The Angora rabbit stands out because of his beautiful thick coat. Aside from his gorgeous fluffy coat, his gentle and lively nature capture the hearts of many rabbit enthusiasts. It is no wonder why more and more people chose the Angora rabbit to be their pet rabbits.
Where are Angora rabbits found?
The Angora rabbit is believed to have originated in 500 to 600 AD during the time of the Romans. Tribes living in the cold Carpathian mountains in Transylvania are said to have kept herds of Angoras. They utilised the rabbit’s wool to make warm clothing.
Another theory speculates that the Angora breed originated in Ankara, Turkey, which was known as Angora in the past. French sailors were thought to have brought some of the rabbits back to France. It is believed that they wanted to recreate the gorgeous shawls that the native Turkish women had.
Others think that sailors recognised the important uses of the Angora rabbit’s wool so they brought it to France. In 1765, the Angora rabbit was mentioned in an encyclopaedia which catapulted the breed to fame. Many aristocrats kept Angora rabbits not only for the wool but also to serve as trusty companions.
Generally, Angora rabbits are slightly small with a round physique. The size, appearance, and coat of Angoras may vary according to their type. There are different varieties of this breed such as the English, French, Satin, and Giant Angora.
Types of Angora rabbits
Also known as “Angora Wooler”, typically, the English Angora rabbit weighs around 2 to 3.5 kgs, making the breed the smallest out of all Angora breeds. This rabbit breed possesses distinctive fur around the face and ears. It’s also the only rabbit breed with fur covering the eyes. The English Angara’s coat colours come in pointed white, self, broken, and agouti.
Bigger than the English Angora, the French Angora weighs anywhere from 3.5 to 4.5 kgs. The French Angora has no fur on his face and front feet. Small tufts of fur may be found on his hind legs. Coat colours for this rabbit breed include wideband, broken, agouti, pointed white, and ticked.
The Satin Angora weighs about 3 to 4.5 kgs. The breed is a result of mating a French Angora and a Satin. He has a silky and lustrous coat. The colours of the Satin Angora’s coat includes shaded, wideband, self, and agouti.
The Giant Angora is the biggest of the Angora breeds, weighing up to 5.5 kgs. He has an oval-shaped head with a broad forehead and a slightly narrow muzzle. He has small fringes of fur around his ears. The Giant Angora’s coat colour is ruby-eyed white.
How to breed Angora rabbits?
Once an Angora doe reaches 6 months old, she is ready to breed. Meanwhile, the buck will be ready for breeding when he turns 6 or 7 months old. Be sure to choose healthy rabbits with good body weight and even temperament.
It’s best to breed after moulting so that there won’t be a lot of wool to trim. Clip the hairs around the lower belly and reproductive area of the buck. Then, clip the doe’s remaining fur down to about 1-2cm so that she can easily nurse her babies.
Send the doe inside the buck’s cage for mating. Wait for the buck to mount the doe and then fall to his side. He will let out a squeal after breeding, signifying that mating is a success.
If the doe crouches on the floor, it means the mating was a failure. Assist them by putting your hand under the doe’s belly then carefully lifting her hips. This way her tail is over her back. Consider repeating the whole process within one day to increase the litter size.
Angora Rabbit Pet Care
Regular grooming is required for Angora rabbits. They need to be brushed daily to prevent their thick coat from matting. Daily grooming is also important to prevent wool block which is a prevalent health problem in Angoras.
It occurs when they ingest too much hair whilst grooming themselves. Use a wide-tooth comb and a slicker brush to keep their coat shiny and smooth.
Trimming Angoras’ hair shorter is an effective way to prevent mats and wool blocks. Clip their fur at least ½ inch to 1 inch. Use sharp scissors with a ball tip for safety. Do not cut the hair around the face, belly, and legs unless they are matted.
Angora bunnies should be kept away from water. Their coat tends to soak it up and takes a long time to dry. This means they should not be bathed too. Washing Angora rabbits can also be extremely stressful.
If you feel they need a wash, use a clean and damp cloth to remove them. Clip their nails at least once a month. If you find it difficult, you may ask the vet to do it for you during check-ups.
Do Angora rabbits get fleas?
Angora rabbits are at risk of flea infestation due to their dense coat. They may become hosts of ticks and mites too. A few tell-tale signs that an Angora rabbit might have fleas include constant scratching and small black spots on the fur which are flea faeces.
Shear the Angora’s fur during summertime when bugs are extremely prolific. Applying rabbit-safe anti-flea treatment is also another effective way to keep the nasty bugs away.
Do Angora rabbits make good pets?
Angora rabbits are loved by bunny enthusiasts for their sweet and docile nature. They are smart pets that enjoy playing with their fellow rabbits and human companions as well.
However, Angoras that are placed in a new family and environment may be shy and wary. This is completely normal since rabbits are sensitive to changes in their lifestyle. Give them time to adjust to their new home.
When interacting with an Angora rabbit, do it in a quiet room as sudden noises may spook him. Before approaching, let him know of your presence. Make soft sounds or call his name gently. Then, slowly approach him and get down to his level.
Wait for him to make the first approach. Let him take his time in gauging you and his surroundings. Never force him to go near you because it will only make him more skittish to come closer.
It may take a few days or weeks before your Angora rabbit will feel comfortable and safe enough to approach. Just make sure to do the whole process consistently and you will earn his trust in no time.
Interaction with children should be constantly supervised. Children tend to be very playful and rowdy. Loud noises can make the Angora nervous and stressed.
Because rabbits have fragile bodies and brittle bones, be sure to teach younger children how to carefully handle the Angora bunny. Mishandling can result in injuries such as bone and spinal fractures.
Angora rabbit diet
Angora’s diet is composed of hay, water, pellets, fresh vegetables, and fruits. However, he has a special diet requirement when it comes to protein and fibre consumption. Pellet food must have around 18 per cent protein to keep his coat fluffy and dense. Meanwhile, the fibre from hay and pellets helps prevent wool block.
Premium-quality hay should make up most of your Angora bunny’s diet which is around 80 per cent. It should be given in unlimited amounts. Fresh vegetables, especially leafy greens, only comprise 10 per cent of his diet whilst pellets around 5 per cent. Treats such as fresh fruits should only make up 5 per cent.
What do Angora rabbits eat?
Angora rabbits under 6 months old need to consume alfalfa-based pellets. Unlimited amounts of timothy hay and fresh water should always be provided. Once they reach 6 months of age, start transitioning them to eat timothy-based pellets. Then, little by little reduce the amount of alfalfa.
Continue giving them unlimited quantities of timothy hay and freshwater. Introduce small amounts of vegetables and fruits in their diet too. Note that this should be done one at a time to avoid upsetting his stomach. Once the Angoras are fully-grown, they should have at least 1/8 to ¼ of a cup of timothy-based pellets.
Fresh vegetables must only be served approximately three-quarters of a cup daily. Only around 1 to 2 tablespoons of fruits should be provided weekly to avoid dental problems and weight gain. As usual, timothy hay and water should be provided in unlimited amounts.
Angora Rabbit Lifespan
The average lifespan of an Angora is 7 to 10 years if he is properly cared for. The simple yet most effective way to improve his longevity is through providing him with a comfortable housing, healthy and balanced diet, and enrichment activities. Regular grooming and vet check-ups are crucial in keeping him in the best of health.
Angora Rabbit Health Problems
Angora Rabbits are predisposed to several health issues just like most rabbit breeds. This is due to their fragile and sensitive bodies that react negatively to changes in their environment and lifestyle. The list below is the common health issues in Angora rabbits:
- Wool block
- Cheyletiella parasitovorax
- Mandibular prognathism
Keep in mind that it is in the nature of rabbits to hide their weaknesses including health problems. Thus, you need to stay vigilant to any changes in your Angora rabbit’s sleeping, eating, eliminating, drinking, and behaviour patterns.
Check his body regularly for signs of lumps or irritation. Odd discharge from his eyes, ears, nose, mouth, or rear is an initial sign of illness. Be sure to contact the vet if any of these symptoms emerge.
Angora rabbit cage
The recommended minimum hutch size for Angora rabbits is approximately 30” x 36”x 18”. If you can provide a bigger hutch, that would be a better option.
Place the hutch in an area where the temperature is above 90°F. The Angora rabbit is heat sensitive due to his thick fur. If overexposed to hot temperatures, he may experience heatstroke.
The hutch should also be elevated since the Angora bunny’s fur quickly catches dust and dirt from the floor. It must also have wire floors with holes small enough to support your rabbit’s feet, but big enough for his droppings to fall through and gathered in a litter tray. This will prevent shavings and faeces from sticking on his fur.
Maintain cleanliness in your Angora’s hutch to prevent bacteria, mites, and parasites from thriving. Litter trays should be tidied and sanitised daily whilst the hutch needs a full clean up every week.
Can Angora rabbits live outside?
Angora bunnies can dwell outdoors but it is not advised. Many harmful outdoor elements can endanger his life. If you choose to place the hutch outside, it should be impervious from predators, heat, drafts, snow, and rain. Provide extra amounts of hay or blankets to keep your Angora rabbit warm during cold seasons.
Cost of Ownership
Angora Rabbit Price
The cost of a healthy and well-bred Angora rabbit is approximately £50. Food expenses are estimated at £500 to £700 annually. Buying your rabbit’s basic supplies such as travel carriers, water bowl, and food bowl will cost about £510. Rabbit proofing and housing expenses are estimated at £350.
You may need to pay at least £50 for his check-ups and initial vaccinations. Fees for preventative treatments and health checks may cost around £50 per year. Pet insurance is an added spend of £10 monthly.
Angora Rabbit Breed Fun Facts
- The Angora bunny’s hair can grow up to 15 centimetres long.
- Angora is the name of the breed’s wool.
- Angora is a gene mutation that rarely occurs in various breeds of rabbits.
- The infamous Queen of France, Marie Antoinette, had pet Angoras.
Are you looking for a rabbit as a new family pet, read The 6 most loved rabbit breeds.