General Care of Angoras!
1. Cage: A 30"x30"x18" or larger cage with 1"x1/2" wire bottom, preferably with a dropping pan so the owner can examine the rabbit's droppings if necessary. The cage should be placed in an area with cover on the top and sides and good ventilation but no drafts. A sitting board or a rag in the cage will help to prevent sore hocks. Personally, I don't use any rags or sitting boards in my angora cages because the rabbits droppings mat throughout the wool.
2. Feeder: To preserve an English Angora rabbit's full furnishings and trimmings, do not use "J" feeders. An inside feeder of at least 4"x4" is recommended.
3. Water: Use a water bottle, not a crock. An English Angora rabbit's trimmings are easily matted if he has to drink water out of a crock or a dish.
Rabbits need excercise just like people. Since an English Angora rabbits coat can pick up dirt, leaves, and stickers from the ground, it is necessary to confine him in a clean area.
If you choose in-house excercise, you should rabbit-proof the areas your rabbit is allowed to visit. Rabbits can do great damage to electrical cords of all types. If the power happens to be on when the rabbit is chewing, he can die from electricution.
If you choose an outdoor exercise area, the ideal set-up will have a solid fence, large lawn, no predators, no swimming pool, a little sun with lots of shade and some tasty greens available for digging and munching. Not all yards satisfy these requirements. One possible way to come close to this is to construct an exercise pen and move it to areas on the lawn or patio under a tree.
Although this is not absolutely necessary, it is very good for the health of your rabbit.
English Angora rabbits require a high protein, high fiber diet. The protein is necessary for wool growth, and the fiber is necessary for lessening the problem of woolblock. The following mixture works very well:
4 parts of 17%-18% protein rabbit pellets,
1 part of Calf-Manna + barley + milo + wheat + sunflower seed with shell,
1 part of whole oats,
1 part of 14% textured horse feed or sweet feed.
The above grains are available in feed stores, but not grocery stores. Due to the weight limit placed on the English Angora rabbits in the A.R.B.A. Standard, you must also control the diet. In addition, by feeding the same amount in each feeding, the owner will have a good idea whether the rabbit is in a normal state or not. If the dish is empty before the next feeding, generally speaking, the rabbit is doing fine. If there are leftovers in the dish for a couple feedings, the owner better carefully check on the rabbit to see whether the water bottle is functioning well; whether the rabbit is suffering from diarrhea, woolblock, or even maggot infestation.
Six days a week, I feed each rabbit 1/3 cup of the above mixture in the morning and 1/3 cup in the evening. Nursing does require 2/3 to 1 cup per feeding. I also feed a large handful of hay in the after noon and a peice of treat at night.
On the seventh day, I feed hay, wild bird seed with flax seed, and treats only to help the rabbits clean up the digestive system to prevent woolblock. Wild bird seed is available in grocery stores as well as in feed stores; flax seed, however, is only available in feed stores.
There are two types of hay that are suitable for Angoras; Alfalfa hay and oat hay. Alfalfa hay is rich in protein but quite messy to use. When buying alfalfa hay, select the bale which looks green and fresh from the outside, preferably with the dried leaves attached to the stems. The yellowish ones are too dry and leaves will fall out in the rabbit's cage.
Most English Angora rabbits enjoy almost all possible treats; dry bread, grass (fresh wild grass, NOT grass clippings), greens, oranges, apples, carrots, melons, plums, grapefruits, peaches, corn, corn stalks, etc.
A variety of food can give them different nutrients. Never overdo it, however. Small portions give them enjoyment; large quantities give them diarrhea. When giving treats, if the rabbit does not consume them right away, make sure that wool does not stick to the treat. If there is wool on the treat, remove the wool or discard the treat to lessen then chance of woolblock.
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