Chapter One: Understanding Angora Rabbits

Amongst all the rabbit breeds worldwide, and there are indeed plenty of them, the Angora breeds are the rabbits most outstanding. It is distinctively different from other rabbit breeds due to their gorgeously flowing, soft and supple wool. It is to be noted that Angora rabbits are prized by both rabbit enthusiasts and fiber artists because of their characteristic fur that has been sought after the world over since the discovery of its utilitarian uses. Discover more facts about these stands out rabbits and learn a little more about their varied appearances, traits and qualities. 

There are presently four breeds of Angora rabbits which are recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association. Meet the Giant Angora, the Satin Angora, the French Angora and the English Angora within these pages and see which one of them captures your heart the most. 

These four breeds mentioned above are the ones which pop into mind when people mention and think of Angora rabbits. This is partly because of their easy-to-recall names and their sizes. You will also learn a little about the Jersey Wooly and the American Fuzzy Lop, which are the other types of Angoras, who are notably smaller in size; these smaller Angoras (not recognized by the ARBA) do possess the angora wool – which make them uniquely Angoras – however, it would take a lot more rabbits to gain the same amount of wool one can garner it from one of the other larger Angora breeds. 

The Angora is a breed of rabbit which requires lots of grooming and requires it daily. These long-furred bunnies need to be given a good brushing every day to prevent the matting of its thick wool. 

The French Angora’s fur is coarser than the other Angoras fur and has more guard hair than others, so their coats are easier to groom. On the contrary, the English Angora requires daily grooming to maintain the described breed standard of its roundish-ball-of-fur appearance.

Potential Angora rabbit breeders will be glad to learn that harvesting angora wool is quite an easy process IF one knows what they are doing. Angora wool is usually harvested by shearing or plucking; however, the specifics of harvesting do depend on the situation and the breed. A novice guardian should seek the help of a seasoned rabbit breeder in order to find out the best and safest method of harvesting the Angora’s wool. Let’s put the spotlight on the biggest and smallest of the Angora breeds. 

Facts about Angora Rabbits

Aptly named, the Giant Angora is the largest of the Angora breeds typically weighing in around 9.5-10 pounds when mature. The smallest of the Angora breed is the Jersey Wooly weighing in at less than 3.5 pounds. 

There is no other Angora breed which combines the flowing softness and translucence of Angora fur than that of the Satin Angora. Whilst these Angoras typically do not produce as much wool which can be harvested like the other big Angoras, the wool of the Satin Angora is unique for its satiny qualities, making them more appealing to Angora enthusiasts. 

The origins of Angora rabbits are unclear. However, these large, furry rabbits have been documented in the distant past and mention of them dates back to the eighteenth century. The Angoras of present day supposedly descended from a sort of Turkish rabbit bred for its very fine wool. It is said that sailors of yore recognized the value of these rabbits so they acquired some to take back to their home country, France. It was in France where the breed was said to be mentioned in a 1765 encyclopedia. After which it became a sought after pet amongst French aristocracy. 

Many Angora Clubs have been founded and are committed to the care and advancement of Angora rabbits. The National Angora Rabbit Breeders Club, Inc. is “dedicated to the promotion and care of Angora rabbits” and is the national club for the four larger Angora breeds. The American Fuzzy Lop and the Jersey Wooly have established their own respective clubs which are the American Fuzzy Lop Rabbit Club and the National Jersey Wooly Rabbit Club. 

It was the first half of the nineteenth century when the first Angora rabbits landed in the United States. Back then all Angora rabbits were categorized together as one breed; the Angora Wooler. It was in 1939 when this changed and when ARBA started separating the Angoras into the French type and English type rabbits. These rabbits finally became distance and separate breeds in 1944. It was then they became known as the names they are called today. It was in 1987 when the ARBA approved the Satin Angora and was followed by the Giant Angora in 1988.

The English Angora, French Angora and Satin Angora breeds come in an assortment of rainbow colors recognized by the ARBA. These rabbits are allowed to be shown. The color assortment include Ruby-Eyed White, Blue-Eyed White, Tortoiseshell, Seal, Sable, Red, Pointed White, Opal, Lynx, Lilac, Fawn, Copper, Chocolate, Chinchilla, Chestnut, Blue, and Black. 

In addition, Satin and French Angoras can also be Siamese Smoke Pearl. It is only the French Angora which exhibits the broken color pattern. The Giant Angora is only recognized by the ARBA in one color and that is Ruby-Eyed White. If the color is not a Ruby-Eyed White then it is not considered an Angora. 

General Body Types of Rabbits

Like other living beings, rabbits also come in different shapes and forms. Find out about the various types of rabbit physique and their sizes here.

Full Arch

The full-arch breed is the ones which are always naturally alert and energetic. Rabbits of this body type have an arch which begins at the nape of the neck and continues in a fluid, unbroken line over the rabbit’s shoulders, loin, hips and ends by rounding to the base of its tail. Most breeds will display more depth than body width. Its side profile tapers from the hind quarters through to the rabbits shoulders. Many of these full-arch sorts have notably erect ears and have a spotted fur coat. 

Some full-arched breeds are the Britannia Petite, Checkered Giant, the English Spot, the Belgian Hare, the Tan and the Rhinelander. 

Semi-Arch

Semi-Arch rabbits are usually referred to as “Gentle Giants” due to their larger size. These rabbits have low shoulders with a high hip. The rabbit’s side profile is tapered from the hindquarters through to its shoulders. 

Some notable semi-arch breeds are the Giant Chinchilla, the Flemish Giant, the English Lop, the Beveren and the American.

Compact

Some smaller breeds of rabbits constitute the category of Compact rabbit breeds. These rabbits are lighter in weight and shorter in body length compared to the commercial type of rabbits. Some breeds sport a slight rise in the top line because of the depth of its shoulders is slightly lower than the depth over its hips. When viewed from its side profile, it is tapered or has equal width from hips to shoulders, as required in the individual breed standard. Compact rabbits will appear well balanced when properly set up. 

Some Compact breeds are the Thrianta, the Standard Chinchilla, the Silver, the Polish, the Netherland Dwarf, the Mini Satin, the Mini Rex, the Mini Lop, the Lilac, the Jersey Wooly, the Holland Lop, the Havana, the Florida White, the English Angora, the Dwarf Hotot, the Dutch, and the American Fuzzy Lop. 

Commercial 

Commercial rabbit breeds are usually used as meat rabbits and production animals. These rabbits tend to grow faster and large meaty loins. These rabbit sorts are medium in length with a depth of body equal to the width of its body throughout. The high point of the top line is to be over the rabbits hips. Its side profile tapers from the hindquarters all the way through to its shoulders. Commercial rabbits look very similar to the “Compact Rabbit Breeds” only they are much bigger than the compact ones. 

Some Commercial Breeds include the Silver Marten, the Silver Fox, the Satin Angora, the Satin, the Rex, the Palomino, the New Zealand, the Harlequin, the Giant Angora, the French Lop, the French Angora, the Creme d’ Argent, the Cinnamon, the Champagne d’ Argent, the Californian, the Blanc de Hotot, the American Sable, and the American Chinchilla.

Cylindrical

The rabbit breed known as the Cylindrical sort currently has one member in the Himalayan. Himalayan rabbits look a lot like the Californian, only much smaller. They do, however, share the same cylindrical shape in nature. 

Types of Angora Rabbits

Aside from the Angora rabbit, there are many other individual breeds of these Angora cottontails. Other breeds of this sort are the Giant Angora, the Satin Angora, the English Angora and the French Angora.

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