My family and I (mostly I) really fell in love with the idea of an angora rabbit. We have relatives who own and operate a small scale Suri alpaca farm and they do a lot of their own fiber processing and fiber crafting. It looked like so much fun to me and seemed like a great way to stop spending oodles of dollars on synthetic, essentially plastic yarn from craft stores. Because I have come to enjoy crocheting, I wanted a way to keep myself in yarn without having to trim my budget in other places. And since rabbit manure is great for the garden, we thought it would be an achievable small step toward further self-sufficiency.
After about a month and a half of research, I came to the conclusion that my current living situation was not conducive to raising a Giant German angora rabbit, so I decided to look smaller. Initially, I really wanted a French angora because they have more guard hairs which make their fiber a little more coarse and add more natural color to spun fiber (which as a beginner spinner, I thought would have been a plus.) But, I wasn’t able to find a French Angora at any of the animal shelters in my area, or at any pet shops. I set parameters around how much I could spend on the rabbit itself, my monthly feed budget, and healthcare and maintenance so I knew exactly what was doable for our family. I got so consumed with looking for bunnies I found much of my free time was being spent on the computer searching rabbits so to counter that, I posted a “looking for” ad on Craigslist to see if I could get the rabbit to come to me, so to speak. Sure enough, a breeder contacted me. She had English angoras within my price range and upon doing research, I learned that she was a responsible breeder so we made a deal regarding price and travel arrangements and we went to pick up the rabbit.
When we arrived at the breeder’s place, she had all her bunnies in a temperature controlled green house and all of the rabbits looked healthy and of good quality. We were very pleased to see that she was indeed a responsible breeder. She had two English: 1) she was more willing to be picked up, petted, and held 2) she was bigger which told me she was more hearty and strong in foraging for food with her litter mates. We named her Dame Maggie McGonagall (after Maggie Smith and her character in the Harry Potter films). So far, she has been a lovely addition to our home and family and I couldn’t be more excited for all the positive influences she’ll have on us. We plan on using her manure for our garden fertilizer and spinning her fiber into our own angora yarn. More to come on all those fronts!