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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

  • 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
  • Maybe Flowers Soon? The Bleak Hall Sea Island white cotton seems to be happy in the garden.  The biggest of the four plants is starting to make flower buds.  They are still quite small, though, and it will probably be awhile before they open, let alone until there are bolls.  But, soon there may be flowers.The plants arrived here when they were several weeks old and they've been planted out in the garden for 47 days so far.  So, the plant is roughly about two months old, I'd guess.Two of the plants seem to be more vigorous than the other two.  The one left in a flowerpot as a reserve in case something ate the ones in the garden ...
    Posted Sep 20, 2015, 2:00 AM by Niele DaKine
  • They're getting to the cute stage. They are getting to the cute stage!  That's Hillside Joey sitting on top of the nest box looking like he's ready to take names and numbers of everyone who displeases him.  Hillside Suzie is the white bunny hiding behind the nest box.   She's still a bit shy, but we can bribe her out of it with a couple sessions of tasty treats.  Bunnies are real susceptible to tasty treats.  A bit of ti leaf or maybe a slice of apple and they are your best buddy.These are Hillside Cheiri & Hillside Country Cousin's first litter.   Cheiri is almost three and a half years old now and Cuz was just over six months old when they were ...
    Posted Sep 1, 2015, 2:11 PM by Niele DaKine
  • More Babies! There are now five more baby bunnies!  Right in the middle of storms, too.  Guess bunnies don't care about weather.  Although, since Nicky had them on the wire, it's a good thing it's been unseasonably warm.  Even though they were born on the wire, they are all fine and they've been put in the nest box so hopefully they will thrive, we will see.  Nicky has four black ones and one chocolate one.  We still don't know the genders.These several litters have been an interesting experiment.  We had Lotus, Cheiri and Nicky, the three black does, in with Country Cousin, a young black buck for about three weeks.  Usually we have the female bunny ...
    Posted Aug 24, 2015, 9:32 PM by Niele DaKine
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 334. 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