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Hillside Farm English Angora Rabbitry

Tortoiseshell English angora   
Micro Farming with Micro Sheep!

Hillside Farm is a small backyard "Micro-Farm" with angora "Micro-Sheep" on the Island of Hawaii.  These "micro-sheep" are English angora rabbits which provide soft luscious fiber for spinning into yarn.   These gentle and friendly fiber bunnies provide fiber just like sheep three or four times a year.  Their "wool" is either combed, plucked or sheared off and they seem to enjoy haircuts and bounce around afterwards although they quickly settle in to growing more fiber soon enough.  After the fiber is "harvested" from the bunny it can be spun into yarn immediately or carded a little before spinning into yarn.  A light drop spindle works well for angora wool or a traditional spinning wheel will spin it up much quicker.  Since the bunnies stay clean and dry, their fiber does too so it doesn't need to be washed before spinning, unlike other fibers.

Each of these bunnies will produce about a pound of spinnable fiber each year and they weigh about five pounds.  So, these little critters produce their own body weight of fiber every five years.   Busy bunnies, indeed!

bunny eating orange leaf
You can contact us at  
HillsideFarmHawaii@Yahoo.com if you have any inquiries about bunnies or spinning.  We usual
ly have assorted fibers, English angora bunnies and yarn available.  The yarn is m
ade from island fibers although the fibers are sometimes alpaca or sheep's wool as well as the angora bunny fiber.  

We've been getting in more sheep's fleeces than we can spin, if you are interested in a whole sheep's fleece, just drop us a line.

We now have Hillside Farm's yarn available at "Vera's Treasures & Mall" along main street in Honokaa.  It is in the old red Rice building near the post office end of town.   

New Rabbit News

  • New Bunnies! We've gone from twenty bunnies to twenty nine bunnies today.  Yay!   Of course, the nine new ones are still very tiny.Maile and City Slicker had four babies today.  Two of them are very pink so they should be Ruby Eyed Whites.  Yay!  We need more white ones.  Two of them are a light gray so they should be blues although they could be black since it's hard to definitely tell the color of newborn bunnies.   But they kinda look more of the silvery gray of a blue bunny than the darker gray of black ones.Maile built a nice fluffy nest and her babies are nice and plump.  She's an experienced mom so they should do ...
    Posted by Niele DaKine
  • New Bunny Hutch still under construction The bunny hutch at the new house is still progressing, but building anything while moving house slows it down considerable.  So far we have the four corner posts and most of the floor framing for the lower and upper levels.  The hutch is about ten feet long and two and a half feet deep.  Each level will be able to be configured as either three spaces that are three feet by two and a half feet, or one space of that size along with a space twice as big or have all three spaces as one big space.  It all depends on what we will need at the time.  The flooring wire is half inch by one inch with the ...
    Posted Apr 21, 2015, 6:07 PM by Niele DaKine
  • New Home for Bunnies The new home for the Hillside Bunny herd is going back to a hillside again.  I guess they just weren't meant to be flatlanders.  Fortunately, it's not much of a hill so it won't be too bad.  It's also just outside the kitchen door of the new house so visiting with the bunnies will be easier.  Not that it's all that hard now, though.With the wonderful help of some friends, the bunny area has now been cleared out.  Since nobody had been living in this, our "new"house, for twenty seven years, the yard was just a wee bit overgrown.  That wall of tree trunks behind where the bunny hutch will be is a ...
    Posted Apr 13, 2015, 2:50 PM by Niele DaKine
  • Hoping for New Babies soon. So far this  year, we have one new baby bunny.  It's a little black buck from Maile and City Slicker.  She had a litter of one, never seen just one in a litter before although she did take good care of him and he's about three months old now.  He's nice and we do need more black fiber but each buck lives in his own space, so it would be nice to get black females instead of black males.  Some more white ones might be nice, too.Maile is a Ruby Eyed White doe, and City Slicker is a blue buck. They will hopefully have another litter with more than just one in it, too.  He has ...
    Posted Mar 31, 2015, 1:50 AM by Niele DaKine
  • Bunny Fluff! Bunny Fluff!  Pounds of Bunny Fluff!  Loads of Naked Bunnieees!  Ack!The next shipment of bunny fluff to the mill is just about ready.  We're looking for shipping boxes so the fluff will go off soon.Each of those bags is at least two pounds of English angora fiber.  The ones on the left are for "Beach Bunny" color of Hula Bunny yarn.  The middle dark gray ones are for "Moonlit Dance" and the two big bags of really bright white will be for "Coconut Smoothie" color of Hula Bunny yarn.  That's a new color we've never had before so I'm hoping it turns out the same bright white.The mill blends it with fine Merino ...
    Posted Mar 24, 2015, 9:48 PM by Niele DaKine
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 322. View more »


Here is a handy book for new bunny owners:
The Nervous New Owners Guide to Angora Rabbits :
Click  here!
Hope the link works, otherwise google the name and it will be listed on Amazon.

Here are some other interesting rabbit sites:

Rabbit Medicine webpage
This is a list of toxic plants.  Always check to see if something is good for your rabbit before introducing new plants into their diet.

This is a website about general rabbit keeping:

The Rabbit - Husbandry, Health and Production
http://www.fao.org/docrep/t1690E/t1690e00.htm#Contents 


And here are some sites for Angora bunnies:
 This page is on how to groom an angora rabbit and is written by Betty Chu who is one of the foremost angora breeders:

A discussion of the different angora breeds and the fiber from eachhttp://www.hjsstudio.com/angora.html

This one has lots of information abo
ut English Angoras:

They also have a good page on angora bunny shearing listed a little bit further down, but here's their page on angora bunny care:


What Color is that Rabbit!
Here are some useful sites on rabbit color genetics:

This one is probably the most useful for deciphering genetic color codes:

These are the allowable show colors:

This one isn't specific to English Angoras, but it might be of some interest:

Punnett Square Calculator:


How to Get the Hair Off the Bunny:

Okay, you have a very fuzzy bunny, that's their job, to grow hair.  And they do it well.  Now, to be useful, you need to get the hair off the bunny.  It's hard to make the fiber into yarn while the bunny is still wearing it.  Here's a few links on shearing:
 
I personally don't own these clippers, but most folks who do really enthuse about them:  http://www.germanredclipper.com/centix/en/shop/clipper/37.html
If you do buy a pair of these, let me know how they work!  

The International Association of German Angora Rabbit Breeders (usually referred to as "IAGARB") promotes the red clippers, too:

These are the clippers we have here which came from Del's in Hilo, but call to see if Del's has them in stock before you make a special trip:  http://www.osterpro.com/Product.aspx?id=vet&cid=929&scid=0&pid=6384
We also use the #40 blade which is a very fine blade.  Works in un-matted wool, if there's mats, it doesn't do so very well but the little embroidery snips take care of mats.


Natural fiber colors and blue from fresh indigo leaves