French Angora Rabbit – information and facts about the French Angora Rabbit Breed. Learn more about French Angora Rabbits in this article. Breed photos are included.
While there are five breeds of Angoras that exist in the United States, only four of this number is recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association. The German Angora is the fifth Angora that is still unrecognized by ARBA. Among the Angora rabbits, the French Angora is probably the most remarkable due to its coarse wool ad lack of furnishings on the ears.
If all of the Angora breeds are compared, the French Angora is the one closest to the original version of the Angora rabbits. And the rest of the three other varieties would come from it.
French Angora Rabbit Facts
When the Angora rabbits started, they were raised primarily for their wool. France was one of the first European countries to widely raise the breed. Angoras were very popular then among French rabbit breeders, which would have a big account on the development of a French Angora.
According to some stories, French sailors brought the Angora rabbits from Ankara, Turkey in the year 1723. Ankara’s former name was Angora, which was later on carried by the longhaired rabbits.
Indeed, the first wooled rabbit that is found in an American standards book was the ‘Angora Wooler’. The Angora Wooler was later on split into the English and French breeds in the year 1944.
Now, the French Angora is the second most popular Angora rabbit, next to English Angora.
2. Characteristics and Appearance
The French Angora is one of the larger breeds of the angora rabbits. They are distinguished with respect to their size and placement of the wool. The low-maintenance coat of French Angoras also puts them at an advantage over the others.
Generally, the French Angora does not have wools in the ears, face and the lower legs. They may show some tufts on the tips of the ears. As a matter of fact, the breed can be disqualified if it has heavy furnishings in its face, as well as wool below its ankle (front feet) or hock (back feet).
There’s a silver lining in the presence of these disqualifying standards. They separate the angora breeds from one another; so much so that these disqualifications discourage the practice of crossbreeding of any wooled bunnies that are available that shows the offspring as whichever breed they most closely resemble.
The wool of the French Angora, for what they are popular of, is characterized by many guard hairs. Guard hairs are the straight and strong hairs that protect the softer underwool. These guard hairs enable a coarse texture for the wool of the French Angora. When compared with the English Angora, the French Angora has more guard hairs. The coarse texture is advantageous since it makes grooming a lot easier. Despite that, the rabbit still needs to be brushed and blown continuously in order to make sure that its coat is in best condition. The wool can grow from a minimum of 2 inches to as long as 6 inches.
The body type of the French Angora is commercial. Originally bred for the purpose of wool and meat, the French Angora’s body should be oval shaped, firm and strong. The head of the Angora, also oval shaped, should be in proportion with the body.
The French Angora is the only Angora breed recognized for its broken pattern colors, as of the moment. It can come in all colors including white, solid and broken. The color of a French Angora can be determined by the color of its head, feet and tail – all of which being the same in color. The toes should also come similar in color. If it’s a white rabbit, the toes should be white. If it’s colored, the toes should correspondingly be colored as well.
3. Personality and Traits
The French Angoras are described as mellow and gentle. And just like the other rabbits, they need to get acquainted to human attention so that they will get used to it and become more sociable and well tempered.
If they are groomed regularly to maintain the beauty of their fur, along with the harvesting of their wool, the French Angoras can become a sweet and gentle rabbit that the owners will wish for.
4. Raising a French Angora
Cleanliness is a primary concern in the environment of a French Angora. This is because as a wool rabbit, it’s very important to make sure that their wools are in the best condition. The owner needs to make sure that the environment is clean and free of debris in order to prevent staining and matting of the rabbit’s wool.
To prevent a wool block, which is the buildup of excess hair in the rabbit’s intestine, pineapple, papaya or enzyme tablets that contain Bromelain or Papain can be given as supplements to the rabbit. French Angoras also need to eat a lot of roughage (fiber), at least 13% per diet. One of the easiest options to do this is feeding them with free-choice hay. But a mixture of hay and pellets with at least 18% of protein will be more ideal.
Generally, French Angoras do not require high maintenance compared to the other Angora breeds. However, they require regular grooming and harvesting of wool for about 2 to 3 times in a year. Clipping of the rabbit’s toenails twice in a month is also necessary to prevent overgrowth.
While it requires a lot of hard work and special attention to unlock the best of the French Angora, all of the efforts will surely payoff, thanks to the breeds amazing wool that you can easily spin into a yarn.