The English Angora rabbit is among the smallest of all the angoras breeds and typically weighs 5 to 6 pounds. It has wooly lustrous fur on its body ears, face, and legs, making the breed require more grooming than your typical short-haired rabbit. This article looks into English angora rabbit care in general.
English Angora rabbit Care
English Angoras need proper care when it comes to their overall grooming, diet, health, and housing. If they’re provided with all the four main basic necessities, their average life expectancy is 7 to 12 years. Below is a detailed description of how to take care of this furry rabbit’s specific needs.
English angora grooming
English angora’s fur is thick and wooly, therefore it needs daily grooming to keep it neat and tangle-free. The best brush to use for this breed’s fur is either a steel tooth comb or a slicker brush. In addition, you’ll also have to occasionally pluck their wool every three to four months. It’s thus safe to say that grooming English Angoras needs someone with a lot of time on their hands.
Combing molting English angora’s
Use a shedding comb to brush their loose hair off. Start by combing in the same direction as their fur and then, gently comb against the fur direction to remove excess loose fur.
Plucking an English angora’s fur
Another way to groom your English angoras is by plucking their fur. Just to be clear, plucking doesn’t involve fur removal directly from your rabbit’s skin. Plucking basically entails removing loose fur without hurting their skin during shedding season which is after every three to four months.
It’s also worth pointing out that, rather than plucking your rabbit’s fur at different intervals, do so in one sitting. This is mainly because your angora’s overgrown fur tends to mat in between long plucking breaks.
Shearing English angora’s
Use a pair of blunt-tipped scissors or low-noise electric grooming shears to gently cut excessive fur. Although shearing your rabbit is the fastest grooming method, it’s also optional for English angora breeds. This is mainly because they usually shed their fur naturally after every three to four months. On the other hand, when it comes to the German Angora breed, shearing is the only option since they don’t have the shedding gene.
Clip your English angoras nails every once in a while, to be specific after every 3 to 4 weeks. Untrimmed rabbit nails essentially change their foot’s angle thus making it difficult for them to gain traction more so on flat slightly slippery surfaces. In addition, clipped rabbit nails prevent any potential injuries for rabbit owners such as accidental scratches while handling a bunny.
English angora Diet
English angora’s diet should mainly consist of hay and should be substituted with fresh vegetables, fruits, and a limited amount of pellets. For young breeds that have just completed weaning, we usually recommend feeding them alfalfa hay. On the other hand, rabbits that are seven months and above should feed on unlimited timothy hay.
In terms of pellets, the recommended quantity is about a ¼ cup per 5 pounds of body weight. Feed your English angora two cups of veggies twice or thrice per week and two tablespoons of fresh fruit per serving thrice per week. Also, ensure that your rabbit drinks averagely between 50 to 150 milliliters of water per day. Bunnies generally tend to drink twice or thrice more than what they consume. If your rabbit drinks from a water bowl, ensure that the water is always clean, and also make sure there are no spills. On the other hand, if your bunny is drinking using a water bottle, regularly check on the bottle spout for clogs.
In terms of English angora kitten care, sometimes a doe that has given birth will have poor maternal instincts or may, unfortunately, pass away, giving you no option but to start caring for the newly born kittens. Firstly, for 1 to 6-week-old baby English angoras, we normally recommend syringe feeding them kitten milk replacer formula. To be specific, feed your one-week-old bunny with 4 to 5 cc of KMR formula, 1 to 2 weeks old rabbit with 10 to 15 cc, and 2 to 6 weeks old kits with 15 to 30 cc of the baby rabbit formula. Lastly, while feeding your young English Angora kittens, place them in an upright sitting pose or lie them on their backs.
English angora Health
English angoras, just like any other rabbit breed, occasionally experience health problems. It’s therefore advisable to take your rabbits for annual veterinarian checkups. Below are some of the common health conditions that affect English angoras and their remedies.
Wool block is a condition in which your bunny accidentally ingests loose fiber while grooming during molting season. As a result, the hairball ends up clogging your English Angora’s digestive system hence slowing down digestion, a condition known as GI stasis. In extreme cases, your rabbit may even fail to excrete.
Tell-tale signs of this condition are hair on their droppings, lethargy, loss of appetite, and decreased dropping size or frequency. If your rabbit displays any of the signs mentioned, take them to the veterinarian for treatment as soon as possible. In addition, ensure that their diet consists mainly of hay and water. Also, replace its pellet diet with soft textured fruits such as bananas and papayas, however, do so moderately. On the other hand, if your rabbit is still unable to eat on its own, syringe feed them fruit and vegetable puree. However, the best preventative measure against Wool block or GI stasis is to keep your English Angora’s fur short and neat.
Another health problem that’s common with English angoras is fleas infestation. This ailment typically leaves black and white specks on a rabbit’s fur with the former being flea feces while the latter is the parasite’s eggs. The fleas on the fur feed on your rabbit’s blood and also makes your rabbit’s body itch. Some of the symptoms include bite marks, fur loss, and anemia. The best home remedy for this condition is to comb your rabbit’s fur with a brush soaked in alcohol and warm soapy water. Alternatively, you can use topical medication which contains Imidacloprid your vet will recommend, and which is also available at your local pet stores.
When your bunny develops crusty brown material around its ear canal, there’s a high likelihood that it’s because of ear mites. A healthy bunny’s ears are clean with no visible traces of debris. Some of the ear mite symptoms include itchiness around your rabbit’s ears, and frequently shaking or scratching their head. The best remedy for this condition includes Selamectin and Ivermectin which your vet can administer through oral doses or an injection.
Fur mites normally appear as dandruff on your bunny’s wool. Infected English Angoras will often scratch the part with the fur infestation. Some of the fur mite symptoms include hair loss, sores, or scabs. Lastly, the best medication your vet will prescribe for this particular condition includes injectable medication ( Ivermectin) and topical ( revolution).
English angora’s teeth normally grow about a tenth of an inch every week, hence the reason why it’s pivotal to keep them trimmed. In other words, their teeth tend to grow throughout their entire life. Overgrown teeth may cause your English angora discomfort and also prevent them from properly feeding.
Keeping your rabbit’s teeth trimmed entails feeding them a diet that mainly consists of hay. In addition, give them chew toys to help wear their teeth out. Sometimes your rabbit’s dental health may go unnoticed or you may notice when the problem is at a critical stage. Some of the tell-tale signs of severe dental issues include increased drooling, eye discharge, loss of appetite, a swollen jaw, or selective eating. It’s therefore advisable to take your rabbits to the veterinarian as soon as possible to determine the root cause.
English angoras just like other bunnies need to be mentally stimulated to prevent them from getting bored and destructive. Firstly, provide your rabbits with a large enclosure in addition to a secluded area/run they can play or exercise in. Besides chew toys, your rabbits need to burrow, climb, explore, and forage to be content.
English Angora rabbit Housing
Due to their wooly coats, English angoras need housing that’s extra clean in comparison to less furry rabbits. English angoras should have a removable wired floor where their waste falls through. However, you’ll have to line it with hay or pelleted bedding to keep their feet comfortable. The recommended hutch or cage size should measure at least 24” by 30”.
When it comes to cleaning an English angoras cage, do so once a week, using water, baking soda, and white vinegar. Avoid using regular household cleaners since they contain toxic ingredients that may harm your bunny. Even with their wooly coats, English angora’s surprisingly don’t do well in extreme cold (below 30°F ). It’s therefore advisable to place them indoors or in housing with a heater. Lastly in hot weather, provide your English angoras with plenty of water and shed to cool off.
Are English Angora rabbits high maintenance?
Compared to most rabbits, English angoras are high maintenance and they don’t make ideal pets for first-time rabbit owners. This is simply because their wooly dense coats need frequent grooming to keep them neat and matt-free. However, other than extra grooming, English angoras general care is relatively the same as that of your standard rabbit.
Do English angora rabbits need bedding?
Yes, hay or compressed pine pellets are the best choice when it comes to urine absorption and providing insulation. As a result, your English angoras fur remains clean and dry. In addition, your rabbit’s cage should have a wired surface to make it easier to maintain proper hygiene.
Can I bathe my English Angora rabbit?
English angoras don’t need a bathe, however, sometimes their fur may get dirty, thus needing properly cleaning. If that’s the case, use a small amount of water together with untreated shampoo to wipe off the stains from your rabbit’s fur, then use a dry towel to dry their fur.
What temperatures can English Angora rabbits tolerate?
The ideal temperature for English angoras should be around 50 to 75 °F. Anything above 75 or below 30°F is not recommended for your furry rabbit.