How to harvest Angora Rabbit Wool

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Angora Rabbit Wool
Photo by Nynne Schrøder on Unsplash

Angora rabbits are known for their extremely soft and sought after fur which comes as a sheep wool alternative. From Angora Sweaters to scarfs and even socks.

Having an Angora rabbit can become quite profitable and even help with making yourself self-reliant on your own skills.

For example, did you know that 1 ounce of Angora rabbit wool typically goes for $10 – $12 and simply requires grooming your rabbit regularly?

Angora Rabbits shouldn’t be seen as a cash machine though, they require a lot more care and TLC than most rabbit breeds, especially if you’re looking to sell or use their wool.

How do I pick the best Angora Rabbit Breed?

There are a few different ‘sub’ breeds to the Angora Rabbit breed, each with different levels of fur density and quality.

Some breeds will naturally shed their fur regularly whereas others will need manual shearing, grooming should be done regardless though.

Rather than seeking a specific breed to produce Angora wool from, you should instead find an Angora rabbit that you can provide for properly to produce the best Angora Rabbit Wool.

How much does an Angora Rabbit cost?

In most locations, you’ll find the price of an Angora rabbit will range from $50 upwards to $120, however, this will depend on a few factors; breed, the area you live in, availability and if you’re going to a breeder, their price.

Depending on where you live, you may find rabbits are given away to new owners on Facebook, Craigslist and even GumTree in the UK.

Please be aware that breeders are typically not accepted within rabbit communities due to the poor conditions for most rabbits.

How do I harvest Angora Rabbit Wool?

If your rabbit hasn’t been around a while, you may want to contact a professional to help you as noises from electric sheers and power blowing can stress your rabbit out.

One of the best parts about harvesting wool from an Angora Rabbit is that it doesn’t require you to harm the rabbit in question.

The quality of the wool is based on how well cared for your Angora Rabbit is, as this is the care, you’ll find regular daily care of your rabbit’s fur as a crucial part of farming Angora Rabbit wool.

Unfortunately, there’s not all in one method for harvesting wool from every breed, for example, a German Angora cannot be plucked due to the wool being embedded deep in its roots.

Harvesting Angora Wool safely

Rabbits are extremely nervous creatures, they’re very self-aware that they are prey animals which makes your first few sessions of clipping quite stressful.

This doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t be done, and we highly suggest avoiding any sedatives, you’re going to need to establish a level of trust with your rabbit so that they’re aware you’re a friend, not a foe.

Gaining your rabbit’s trust is much easier said than done, in some cases, this can take months, even years. But, the sooner you teach them that grooming them is essential and that you won’t hurt them, the better.

If you’re trimming by scissors, you want to cut the wool at an angle that keeps you away from their skin. The last thing you want is an accidental cut on their skin!

Whilst you’re here, we definitely recommend regularly brushing your Angora even if their fur doesn’t tangle often. Not only is this therapeutic for your rabbit but it also keeps their coat well managed.

Plucking Angora Fibres

Plucking your rabbits fur may feel scary, but I assure you there’s some science behind it that will ease your anxiety. You may think that you’re simply pulling their hair out, but you should remember that Angora breeds require further assistance to groom themselves and avoid GI Stasis.

Over time, your rabbits fur will loosen naturally, if at any point you feel resistance when plucking, that means the furs aren’t ready to come out.

Just like when your rabbit gets comfortable during pets, plucking angora fibre will put them into a similar state.

This is due to two reasons, one of which is that during the plucking process your rabbit will release hormones that open their pores and allow the fibres to loosen easier.

Whilst you should groom your rabbit regularly with a brush to help loosen their fur, you shouldn’t pluck too regularly, so if you do want to pluck your rabbit, set up for a long hour or so.

Shearing Angora Wool

Whilst plucking is a preferred method for Wool Spinners, it’s not actually the correct option for some breeds of Angora. When shearing a rabbits wool, the ends will be blunt and harder to work with, but still valuable.

Once you get used to shearing a rabbit, you’ll cut the time down from an hour to around 20 minutes. Plucking, however, doesn’t really fall on the shorter end of a task as it is tedious.

We suggest using a blunt-tipped pair of scissors, just for the safety of your rabbit, when shearing, you want to tilt your scissors to the side/at an angle to avoid harming your rabbit.

How to cut Angora Rabbit Fur
The red lines are how you cut the fur, you can pivot your scissors at an angle to prevent accidental cutting

If you’re using clippers, you will want to use a low noise brand to avoid scaring the rabbit.

The parts you want to be particularly careful of is the tail and genitals, with how small they are it can be easy to make a mistake, so take it as slow as possible.

French & English Angora

A French or English Angora breed shouldn’t be plucked because this can cause matting of their coat in the long run.

In most cases, you should wait until their natural moult cycle which is every three to four months, during this time their loose fibres/hairs can be plucked from the rabbit.

During this time, you should expect to see their hair at 10cm – 14cm, you’ll know this is ready to pluck when there is a second hair from the same follicle. (If you can find them).

German Angora

German Angora rabbits should NOT be plucked, you should clip a German Angora when their fur becomes too long or workable, what does that mean though?

It’s usually every 90 days or some that you’ll want to clip them.

German Angora rabbits can get quite large, as such you should expect to get twice as much wool as you would from French or English Breeds.

In terms of fur locations, much like it’s English cousins, it has fur on its face and ears (Although not as thick) and generally a thicker and longer body of hair.

Giant Angora

This extremely large domestic breed of Angora can grow up to 12 lbs and can make your rabbit look like something straight out of a Harry Potter beastery book.

It’s surprisingly seen as an official show animal whilst also being a cross-breed between the Giant rabbit breeds and German Angoras.

Like its German cousin, as it’s a domestic breed it doesn’t shed its coat naturally, so you will need to assist your rabbit in grooming to avoid health issues.

You should only clip a Giant Angora rather than pluck them as they do have the same requirements due to their follicles.