||Three months old|
||Yellow Springs, Ohio, USA|
is my "Princess Gigglefeather," a broken English
Angora rabbit, sitting on my lap and "spinning" with me.
She's not really broken - it's just a term they use to describe her
coat being of two different colors. Broken angoras are very hard to
breed and there's not many of them. She was a very special delivery.
The breeder sent pictures of her to me and, of course, I had to have
Angora rabbits are precious treasures that "give" their
wool every three months. That is, they grow a complete new coat every
three months. The wool is loose and must be taken off the rabbit or
they'll try to eat it and get sick. Angoras can die if they're wool
is not taken from them when it is ready. Angoras are a "man
made" animal in that they're bred to have lots of wool and could
not survive and take care of themselves in the wild. It does not hurt
the rabbit at all and they appreciate the attention while you're
spinning their wool.
In this picture my Gigglefeather is about three months old. She's one
of 23 angoras that live in a nursery in our home. They
have cages to go to, but get lots of exercise time out. They drink
bottled water and breath filtered air and have special chow milled so
that they can be healthy and support a good coat of wool. Their cages
are cleaned every day so that their coats are clean and fluffy. After
the wool is spun, it can then be washed and knitted or woven into
wonderful warm hats, mittens and sweaters. Their wool is
"therapeutic" in that it returns body warmth very well and
is great for folks with arthritis. Angora is at least four times warmer
than regular sheep wool. This is a truly renewable resource and we do
not have to harm or kill the rabbit to wear warm fur.
The wheel in the picture is called a "Wee Peggy" and it is
from New Zealand. It's a great wheel for spinning bunnies because the
orifice (opening where the wool goes in) is up high enough you don't
spill the bunny off your lap. It also allows for little children to
be close enough to watch without getting hurt. The hooks on the flyer
aren't sharp and the spokes are too close together to get little arms
into. The kids actually like to sandwich themselves between me, the
bunny, and the wheel to get the feel of how it all works.
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