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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

  • Hilo Bunny Show Happenings - the angora version Well, there was a bunny show in Hilo yesterday.   I'd not been certain  until just a day or two before if anybunny would have enough hair on them to go to the show.  Everyone with any hair on them got clipped a little over two months ago to send their wool to the mill to be spun into yarn.  And, of course, the ones who'd kept their wool in hopes of going to the show decided to molt last week.  So, the ones who were supposed to go to the show didn't and five who hadn't really planned on it did go.  Which means they got tattooed the day before the show and went there with ...
    Posted Nov 15, 2015, 11:26 AM by Niele DaKine
  • We are now officially a "Rabbit Ranch" Well, for those of you who had been staying awake at night wondering if Hillside Farm was officially a "Micro-Farm" or perhaps "Rabbit Wranglers" or even "Yarn Farmers" we now are officially a "Rabbit Ranch".  Woot!   We even have official documentation. http://hawaiitribune-herald.com/news/local-news/rabbit-ranch-couple-raises-angora-bunnies-produce-ungodly-soft-yarn(Sorry about the cut and paste URL, but Google sites doesn't let me add in direct links to webpages outside of this page)" The Rabbit Ranch "  made the front page news of  The Hawaii Tribune Herald.   Do you think Ivy & Hollyn, the newspaper's reporter and photographer, get any special points for writing a front page article?  I don't ...
    Posted Nov 9, 2015, 10:00 AM by Niele DaKine
  • Girls now down the mountain We have two hopeful litters this upcoming week.The Ruby Eyed White doe, Maile, is five years and three months old, I'm not sure what that is in bunny years but it's probably getting up there.  She will hopefully have a litter within the next week, she's a good mom and has lovely texture on her coat.  This will be the ninth litter she's had and this will probably be her last one.  She is one of the bunnies who flew in from the mainland so she's been bred extensively to spread her genes around.The fawn doe, Hillside Aurora, is two years and four months old, she's never had a litter before so ...
    Posted Oct 22, 2015, 1:13 AM by Niele DaKine
  • Possible Colors Sydney when he was a baby.  Even way back then, he wanted attention.Sydney is a nice solid rabbit, good conformation, good coat.  I had planned on keeping him here as a herd buck but he is a very personable bun and he really wanted more human interaction.  Every day at feeding time it was "Hi! I'm here, pick me up!  Bunny Hugs! Hugs!  Hugs!  Snuggle!  More!  More!  Noooo, don't leave!"  He was more interested in bunny hugs than food so it didn't seem fair to him to keep him where he had to share the attention between so many other bunnies.  We do breed for temperament and he's got loads of it but in this ...
    Posted Sep 25, 2015, 12:19 PM by Niele DaKine
  • On a search for Agouti I'd not really been paying attention, but our herd is down to just one bunny who has the Agouti gene.  This is a standard "agouti" colored English angora bunny:It's the basic "wild rabbit" coloration.  White around the eyes, inside the ears and under the tail as well as the whole bottomside of the bunny which you can't quite see in the picture because she's sitting on all the white bits.These two bunnies are also "agouti" although the one on the left is a diluted version of agouti called "opal".  The one on the right is another standard agouti color.However, all the standard agouti colored bunnies as well as the one opal that we ...
    Posted Sep 25, 2015, 11:04 AM by Niele DaKine
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 337. 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