Buns in the Sun

65days since
Chipsy & Twinkle litter due

109days since
Toffee & Twinkle Litter Due

26days until
Trinity & Dozer Hair Cut

96days since
Shadow & City Slicker Hair Cut

93days since
Cheiri & Twinkle Hair Cut

186days since
Alfalfa Hay & Cubes bunny food pickup

Home Page - Hillside Farm

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" (very antique) Spinning Wheel ! The youngest brother did an AMAZING  job packing the Canadian Production Wheel for shipment.  It arrived without any additional damage from shipping.  That required an astonishing bit of packing which was very well thought out and engineered.  The wheel started out fragile and somewhat damaged, so there's still a bit of work to do to get it ready to spin again.  Considering the overall fragility of it, that it arrived without being a box of kindling is amazing.  Hmm, I guess I shouldn't really be astonished at  how well the brother can do things, though, he's always doing amazing things.   Huge mahalo, youngest bro!This is a Canadian Production Wheel, which is frequently referred to as a ...
    Posted Jun 17, 2014, 1:11 PM by Niele DaKine
  • Updated "Bunnies for Sale" page The Bunnies for Sale page has been updated.  There is a major herd reorganization going on due to the discovery of the Vienna gene so a lot of bunnies are now available that weren't available before.https://sites.google.com/site/hillsidefarmhawaii/reservations-1
    Posted Jun 11, 2014, 2:52 AM by Niele DaKine
  • The Dreaded Vienna Gene! Well, I've always heard the Vienna Gene is sneaky.  Folks who keep track of this sort of stuff say it can lay dormant for generations and then just sort of spontaneously appear.  Well, I guess nobody is immune.  The 120th baby bunny born here definitely has the Dreaded Vienna Gene!There, doesn't that look dreadful?  Here's a better picture of the white spot that's causing all the ruckus:This is a completely unshowable baby bunny.  A white mark like that is an instant DQ (disqualification).The Vienna Gene is recessive, which is why it can lurk for so long before it shows up.  It mostly causes white marks, one white foot, a dot on the nose ...
    Posted May 25, 2014, 1:02 PM by Niele DaKine
  • The newest baby bunnies are here! And the saga continues with a new chapter.  This newest litter is Hillside Chipsy bred to Hillside Twinkle, who was the sire of the other litter that has been born this year.   Chipsy is chocolate and Twinkle is lilac tort so all the babies are "solid" colors with no agouti colors.The big pink one looks like a Ruby Eyed White (which means Chipsy as well as Twink have a recessive "c" in their color gene chart).  The warm gray colored one in the middle is probably a lilac and  the pink with an orange tinge in the back is probably a tort of some sort.  Which means Chipsy has a recessive for dilute "d" as well as a recessive ...
    Posted May 13, 2014, 9:51 PM by Niele DaKine
  • "New" Canadian Production Wheel Well, as you've probably noticed, we are outnumbered by fuzzy, fuzzy bunnies.  And, the little furballs are out there growing more fiber as I type!   The Ashford Traditional spinning wheel that is here is a hardworking wheel, but it's becoming "slow".  I want it to go a bit faster than is comfortable to treadle it.  "Here at Honeybuns, we like to solve Tomorrow's Problems with Yesterday's Technology" (that's a quote from NPR, in case any of you recognize it).  Anyway, with that in mind, back in the late 1800's and early 1900's in Canada, they had the same problem of wanting to make yarn faster.  There were several folks who were producing spinning ...
    Posted May 6, 2014, 12:50 PM by Niele DaKine
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 304. 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