We’ve had a slow few days and my main focus at the moment besides cleaning up the constant destruction from the hurricane kids is our Angora Rabbit Mr Dandy.
We’ve only had him a few months but it’s the third time he is growing a new coat so it’s time to take off the old coat or he is at risk of wool block a horrible disease like a hairball that can’t be passed and clogs up their insides.
I chose a Angora rabbit as since learning to spin wool I wanted to have my very own fiber animal but now we are in a suburban rental having Alpacas or sheep wasn’t a option. Fortunately I can buy bags of fiber locally very cheap and I prepare this myself washing, carding, dyeing which makes it a slow but rewarding process.
The decision to get a rabbit wasn’t too hard. We missed having lots of animals as we did on the 2 acres we rented in NSW and Angoras have lovely temperaments and make excellent pets for young kids. They are really the sweetest rabbits big, fluffy and don’t mind being dragged around by 2 year olds but I do find grooming a challenge. When his coat is short I brush him twice a week but now it is long it needs to be every 2 days. He often gets things stuck in his fur which is very annoying and I’ve tried lots of different bedding. Eventually I settled on hay as it’s absorbent, edible and not too hard to remove. The first time I took his fur off I just gave him a cut with scissors and while it was effective it made is fur grow back uneven. The second time I tried to “shear” him with clippers. We both found this really traumatic i accidentally cut his extremely thin rabbit skin and he was scared by the noise so I did a bit more research and as I was wanting to spin the fur we settled on plucking. Plucking is gently pulling the old molting coat out with my hands and leaving the short under coat. It doesn’t hurt him but it is a slow process. If I didn’t do this his fur would matt and dreadlock and cause him pain. I find it ironic that I give people dreadlocks and work to avoid it in my pet!
All in all we get quite a lot of wool from our one little bunny. We are still working out the bunny system and I would like to breed one day but I will probably wait to pure breed until the children are older. We might cross breed with a meat rabbit but to do this we need a good outdoor rabbit system and while the government is releasing a rabbit virus with no vaccine to kill the wild rabbits we are unsure if we want to risk breeding.
We have plenty of time until spring to decide and for now our boy is happy in his laundry enclosure being pampered!