Three days ago I brought this handsome boy home to Phoenix Farm. His name is Garnet and he is a 7-month-old chestnut agouti angora. I particularly love his big eyes. Garnet was raised in Blue Hill, ME, about 1.5 hour drive east from us. Yet, surprise, surprise! His background has some of the same rabbitry as my current does. I believe his father is from the same breeder as my senior doe, a place down in southwestern ME, a two hour drive for us in a different direction! Oh well. They are not closely related. He should make a fine buck for my rabbitry.
Garnet is a real snuggle bunny. Males tend to like being held and fussed over more than females. Since he was a favorite of the lady who raised him, Garnet likely received lots of attention. He is also very interested in his girlfriends. I think they will make some lovely babies in the spring.
The agouti color is the wild pattern. Each hair has bands of color, just like a whitetail deer’s hair. Garnet is banded with cream, gray, and a bright chestnut red. In the photo below you can see the banding of the long hairs and also the red tips of the new coat coming in under the first fiber the rabbit grew. He is starting to shed his first coat and I will be harvesting him soon. The color of an angora rabbit is told by the face. The wild type pattern is quite visible on Garnet’s face.
When agouti fiber is spun, the yarn has a pretty variegated appearance that many people like to use. I’m hoping Garnet will produce some adorable agouti babies.
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.