- Average weight: 2.0 to 3.5 kg (4.4 to 7.7 lbs.)
- Lifespan: 7 to 12 years
- English Angora rabbit size: Small or mini rabbit
- Who are they suited for: Single couples, Family with young or older children and experienced owners. They should not be owned by those who do not know how to care and handle pet animals.
- Similar breeds: Satin Angora and French Angora
- Purpose: Pet, wool, and show rabbit
Origin and history
The Angora rabbits originated from Angora (the present-day Ankara in Turkey) and one of the breeds that were earliest to be domesticated. They were bred since they had the long fur on their coat, the Angora wool.
Their long wool is due to a rabbit gene l (lowercase L) responsible for the long coat.
When they came to Europe and eventually the US, they were known as the Angora Wooler until 1939 when the ARBA decide to separate them into the French Type and English type. Later in 1944, ARBA made them two separate breads the French Angora and British Angora
Coat, size, colors, and appearance
They are the smallest of the recognized Angora breeds by ARBA with long fur (wool) all over the body including ears, face with the only exception being in their front feet and above its nose (source – Wikipedia). They are a compact, thick body with short ears and a broad flat head.
Most people keep them as pets due to their facial features that make them look like a teddy bear or a puppy dog.
Its fur (wool) could be normal or cotton-like. The former gives the owner easier grooming time while the latter will require more effort in maintaining it.
Finally, Wikipedia notes that “when showing an English Angora rabbit, the toenails should also be only one color, the ears could be folded over at the tips, and the furnishings on the face.”
The coat is woolly, silky and quite thick and it will require regular grooming even when it is not shedding its fur to avoid the wool from being matted and tangled, something you may not like. Always ensure its fur does not tangle irrespective of whether it is for a show, a pet or for producing wool.
It is the only ARBA recognized Angora rabbit with facial furnishings, i.e.” dense bands and even side trimmings so their entire body (including their feet) are covered in fur,” notes petguide.com.
When their coat is in the best condition, it appears as a ‘fluffy round ball,’ and it is the only Angora breed with fur that covers its eyes.
The ARBA recognizes Agouti, Broken, Ruby-eyed White, Pointed White, Self, and Shaded groups. Let us see more on their standard color.
- The agouti – chocolate, chestnut, and lynx
- The self-group – lilac, chocolate, or black
- Shade group – black tort, chocolate tort, blue tort, or lilac tort
- The show calls – have a white coat and ruby eyes
- Pointed English angora – They are white with either light grey, black or brown spots on their legs and nose, e., the Blue Pointed White, Black Pointed White, and Chocolate Pointed White respectively.
Although it can be bred to end up with broken colors, i.e., have black spots on its white coat, this is not acceptable by ARBA standards when showing it.
Rabbits are very clean pets. However, since the English Angora have a wooly and thick coat, you must groom them regularly. Unless you are willing to groom it often, we do not recommend it to first-time pet owners.
To groom it, you need a grooming brush like the one you use on your dogs and cats that usually has wire bristles and brush your rabbit up to two times a week.
If it is a pet, you need to regularly shear it often to keep its fur short while those who rear it for wool can harvest it (by shearing) between two to four times a year.
A puppy cut where you shear its body and face to keep its fur short while leaving the ears and leg wool longer will make grooming easy and it will make it look like a cute small poodle.
Provide a diet of at least 0% hay, and the rest can be small amounts of fresh vegetables, fruits as well as high-quality rabbit pellets with high fiber content like Oxbow Animal Health Bunny Basics Essentials Adult Rabbit Pet Food. Do not forget to give them an unlimited amount of fresh drinking water.
Kits or baby rabbits should drink their mother’s milk until three weeks, when they are 3-4 weeks old, give them small amounts of pellets and alfalfa, allowing them to have plenty when they are aged between 4-7 weeks.
When the kits reach seven weeks, give them pellets and hay and at 12 weeks begin introducing them vegetables and see which ones they like.
Enclosures can be outdoors or indoors and must be of the recommended cage sizes.
For indoor rabbit enclosures, ensure they are spacious to let them move around freely, provide bedding and spot-clean them daily, removing any droppings. Do not forget to change their bedding one to two times a week and clean these cages thoroughly.
In case you have outdoor cages, ensure they can protect your bunnies from predators, and bad weather without denying them a chance to have fresh air and sunlight.
Since they are social and docile, ensure you have an outdoor place to play. However, if you live in an apartment that may not have a garden, let them move freely in the house to get a chance to exercise once you bunny-proof it.
As we have seen, the English Angora has thick and very long fur. This fur presents one of its most significant health challenges, i.e., while it is grooming itself, it can swallow some of this fur.
Whereas the ingested fur could be passed out in its droppings, there are cases where it gets stuck in its digestive system causing furball (wool blocks or hairballs).
Whereas cats and dogs can regurgitate or vomit the hairballs, rabbits cannot do it. With time, it can accumulate and totally block its digestive system. When this happens, your rabbit will have a reduced appetite or not eat at all. There will be fewer droppings or drop bound together with hair. If not dealt with, it can die.
To prevent it from furballs, give your bunny foods with lots of fiber and groom them regularly. Some of the English Angora breeders also give their rabbits papaya tablets like Sherwood Pet Health Digestive Support, Papaya or pineapple chunk once a week to prevent furballs.
Regularly deworm them, check for any fur mites, flystrike, fleas, ticks, and other parasites as well as its general behavior. Should you notice anything that is not normal such as a runny nose or eyes, diarrhea, coughing, sneezing, and other ill-health symptoms, notify your veterinarian.
Do not forget to spay your does and neuter your bucks if you do not intend to breed them. This makes them live longer, avoid reproductive system related diseases and be less aggressive.
Temperament and behavior
They are naturally gentle, docile and love spending time with their owners and often develop a bond with them since they must be groomed regularly. The relationship will be stronger if it is the same person that shears, plays, and feeds them.
They are calm, not skittish, with a good personality and they can be introduced to children with ease. They don’t require much attention, but they are curiosity comes when playing with humans. This makes them suitable for couples, singles, and families with children.
When outside their cages, they would love to chew toys and pieces of wood. Ensure the wood is safe and not treated.
Is it easy to find English angora for sale?
After going through their care requirements, behavior and realize you want to have one, it is not difficult to get it. There are many English Angora breeders all over the world.
The English Angoras cost or price around $50 to $100 each but you may spend up to $300. Always buy them in pairs since they love each other’s company.
Also, buy your bunny from reputed rescue centers as well as breeders. Try the following locations if they are near you.
References and further readings