Pet of the Day

January 1, 1999

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Gigglefeather, the Pet of the Day
Name: Gigglefeather
Age: Three months old
Gender: Female
Kind: English Angora
Home: Yellow Springs, Ohio, USA
   This 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 her.

    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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