Saturday, February 28, 2009

Blue-Eyed White (BEW) English Angoras

Another wonder of the English Angoras is the Blue Eye White.

"Blue-eyed white has been listed in the Angora Standards for years, but the animal didn't exist! Another variety, ermine, was often mistaken for, and shown as, a blue-eyed white.
A lot of people like a white rabbit, or white wool, but don't like a red eye. The blue eye is beautiful, and appeals to most people. The gene which causes the pure white coat color, and blue eyes, is called the Vienna gene."

This exerpt was taken from the website of Candy Haenszel, of Candy's Angoras, the pioneer and leading authority in creating BEW Angoras.

Candy has been breeding and working on improving the BEW since 1987. She has stayed with this program for many years and is a wealth of knowledge. One can visit her website for a plethora of information about the BEW breed. Candy is always welcoming and eager to assist anyone with questions or guidance in reference to the BEW angoras.

Below is a picture of a BEW English Angoras, courtesy of Aundi's Angoras from Seattle area of Washington State.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Red or Orange? Thriantas are "the fire of the fancy"

Johnny had a wonderful time visiting all the rabbit breeders to see what they had available for sale. He was almost hooked on the Lionhead rabbits. They are so awesome; however, after careful consideration he found what he wanted--Thriantas! We got him a pair of nice Thrianta babies, they are so cute and cuddly and have a wonderful reddish color.

The American Thrianta Rabbit Breeders' Association

The Thrianta rabbit was the 46th breed approved by the ARBA for showing, and is rapidly gaining a tremendous fan club, with ATRBA members located all over the United States.

Thriantas are considered by the A.R.B.A. to be a "fancy" breed, yet are a medium-sized rabbit, ranging up to 6 pounds maximum show weight. They're healthy and hardy, and produce large litters easily. Since all original stock in America was imported, there are limited quantities of the breed available, but most shows are now seeing 20+ Thriantas per show, and specialty shows are starting to be held across the nation.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

2009 SARBA Show in San Antonio, Texas (Continued)

There were two special booths at the Show. The Texas Rabbit Breeders Association, Inc., was present offering pamphlets for people to join. Of course, the ever awesome "Raffle Table".
Below are some other miscellaneous pictures. If anyone that went to the show has pictures or comments about their time, please email to and they, along with your rabbitry name and information will be posted on this blog.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

2009 SARBA Show in San Antonio, Texas (Continued)

The Vendor Booths never seem to fail. Below are the pictures of both, and Bairrington's Supply and Equipment. It is great to have two Vendors so we can compare prices and items. Both Bunnyrabbit and Bairrington have cages for rabbits. They have really nice and a bit different cages, which are excellent quality and great prices. The Bairrington's still do not have a website like Hopefully, when they get a page going, they will share it, too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

2009 SARBA Show in San Antonio, Texas (Continued)

Road To Angora Rabbitry showed their awesome English Angoras in the show. It was a great experience having people come to inquire on the breed and admire their beauty. It was an excellent public relations time to teach people the wonderful Angora breed. Hopefully, more people in Texas will begin showing the English Angora breed.

Below, Johnny is at the set up place and the English Angoras at the judging table and pictures of Johnny, the Judge and the winning Angoras.

Monday, February 23, 2009

2009 SARBA Show in San Antonio, Texas (continued)

Here are some pictures of Judges judging the rabbits at the SARBA show. Below are three of the several judges that were present for the show and graced everyone with their expertise of the rabbit breeds.

Judge Ted DeLoyola

Judge Donald Mersiovsky
Judge Carol Hooks

Sunday, February 22, 2009

2009 SARBA Show in San Antonio, Texas

The SARBA show in Seguin, Texas, held at the Guadalupe County Fair Grounds was a huge success! Many people converged in a nice building showing off their awesome rabbits. Like always, the show is full of friendly people who love to talk, meet new and current breeders, and love to show their rabbits.

Below are some pictures of the show area where many people proudly showed their rabbits. You can see people talking and catching up on news and events, some are walking around admiring the breeds of rabbits, others are waiting for their rabbits to be judged, and other are taking time to decide which should be shown. Overall, it is a family friendly awesome show.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Off to the Show in Seguin, Texas!

San Antonio Rabbit Breeders Association SARBA - ARBA-TRBA Chartered Club held their first 2009 Rabbit Show. There are sure to be so many people and plenty of rabbits to show!

Angoras are not shown often in Texas, but at least two breeders try their best to always show them and expose the breed to the masses. Pictures will follow the next day.

Friday, February 20, 2009

How to prepare for a show

The show is here! What do you take to the show? Well, below is a nice list (in no particular order) that covers the essentials for everyone going to a rabbit show.

The correct rabbits you want to show. Make sure they are not confused and check the ones you want to enter. Make the list of the ones that will be entered and have them ready at least the day before the show.

Water for each individual rabbit. Taking a water jug is always great so your rabbits get the same water from your home. Also, take time to add the powder for anxiety and ivermectin. This always helps your rabbit remain healthy and happy.

Hay that can be given to your rabbits. Usually chewing hay helps reduce stress for the rabbits.

Bring the feed for the rabbits. Pellets are excellent as most shows last the whole day.

Get specific directions for the show site. Take your map or run a mapquest and be prepared. Leave early and with ample time in case of any problems during travel.

You can also take treats. We normally do not provide treats to our rabbits during the shows, but they are optional so you decide.

If you choose to Register your rabbits, then you need to bring your your ARBA card.
Also bring a copy of the pedigree for the registrar. Also, if you sell a rabbit, ensure you have the pedigree available to the buyer along with extra feed to help your rabbit transition to the new owner.

It is good to bring Markers and sign supplies if you plan to sell rabbits or to add tags to your transport cage compartments.

Always bring folding chairs. Bring a cooler with your water/soda water, sandwich or other snacks.

Grooming table for proper grooming

Rabbit Grooming supplies: bush, nail clippers, towels, blowers, tattoo equipment, apron, lint remover brush, etc.

Always bring baby wipes, napkins, etc., to pick up the messes and clean up after yourself and the rabbits.

Bring with you your own book of the Standard of Perfection in case you need to look up standards, perhaps to help you decide whether to buy a rabbit or show a buyer that yours is showable.

Bring your business cards and market yourself.

Bring your first aid kit for you and your rabbits.

Bring any medications or pain relievers.

Change of clothes, if needed.

Optional, but really nice to do is Raffle Table Donations. Even if you do not belong to the club sponsoring the event, your donations are appreciated. Besides, you can add your business card and market your rabbitry!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Oren Reynolds Dedication by ARBA

By now, every ARBA member should have received the Domestic Rabbits Publication.

All the publications from ARBA are wonderful, but this particular Issue for February 2009, contains a very special dedication to the late Oren Reynolds, fondly known at "Mr. ARBA".

This is definitely one of the Issues to highly treasure as it details the life of a legend in the Rabbit World.

"Mr. ARBA" lived a wonderful 100+ years of life. He is a great contributor to the rabbit world. He was inducted into the ARBA's Hall Of Fame Library:

"The Hall of Fame Library was dedicated to Oren Reynolds and the late Dr. Terry Reed. Oren Reynolds greatly assisted with his knowledge of the ARBA’s history during the organization of the library collection, after all Oren turned 100 years young in February, 2006. Oren Reynolds holds several world records; oldest rabbit judge, oldest editor of a livestock publication, oldest active rabbit breeder, and oldest feed dealer. We like to call Oren Mr. ARBA."

Oren Reynolds, AKA "Mr. ARBA" will be greatly missed.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Giant Angoras

I recently contacted Dustin of Dusty's Angora Haven and Dusty's Angora Blog to ask if he could write something about the Giant Angoras breed. Dustin, being the awesome person he is, granted the opportunity for us to hear from him about this special breed. Dustin has been breeding and showing Giants for quite some time and has lots of experience with the breed. He is quite active in the show circuit and is very well known by Angora breeders throughout the USA.


"Giant Angoras are still a newer breed to ARBA they were accepted for showing in 1988, in REW only. They were created by Louise Walsh, by breeding larger breeds like French Lops and Flemish Giants with the German Angoras. Unlike the other 3 angora breeds of Angoras, Giants are triple coated (awn hair, awn fluff and under wool) so they do not shed and must be clipped to harvest the wool. Giants are the biggest of all the Angora breeds weighing 9.5 to 10 plus pounds, and produce more wool. Many are shorn every 90 days with a fiber length of 3 inches. Most Giants are very calm and laid back rabbits making them easy to handle and shear, they are also known as the Gentle Giant."

Here are some of Dustin's really awesome and superb, "gentle giants".

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Angora Rabbit Breeder Clubs

Currently, there are two wonderful clubs for the Angora Fancy breeders. One is the National Angora Rabbit Breeders Club and the other the United Angora Rabbit Club.
These two clubs, although they serve the same purpose, to provide information about the Angora rabbit breed to the masses, also serve as a viable place to meet other breeders with a common purpose.

Joining either club is one's prerogative. However, becoming a member will not only provide a person with tons of information, mail outs, newsletters, etc., but will also connect people with breeders and help expand the knowledge of caring for these awesome creatures.

Check out these clubs and decide to join one or both!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Purchasing Rabbit Supplies at Shows

One can purchase rabbit supplies just about anywhere. One of the best places to purchase feed for rabbits is Tractor Supply Company. However, if you reside in Texas and want to purchase rabbit supplies at a show, one of the best people to purchase from is, Ken & Pat Vanecek of There are, of course, other vendors at the shows, but the Vanecek have been in the business for such a long time that they are a "fixture" at just about every single show!

Not only do they sell excellent quality items, but they have a great website where one can access it and find everything one needs for their rabbitry. What I like best of the website is that the Vanecek also list ALL the shows in Texas! Yes, you need not go to ARBA only to find shows, the web site will give you a list of all the shows in Texas and Oklahoma, too.
The Vanecek travel all over the place and are friendly and very well known.

As if the site didn't have enough, it also boasts of a breeder listing! Yes, they have a rabbit breeder listing in their page, too. Therefore, you can find a plethora of information at Visit this site and you will find everything you need.

There are other Vendors available at shows and will be listed in another post since their information was not available at this time.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

San Antonio Rodeo February 05-22, 2009

There are so many things to do in our awesome city of San Antonio, Texas. One of the great things to do is to attend the San Antonio Rodeo. The Rodeo boasts of many events for every person. It is family oriented and extremely fun.

Here are some pictures of the Entertainers that are part of the Rodeo. Also, some other pictures from the site.

Reba McEntire
Alan Jackson

Billy Ray Cirus


Saturday, February 14, 2009


On behalf of Texas Angora Blog:

Friday, February 13, 2009

The American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA)

One very important thing to consider when owning either one, two, or twenty rabbits, is to join clubs or Associations. One of the best associations to join is the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA). Your membership will supply you with lots of information, which might not be available elsewhere. With your membership, you will receive an excellent, high quality magazine every other month, a Guide Book with up-to-date information on all aspects of domestic rabbits, a membership card entitling you to ARBA benefits, and a Year Book listing all the ARBA officers, committees, clubs, and members.

Please visit the website and find more information on the Association. If you register now, you might quickly receive the February Edition of the Domestic Rabbits Magazine!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Are angora rabbits suitable for gift giving?

As I browsed through the internet to see what was out there, I came up to a great article by Rachelle De Bretagne, in the Helium site.

The title of the article read: Angora rabbits: Suitable pet for a child for Christmas?
I wish the title would have said: suitable for pet for Gift Giving, rather than just Christmas, so it could encompass just about any holiday, birthday, etc. However, Rachelle De Bretagne wrote the article as she felt and did a great job at it, so who am I to complain? :)

In this site, there were some other articles about the same topic. However, as I read this one, I decided to make a copy of it and giving full credit to the author and place I found it, I am posting it here in the blog. The reason for choosing this article is that it is very well written, extremely concise and to the point and lacks the normal judgmental jargon that usually turn people off. Overall, I hope this article is enlightening and refreshing and can serve as a good way to decide if one wants to give an Angora breed rabbit as a gift to a child. Please read below:

Angora rabbits: Suitable pet for a child for Christmas?

The reason that I am writing this is because as Christmas nears, more and more people make the mistake of thinking a cute little rabbit is just right to give to their little ones for Christmas. Christmas lasts a week. A rabbit's lifetime can be anything up to 15 years, so it really is important to realize the importance of what may seem a flippant choice of a pet for a child.

The Angora rabbit breed is a particular breed that requires hard work and energy and many children do not have the patience for the care that they need. Included below are many of the characteristics that may make them an unsuitable choice for children which include:







The habits of Angoras are quite fixed. They are not keen on change, and introducing them to a noisy environment can unsettle them. They like meals at fixed times, and enjoy having their litter tray in the same place. Although these rabbits can be kept in cages, they thrive if being let to roam within a safe area in the home.

One of the negative side of Angora rabbits for children is that their sleeping habits would mean that often the children sleep during the waking hours of the rabbit, who sleeps all day. If confronted by children upon their return from school, a rabbit will attack. Many do not attack seriously or hurt children intentionally, but in their fear, they tend to snap because their sleep pattern is interfered with.


Does your child have the patience to care for a rabbit? Angora rabbits need more care than normal rabbits and will leave hairs all over the place. They will need their nails clipped and regular love and attention. They will also need their tray changed regularly and many kids are not keen in this chore at all. Angora rabbits are very clean animals and if their tray is not cleaned will do their business elsewhere.


Angora rabbits can die if they are not groomed on a regular basis. Sure, they look like a big ball of fluff, but believe me, they need brushing almost daily, not just for cosmetic reasons, but because the loose hair can actually threaten their wellbeing. Rabbits clean themselves with a licking motion and unlike in other animal species, their digestion system works differently and the creation of a hair ball can be lethal, since a rabbit cannot vomit.


The characteristics of Angoras differ from one animal to the next and here while they may be cuddly when they are little they are fiercely independent animals that can be easily alienated against being picked up. It may prove to be a disappointment to a child that their rabbit doesn't want to be caressed and even care in the choosing stage can never determine what that rabbit is going to be like as an adult.

They are extremely good fun. They hop and skip and actually have a memory, but it is this memory that will alienate them from the children, in that they will remember all the times they are picked up and brushed and avoid those that do this work, not seeing it as a positive measure.


Patience is essential when you have a small creature like an Angora, since these little critters cannot complain when something is wrong, and an owner needs to be very sensitive to the needs of the rabbit at all times, and quick to deal with illnesses and to call the vet when necessary. They take a lot of patience to care for, and perhaps are not the wisest choice for a child that has very little patience, where a guinea pig or small rodent would be a better choice and easier to care for.

Giving an Angora rabbit for Christmas, give the whole concept thought because it is more than just the smile on a child's face that matters. What matters is the fifteen years that follow and the part the animal is allowed to play in your life. They say that dogs are not just for Christmas, though this applies to all animals, especially those little white fluffy balls called Angoras who need love and care long after the Christmas wrappings have all been packed away, and Christmas forgotten about.

Learn more about this author, Rachelle de Bretagne.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A webpage to get so much information on Rabbits

There are many ways you can get to pages giving information about rabbits. However, there is one special site created and maintained by Mr. Franco Rios of California, named, "The Rabbit Geek".

Once you click into this particular page, you will go into a dream land finding a plethora of information about rabbit breeds, rabbit information in general, rabbit show information, rare breeds, etc.

Mr. Franco Rios and his lovely wife, Tracy Rios, are also breeders of the rare and beautiful "Satin Angoras". They are top sweepstakes holders and his wife is a Fiber Artist.

Overall, this site is designed for, "Promoting Global Appreciation For Rabbits Of The World!"

View it and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Angora Care (Part 2)

Wool Mites?

Some time ago, we were plagued with Wool Mites. Yes, those pesky little mites that really irritate the bunny's skin and causes them to scratch and lose the hair/wool and creates a really nasty looking bald spot.

We use the Ivermectin paste, which comes in a syringe type container. It is easier to administer than drops, in my opinion. We give them a monthly dose to all our bunnies to keep them healthy. If a bunny has wool mites, we separate it from the rest and quarantine it until he is healthy. We do not blow their coats near the others to avoid the mites from flying to them.

Some time ago, we went to a show and one of our bunnies got a wool mites. We don't really know how it happened, but then again, there are so many bunnies there. Also, people touch the bunnies, regardless. I've noticed that even when told "do not touch", they will still touch the bunnies. I know, it is hard not to touch bunnies, but it is important to not let people grab your bunnies unless making purchases and so on. It is good to have some disinfectant to clean their hands if you let them touch the bunny.

Overall, treat the bunnies monthly with the Ivermectin and check them often. Keep good watch on the bunnies skin and wool. If you notice flakes or white powdery things, webbing and loss of wool, then it is mites. Act quickly, quarantine the bunny if possible, blow the coat regularly, but outside and away from the other bunnies, and keep persistent. I've used some Nukote blue, but it stains the skin and the wool and might be hard to get off. The white bunny we had with wool mites and I used NuKote Blue had a light green tint to her wool later on, until I plucked if off little by little until her wool came through and now she looks great!
(Article provided by RTA Rabbitry)
Some great sites to go to for more, in depth information on Angora Care by awesome breeders that have been doing this for such a long time are the following:

Monday, February 9, 2009

Angora Care (Part 1)

Angora Care Sheet (Very Important Information)

The following suggestion are by no means the only way to do things or the best way, just OUR way. Through experience you will find what works best for your bunny. Do not hesitate to obtain veterinary advice when necessary.

Nutrition: You may feed your bunny once or twice per day. There are benefits to both. Once per day is certainly less time consuming (especially helpful if you pay a caretaker, should you be out of town). Rabbits are creatures of habit and like to be fed and cared for on a regular schedule. Time of day doesn’t matter, as they will adjust to your routine as long as you keep to it! One can feed their rabbits two times per day, 1/3 cup in the morning and 1/3 cup in the evening. This helps insure the rabbits do not get overweight. Manna Gro, Generic Rabbit Pro (green bag), and Generic bird feed (all mixed together). All these feeds can be found easily. When feeding the bunnies use a measuring cup to avoid overfeeding. Babies require strict attention. Do not overfeed.

Treats: Do not over indulge your bunnies. We give 2 inch piece of apples 2 times per week. Carrot tops and parsley are ingested with delight. However, do not feed lettuce due to the high water content or cabbage, as it creates gas that the bunnies might not be able to expel. Moderation is the Key to the welfare of your bunny.

Water: A steady supply of fresh clean water is a must. Whether you use bottles or crocks. We use bottles. Bottles keep water clean and you can tell at a glance how much water each bunny is drinking when they are filled daily. Bottles also allow you to attend to watering chores without opening cage doors. Monthly (or even often, if necessary) clean water bottles by soaking in warm clorox water for several hours or overnight. If possible, air dry outdoors in the sunlight. Crocks provide easy access to water. However crocks must be cleaned daily.

Hay: We provide good quality timothy. We use hay racks and keep them full at all times. You will have to remove hay from their show coats often to avoid matting.

Daily health/condition check: We handle our bunnies daily. Taking a moment and run your hand over them will go a long way in helping you determine their flesh/fur condition (besides they love being petted). Look under the cage in the tray to check for fecal pellets. They should be large round solid and somewhat dry and a lot of them! If they are strung together like strings of pearls, be aware of the possibility of “wool block”. If size and amount decreases or consistency gets sticky these are signs you need to pay closer attention to potential problems. Take a second to check water valves (just press on tip with your finger and make sure water is flowing). A rabbit that isn’t getting enough water won’t eat. If your bunny seems to be off feed, check for adequate water supply first.

Housing: Cage requirements are simple. Provide the largest enclosure possible and be sure it is sturdy, protected from predators, the elements (but well ventilated) and easily cleaned. We accomplish these goals by housing our bunnies indoors. We have central air/heat and fans to circulate the air. We leave our house doors and windows open (screened) for a while when we are here to circulate air outside and, thus, not stink up the whole house! We only have a Yorkie, but she is not allowed to interact with the bunnies, unless the bunnies are exercising and chase Tiffany around. We use all wire cages with aluminum drop pans. We cover them with old newspaper and some pine pellets for easy cleanup. English angoras are housed individually in cages 24X24 or 24X36. We utilize 24x36 cages. Litters enjoy 24x48, We use 30X36 for litters.

We also have portable puppy pens/play yards that we utilize to allow our bunnies out of their cages to freely run, inside the house in the linoleum area, not the rug area. We exercise them individually as we've found they will taunt each other. Bucks MUST be exercised separately. If you let them outside in the play pen, be especially watchful to provide water and shade. Also, if your bunny has their show coat, everything will stick to them and you will have a hard time taking it off. Our preference is Indoors only. (Article provided by RTA Rabbitry)

Some great sites to go to for more, in depth information on Angora Care by awesome breeders that have been doing this for such a long time are the following:

Betty Chu's Angora care

Lil Peck's Angora Rabbit Online Technical Manual

Margaret Bartold's "ANGORA RABBITS"

Sunday, February 8, 2009

How does one dye angora wool?

There are many ways that people choose to dye angora wool/fiber or the hand spun yarn. One of the easiest and cheapest way to add color do white color fiber is by utilizing Kool aide. Yes, you read right, Kool aide! It is quite simple, one needs to get some water, I prefer to heat it and at nice temperature, add 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar and add the fiber or yarn. On a separate container, mix the Kool aide and let it sit. Then, remove the fiber/yarn from the warm water/vinegar, and squeeze it lightly to remove the excess water, but do not wring it or it will felt. Then place the wool or yarn in a microwavable pot and add the Kool aide coloring. Place it in the microwave for about 2 minutes, you will see the color is absorbed into the fiber and what is left is clear liquid. Then, you can wring it again, place in heated water to remove any coloring that might not have adhered to the fiber/yarn and wring it and then place aside to dry. If you want darker colors, you can combine Kool aide colorings. Overall, you will get a nice palette of colors for you to enjoy!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Upcoming Show and what to expect.

There is a wonderful upcoming Rabbit Show in Seguin, Texas. The show is being sponsored by San Antonio Rabbit Breeders Association (SARBA).

This is an excellent place to meet awesome Rabbit Breeders in the State of Texas. This is the Association’s 2009 Spring DOUBLE OPEN/YOUTH ALL BREED SHOW. It is being held on February 21, 2009. There will be a Raffle (drawn at approximately 2 p.m.), Vendors, Registrar, Food and Fun for the whole family.

This is one of the best ways to get to show your rabbits and compete. Be prepared, though, as this will be a great time to have so much fun, interact with breeders, make new friends, and experience the excitement of seeing so many different breeds shown and compete for their coveted prices of BOB and eventually, Best in Show!

Below are some pictures of the last SARBA show in November 2008.

Friday, February 6, 2009

What kind of items can one make with Angora yarn?

There are many things one can do with their angora yarn. The best things that many people utilize the angora yarn for is to make scarves, hats/beanies, and shawls.
One needs to think outside the box and the possibilities are endless!

Below you will see some items made from either pure 100% angora wool, or 50/50 (angora/silk). Enjoy!
NOTE: I apologize for the date on the pictures. The pictures are from 2008-present, unfortunately, the camera date needed to be re-set.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

What can one use the Angora Fiber for?

There are so many uses for Angora Fiber. One can spin it or mix it with other fibers and spin it into yarn. The yarn can then be knitted or crocheted into a beautiful item.

One needs to know how to collect the fiber so that it can be the best "prime" quality, which can be sold for prices between $5.00-$8.00 or more per ounce! Usually, prime clips are the best for spinning. The 2nd's can also be spun, too, and the 3rd can be felted, discarded, or used for nest boxes.

Usually, when a person raises Angora rabbits, many of the breeders end up spinning their own wool or will send it to be spun elsewhere. Then, once spun, one can decide to sell the yarn, too.

Overall, it is important to keep the rabbits' coats in good clean condition if one is to harvest their fiber for spinning and/or for selling. The cleanest it is, the better as the spinners who purchase fiber from you, will be coming back for more.

Below, are some pictures of hand spun Angora yarn, either 100% Angora and a Blend of 50% Angora/50% Alpaca. Now, the items one can make with these skeins are endless!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Can we make lots of money selling Angoras?

One question several new breeders of the Angora Rabbits ask is how much money can one make breeding them. Well, it is suffice to say, not much. Once one factors in all the work it is involved in breeding and raising the rabbits, one can see that not much money is made.

First, one needs to make the initial investment of acquiring good stock. As in any other livestock, many times, what you might acquire is what you will get. In other words, if one purchases low quality stock, meaning the rabbits are not to the standard of perfection noted by ARBA, then one will have a longer time time producing great quality rabbits. On the other hand, if one purchases higher quality stock, then the probability of getting higher quality stock is increased.

Now, one will ask, "How do I know if I'm getting higher quality stock?" Well, one will know it by various factors, including visual inspection, touching the rabbits, looking at the pedigree, it's winnings and reputation of the breeder. However, keep in mind that just because one purchases a rabbit from a very well known breeder for a large amount, or vice-versa, that does not mean the rabbit is better than the other.

Overall, acquire the best you can get, after you have done your thorough research on the breed itself and have talked to other breeders, judges, and fully understand what ARBA standard of Perfection is, then you can begin your breeding, if you choose to do so. However, ensure that you are breeding a "pure line", no mixing, as ARBA recognizes only purebred rabbits.

Be aware that breeding is so simple, yet complicated. What I mean by this is that you put a buck and doe together, they will probably copulate and one month later, you have a litter of rabbits. This is quite simple; however, not the best thing to do. The complicated aspect comes to play when you focus on what you are breeding for. Is one breeding to improve the body, the wool production, color, etc.? One also needs to know when to cull (remove) the rabbits that are not suitable for breeding, such as those with malocclusion, really bad body, either too flat or too large, etc.

If one breeds indiscriminately, then you will have a multitude of rabbits and no proper program to improve the breed. Furthermore, having too many rabbits means more work on your part to ensure all are cared for. It also means that you need to keep immaculate records to justify your pedigrees, if needed, and to answer any questions prospective clients have.

With this being said, you have to factor in the time it takes to fully research the breed, research breeding specifications and understanding what to breed for, purchasing books, magazines, joining clubs, etc. This becomes a bit expensive for the initial investment part.

However, once you invested on that aspect one needs to consider the food. Purchasing pellets and hay is expensive, especially if one has 15+ rabbits. But before one even thinks of purchasing the stock and breed, one needs to purchase cages, floor mats, water bottles, crocks, feeders, medicine, scissors, nail clippers, slicker brushes, blower, grooming table, among other things. This is very expensive, to say the least, but very necessary to keep your herd healthy.

I won't go into the cost of marketing your rabbits. Granted, one can easily get a free website, but that is not sufficient. People fall in love with pictures, but many will really love them more if seeing a rabbit in person. Therefore, if one wants to show, then one needs to spend more money for the shows to enter the rabbit, travel (gas, mileage, meals, lodging), and other items. Not to mention factoring in the time spent in a show, either a whole day or two, or more.

If you are still reading this, lets then figure this out more. Once the rabbit is ready to leave your home, that is if you find a suitable client wanting to purchase your rabbit, you have to set a price for him/her. Be aware that Angoras might be expensive. In the case of the English, they are not a breed that satisfies any particular market. They are a "fancy" breed and not everyone wants to care for them due to their high maintenance. Therefore, you have to set a price and justify it. If you live in an area where the cost of living is high, you cannot market them too high or they will not be bought. On the other hand, you do not want to market them too low, as one will under value the rabbit's worth, and many people might purchase them without fully doing research to understand the extensive care an English Angora needs.

Even if you find a source to sell your fiber from the angoras, one cannot price them too high or too low. If a breeder is also a spinner and can spin wool into yarn, and can knit or crochet, one can sell these items at fiber shows or via Internet, but again, they cannot be overpriced.

In other words, it is difficult for one to make money of selling angoras only. One needs to understand that although it seems like a lucrative business to raise rabbits, sell their fiber, and other items, it is not as easy as it sounds.

In conclusion, when thinking of owning an Angora, one needs to understand that they are expensive to maintain, just like any other rabbit, but require more attention, whereby one might not get the money back from the initial investment. The angoras are not a breed that can easily be taken care of and people will soon find that out. So, if you still want to make lots of money selling Angoras, I'd have to say to you, "good luck!" Probably, one has more chances to winning a local lottery than becoming a millionaire with angora rabbits. The time and effort placed on the care of the rabbits is much more than one will ever get in return.

With this being said, don't quit your day job. Raising and breeding angoras is actually a hobby, than a business venture, though keeping business like records will make one a successful breeder. Overall, notice I used the word "hobby". Yes, selling angoras is not going to give one much money in return, but can give a satisfying feeling in a hobby one can love and learn from.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The FOUR breeds of Angora Rabbits

There are four different ARBA recognized Angora rabbit breeds: English, French, Giant and Satin. The German Angora is also common, but is not ARBA recognized. It has its own association; the IAGARB. The following are descriptions of the Angora breeds:

English Angora: Weight: 2.0-3.5 kg (5-7½ lb). ARBA-accepted varieties: Ruby Eye White, Pointed White, Self, Shaded, Agouti.

Rabbits of the angora breed are adorned with "fur," growths of wool on the ears and the entire face except above the nose, and front feet, along with their thick body, and wool. They are gentle in nature, but they are not recommended for those who do not groom their animals. Their fur is very thick and needs to be groomed a lot. This is the smallest Angora rabbit of the four breeds recognized by ARBA.

French Angora: Weight: 3.5-4.5 kg (7½-10 lb). ARBA-accepted varieties: Agouti, Pointed White, Self, Shaded, Ticked, Wide Band, and Broken.

This breed has a preponderance of guard hair on the surface, with wool as an undercoat. If the texture is correct, it requires less maintenance than other Angora breeds. Ear tufts are allowed but not preferred by breeders. The ARBA recognizes the same colors as with English Angora, plus broken. The French Angora is one of the largest Angora breeds at 7 1/2 to 10 lbs, with a commercial body type. It differs from the English and German Angora in that it possesses a clean face and front feet with only minor tufting on the rear legs.

Satin Angora: Weight: 3.0-4.5 (6½-9½ lb). ARBA-accepted varieties: Agouti, Pointed White, Self, Shaded, Ticked, Wide Band.

The Satin Angora is derived from a cross between a Satin and a French Angora. This breed is named for the extremely soft texture of its wool. It has no furnishings on face, ears, or feet, and it is also easy to groom compared to the English variety.

Giant Angora: Weight: 4.5 kg (9½ lb) or larger. ARBA-accepted varieties: Ruby-Eyed White

The Giant Angora is larger than other varieties of Angora, having been created to be an efficient wool rabbit on economical feed and housing. It has three hair types in its wool: underwool, awn fluff, and awn hair.
This is the largest of the four ARBA recognized Angora breeds. It produces more wool than the others in general. This breed may or may not have furnishings on the face and ears. In addition to the underwool and guard hairs, it has an "Awn Fluff" that does not exist in the other three breeds of Angora.

German Angora: Weight: 2.0-5.5 kg (5-12 lb). IAGARB-accepted varieties: all (not subject to ARBA standards).

This breed, while not ARBA recognized, is common in the United States and Canada. It looks much like the Giant Angora, except it almost always comes in ruby-eyed white or albino. German Angora wool may come in many beautiful colors. These Angora crosses are called hybrids. A separate club for German angoras exists in the United States, caled the International Association of German Angora Rabbit Breeders, or IAGARB.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Purpose of this new Blog

After much consideration I decided to publish this blog for the rabbit lovers in Texas. Although Texas has many rabbit lovers, there are so few Angora breeds in this state. Therefore, I plan to post as much as possible on the Angora breed along with others.

In this blog, you will be able to locate Angora breeders and will become familiar with each breed. There will also be postings on upcoming shows, pictures from shows we attend or any other information submitted by rabbit lovers in Texas.

I would like to make this blog similar, but not the same, as the very popular and extremely informative, Northern California Angora Guild, which is run by the very talented and wonderful, Betty Chu.

Feel free to submit any information you would like to be published/posted. However, this is not a chat room or yahoo group. Information will be posted daily on a first come basis and will be scrutinized for relevance to rabbit of different breeds, particularly Angoras. If you would like to link your page to this blog, please do so. I can also place a link from our blog to your page; however, any website containing any information that is inflammatory, racial, derrogatory, or not family-oriented, will not be allowed to link from our page.

This blog is done for the sole purpose of eduating the public, channeling rabbit lovers to one another, address shows and serve as a source of support for the rabbit lovers in our lovely state of Texas.