Monday, May 5, 2008

Angora Rabbits

They're Fluffy! They're Furry! They're Just DARN Cute! Boy are they a lot of work.

I happen to be the owner of two bunnies. (We had three but one passed shortly after coming to live with us.) I like having pets, but I am not so good at all the details which makes it hard, especially when your the only one really interested in the critters. So, one bunny is an English Angora... good for the spinning blues. The other is a Jersey Wooly aka Dwarf Angora... not necessarily a spinning critter. So when you have rabbits, you are tasked with caring for them. This includes shearing/plucking, nail trimming, vitamins, vegetable, water etc etc etc... (Did I mention its been several years since I have had pets ... outside of the cats which I also did poorly with.)

So, I noticed the other day that my English Angora (Ladybird) looked to be shedding pretty heavily. I also notice that she was starting to get those mats on the side of her body, no doubt from not getting regularly brushed. (Don't kill me, I love my animals... I do!) So, I decided that it was time to "harvest" her hair. We had tried this before, when we first got her but she was really really matted. So this time, we tried to be more methodical. Just like we read her hair came out with ease. Unfortunately, after about twenty minutes Ladybird got skittish and my husband started to react to the loose fibers/dander. (He has allergies to kill a man!) So we stopped. Ladybird is about 1/3 bald.

So were does all this chatter lead, one might ask. Well, I was on Craftster today and someone asked about the care of an angora rabbit. A few people chipped in and advised how to best make the animal calm and friendly. One of the posters made mention that they were absolutely against plucking the bunnies. This somewhat surprised me as I thought it was an accepted fact that bunnies need to be plucked and prefer it to having mats. The purposed solution from this poster was to just clip or shear the bunny. So now I feel guilty and in my guilt thought I should take to the internet again for answers. I found a few, but I also found a couple of Youtube videos that I thought would be nice to share. You know, give both sides of the story.

Here is bubbiesfarm with the plucking method:

Here is GardenGirltv with the Shearing method:

I was plucking ol' Ladybird but I was always kind of skittish having to do that. I'm not any better with a pair of scissors but I might as well give it a shot. Last time we got to close with scissors we ended up knicking her skin. She wouldn't let us touch her for a little while after that.

So what's your opinion? (No nasty comments okay? I reserve the right to delete ugliness.) I'd love any good resources via links or books.

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