Home Page - Hillside Farm

Here's the link to our new website:

HillsideFarmHawaii.com

June 29, 2017

Well, PhotoBucket, who got hacked last year - which is what started the whole drive for a new site we had control of - has now decided to charge about $400 a year if their pictures are used on other websites other than their own.  So, looks like we will be putting more effort into our new direct domain Hillside Farm website from now on.  Without an offsite spot to park pictures the Google Sites webpage fills up too fast and we were already getting a lot of the free site filled even without hosting the pictures directly on Google sites.

I'll leave this website up, but all the pictures are going to stay gone.  Sigh!  Years of work - *poof*.  So all new information is now going to be at the new website.  

I'll try to get some of the old information moved over there at some point and we now host our own photos so they shouldn't vanish and require money to reappear.



We're working on another website for the bunnies, but it's gonna be awhile before it's all organized.  We've about reached the limits of a free Google Site and when our photo hosting site, Photobucket, got hacked and we lost all the photos, that pretty much spurred us into actually starting a 'real' website.  It's still heavy slogging, though, since we aren't web designers.  

Eventually, (we hope) http://www.hillsidefarmhawaii.com should become a better site.  All the new updates will be posted over there and the old posts will hopefully migrate over to that site at some point.  

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

  • Been Crazy Busy! Well, it's the tail end of February and I've not updated this website since sometime back in 2016.  Oh, the horror!There's new yarn, but not any new bunnies, so no cute little bunny pictures.  Day after tomorrow, the buns are going up to Jan's sheep farm to visit with some cruise ship folks.  That should be interesting, it generally is.  This is an event that happens every other year or so.Which means, after Saturday, there should be time for a proper website update and with pictures, too!
    Posted Feb 23, 2017, 7:39 PM by Niele DaKine
  • Fat Bunny Cocoa Puff's single baby is nine days old now and is quite a pudgy little baby.  He still doesn't have his eyes open but he can walk around, sorta anyway.  More of a scootching along than a walk and definitely not a bunny hop, but he can get around.The new dropped nest box works really well for if and when he gets out of the nest.  I'd taken him out for the pictures and watched him scoot along the wire to see his mum.  After a quick snack, he wandered back to the nest.He fits right under the sides of the nest box so it's easy for him to get back to the warm ...
    Posted Nov 3, 2016, 12:26 AM by Niele DaKine
  • Just One Baby Bunny Well, we were hoping for two litters this past weekend.  It wasn't until Monday that one litter showed up and then it was a litter of only one baby bunny!   So much for lots of babies.  Sigh!He or she seems a lively little one and is getting plump since there's plenty of milk for just one baby.  This single baby bunny is from Cocoa Puff, a chocolate doe, and Joey, a Ruby Eyed White (albino) buck.  Genetically, this baby will have:   aa Bb Cc D_ E_.   Both parents have nice stocky bodies so we're hoping this one will grow up with some nice conformation.Since Cocoa is chocolate, that means she only has recessive ...
    Posted Oct 26, 2016, 10:56 PM by Niele DaKine
  • Still fussing with fluff The bunny fluff has migrated off the bunnies and onto the table.  Now it's being organized to be sent off to the mill to be spun into Hula Bunny yarn.  Not sure if there's enough for a new color with this batch or not, it's still be sorted into piles and we haven't gotten to the final weigh stage yet.  There seems to be enough white for maybe another run of Coconut Dream, which is the white Hula Bunny yarn.  There's a lot of tortoise shell and fawn, I may keep the chocolate colored fiber out separate and see about a new color of yarn, although I'm not quite sure what it would be ...
    Posted Oct 16, 2016, 9:57 PM by Niele DaKine
  • Nekkid Bunnies It's been herd shearing time lately so there haven't been very many updates here.  All but one boy has had a haircut, Storm still needs one but he's the last of the boyos to get a harecut.  Dozer, City Slicker, Joey, Sydney, Phineus and Ice have all gotten haircuts.  The last boy is Storm.  Ice & Storm are just temporary names until they go to new homes, which may be why you don't recognize their names.  Ice is white, of course, and Storm is black - which in the land of English angoras comes out to a nice steel gray color.On the girl's side of things, Dolce and Sandy got a haircut today.  Ginger and Cocoa ...
    Posted Sep 21, 2016, 10:44 PM by Niele DaKine
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 374. View more »


Visitors since September 23rd, 2016



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