Friday, 29 January 2010

Angora rabbits

I had a comment from Sunny about the rabbits, so I will post a little about them. The only difference between Angora and short haired rabbit care is obviously the brushing, but Angoras are either bedded on wire floors to keep their fleeces clean for showing, or on shavings with straw on top which I prefer. I feed them on Burgess pellets, I have always fed my rabbits on muesli type feeds, but I was getting a lot of waste, now there is none. They need a good diet in order to produce the best quality wool.

They need to be brushed at least once a week , twice when they are in full moult. You can also clip or pluck them to get wool for spinning. I mostly just brush them. The back and sides are the best, longest areas of wool, the undersides can be contaminated with waste or shavings and other vegetable material. I don't like clipping them as their skin is so fine and thin it is too easy to cut them by mistake, and although they heal up very quickly it distresses me when I do it. Plucking may sound painful, but you only do it when they are moulting and you tug gently all over the wool and it comes out in handfuls.

The brushed, plucked or clipped wool is then carded before blending with other fibres. Angora is very fine and warm, on it's own it is only suitable for garments for Artic conditions. It needs to be blended with other fine fibres like Merino wool or silk in order to decrease the heat retention properties of the yarn. The fibre is very soft and slippery to spin, I haven't mastered it yet.

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