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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

  • Been Out and About Been out and about lately, courtesy of those Alaskan Airlines 'Companion Fares' again.  This time it was to help my friend visit her daughter in Florida.  She didn't really need me along, but she was going and had a spare companion fare so I went along with.  We started from Kailua-Kona here on the island of Hawaii and went to San Diego where we over-nighted at a lovely classic motel called 'The Dolphin Motel'.   It got great reviews on Yelp as well as Trip Advisor so we chose them over much more expensive hotels & motels.  They weren't fancy, but the premises were extremely clean and the folks working there were very polite.  Absolutely perfect as a ...
    Posted Aug 25, 2016, 8:49 PM by Niele DaKine
  • New Wool Aha!  More wool!  It still needs to grow a little, though.This is Lavender, she is a sheep.  Today she went for a ride to her new pasture.  She fits pretty well behind the back seats in the little Suzuki Sidekick, I'd had thought we would have had to have gotten a sheep trailer or something but this worked easily.  It was probably less bouncy since the suspension in the car is better than on a trailer.Not that Lavender was thrilled, but she didn't seem too upset.Lavender is a small Clun Forest ewe, we were hoping for smaller Shetland sheep, but she's the smallest woolly sheep I could find on the island.  She's fully ...
    Posted Aug 4, 2016, 6:41 PM by Niele DaKine
  • Summer Heat Strikes Again! Well, it looks like the boy bunnies got overheated since neither doe that was supposed to have babies last week had a litter.  I suppose we could put the does back in with the boys, but if they're not fertile, it won't do anything other than let the bucks be happy.  Oh well, so that means probably no new litters until sometime next spring.  It takes the boy bunnies a bit of time to get over been overheated.Other than that, not much else going on for summer.One of our half leghorn hens did hatch out eleven chicks yesterday.  She's half white leghorn and half fighting rooster.  Since the rooster's genes are the ones which ...
    Posted Aug 4, 2016, 12:10 AM by Niele DaKine
  • It's not always bunnies The buns are doing well, although they've been a bit neglected lately.  They get fed and all, but there hasn't been much bunny hutch construction or anything else new in the bunny world lately.  We're still in waiting mode to see if Ginger and Cocoa Puff are going to have a litter.  They did get their nesting boxes arranged yesterday but it was rearranging the modular hutch which was made to be able to be rearranged, so it's not like it's anything 'new'.  Tomorrow, they'll get grasses and things to stuff into their nest areas.  Otherwise, it's mostly just a waiting time.If they both have a good sized litter, then there probably ...
    Posted Jul 16, 2016, 2:59 AM by Niele DaKine
  • Happy Summer Solstice The first official day of summer seems like a great day to clean bunny hutches, don't you think?There's poor Sydney just after a haircut nibbling the itches on his tailbone at the far end of the hutch while it's being cleaned.  The doors, feeders, walls between spaces and the floor plates are all removable.  Makes for being able to really get things clean although it also can take the paint off of things. Today I discovered that bunnies are not impressed by pressure sprayers.  They were not pleased and didn't care that pressure sprayers get things cleaner than just a hose.  But, they dealt with it anyway.   They do like having a clean hutch. I ...
    Posted Jun 21, 2016, 1:06 AM by Niele DaKine
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 369. 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