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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

  • Happy February 2016 Another month, another new beginning.  Although that's just by arbitrary human standards, I didn't ask the bunnies their opinion.Everybunny is now back in an official hutch space.  Earlier, the bucks got out of temporary housing because we'd had some bucks stashed with some does.  However, when it came time for the does to get their nest boxes, the bucks were moved out.  Three of them, Joey, Slick & Dozer, got their official hutch spaces at the lower level of Hutch #1, but Country Cuz had gone back to his temporary hutch behind the garden.Yesterday, though, the upper level of Hutch #2 was finished enough to let all the girl bunnies live there so now Cuz has ...
    Posted Feb 1, 2016, 12:54 PM by Niele DaKine
  • No new bunnies yet Sigh!  No new baby bunnies yet.  None of the does have been particularly interested in making a nest, either.  The three females who should have been building nests are Tootsie, Petunia and Lotus and each of them was with a different buck.  So, either we have three non-functional bucks or there's something else going on.  Bad feed?  Time of year?  Leftover infertility from last year's hot summer?  Impatience on my part and babies tomorrow?  Hard to figure out, but no babies today.  At least, so far.We've been plagued by lack of bunny space since we moved.  We had 130 square feet of bunny space at the 'old' house and we were now down to 50 ...
    Posted Jan 28, 2016, 11:34 AM by Niele DaKine
  • Bunny Furniture Maybe I should post this under the hutch construction page.  I suppose I should go take pictures of it, too, huh?  Just so you'd have a better idea of exactly what 'bunny furniture' looks like.The lighter green squares are the door frames for the new hutch.  The one in back has the two doors hinged to the frame, but the screen isn't on them yet.  The frame in the middle at least has the square black hinges added, the frame in the front is just a frame with no hinges or doors yet.  The doors are made, they are in the back of the picture there.  The dark green 'bench' behind the door frames is a resting ...
    Posted Jan 22, 2016, 1:41 AM by Niele DaKine
  • Hula Bunny Yarn !!! The mill has just sent me a message that the bunny fluff has been spun into yarn!  Wooot!    Yay!  Of course, it's not here just yet, but it's been spun and boxed and weighed and will be on it's way here this week.  Not sure how long it will take to get here but the whole Christmas shipping frenzy should be over by now so it should zip right along.  There's 399 two ounce skeins, so that's 798 ounces which is 49 and 3/4 pounds of yarn.  Real close to fifty pounds of yarn!  Yay!  This is, however, last year's entire annual production.  Although that's roughly 33 skeins per month so they ...
    Posted Jan 4, 2016, 1:32 PM by Niele DaKine
  • Happy New Year!  2016! Happy New Year!  Hau'oli Makakiki Hou!Not sure how to say Happy New Year in rabbit, though.  Probably involves a nose twitch and an ear wiggle which isn't on my standard keyboard here.  Hope everyone has a glorious new year and a happy 2016!So, looking back at 2015, most of this year was involved in shifting to the new house.  It takes a bit to shift a bunny herd when the hutches have to be rebuilt from the ground up.  If/when we shift next time, these new modular hutches should be able to be dis-assembled and then the empty frames moved fairly easily, one hopes.  Or at worst, just rebuild the frame and then ...
    Posted Dec 31, 2015, 5:51 PM by Niele DaKine
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 345. 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

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