The homeland of the Angora rabbit is considered to be Turkey. It was in this country that they began to breed medium sized animals with thick, soft wool. The breed received its name from the capital of Ankara (the name of the breed “Angora rabbit” is written in Turkish as “Ankara tavşanı”), which in earlier times was called Angora (similar to Angora cats and goats).
In Europe, the appearance of the breed occurred in the middle of the eighteenth century. Angora rabbits were donated to the King of France by the Turkish ambassadors as an outlandish exhibit for the royal menagerie. And the animals so fell in the soul of the palace nobility that they began to actively breed.
It was considered a sign of good taste to contain several animals as pets. Later, the breed spread throughout Western Europe. There were new varieties of Angora, named after the territories of the countries on which were withdrawn – English, French and German, and also such breeds as “atlas” and “giant.”
The average mass of rabbits of this breed varies from six to two kilograms. It all depends on the breed. Thus, the “English” is much larger than the “French”, and the largest representatives are “giants”. Life expectancy of the average rabbit is five years, quality care extends the animal life for two more years.
Animals grown in enclosed spaces exist an order of magnitude longer than rabbits grown in open space. The main difficulty in breeding this breed and keeping it at home is to take care of the long coat of animals. Hair must be carefully combed at least two to three times a week. Angorans – very friendly animals, calm, socially active, have a playful disposition, very fond of tactile contact and get on well with people.
Angorians are often kept as pets. It should also be noted that the allergy to wool Angora rabbits is rare, so rabbits as companions for those who are allergic to wool cat or dog. A huge number of Angora rabbits today are bred in China (China exports an average of eight thousand tons of rabbit flu in the year to the world market), followed by Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland.
This breed was known to Russian breeders even in the pre-revolutionary period, but the industrial breeding of Angora rabbits never began. Angorians were kept as decorative animals in the nobility’s houses. After the revolution in the early thirties, angorians began to grow actively in collective farms. After the collapse of the USSR, the breed practically disappeared, but at first two thousand rabbit breeders again turned their attention to this breed.
From an economic point of view, it is quite profitable to breed angorians. Sexually mature Angora on average weighs three kilograms. Thus young rabbits gain a half kilogram already in four months, a kilogram of seven hundred – in five months and two kilograms in six months. Torso of animals has a cylindrical shape, the head of the animal is large, the ears are shortened.
The fur is thick, soft and long, the ears with tassels at the ends, similar to trotters or squirrels. The length of sexually mature individuals is in the range of 15 to 25 centimeters. Grooming and plucking the animals every three months give about two hundred grams of fine Angora wool. Keep animals is recommended in closed cells with a mesh floor.
Angora breed of rabbits