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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

  • Bunny Fluff! Bunny Fluff!  Pounds of Bunny Fluff!  Loads of Naked Bunnieees!  Ack!The next shipment of bunny fluff to the mill is just about ready.  We're looking for shipping boxes so the fluff will go off soon.Each of those bags is at least two pounds of English angora fiber.  The ones on the left are for "Beach Bunny" color of Hula Bunny yarn.  The middle dark gray ones are for "Moonlit Dance" and the two big bags of really bright white will be for "Coconut Smoothie" color of Hula Bunny yarn.  That's a new color we've never had before so I'm hoping it turns out the same bright white.The mill blends it with fine Merino ...
    Posted Mar 24, 2015, 9:48 PM by Niele DaKine
  • Happy March! Well, things have progressed since the last post.Here's what the back of the refrigerator looks like once it's finished.  The shelves are all installed and painted.  Not sure if there will be cupboard doors above the bump out area or not.That's the Canadian Production Wheel which - from the blue tape you can see on it - still isn't fully restored.  It's fully functional, now, though which might be why I keep getting distracted from finishing it.  It is a lovely wheel and spins beautifully even if the finish is still a bit on the rough side.  Function before beauty, I guess.The Traveling Together Hawaii Knitting Tour group dropped by to visit with the ...
    Posted Mar 3, 2015, 2:24 AM by Niele DaKine
  • New Rabbit Ranch! This is a really picture heavy post, but it's to make up for several months of non-posting.  Well, as you've probably noticed we haven't been posting as often as usual.  Mostly that's because things have been totally chaotic lately.  Most of that has been caused by the upcoming relocation.  Hillside Farm is moving!  Woot!We aren't going all that far, though, merely about three quarters of a mile away.  But, it will be a bigger place and within easy walking distance to town.  So, things will be a lot better once we get relocated.  This is the front of the  new house and it is the "before" picture.  When this picture was taken we ...
    Posted Feb 20, 2015, 2:20 PM by Niele DaKine
  • Windy Weather Well!  There was a bit of wind.It was a dark and stormy night.  Sounds like some sort of novel, doesn't it?  Well, actually, it wasn't all that stormy, really.  It didn't seem like it was going to be anything unusual - just a normal sort of night, until around midnight or at least sometime in the middle of the night anyway, the wind just started howling.  We'd had no damage from Hurricane Iselle late last year, so we weren't all that worried.  However, for Hurricane Iselle, we had secured the bunny hutches and that hadn't been done this time.  So, in the morning we came out to find the bunnies were all tilted.  None ...
    Posted Jan 8, 2015, 12:39 PM by Niele DaKine
  • Maile & City Slicker It seems as if we are going back to some of the original pairings of the original foundation stock and Maile and City Slicker will be expecting a litter around the first of the year.I've been going through the records and seeing which bunnies we have multiple offspring from and which we don't.  We started Hillside Farm's English Angoras with just two bunnies brought over from Oahu.  A REW doe, Bumblebee Acres Forever and her black son, Tails of Paradise Stealth.  (Where do they get these names from?)  That was a mother/son which had been sold to me as a "breeding pair" but that isn't enough genetics to actually get going.   So six bunnies ...
    Posted Dec 26, 2014, 11:05 AM by Niele DaKine
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 318. 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