The Angora Rabbit is a variety of domestic rabbit that is popular for its long, soft wool, which the animal produces in copious quantities. At only 11 microns in diameter, the fur is finer and softer than cashmere.
There are many individual breeds of Angora rabbits: English, French, Giant, and Satin, German, Chinese, Swiss, Finnish, Korean, and St. Lucian.
The mammals are famous for their humorous appearance, as they oddly resemble a fur ball with a face. The Angora Rabbit is also popular for having a very calm and docile character. Yet, it still requires tender love and care, even when sheared.
Grooming is necessary to prevent the fiber from matting and felting on the rabbit. A condition, wool block, occurs often in Angora rabbits and requires quick attention.
Angora Rabbit Dietary Needs
When in commercial breeding, these rabbits receive shearing of their wool every three to four months throughout the year. As with all rabbits, these also love abundant and unlimited hay at all times.
The fiber the rabbit gains from the hay helps prevent wool block. It is also advisable particularly for Angora and other long-haired rabbit species that any pellet feed has at least 13% fiber. Fiber content is always available in the nutritional analysis on the food bag.
Additionally, dehydration causes fecal impaction which is preventable by providing copious amounts of water as well as a salt lick, to encourage drinking water. Since rabbits ingest their wool when they groom themselves (just like cats do), clipping their wool at least once every 90 days is a must to prevent the wool block from occurring.
A dietary supplement of papaya (from the vitamin section of the grocery store) in their diet helps wool to break down in their digestive tract. Once inside the stomach, the wool cannot be coughed or vomited up, and will cause the animal to slowly starve to death as its digestive tract fills up with wool; if left untreated, wool block can lead to death.
Serious Angora breeders consider that ample cage space to exercise and feeding fresh, horse-quality hay on a daily basis will help keep the wool moving through the system and prevent wool block. Feeding both fresh pineapple and fresh papaya occasionally will also aid in breaking down the ingested wool, and aid in its passage through the rabbits’ system.
Another helpful tip for loose wool control includes giving the rabbit a pine cone to play with. They nibble them, throw them around, and they turn into a good wool catcher in their cage. When the pine cone is all nibbled or full of wool, replace it.
Angora Rabbit Lifespan
The average rabbit can live for about 7–12 years when living indoors and enjoying good care. However, many outdoor rabbits have a shorter lifespan.
Interesting fact: rabbits do not possess the same allergy generating qualities as many other animals.