Raising Purebred Dutch rabbits and purebred English Angora Rabbits to the American Standards of Perfection
The Angora is one of the oldest types of domestic rabbit, originating in Ankara (historically known as Angora), Turkey, along with the Angora cat and Angora goat. The rabbits were popular pets with French royalty in the mid-18th century, and spread to other parts of Europe (Austria and the Alps used the wool frequently) by the end of the century. They first appeared in the United States in the early 20th century. They are bred largely for their long Angora wool, which may be removed by shearing, combing, or plucking. There are many individual breeds of Angora rabbits, four of which are recognized by American Rabbit Breeders' Association (ARBA); they are English, French, Giant, and Satin. Other breeds include German, Chinese, Swiss, Finnish, Koren,and St.lucian. To learn more about their history you can go to this link: History of the Angora Rabbit.
Sizing and Grooming
The English Angora Rabbit is the smallest rabbit of the Angora breed as they generally weigh seven and a half pounds for the doe, which are the females, and six and a half for the bucks, which are the mature males. Although they may appear "huge!" their thick long fur is what makes them look so big. In body they are close to one of my Dutch rabbits. This breed also requires quite a lot of attention. Because they have that long, silky coat, it is important to maintain the beauty of their coat by grooming them regularly. If not, their coat may lose its beauty, and it is also not healthy for the rabbits either. The English Angora Rabbit has more wool in them than guard hair, and they are classified as wool producers rather than fur producers. Unlike other rabbits, the English Angora Rabbit has wool all over them; in fact, their ears and face are covered in long wool as well. The best way to groom them is with a 4.0 hp Blower. It is like a Vacuum, except it blower the air instead of sucking it. It works awesome, and it cuts down your grooming time and will improve your wool harvest. It is something I would highly reccommend.
Colors & Variations
Note her blue eye. This is called Blue eyed white or BEW.
There are several different colors of the Angora rabbit, I shall list them for you:
Selfs catagory: Black, Blue, Chocolate, Lilac, Tortoise Shell (tort), Blue Tort, Lilac tort, Chocolate Tort, Self Chin's, Pearls, Steeles, and Pointed's.
Agouti Catagory: Chestnut, Chocolate (not the same as chocolate above, this is a chocolate Agouti), Copper, Opal, and Lynx (or Lilac Agouti). Widebanded Agouti's: Note that these are still Agouti's, but have the WW gene: Fawn, Cream, Red, Chinchilla variations, Squirrel (or Blue Chin), Chocolate Chinchilla, Lilac Chinchilla, Steel color variations, REW, Ermine, and White Agouti's.
vv Catagory: BEW's. As shown in the common abbreviations below, also in this catagory are VM's, and VC's. A vv is a seperate gene, which (as far as I know) can be included in both the Selfs and Agouti's Catagories. The way to know if a Self or Agouti carries the vv gene is shown by the Vienna markings on themselves. As for the VC's, you won't know if they carry the Vienna gene until you breed them. If they do carry the vv gene, you will get VM and VC babies.
Their eye colors also are very intriguing. The Blue eyed whites are White Angora's with Blue eyes. (Shown on Right) The Red eyed whites are pure white in color but have "red" or pink eyes. (like my Amy) Red eyes are commonly found in New Zealand meat rabbits, sometimes may appear pink or ruby colored.
Common Abbreviations: *VM -means Vienna Marked
. These are colored, with some white markings, usually on the nose and/or
forehead. Often they have some areas of blue in their eyes. VM are not showable (they have DQ's because of the markings), but are good for pets, wool, and for breeding to get BEW. These are sometimes
called dutch marked, sports,
*VC -means Vienna Carrier, and carries the Vienna gene. These however, are showable, since they don't have the DQ marking(s). *vv -lowercase on purpose, stands for BEW *BEW -means Blue eyed white *REW -means Red eyed white *WW -stands for Widebanded Fawn, Cream and Chinchilla are good examples of Widebanded colors *DQ -stands for Disqualifications. This means the rabbit in question is not showable.
I reccommend looking at all of these links and, if need be, purchasing the SOP book and Candy's booklet. These will give you a very good understanding of colors, genes, and everything in-between.
The Angora has a very sweet loving temperament. They very rarely if ever known to bite or be vicious, and are over all an easy to keep rabbit. (besides grooming ;) Small children can handle and play with them and the bunnies won't mind, in fact they will enjoy the attention. For me, I think that the English Angora's are like a puppy personality, (without the hyper activity of a puppy) and are absolutely little cuddly love bugs. They are also easy to litterbox train, and make great companions and indoor pets.