The investigations showed workers tying severely distressed rabbits down and ripping the fur from their bodies. Register for this site!
Angora wool farms, like so many others similar to it, only continue to exist because of supply and demand. The fashion industry systematically attempts to conceal the abuse and killing of animals for their products as much as possible — if consumers knew the truth, after all, it could hurt sales. We need to join together and let major retailers selling products made with angora wool know we will not purchase from them while millions of rabbits continue to suffer in cruel and deplorable conditions!
The importance of forest elephants to the ecosystems where they live is as large as the animals themselves. In turn, the animals shape the forest canopy in a unique and vital way. There are many more reasons why our choice to consume meat needs to be reevaluated, as a society, that extend far beyond the singular issue of animal rights.
When it comes to sloth bears, we are hugely unfamiliar with the species and the threats faced by these animals. Enter your email address. We're your online guide to making conscious choices that help people, animals and the planet. Buy the EatForThePlanet book. Corrine Henn November 7, 31 Comments. Here are 5 facts you NEED to know about the angora wool trade: Want to read more posts like this? Sign up for our newsletter below! Browse through some recent posts below: Why Eating Meat Is so Much More Than an Animal Rights Issue There are many more reasons why our choice to consume meat needs to be reevaluated, as a society, that extend far beyond the singular issue of animal rights.
This is difficult enough to answer with regard to other fur, which must always be perfect, and even more difficult for rabbit fur, towards which there is some consumer prejudice, also because European output, although of medium quality, is so high.
On the other hand, shearing the pelt for the hair does not seem to pose any particular problem any more than does making use of the remainder of the skin, even if only for fertilizer. There is also the possible manufacture of small objects such as toys with pieces of low-quality fur; however, this is of relatively small economic importance and may involve difficulties with the hygiene regulations of potential importing countries. Curing Processing the pelt to the semi-finished stage requires a series of operations: This membrane, which is impervious to curing products, should be removed.
This is highly specialized work, demanding great precision to avoid holes in the skin, cutting hair follicles and causing hair loss. Machines can be used for all three finishing stages. Glossing This is a complicated finishing operation, with variations such as shaving or colouring according to the final product required.
It calls for much handling, expertise and imagination mixing of dyes, special effects, etc. These operations are too complex to describe here. However, it is often the furrier who, having chosen a lot of rough furs, decides on the final appearance they will be given. For a coat, 20 to 30 skins will be needed.
The making up of "bodies" remnants of fur sewn together and sold by length , which is labour-intensive and not highly automated, can be done in developing countries or in countries where the labour is less expensive Greece, the Republic of Korea and, for mink pelts, Taiwan, Province of China.
Conclusions on fur production There is no hope of supplying quality furs under current rational production conditions for meat rabbits, particularly those slaughtered at 11 weeks. Skins, however, may be recovered for the three separate purposes of hair felt , hides fertilizer, glue and sometimes dressed skins.
Quality pelts can be produced in extensive rabbit production systems if the producer is mindful of the moulting periods and waits until the subadult pelt is mature before slaughtering the young rabbit. The fur will be even thicker and more compact if slaughter is scheduled for a favourable photo period, i. As regards the introduction or extension of rabbit production for pelts in developing countries, the following points should be considered: There is not much point in pinning great hopes on obtaining high-quality pelts in hot climates.
Upmarket furs can also be produced in rational systems provided special strains such as the Rex are used. The look and feel of this fur is now much in demand. There must be specific production techniques geared to fur production meat, even though it may be of better quality, is here the by-product. Compared with conventional intensive production, the fattening units must be modified: The diet must also be modified rationing and slaughter specifically timed. Skinning, drying and preservation require great care.
The skins are usually sold raw to furriers, for small-scale tanning operations often lack the qualities to produce high value added upmarket furs. Angora Angora, the hair of Angora rabbits, is one of the five keratinic textile fibres of animal origin of significant economic value.
Wool from sheep is of course by far the main fibre, at over 1. Angora is often considered one of the "noble" fibres. Characteristics Textile properties In the matter of textiles, "angora" without any other qualification refers solely to the hair produced by Angora rabbits. W for wool, reserved for noble textile hair, as opposed to H used for ordinary hair.
The letter A is for the Angora rabbit and distinguishes it from the mohair produced by the Angora goat, M. The symbol for mohair is thus WM. Angora hair is unusually long owing to the prolongation of the active phase of the hair follicle cycle: This is due to the presence of a recessive gene in Angora rabbits. Apart from this great length, there is no other modification either in the hair's structure or in the composition of the coat, which contains the three classic types of rabbit hair.
Very numerous, 60 to a guide hair, they constitute the thermic isolation undercoat. The length of angora hair accounts for its textile value, because it permits cohesion in the thread.
The rabbit's hair has a characteristically low friction coefficient owing to the very slight relief of the cuticle scales. This results in a particular softness to the touch, but also an exceptional capacity for slipping. This is why the length of angora is important; the hair is twisted and stays in the thread.
The use of ordinary rabbit hair to replace angora produces threads of bad quality which spread everywhere: Because of its softness angora hair is used for the manufacture of insulating underclothes keratin. Ten percent angora in a mixture of wool, cotton and synthetic fibres makes an extremely soft fabric, very easy on the skin. The kemp points and the covering hairs, which are more rigid, rise from the fabric, giving it a fluffy appearance which is much prized.
Whole angora hairs obtained by depilation are the most suited for this purpose. Other characteristics of angora hair Although the Angora rabbit exists in all colours, only the albino strain is produced now. Its coat is entirely white, which is an advantage for dyeing. Coloured Angora rabbits are raised in India for the manufacture by breeders themselves of undyed artisanal fabric with muted colour motifs.
The hairs are all medulated hollow , which makes them lighter than wool density 1. They have all the properties of keratin, notably insulation, water absorption and good dyeing quality. Mini-glossary Selected technical terms for fur production Curing: The subskin muscle is removed with the dermis during skinning. The base of the former hair is hydrolized, freeing the hair canal for the emergence of the new hair.
Seen as dark blue patches on the skin side of the pelt. The hair comes out easily or is still very short, its growth interrupted by slaughter.
The Angora rabbit's coat is Angora wool goes straight to the card without previous washing: Commercial qualities There are several grades of hair, identified by length, type of animal and cleanliness.
First-quality hair which represents 70 percent of the coat must be over 6 cm in length down and clean. This grade was worth FF a kg in , but only FF in to Since , the price has ranged from to FF. Second-quality hair is clean but too short down less than 6 cm or too woolly. It is grown on the belly and extremities and is worth about 20 percent less than the first-quality wool. The hair of the young Angora rabbit is shorter and softer. It is the product of the first and sometimes the second collection.
The clean but felted hairs collected on the necks of females or breeding animals are worth only 15 percent of the value of first-quality hair. Dirty hair of any length is virtually worthless. At best, it is worth less than shorn hair from ordinary rabbit breeds.
Its value would be no more than 5 or 6 percent of the first quality. Clean hair is therefore absolutely essential in angora wool production. Raising Angora rabbits Angora rabbits are reared primarily for their hair. The production of this hair calls for an entirely different set of techniques from those used in meat-rabbit production.
These techniques have historically reached the pinnacle of specialization in France, where the sole target has long been wool production, but some countries, headed by China, are now also developing this specialization. The adult female produces the hair: Therefore the hair-producing stock is made up of adult females that are maintained as long as possible, with reproduction kept at a minimum.
Gestation and especially lactation reduce hair production by one-third. The number of breeding bucks is kept to a minimum. The proportion is only 2 or 3 percent in hair-production units. In France the males not destined for breeding are culled at birth, which hastens the development of the female young. The hair is collected every 90 to days, when the follicles reach the resting stage and before hair starts falling, which would cause felting and reduce the value.
The hair is cut with scissors or electric or manual shears, or collected by depilation. Depilation has long been the technique of choice in France, synchronizing the reactivation of hair follicles with a well-structured coat with good guide hairs. Since the s French breeders have been using a depilatory fodder sold under the name Lagodendron R Société Proval, 27 rue de la gare de Reuilly, Paris.
With careful use of this product, rabbits can be shaved more quickly and easily and less stressfully. Scissors is the more common technique in China, with shearing more common in Central Europe and South America. French-type Angora rabbit hair is better collected by depilation, whereas shearing or scissors are better for Chinese or German-type Angoras. The differences between their genotypes include, inter alia, the simultaneous resumption of hair follicle growth in accordance with the collection method.
Angora hair must be sorted into the different grades at collection, which is the best time. A skilled operator takes about half an hour: FIGURE 50 Comparative growth of hair types in Angora and common rabbits Habitat Angora rabbits must be reared in single cages, at least after the age of two months when the hair is first collected.
The cage must be big enough about 0. Wire-mesh floors are rarely recommended. Angora rabbits, particularly French ones, have very fragile paws for their weight of roughly 4 kg. As they are to be kept for several years it is better not to take chances. French breeders have opted for cement hutches and straw litter, for clean hair and paw protection. The straw absorbs the urine.
A little fresh straw is added each week and the entire litter changed every four or five weeks. Duckboard has been a frequent choice in other countries, with the slats made of bamboo as in China or plastic. Some breeders, for example in India, use German-type Angoras and have successfully raised them on wire-mesh floors as for meat-rabbit production see Chapter 6.
It is therefore not necessary to heat all production buildings in fact open-air production has long been the practice in France ; on the other hand, the denuded rabbit must be protected, particularly where depilation is the collection technique.
Breeders use several methods: Feeding and hygiene Feeding Angora rabbits involves several peculiarities compared with meat rabbits.
Indeed, the Angora at peak production is an adult rabbit in a situation of maintenance from the physiological standpoint. Its growth is complete and reproduction is limited to a few animals. It must, however, produce over 2 kg of dry proteins a year -more than 1 kg of keratin hair and the same amount from the internal sheath of the hair follicle. This is the equivalent of 7 or 8 kg of muscle. This explains the need for a high-protein diet - 17 percent.
The keratin in the hair is rich in sulphur amino acids, exporting 35 g of sulphur a year, so the proper intake of these amino acids 0. The high productivity of modern Angora strains up to 1 g per year , make full productivity difficult under traditional feeds such as hay, alfalfa, oats, barley, etc. The amounts would be excessive and deficits in sulphur amino acids inevitable. For cost considerations excluding labour costs some French breeders still combine these feeds with balanced concentrates containing methionine, vitamin and mineral supplements.
Almost all breeders use only pelleted feeds for Angoras which are easy to administer. In this case an average to g should be fed to each rabbit daily. The Angora rabbit's feed requirements follow the cycle of collection every three months and hair regrowth. Requirements increase after depilation as the animal is then hairless and energy losses by radiation are very great. By the second month the animal is again well covered, but this is when the hair grows fastest so the ration must of course remain adequate.
In the third month, requirements decrease because the hair grows more slowly and, as collection time approaches, starts to fall. Daily rations need to be adjusted carefully to these variable requirements. It is now the practice to give to g per day of dry matter during the first month, to g during the second month and to g during the third month. This is less imperative when the wool is sheared. It is also recommended that the rabbits not be fed one day a week so the stomach can empty, preventing or at least diminishing the risk of the hair balls that can form from self-grooming very hard balls called trichobezoars that obstruct the pylorus and usually end in death.
Most losses of adult Angoras occur during the days following hair collection as the animals then have problems maintaining thermal balance. They become particularly sensitive to respiratory germs pasteurella, coryza, etc. The breeder must therefore be constantly on the alert regarding their general hygiene frequent litter renewal, cleaning, disinfecting.
Having to replace working females with young does lowers average production levels because first-year Angora output is appreciably lower: The usual yearly rate of renewal is 25 to 35 percent. Labour Labour in Angora rabbit production may be subdivided into five categories: Feeding is not labour-intensive provided the breeder distributes only balanced pelleted feeds in easily accessible feeders. In this case 40 minutes per day and hours per year would be needed for a production unit of Angora rabbits.
The time is doubled for coarse feed such as hay and cereals. A daily distribution of straw or roughage, including fasting days, transport and sifting of feed must be reckoned in, raising the time spent on feeding to hours per year.
Hair collection is the most time-consuming operation. The calculation needs to include not only the actual hair removal by shearing, cutting or depilation but also moving the rabbit from its hutch to the collecting table, the grooming phase to remove filth or plant matter from the coat, weighing different grades of hair, keeping records, returning the rabbit to the hutch, plus postharvest thermal stress reduction measures.
All in all, some 1 hours per year are required for a rabbit production unit. Complete litter removal cleaning for hutches or cleaning out wire-mesh cages, disinfection procedures and sweeping takes at least hours per year. Veterinary care is basically preventive: Reproduction-related work handling breeding animals, checking gestation and kindling, sexing newborn rabbits, weaning also requires hours per year.
In all, a production unit of Angora rabbits requires 2 working hours per year under rational production conditions. Sources of variation in angora hair production Genetic estimates of different strains Although there are several strains of Angora rabbit, only the German, French and Chinese Tanghang, Wan, etc.
The Chinese strains including the German strain reared in China and South America supply over 95 percent of the angora hair sold in the world. The European, French and German strains deserve mention for their specific features and because they have been selected for over 50 years.
Hair-weight production has long been the sole focus in Angora rabbit selection. These genetic improvement efforts in France and Germany have produced highly similar acceleration of hair growth. There are major gaps in China by province and by production systems. Non-genetic factors in quantitative hair output Most of these factors are known today. The most important, judging by weight at each collection, is of course the interval between two collections.
This effect is attenuated when considering annual output. The collection technique shearing or depilation is an important factor, particularly for the depilated French strain, as shearing reduces adult doe productivity by about 30 percent. The number of the hair collection is important up to the fifth collection for French strains: The German strain is apparently more precocious, with several references citing the fourth and even the third collection as representing full potential productivity.
The sex factor is very marked in the French strain: This is not so true of the German strain, where the literature reports a difference of zero to 15 percent, with most citing a figure of 10 percent less for male rabbits. Live weight is fairly irrelevant, except during the growth period, but should be correlated with the collection number first, second, etc. The seasonal factor should also be taken into account: It does seem that the higher the productivity of the strain, the weaker the seasonal effect.
Other variation factors such as the season of birth have been studied, but new data are needed to confirm these findings. Undeniably, other factors such as diet deficiencies , temperature and comfort do have a direct influence on quantitative productivity of hair.
Non-genetic variation factors in qualitative hair production Angora hair quality parameters are length, the fineness of the down, guard-hair diameter and fur structure and composition. Concerning this last point, the basic distinction is between woolly fur and fur thick in guard hairs. The latter, in accordance with the proposed classification presented to the Corvallis Convention, include those in which over 70 percent of the guard hairs are full i.
The other furs are considered woolly. Felting or dirty fur is also considered a quality parameter.
South African supplyer and breeder of Angora Rabbits. We have many products to select from and every one is a once-off item! As such the items displayed on our website might no longer be available but feel free to place your order and we will make it. Only six rabbit breeds possess angora wool: the Giant Angora, the French Angora, the English Angora, the Satin Angora, the American Fuzzy Lop, and the Jersey Wooly. Of these, the Giant Angora is the largest — more than 9 pounds at maturity — while the American Fuzzy Lop and Jersey Wooly are the smallest, at about 3 to 4 pounds. The male Angora rabbit has a fur yield We need to join together and let major retailers selling products made with angora wool know we will not purchase from them while millions of rabbits.