The French Angora rabbit is a very special breed. Calm, curious, and ever so fluffy they are a joy to be around.
As the special rabbits they are, they also have some special considerations when it comes to caring for them.
The 3-H’s of Angora Rabbit care - Hay, Hair, and Heat
Rabbits clean themselves just like cats, by licking. If a cat consumes too much of it’s own fur, it will simply cough it up. Rabbits however have no “vomit reflex”. This is one less thing for your carpet to worry about, but it also means that your Angora rabbits need to eat fiber to keep their systems running smoothly and to avoid a condition known as “Wool Block”. Wool block can be fatal, but it is easily prevented. A small handful of hay each day is all they need, but they do NEED it.
With Angoras, the long guard hairs of the top coat are also known as wool. This is the fur that is harvested for spinning. Angora wool is collected by gently tugging when the wool is ready (it’s ready when a gentle tug brings it out) or by simply clipping. Harvesting the wool does no harm to the rabbit. They actually seem to enjoy it.
If you plan to show your French Angora, your rabbit will need you to thoroughly brush it’s coat every 2 weeks or so. This keeps them fluffy and free of tangles. You can brush your rabbit with the same types of brushes that are available for dogs and cats. If the rabbit will not be shown, another option is to cut the wool short in Spring and again in Summer (this also helps them stay cool, see below). Let the wool grow out in Fall & Winter. If you don’t brush it, some tangles will happen, but you will cut them all off in the Spring anyway.
With their luxurious wool coat Angora rabbits are almost immune to cold. As long as they are kept out of wind, they will be fine outside all winter long. Heat is a different story. Where ever you keep your Angora rabbits, they must be kept in the shade and they must have good airflow to help them stay cool. Some people also choose to trim their Angora wool down during the summer, and unless you are planning to enter them in a show, that is a good idea.
As an added precaution, during the hottest days (85 – 90 degrees or above) freeze 2 liter bottles that are 1/2 filled with water. Place the frozen bottles in the cage(s) so your rabbit can lay alongside it to cool off.