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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

  • 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
  • Baby Bunnies! Yay!  Baby Buns!  These babies were born late yesterday and are nice and plump.  Cheiri is feeding them well.  Three black ones, two white ones.   Cheiri pulled a LOT of wool for her nest so the babies are nice and warm. This is a litter between Hillside Cheiri and Hillside Country Cousin.  Cheiri's parents are Hillside Sherman (Dozer & Trinity).   Cuz's parents are City Slicker & Maile.It's the first litter born here at the new house and with the new hutch.  It's also Country Cousin as well as Cheiri's first litter so we're doing a lot of "firsts" with these babies.The other two does, Lotus & Nicky, haven't had their litters yet, but ...
    Posted Aug 8, 2015, 4:02 PM by Niele DaKine
  • "Bleak Hall" Sea Island White Cotton grown in Hawaii So, are you confused yet?  Not quite sure what the heck that is?  Never heard of "Sea Island" cotton before?  Well, how about it is the only cotton that James Bond will wear?  It is also supposed to have been a favorite of Queen Victoria for her  handkerchiefs which I think is a better recommendation than being beloved by a fictional character.   Sea Island cotton is characterized by a long staple length, fine soft silky texture and a slight sheen.  Not your everyday sort of cotton at all!So, in the interest of getting the absolutely best fibers on the planet to play with and make into yarns, Sea Island looks like a promising variety of cotton to grow.  The ...
    Posted Aug 4, 2015, 2:59 PM by Niele DaKine
  • Bunny Feeders Phase Two The whole overall plan is to spend more time with the bunnies and less time taking care of the bunnies with routine chores such as feeding and watering.  Time not spent filling up feeders can be spent on grooming bunnies.  Which leads me to believe that bigger feeders should be a good thing.  That's the plan, anyway.  Here's Bunny Feeders Phase One installed in the new bunny condo:The hutch doors are removed in the picture so the feeder can be seen.  There's a modular set of doors that fit in at the front edge of the hutch.Bunny Feeders Phase One went pretty well for a first effort.  It is easier to have more food available ...
    Posted Aug 1, 2015, 2:16 AM by Niele DaKine
  • Maybe New Babies in August The upper level is now inhabited!  Woot!  Eventually, it's gonna be a big pile of the girls living up there, but at the moment, there's only four bunnies.  A black buck, Country Cousin, is visiting with Lotus, Nicky E. and Cheri who are all black does.  So, if things work out, there should be baby bunnies the first week of August.The upper level still needs the feeders made, which is why there are those two whitish/yellow board fastened to the front.  There will also be a ledge running across the back.  Not sure if it will be all one board or multiple movable boards.  And the automatic water system still needs to be installed.  There are ...
    Posted Jul 8, 2015, 11:49 AM by Niele DaKine
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 330. 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