Friday, November 27, 2009

My first 'livestock'

It's official.  My 'urban farm'now has 'livestock.'  Last weekend I went to Lancaster, Ohio to meet  Lisa, a breeder of beautiful French and Satin Angora rabbits, to pick up two black does I had bought from her.   My girls are gorgeous, and sweet most of the time.  We had a lovely time in Lancaster, at a rabbit show there.  I was shocked to see so many people.  I had no idea there were so many people interested in rabbits.  It was such a nice day (in late November!!), the Angora people had set up their grooming area outside, so we sat around and talked, got to know one another.  As usually happens when I meet other folks I have 'met' on  blogs, it was very easy to get aquainted.  We already had a lot in common, we all spin, knit, love animals .....   I also got some lessons in rabbit grooming and husbandry. Everyone did very well in the show which made the mood even more jovial.  Congratulations, guys!!

Now that I'm able to tell them apart, I'm working on names for the girls (to the shock of some friends who love the naming process, and can't believe they're still nameless).  The girls come from a litter that were all named after poisonous plants!!  Their brother "Somerhill Nightshade" did very well at the show!  I'm thinking of Holly and Ivy (both toxic plants) since it's fairly near Christmas, and I've always loved the name Ivy (sorry if I steal it, Dianne) or Jasmine and Violet.  Jasmine (Carolina Jasmine/Jessamine) is toxic, Violets are not, but one of the girls is a little more 'blue' in color, while the other is a little more silver.  Sometimes they are naughty bunnies, like flicking water at me to get my attention (yes I made sure they weren't peeing!) so 'Stinker and Brat' might be more appropriate!  ha - ha.  Opinions, anybody?

They get along fine with the cats.  There wasn't a hiss, not a growl from the felines when I brought the bunnies in - unlike the pandemonium that ensued when I brought each of the two newest cats home.  I have been putting them on a towel on the bed to groom them, and both bunnies have been nose to nose with 3 of my 4 cats, and no one has blinked an eye.

The girls were purchased specifically to provide me with lovely, soft, angora fiber (I looked it up and it can be 10 -12 microns).  I will probably blend it with wool most of the time.  They 'molt' periodically and can be 'plucked' or shorn with scissors.  I'm saving every scrap, though, and already have a small baggie full after a couple of grooming sessions.  Even 'waste' fiber can be felted. At the show, Annette told me I will be surprised at how much fiber will come off those 2 bunnies.   Bring it on!


  1. Karen Ann:
    Suddenly, I have photo ability!! I noticed it after I posted this but wasn't able to download photos from my camera to computer (it is SO old) I will try burning some to a disk at work and see if I can get some shots on here soon.

  2. I don't know a lot about poisonous plants; the ones that come to mind are far less "name-worthy" than Holly and Ivy (rhodedendron, daffodil, euphorbia, yew). YAY for photo ability! Will be waiting impatiently for photos!

  3. Congratulations on your livestock! You will love having your own fiber source and they are fun to have around. (I once had 28 angora bunnies. I can tell you that's too many and not so much fun!)Ivy says it's okay with her if you want to use her name.

  4. Those are huge bunnies :-) I had no idea they were that big.