Sunday, December 28, 2008

new hand painted Super Angorino Tops and Bunnycare. part two

Mickey, our funny English Angora Bunny with his antenna up !
(Mickey has a lazy ear that he can put up when he wants to, but most of the time he just lets the one ear work as his antenna.
He is a very cute super fluffy english angora)

By now you must have come to the conclusion that I cannot sit still and, better still, want to share all my dyeing, spinning and bunny adventures with you ! I have been warning everybody about the new Super Angorino tops that I was working on and well, here they are! Like I said I only have 1 kilo to share with all of you at the moment. So, when you want to try out 15micron merino tops blended with some yummy english angora, please do not hesitate to ring the bell and stalk me ! The tops are compact, brilliant in colour and texture and super fine spinnable! Just divide the tops into super thin pencil rovings, spin to your hearts content and you will be amazed how super fine you can spin! Brush the fibres up afterwards for that soft glowy look.

Special Super Angorino Hand Painted Tops

(90% 15micron merino+10%angora bunny)

"Rainbow Bunny" 100g AU$20 (sold)

"Sunny Bunny" 100g AU$20 (sold)

"Flower Power Bunny" 100g AU$20 (sold)

"Bush Bunny" 100g AU$20 (1 left)

"Kookaburra Bunny" 100g AU$20 (sold)

Angorino hand painted tops (95% 18-20 micron merino+5% angora bunny)

"Kangaroo Bunny" 150-160g AU$19 (2 left)

"Bush Bunny" 150-160g AU$19 (1 left)

"Funky Bunny" 150-160g AU19(1 left)

"Rock'n'Roll Bunny" 150-160g AU$19 (sold)

"Surfin' Bunny" 150-160g AU$19 (sold)

"Opal Bunny" 150-160g AU19 (sold)

Hand painted Mulberry Peace Silk Tops (peace silk=good Karma silk=animal friendly silk, no animal was hurt making this silk !)

"Yarra Valley Bush Flower Silk Swirl" hand painted Mulberry silk tops 50g AU$23

"Barossa Valley Silk Swirl" hand painted Mulberry silk tops 50g AU$23

"Desert Flower silk Swirl" handpainted Mulberry silk tops 50g AU$23

"Happy Day Silk Swirl" hand painted Mulberry Silk tops 50g AU$23

"Berry Blossom Silk Swirl" hand painted Mulberry Silk tops 50g AU$23

Hand Spun and hand painted Pure English Angora Yarn plied with Australian Cashmere
(12wpi, 42-45 meters per 25grams)

"Sunny Bunny" Angora Yarn 125grams available in 25gram skeins

"Summer Rainbow Bunny" Angora Yarn 231grams available in 9 skeins

Bambi, our golden fawn english angora bunny
Bunny Care, Part 2

English Angora rabbits require a high protein high fibre diet. The protein is necessary for wool growth and the fiber is necessary for lessening the problem of woolblock. The following mixture works very well:
4 parts of l7% - l8% protein rabbit pellets,
l part of Calf-Manna + barley + wheat + sunflower seed with shell,
l part of whole oats,

The above grains are available in feed stores , not grocery stores. In addition, by feeding the same amount in each feeding, the owner will have a good idea whether the rabbit is in a normal state or not. If the dish is empty before the next feeding, generally speaking, the rabbit is doing fine. If there are leftovers in the dish for a couple of feedings, the owner better carefully check on the rabbit to see whether the water bottle is functioning well; whether the rabbit is suffering from diarrhea, woolblock or even maggot infestation.
I feed each rabbit l/3 cup of the above mixture in the morning and l/3 cup in the evening. Nursing does require 2/3 to l cup per feeding. I also feed a large handful of hay at night and a piece of treat in the afternoon. Sometimes I give wild bird seed to help clean up the rabbits' digestive tract. It is available in grocery stores as well as in feed stores. Angoras enjoy alfafa hay, grass hay and oat hay. Alfafa hay is rich in protein but quite messy to use. When buying Alfafa hay, select the bale which looks green and fresh from the outside, preferably with the dried leaves attached to the stems. The yellowish ones are too dry and leaves will fall out in the rabbits cage. The rabbit enjoy alfafa but the grass and oat hay are the ones which provide the roughrage necessary to prevent wool block. Also feeding Alfalfa or Lucerne to a pregnant doe will make that the offspring is predominantly male! It appears that it doesn't let enough Iodine into the foetus and a female foetus needs iodine to develop ! Clover does the same thing, so be careful and rather feed it oats, grass or prairy hay. Timothy hay is by far the best fibre content wise and we always feed it when our little ones are in need of some critical care.

Most English Angora rabbits enjoy almost all possible treats: dry bread (especially dry french bread), grass (fresh wild weed grass, not lawn clippings since they mostly contain residues of fertilizer and spray), greens, oranges, apples, carrots, melons, plums, grapefruits, peaches, corn, corn stalks, etc. A variety of food can give them different nutrients. Never overdo it, however. Small portions give them enjoyment; large quantities give them diarrhea. When giving treats, if the rabbit does not consume them right away, make sure that wool does not stick to the treat. If there is wool on the treat, remove the wool or discard the treat to lessen the chance of woolblock.
Angora rabbits can die from woolblock. The dying process is slow and painful - when the rabbit's stomach is full of wool, the rabbit cannot eat, and he starves to death. Cats and dogs can vomit when there is a hairball; rabbits cannot. For short haired rabbits, hairballs are a problem, but not nearly as great of a problem as with Angora rabbits. For Angora rabbits, hairball, or woolblock, is the No. l killer. Many Angora rabbits die unnecessarily young.
For woolblock, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The following practice may prevent woolblock from ever starting:
I give a large handful of hay each day. The rabbit receives grass hay and/or oat hay everyday.
Wildbird seed mix
Some rabbits love this mix. Once or twice a month, I withhold the regular rabbit feed and give 1/4 cup of this mix as a substitute. There was a case many years ago in which one of my rabbits became blocked and went off feed. She would not eat anything for several days. When I offered her this mix, she nibbled some. I decided to give her this mix solely. After one week she passed the wool mass and has been normal.
"Marble watching"
Droppings tell you the condition of the rabbit's health. Watching these marbles is another task for a conscientious breeder. If the droppings are round, moist, dark-brown and evenly large, the rabbit is in good health. If the droppings start to look like a "necklace", droppings being connected by strings of wool, you should pay more attention to the rabbit. If he is still eating the normal amount of feed and drinking normal amount of water, he probably is still healthy. If not, he may be blocked. If the droppings start to be of uneven size, some big and some small, irregularly shaped, with light colour and a dry look, this is a sign of wool in the system. If the rabbit is not eating well, that provides further evidence he is blocked. If the rabbit stops eating, excretes few droppings, and these droppings look oily and gluey or totally dry, he may be near the end of the rope.
What do you do if the rabbit is blocked?
First, remove all of the wool. It may also be wise to use a superstrength enzyme instead of the maintenance-oriented enzyme used weekly. One possible enzyme is called "Prozyme". I'd use the mixture of Prozyme with banana or Prozyme with Ensure to help add enzyme and nutrients to the rabbit. Use a syringe to administer the mixture into the rabbits mouth. At this time, since the rabbit probably has stopped eating, Ensure also helps to prevent dehydration. If one follows the above method closely, the rabbit usually comes out of the woolblock in about a week. If the blockage is too large to be pushed out, some veterinarians are able to surgically removed the woolball. Woolblock, however, is not totally reversible unless the woolball is removed by surgery. Once the rabbit is blocked, he is likely to become blocked again, because some of the woolball in the system cannot be totally forced out. Keep an eye on this rabbit to detect reoccurrences of the problem.
English Angoras as well as other rabbits, are susceptible to heat, drafts and wetness. In the winter time, make sure they are well protected from wind, rain and snow. In the summer time if the temperature is over 30c, put an ice bottle in the cage. An ice bottle is a two-liter soda pop bottle filled with water and frozen solid. When the temperature is over 35c rabbits can easily die from heat exhaustion if they are not cooled.
Rabbits need exercise just like people. Since an English Angora rabbit's coat can pick up dirt, leaves and stickers from the ground, it is necessary to confine him in a clean area.
If you choose in-house exercise, you should rabbit-proof the areas your rabbit is allowed to visit. Rabbits can do great damage to electrical cords of all types. If the power happens to be on when the rabbit is chewing, he can die from electrocution.
If you choose an outdoor exercise area, the ideal set up will have a solid fence, large lawn, no predators, no swimming pool, a little sun with lots of shade and some tasty greens available for digging and munching. Not all yards satisfy these requirements. One possible way to come close to this is to construct an exercise pen and move it to areas on the lawn or patio under a tree.
Here is a satisfactory method for constructing a playpen from lx2" welded cage wire. Panels approximately 30" long can be cut from a roll of 24 - 36" in width. (Be sure to cut off all the short bits of protruding wire after cutting.) These panels can be joined with J clips or hog rings, which are also used in cage construction. (Hog rings tend to be more durable.) Make sure that the panels are all the same size so that the finished playpen can be folded up accordion style when not in use. The playpen will be easier to work with if you make two sets of six or seven panel sections and clamp them together when in use. This will make an area approximately ten feet in diameter. The wire should be as heavy as possible to prevent the rabbit from prying the pen up in order to escape. Be sure that there will be adequate shade in the pen area when the rabbit is exercising in it. If the rabbit cannot escape from the direct sun on a hot day he could die in the pen.
In most cases, does can run together, young bunnies can also run together, but not bucks. Since bucks are territorial by nature, each buck should run by himself.
When exercise time is over, you should check to see how much stickers, twigs and other debris are attached to the coat of the English Angora rabbit. Make sure they are all removed before putting the rabbit back into the cage. If not done, the rabbit is likely to try to lick them off himself and ingest wool in the process and cause woolblock. In addition, if there are any foxtails and burrs, they could cause injuries to the rabbits' skin and eyes.
Hope all this information is helpful to all of you bunny lovers ! Part three will tell you all about grooming your bunny and more !
We all wish you a wonderful start of the New Year!!!!
Happy 2009 !!!!


Sharon said...

Thank you Charly for the very informative post. I look forward to the day sometime in the future when I can also keep angoras. Your super angorinos are lovely!

Happy birthday!

rrj said...

Thanks for your sharing. I feel useful & helpful.
RR Kelinci