Meet the newest member of the Phoenix Farm rabbitry, Ruby, a chocolate angora doe. She was born here on the farm at the end of April. Although she is not yet six months old, she is the same size as her mother and her fiber coat is lush and long. The hairs are up to seven inches long! When this baby is full grown she could well produce hairs to eight or nine inches in length! Below is Ruby with some of her siblings in June.
Ruby was named by my granddaughters. I think the name fits perfectly. She is a gem of a bunny! Her parentage is mostly French angora with English, German and Giant mixed in. The ears and face show her ancestry as French angoras tend to have very little long fiber in those areas. The German and Giant in her contribute to her large size. Bigger rabbits produce more and longer fiber.
I have just started harvesting her first shedding of fiber. Our rabbits are hand pulled, a process that does not cause the rabbit any discomfort since only the mature, loose hairs are removed. When she is done harvesting, her coat will be about two inches long instead of the current six to seven inches. She feels like a big fluff ball, all fur covering a much smaller bunny body underneath. The fiber is excellent quality with a superior length, lovely cream color shading to brown and grayish-brown at the tips, with a good crimp. I know it will spin up into gorgeous yarn!
Ruby shares an over-sized, comfortable cage with her mom, Moonstone. Frequently they come out to hop around the barn. Moonstone loves to dig holes! Mother and child really enjoy being together and I will try to house them in this manner for companionship. It is harder to keep angoras in groups because the constant rubbing together of their coats creates mats. They will require more frequent grooming. It is the least I can do for bunnies who are so generous with their fiber.