fertile the majority of the time, she will not go into heat like most other animals do. Bucks, or male rabbits, are ready to mate at any time.

Most breeders like to breed their rabbits in the winter, because if it is too hot, the rabbits may not mate. Choose a doe and buck that are healthy and have good body weight to breed. 

Mating

Step one, is to place the doe in the buck’s cage. Females are very protective of their living quarters, so be sure to never put the buck in the doe’s cage.

The doe may hurt or injure the buck just for being in her space. The buck could also become distracted in the doe’s cage by new smells and its new surroundings, and be uninterested in mating. 

Step two, is to witness the mating and be sure the mating happened. The buck will mount the doe from behind and stiffen when he makes contact. Sometimes after the buck has effectively bred the doe, he will fall to the side and scream. Bucks can be used various times in a week to breed, some breeders advise no more than 7 times a week.

Step three, remove the doe from the buck’s cage for 30 minutes, and then return her for another try. The does will ovulate when they are bred.

Step four, mark your calendar for 30 days from the mating date. Place the doe in a cage that is a minimum of 24X30 for an English Angora and 30X36 for the other four breeds of Angoras.

How to breed Angora Rabbits

Breeding Angora Rabbits for Wool

Preparing for Delivery

When the doe is 3 weeks pregnant, you will need to remove hair from the various parts of the doe’s body to keep the hair from hindering her delivery of the babies.

Body Hair- cut the doe’s hair down to one inch long all over. This length of hair will still keep her warm, but be short enough to not strangle her babies when they are born.

Belly Hair- the doe’s belly hair must be trimmed, so the babies can find the doe’s nipples. Very carefully trim the hair on her belly with scissors to 1/4 of an inch in length.

After trimming, lightly blow on her fur to locate her nipples and very carefully trim the area around them. Allowing the nipples to jut out will make them easier for the babies to find them later on. Also trim the fur around her crotch area to help make the labor less messy for her.

Delivery

On day 27, present the doe with a nesting box. The box can be made of wood or metal. The box should be slightly bigger than the doe’s body. If the box is too big, the doe will use it as a litter box, while her babies are in it.

If the box is too small she may have the babies on the wire. Some boxes have solid bottoms, while others have wire bottoms. If the box comes with a wire bottom, it is best to cover the bottom with cardboard to block drafts from underneath. Some boxes also come with tops, but the tops are not necessary.

Fill the box with bedding material like shredded paper, hay, straw, or shavings. It you choose shavings you may want to avoid cedar because it is oily, and avoid pine because it has a strong smell. You can also mix materials, if you so choose. Be sure to give the doe plenty of bedding, so she can arrange the bedding how she sees fit.

On the day the doe gives birth, she should pull hair from her body and make a nest in the bedding. If she is an overzealous mom, she may have completed this step sooner. Keep an eye on her – but let her do her thing. If you find that she doesn’t perform this step, you may have to intervene.

Angora’s usually have litters of 3 to 9 babies. The doe could, however, give birth to as many as 15 babies. 

After Birth Care

After the Doe gives birth, count the number of babies, or kits, she had. Remove any uneaten after birth and dead babies from the nest box. If you often handle your rabbits, they will become trusting over time. If you do not handle your rabbits often, be aware a mother doe will attack to defend their babies. 

It is important to note, that when Angora’s wool gets wet and disturbed it felts. The babies will be using the nesting box as a toilet and that can dampen their fur as they move around, the same goes with the doe as she goes in and out.

Examine the babies each day to be sure the felt wool has not wrapped around their neck, tummies, or feet. If this happens, very carefully cut the hair away. To avoid nesting box issues, cut up the bedding into smaller pieces every few days

If the doe becomes upset, she may hop in and out of the nesting box. This could result in a baby being cut by the doe’s nails or the babies could be stomped to death. To avoid this, remove the nesting box from the cage and return it once a day for feeding.

A doe should receive extra food when her babies are 5-7 days old. If food is increased too soon, the doe could develop mastitis, an infection in her nipples.

When the babies are 5-7 days old, increase the doe’s food by another quarter of a cup. When the babies are 10-14 days old, increase her food by another quarter of a cup. When the babies are 3-4 weeks old, they will begin eating food from their mother’s food dish. Wean babies around 5-7 weeks of age.    

Angora rabbit husbandry

The husbandry of Angora rabbits differs from the husbandry of “normal” rabbits only with regard to a few points. In terms of housing, Angora rabbits have few requirements. A large run should be available to them in any case because Angora rabbits are very lively and have a strong urge to move.

It is not necessary to keep them on grates; even on straw bedding, the fur of the rabbits stays clean.

However, it should be remembered that Angora rabbits need to be sheared several times a year and can freeze during the transitional period of fur regrowth in cold weather!

Temperatures above 35 degrees must be avoided at all costs, otherwise, the density of the coat will cause the rabbit to overheat.

Due to the permanent fur growth, the care of Angora rabbits should also not be underestimated. In addition to shearing, the coat must be brushed regularly to prevent matting.

Because of the constant fur growth, it is also important to know that the feeding of Angora rabbits requires appropriate care. The energy requirement is much higher than that of a normal-haired rabbit in the same weight category.

Pet shops have special Angora food available, which not only receives more energy than normal rabbit food but also has a higher content of amino acids important for fur growth.

Health concerns with the breeding of Angora rabbits

The main health issue Angora rabbits face is Wool Block. Like cats, rabbits groom themselves with their tongues, licking up loose fur. Unlike cats, rabbits cannot throw-up the fur they ingest, and end up with stomachs full of fur.

If this problem goes untreated, the rabbits will stop eating/drinking and starve to death, because the hair in their stomach makes them feel full. The best way to prevent Wool Block is with regular brushing and paying attention to your rabbit’s eating habits.

Constipation is another issue that could impact the health of your rabbit. Constipation is when small dry poops are connected with strings of hair. This means your rabbit is having a GI issue and needs medical help. You can prevent this by grooming your rabbit and feeding it plenty of roughage.  

Other health issues include ear mites, rabbit hemorrhagic disease, snuffles, coccidiosis, enteritis, fly strike, and myxomatosis.

It is also good to provide your rabbit with a block of wood or a dog toy to gnaw on to help your rabbit’s teeth from growing too long.

Spaying or neutering your rabbit has a lot of positive benefits for the heath of your rabbit. It will reduce the risk of cancer and diseases that affect reproductive organs. It can even eliminate their instinct to mark the territory.

A female rabbit can be spayed as young as 4 months old, however; veterinarians tend to wait six months to spay female rabbits to avoid risks during surgery. Male rabbits, or bucks, can be neutered as young as 3.5 months old.

14 Common Mistakes Rabbit Owners Make

cute white Angora Rabbit outside

how much does an angora rabbit cost

Fluffy angora rabbit costs

The cost of buying an Angora rabbit from a breeder can range from $50-250 dollars. You can also check local animal shelters.

If you’re interested in harvesting wool, you will want to pick a rabbit that was born from quality parents, and raised by a registered and respected breeder.

Your new pet will also require an outdoor hutch or cage.  Some pet parents will also invest in creating a play yard for their rabbit to be able to run around and play outdoors, while safely enclosed. A play yard is optional though.

You will also need food, grooming combs or brushes, scissors, nail clippers, food and water bowls, and a litter box. Pets can be costly, and should be purchased after careful thought.     

Animal Welfare

The extraction of angora wool for industrial production in large quantities is a major problem. Especially pictures from China, the country from which about 90 percent of the world’s angora wool comes, showed that angora rabbits seem to be treated only like raw material and not like living beings.

For this very reason, you should pay close attention to the origin of the angora wool used for the fluffy sweater you would like to buy.

Whether the breeding complies with all the rules of animal welfare, in addition to proper feeding and husbandry –  especially the extraction of wool, is subject to specific guidelines, including the following:

  • Regular shearing is important – depending on the type of breeding, this is necessary every two months to four times a year.
  • The shearing itself is done manually or with a machine.
  • With skilled craftsmanship, shearing is absolutely painless – much more: regular shearing is absolutely necessary, as the hairs do not stop growing, so that “too many” hairs impair the quality of life of the animals.
  • Absolutely taboo is plucking out or even tearing out the hairs alive. Especially in China, this practice is widespread. In countries that are subject to the rules of animal welfare, this practice is fortunately not seen.

So it is especially with products from Angora wool to pay attention to the label, and from Angora wool from China, every reader should take a great distance.

cute Angora Rabbit

After reading fun facts and learning more about Angora rabbits, you will have a better idea if Angora rabbits could be an ideal pet for you and your family. Angora rabbits can be wonderful family pets and provide lots of fun, love, and affection. Angora rabbits come in a variety of sizes and colors, and can be both indoor and outdoor pets; this allows the rabbits to better fit into anyone’s life style.  

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  1. Angora rabbit, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Angora_rabbit&oldid=1020518016 (last visited May 13, 2021).
  2. Genetics of the rabbit for wool production.
  3. Domestic Rabbits & Their Histories: Breeds Of the World, Bob D. Whitman -Leathers Pub (1 Feb. 2005)
  4. "A cruelty-free angora fur trade may be incompatible with fast fashion". The Guardian. 10 December 2013. Retrieved 5 June 2014.

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