Giant Angora Rabbit – information and facts about the Giant Angora Rabbit Breed. Learn more about Giant Angora Rabbits in this article. Breed photos are included.
They say that Angora rabbits are the “Bunnies with a Bonus”. But whatever that bonus is, the Giant Angora still claims the upper hand. Its renowned wool is told to be seven times as warmer as the wool of the sheep. It’s also deemed as the softest animal fiber that exists. Its wool is so valuable because rabbits can produce more than six times of wool per pound of body weight than the sheep. And on top of that, its dietary requirement is 30% less per pound than the sheep. The Giant Angoras are just topping the line in the commercial wool production.
Giant Angora Rabbit Facts
Louise Walsh, a resident of Taunton, Massachusetts, is the developer of the Giant Angora. His goal is to develop an efficient wool-producing rabbit that is sustained with 16-18% alfalfa based rabbit feed and hay. He’s also aiming for a size that would fit the standard size of wire cages that are used for commercial rabbits.
That time, ARBA wouldn’t allow the showing of the German Angoras since the body type of Angoras is too similar to other breeds. As a result, he bred German Angoras, French Lops and Flemish Giants in order to create another rabbit breed that will have a different body type. The Giant Angora is the offspring of that crossbreeding. In the succeeding years of the rabbit’s development, ARBA finally recognized the breed and allowed it to be shown in rabbit shows and fairs.
2. Characteristics and Appearance
The weight of a Giant Angora rabbit is approximately 12 pounds (5.5 kg or larger). It’s so large that it is the largest among the ARBA accepted Angora breeds.
This huge rabbit breed is the only 6-class animal among the Angoras. For a Giant Angora to be classified a junior rabbit, it should be under 6 months of age and have a minimum weight of 4 ¾ pounds. The minimum weight of a senior buck is 9 ½ pounds, while that of a senior doe is 10 pounds.
Its body is of commercial type and is complemented with a very dense wool coating. The head appears oval in shape and runs broad across the forehead, being slightly narrower at the muzzle. In its forehead are tufts or head trimmings. The head trimmings are very noticeable especially for the bucks.
The Giant Angora is also seen having cheek furnishings. Its ears are lightly fringed and well tasseled.
The only variety of Giant Angora accepted in the ARBA standards is the ruby-eyed white. This variety of Giant Angora is most commonly referred to as “albino” because of the absence of color pigment in its genetic makeup. There’s a new variety that is being developed – the Black Giant Angora. But the American Rabbit Breeders Association has not sanctioned it yet.
The coat of a Giant Angora has three wool types: the soft under wool, the awn fluff, and the awn hair. These classifications are based on texture. The under wool is the most dominant over the other two types of hair. The awn type of wool only exists in Giant Angora and German Angora rabbits. Comparably, the Giant Angora can produce more wool than the French, Satin and the English Angora. It’s an obvious feature the moment you lay your first impression on the breed.
This coating is best described as medium fine, soft, delicately waved and have a gentle shine. Found between the Underwool and the Awn hair, the Awn Fluff is stronger, wavy wool characterized by a guard hair tip. The third type of fiber is the Awn Hair, a straight and strong hair that protrudes above the wool. This hair must be present and evident above the wool surface.
A standard grooming table can be used in order to set the rabbit. More specifically, a “turn table” can be used for the clipping. By using a “turn table”, you can stay in control of where the rabbit is. Another option is to just pluck the loose fur that the rabbit is shedding.
While German Angoras can be shown as Giant Angoras since the latter have Germans in their pedigrees, their lack of desired body shape can still reasonably affect and lower their scores.
This giant breed should have furnishings on the face as well as the ears.
3. Raising the Breed
Similar to the German Angora, the wool of the Giant Angora needs to be harvested every 90 days. When fed properly, the wool of the Giant Angora can grow higher than the average size, up to 3 cm or 1 inch per month. After 6 months of growth, the wool needs to be monitored again to prevent its death and matting. When the Giant Angora is already in its full-grown size, 12 ounces of wool can be reaped in one clipping.
The wool has a great bearing in the judging of the Giant Angora since it is its best feature. The majority of points are attributed to the density, texture, and length of the wool. The rest are for the general type, which includes the body type, head, ears, eyes, feet, legs and tail.
The Giant Angora has a slow pace of growth. While a female Giant usually takes more than a year to reach full maturity with respect to size and weight, its male counterpart can take up to 1 and a half years to fully mature.
If you are into fluffy animals, the Giant Angora is surely a great option! Plus, you can turn its wool into yarn, surely an additional advantage.