Friday, June 17, 2011

10 reasons why bunnies trump sheep

French Angora Bunnies - 8 Ruby-eyed Whites
Joybilee Farm French Angora Babies have arrived.  3 litters are in the 6 to 7 week age and will be ready to go to their new adoptive homes next week. 

The waiting list this year is the longest its ever been with 27 bunnies on reserve.  However, no one will be disappointed.  Many of those who reserve a bunny prior to breeding have unforeseen issues that prevent them from following through with their intent.

I am confident that each of these beautiful babies will go to a forever home, where they will be loved, and their fiber will be spun into gorgeous yarn.

Here's the top ten reasons why angora bunnies are better than sheep:

1.  Bunnies purr when you handle them.  Sheep do, too, but not as loudly as bunnies.

2.  Bunnies jump up in your lap, while you're reading or watching TV, just to snuggle.  Sheep would rather watch you from the other side of the yard.

3.  Bunnies are softer than sheep -- they have the lowest micron count of any natural fiber.

Brandywine (Torte) and Warp (lilac) babies at 7 weeks

4.  Bunny wool (angora) is 8 times warmer than sheep wool.

5.  Bunnies can be litter trained, sheep need a pasture.

6.  You can fit 6 bunnies in the space that one sheep takes up and 6 bunnies and 1 sheep produce about the same amount of wool for spinning.  The bunnies produce less manure.

7.  Angora bunny wool is not sheared and it doesn't have to be washed and carded before it is spun on your spinning wheel, saving you time and money.

Chocolate Swirl (broken chocolate)  and Huckleberry (fawn) litter at 7 weeks
8.  You can talk publicly about keeping rabbits in the city.  Don't let the by-law enforcement officer neighbours find out about the sheep poodle, in the garage.

9.  You can take bunnies across the US/Canadian border as "pets" without paperwork.  Sheep are "livestock" and require an abundance of vet checks and permits to travel.

10.  It only takes a year to raise a flock of bunnies.  As you know, bunnies reproduce exponentially -- sheep have a single or twin lamb only once a year. It can take longer to populate a farm with sheep.


  1. I love it!

    So... how DO you get the wool off an Angora bunny?

  2. Hi, Jeri
    You "roo" it. The bunnies shed their fur, like a dog or cat. Usually there is a new coat coming in as the first coat releases. So you can groom or pluck off the loose fibers. I like to do it sitting the bunny on my lap, while it purrs. It takes about 30 min. once every 3 or 4 months. And adult bunny will give you 100 grams of angora each time -- enough to fill a bobbin on your wheel. I lay each handful of fluff in a basket it order, as I take it off the bunny. Its ready to spin right from the basket.

  3. The ones who shed (molt) form matts. The ones who do not shed, don't form them nearly as much. But the ones who do not molt must be sheared. Modern breeders of all breeds are working toward this trait, which occurs naturally in all breeds, but must be selected for. It keeps the coat in top condition for longer periods of time, so that your best bunny may be shown more often.
    Very cute ideas otherwise.

  4. Hi, Indielogic, thanks for your comment.

    My experience differs than yours. My french angoras that shed, do not matt, unless they have wool mites. Their coats remain free flowing up to harvest time. French angoras are not supposed to be sheared because their coats grow in at different rates. When French angoras are sheared there are several lengths of fiber in each handful. When bunnies are groomed during shedding, to remove their fiber, only longer fibers are removed and the bunny is never stressed by naked skin.

    Those who stress their rabbits by showing might value a nonshedding trait. That's their choice. I breed for fiber production and value prime fiber the most. So the shedding trait gives me the best fiber length and density. Perhaps the difference is between American and Canadian breeders. I've never seen a Canadian French Angora breeder that breeds for shearing.
    Thanks for your comments.