Bred for its coats of long fibers and wool; the Angora Rabbit is one of the oldest breeds of domestic rabbits.
Even though many rabbit breeds, the English Angora makes an excellent pet companion as it quickly bonds with its owners. However, whether you’re breeding the English Angora as a pet or for sports, you must be ready to pay extra attention and care to it.
Where Did The Angora Rabbit Come From?
The Angora Rabbit is believed to have originated from Ankara, formerly called ‘Angora’ in Turkey.
Before it arrived in the United States in the early 1900s, the only recognized type of woolly rabbit was “Angora Wooler” or “Angora Rabbit.” Sometime in 1939, this rabbit breed was classified into English and French.
Later in 1944, the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) officially recognized them as two separate breeds – the English Angora and French Angora Rabbit. The ARBA identified two more species under the Angora Rabbit in recent years: the Satin and Giant breeds.
This rabbit breed was initially bred for its soft wool but later became famous for its cheerful disposition. It warms up to you, no wonder it was a pet among the French royalty in the mid 18th century.
By the end of the century, this “culture (of keeping Angora rabbits as pets)” had spread to other parts of Europe.
Apart from the four species recognized by the ARBA, there are about eight other Angora breeds: the German Angora, Finnish Angora, Japanese Angora, Chinese Angora, Korean Angora, Russian Angora, Swiss Angora, and St. Lucian Angora.
As such, the ARBA recognizes only four out of eleven breeds.
What’s The Angora Rabbit Like?
Being the smallest and roundest of the four Angora breeds recognized by the ARBA, the English Angora is generally considered one of the best choices for a pet because its facial features make it look like a puppy.
It is also the only breed with hair covering its eyes. It grows very dense wool on its body, which should be groomed at least twice a week.
It has five varieties recognized by the ARBA: the Agouti, the Broken, Pointed White, Ruby eyed White, Shaded, and Self, which generally weigh between 41/2 – 71/2 Ibs.
With hair covering its eyes, face, and entire body, the English Angora has a flat head and short ears that are usually not visible because of the thickness of the fur covering its face.
It also has the finest and thickest fur among its peers, producing three significant wool types: awn hair, awn fluff, and soft underwool. Besides, this rabbit breed comes in different colors such as white, black tort, blue, blue tort, lilac, lynx, chocolate, and chestnut.
However, it can also be bred to have a variety of broken colors like white with black spots. Although this is possible, it is not acceptable by ARBA standards.
Because of the density of the wool on its body, the English Angora Rabbit requires a lot of maintenance. This makes it unsuitable for owners who do not intend to groom their pets regularly. Here’s a table showing the major things you need to know about the Angora rabbit:
4 - 7 pounds
Calm, docile, pleasant, friendly
The Agouti, the Broken, Pointed White, Ruby eyed White, Shaded, and Self.
White, black tort, blue, blue tort, lilac, lynx, chocolate, and chestnut.
French Angora, Satin Angora, and Giant Angora
Does The English Angora Rabbit Make A Good Companion?
If you’re looking for an excellent tempered rabbit that makes a great companion, your go-to is the English Angora. This cute rabbit isn’t dangerous but calm, docile, and intelligent.
It is friendly and tends to bond with whoever is in charge of its grooming because it is done often. It doesn’t require a lot of attention and flourishes when interacted with.
But it particularly doesn’t like to be picked up, so it is best to respect its space, especially when it’s new to your house. This is because it could become aggressive when frightened. However, once it’s acquainted with you, it no longer sees you as a threat.
The English Angora is best suited for owners with some experience, whether individuals, couples, or large families. It can also be introduced to children and even to other rabbits.
However, a strict daily grooming regime is required to maintain its healthy coat. Because it’s highly intelligent, you can train it to be sociable and litter-compliant.
Despite how pleasant it is, it is not a pet you want to completely hand over to children because of the fragility of its spine.
Since it’s a domesticated animal, it is not threatened by predators like other rabbits who live in the wild. However, if you have a cat in your house, keep your rabbit away from the cat.
4 Possible Health Issues And How To Deal With Them
Although the English Angora is a strong breed, it’s not without health issues. Some of them include
is a serious health issue that could be fatal if left unattended. As the English Angora tries to clean itself, it could ingest its fur, which becomes trapped inside the digestive system.
This leads to a loss of appetite because your rabbit thinks they’re full or a blocked digestive tract. As such, it is essential always to make sure that your rabbit is groomed correctly at least twice a week because of the thickness of its coat.
This illness is peculiar to all rabbits, especially when they overeat fresh foods. However, with the English Angora, you’ll need to take extra care with cleaning if your rabbit has been experiencing diarrhea because it can get its coat tangled.
Wash their coat thoroughly and make sure that they are kept dry after washing.
The English Angora Rabbit can suffer from mandibular prognathism abnormal growth patterns in their teeth which cause elongated teeth or irregular positions.
To treat this, take your rabbit to a vet who will help reduce the misalignment of the teeth and remove the sharp spikes that might already be digging into the sensitive tissues of the tongue and inner cheek.
Spinal injury: Like all rabbits, the English Angora can suffer spinal injury if not handled with care or accidentally dropped. Avoid picking up your rabbit, and never leave them alone with children.
This is to prevent any accident that may hurt your rabbit’s spine. If your rabbit is frightened, it may begin to kick with its hind legs causing severe damage to its back.
Mating and Reproduction
The English Angora Rabbit can have a litter of 2-12 kits since it is an active breeder and can produce a large litter of kits simultaneously. Medium to large breeders get sexually mature at 4-5 months.
A typical mating season begins during the warm seasons to increase the new bunnies’ survival chance. To breed, place the female English Angora into the buck’s space and remove her immediately after mating is done.
Once the male catches the female’s attention, she positions herself for mating, and the buck rides her. The mating process lasts about 20 seconds.
The average gestation period of the female is 28-32 days, which is about a month. If your rabbit does not give birth after this period, take her to the vet to induce labor so that you don’t have a litter of dead kits.
You can detect pregnancy signs about 12 days after the mating process. By this time, tiny grape-sized embryos should begin to grow in your doe’s womb.
The nest box should be placed in the same hutch as the doe. Fill the box with hay and put it in the doe’s cage by the 28th day of the pregnancy.
After a successful gestation period, the babies are usually born hairless and blind. At least 48 hours after birth, check all the kits to ensure they are all alive and remove dead ones.
Remove the nest box from the doe’s hutch 5-21 days after birth and separate them. The doe will only feed the kits twice a day, and after about three weeks, they should be weaned, with their box carefully removed from the doe’s hutch.
How To Take Care Of The English Angora Rabbit
It has a lifespan of 5-8 years if well taken care of. Ensure you pay attention to their health.
- The English Angora rabbit requires a lot of special care, primarily because of its wooly body. As established earlier, the English Angora rabbit has a thick wool coat. To maintain mat-free skin, they need regular brushing using a wire bristle comb and shearing at least four times a year. Also, because they are natural groomers, they tend to ingest a lot of hair which can cause wool block. So you must pay attention to their grooming.
- It makes a fantastic pet and can have its enclosure indoors or outdoors. Any indoor compartment should be large enough to make your rabbit walk around freely, with bedding to ensure it is comfortable as well. Always make sure to clean your rabbit’s enclosure every day and change the bedding at least once a week. If, however, its home is outdoors, make sure your rabbit is protected from the sun and other wild animals who may want to prey on it. Once in a while, allow your rabbit to roam your backyard to exercise and get some wind and sunlight.
What Does The English Angora Eat?
The main diet of the English Angora Rabbit is plants and parts such as bark, roots, seeds, and leaves.
Like other rabbit breeds, it requires a healthy diet of at least 70% hay, 30% fresh vegetables, and high-quality pellets to ensure that they get the needed nutrients, proteins, and vitamins to grow.
Because it constantly produces large amounts of wool, it needs a higher protein diet than any other rabbit. Baby rabbits, otherwise known as kits, require a different diet from the adult Angora.
Kits below three weeks should be fed strictly on a milk diet. Kits between 4-7 weeks should be introduced to alfalfa and pellets.
Once they are 12 weeks and above, you can introduce an unlimited amount of hay and minor amounts of vegetables into their diets.
Which Other Breeds Are Similar To The English Angora?
The English Angora has had some similarities with the following Angora breeds:
This Angora breed is larger than the English Angora. It is one of the largest Angora breeds weighing 7-10 pounds.
Compared to the English Angora, the French Angora is easily recognizable by its lack of long facial hair and also has a dense undercoat, requiring less maintenance than any other Angora breed.
This is the largest Angora breed recognized by the American Rabbit Breed Association in 1988 and has the same wool type as the English Angora. The Giant Angora grows slowly and may take about a year to mature in size and weight.
The Satin Angora usually has a uniform color with its head, tail, and feet and produces the least amount of wool, which is softer.
Want a pleasant and friendly pet, whether you’re a couple or have a large family? The English Angora is a perfect choice. However, you must be ready to dedicate a lot of time and attention to it.
Don’t neglect its grooming requirements and be careful with the company around it, as its fragility doesn’t allow for any form of stress.