First we'll introduce 'Coal', he is a beautiful English Angora with a lot to offer. His coat is dense, fine fibered and he joined our rabbitry from a very colorful litter in northern Washington where his Dad took top local awards. He's fathered his first litter and we hope to have a colorful result.
It is important to remember if you are shearing during the colder seasons, your rabbit can no longer insulate him/herself without their thick coat. You NEED to make a temporary coat for them until they grow a bit back, especially if you are raising them outdoors. A simple solution is to reuse the sleeve of a woolen sweater. Cut it away at the elbow and where the wrist sits, measure carefully to accommodate holes for the front legs. You slip it over their head, insert front legs and they are now warm again.
This information is meant to be a great starting point, if you have further questions, feel free to get in touch with us! Contact form is on the home page.
After these basics, if they are in molt, we begin the process of either shearing, plucking, or just easing fiber out with the comb. You see what kind of length and in what quantity Coal released his fiber. This is what I would call 'one handful' of plucking. I liken plucking to a cat or dog shedding out before summer, that fur can be coming off in sheets! With rabbits it happens before the fiber is fully grown in and more frequently (every 90 days) . It doesn't hurt them to take it off, instead they feel better because they are eliminating extra insulation and not getting matts. As a general rule, their entire body won't release in one day. It is often releasing in different patches around their body over a week or so. Additionally, each rabbit may have a different pattern of how and when it releases.