French Angora rabbits make great pets.
They need some special care, especially when it comes to grooming their luscious fur (we will have more to say about that below), but their sweet, docile nature makes up for the extra time they require.
French Angora rabbits are also excellent wool producers. Several times a year, owners can gather rabbit wool that can be spun into thread and turned into cloth twice as water-absorbent as lamb’s wool.
Angora wool from rabbits is also warmer than wool from sheep, although it is not as flexible.
These rabbits have a commercial-type body with a strong, sturdy frame, making them an excellent choice for pet owners looking for a docile, friendly bunny companion.
While they may not be the best option for young children, older kids with experience in rabbit care will find French Angoras an amazing and rewarding pet.
In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about this well-respected breed’s history, appearance, and special care requirements.
We will also answer some frequently asked questions about French Angora rabbits. First, let’s quickly examine the essential facts about the French Angora breed.
Essential Facts About French Angora Rabbits
Scientific name: Oryctolagus cuniculus domesticus
Care level, compared to other rabbits: Definitely not for beginning rabbit owners. Requires regular maintenance of the coat to stay healthy.
Wool production: 1 to 4 pounds (500 grams to a little less than 2 kg) per year.
Temperament: Docile, gentle, and friendly, but best petted while it is on the ground or on the floor, not held in your lap. Loves to play with cat toys.
Color: Base colors are black and chocolate. French Angora rabbits can inherit additional genes for blue, cream, fawn, lilac, various shades of chestnut, and white rabbits with either red or blue eyes.
Lifespan: 6 to 8 years.
Maximum size: 10.5 pounds (a little less than 5 kg).
Dietary requirements: Mostly dry Timothy hay. Should get no more than 10 percent of calories from pellets. No sugary foods, especially not for bunnies,
Compatible breeds: Gets along with other large rabbits,
Cage size: Like most other rabbits, French Angoras need cages about four times as large as their body. Larger is always better. A French Angora rabbit needs a cage or kennel with 24 inches by 36 inches (609 cm by 90 cm) floor space, and 14 inches (35 cm) clearance of its head. An outdoor hutch with an enclosed play space is ideal.
French Angora rabbits are large enough not to have problems with other pets. However, they are not a good choice for an indoor rabbit.
They are also not a good choice for locations with hot, humid summers.
History of the French Angora Rabbit
Of the 11 breeds of Angora rabbits, four of which are recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association, the French Angora is probably the closest to the Angora rabbits bred near Ankara, Turkey, of the 1600s.
Angora rabbits were brought to France in 1723 as a gift to King Louis XV, and they became popular among French farmers by 1750.
Angora rabbits were brought to the United States in about 1750. They were called Angora Woolers, and there was no distinction made between French and English Angora rabbits.
It wasn’t until 1944 that the American Rabbit Breeders Association split Angoras into four breeds, French Angora, English Angora, Giant Angora, and Satin Angora.
Today, French Angora rabbits are the second most popular Angora breed, after English Angoras.
All Angora rabbits have a long-wool gene that scientists refer to with a lower-case l. Breeders seek to incorporate the l gene into the newer “wooly” breeds, such as the Lionhead, American Fuzzy Lop, and Jersey Wooly breeds.
French Angora wool production can be very profitable for rabbit farmers. Unprocessed wool, straight off the rabbit, can bring US $160 a pound ($350 a kilogram).
Today, you can raise a French Angora Rabbit as a pet as well as for its luxurious wool. The history and origin of these gentle rabbits have played a significant role in making them the popular, fluffy companions they are now.
Appearance of the French Angora Rabbit
Fully grown French Angora rabbits can weigh anywhere from 7.5 to 10.5 pounds (3.4 to 4.8 kilos).
Ideally, a French Angora rabbit should weigh about 8.5 pounds (a little under 4 kilos) for easy handling.
This is also the most profitable size if you are raising French Angoras for wool and meat.
French Angoras have oval-shaped heads that are proportionate to their bodies.
They differ from English Angoras and Angoras in Germany by their hairless faces and front legs.
They have only a little tufting on their back legs. As a result, French Angoras “look like rabbits,” while other breeds of Angoras can be mistaken for small dogs when they are viewed at a distance.
Another distinctive feature of French Angora is their ears. Their ears point upward instead of lopping downward.
Coat and Colors
French Angora rabbits have a thicker undercoat than other rabbits. They also have denser guard hairs (the hairs that direct rain and snow away from the skin).
You can harvest their wool just by gently pulling it off during your rabbit’s spring and molting seasons. If you do not, serious problems can result. (More about that in the Care section below)
Pointed White French Angoras are pure white, except for markings on their nose, ears, feet, and nails.
The Self group includes both blue- and ruby-eyed white rabbits, “black” rabbits with dark slate wool and brown eyes, blue wool with gray eyes, chocolate wool with light brown eyes, and a pinkish lilac or dove-gray wool with blue-gray eyes.
The Agouti group includes rabbits with chestnut fur, rabbits with:
- Pearl and gray fur with brown eyes.
- Chocolate-colored wool with bands of dark brown and brown eyes.
- Copper-colored wool with black tips and bands of burnt orange and tan eyes/
- Opal wool with bands of tan and blue-gray eyes.
The chinchilla varieties have wool with bands of slate and pearl and eyes of any shade. There are chocolate-colored varieties that have brown fur with eyes of blue, gray, or marble,
There is also a shaded group that has fur of pearl, smoked pearl, sable, or seal, and sometimes blue tortoiseshell, lilac tortoiseshell, or just tortoiseshell.
The ticked group has various stall colors, while the wide band group has cream, red, and fawn colors with their own distinctive markings.
You can find any color of rabbit you want with French Angoras. If you breed your own bunnies, however, you can get bunnies that don’t look like their parents.
French Angora rabbits have long ears, sometimes tipped with fluffy ear furnishings.
However, this trait is often considered undesirable by breeders.
The guard hair is an essential part of the French Angora’s coat. It’s slightly coarse and covers the rabbit’s soft, fluffy undercoat. Together, these layers help keep your French Angora Rabbit warm and protected.
As a French Angora Rabbit owner, it’s important to keep your rabbit well-groomed and to take care of its appearance, ensuring a healthy and happy pet.
Temperament of the French Angora Rabbit
French Angoras love being petted, but they need to be socialized to human contact at a very early age.
Training your rabbit to be comfortable around people and ensuring it always has a good experience with people is very important.
These rabbits need to get used to being handled so their coats can be combed daily and their wool harvested every few months.
Here are some key aspects of their personality and behavior:
- Friendly demeanor: These rabbits are charming and sociable, making them great companions for both adults and older children. They enjoy interacting with their human family and can become attached to their caregivers.
- Mellow and gentle: French Angoras are generally calm and laid-back animals. This makes them suitable for a family pet, as they are less likely to become overly energetic or aggressive.
- Affectionate behavior: These rabbits appreciate your attention and love to be petted. They respond well to regular grooming, which keeps their coat in good condition and strengthens the bond between owner and pet.
- Curiosity and exploration: French Angora rabbits are curious animals who enjoy hopping around and investigating their surroundings. Ensure they have a safe indoor and outdoor environment where they can satisfy their curiosity and exercise their instincts.
French Angora Rabbit Varieties
When it comes to French Angora rabbits, there are several coat varieties recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA).
These coat varieties can be categorized into Agouti, Broken, Shaded, Pointed White, and Ticked.
Let’s go through them one by one.
Agouti is the natural color seen in wild rabbits.
This pattern features a blend of several colors, such as black, tan, fawn, and blue.
These colors create a natural and appealing look for your French Angora rabbit.
The Broken coat pattern is quite unique. It consists of a mostly white body with splotches of another angora-accepted colors.
This creates a striking appearance that is sure to stand out in a crowd of rabbits.
You may find this pattern eye-catching and appealing for your pet.
The Shaded variety includes Chinchilla, Chocolate Chinchilla, and Lilac Chinchilla patterns. Chinchilla features a blend of slate and pearl, while Chocolate
Chinchilla has brown and pearl-colored wool. Lilac Chinchilla, on the other hand, has a blend of lilac and pearl.
These patterns are known for their stunning, subtle color changes in the coat.
This pattern is characterized by a predominantly white coat with some subtle color points.
These points can appear on the ears, feet, and other areas of the rabbit.
The Pointed White pattern is elegant and delicate, making it a great choice for a pet rabbit.
Ticked French Angora rabbits have coats with guard hairs that are delicately tipped with color.
This creates a unique appearance where the tips of the hairs are slightly darker than the rest of the coat.
This pattern is less common but still a beautiful option for your pet.
Care of the French Angora Rabbit
It is important to approach your French Angora rabbit calmly and slowly to prevent anxiety.
Be careful not to drop your rabbit—ever, any kind of fall can cause a severe injury to your rabbit’s spine.
French Angoras, like all rabbits, need plenty of fresh water at all times.
They need a high-fiber diet to prevent potentially fatal constipation and dehydration. Surprisingly, the first symptom of constipation can be diarrhea, caused by food and fluid flowing around an intestinal obstruction.
But the hardest part of taking care of a French Angora rabbit is taking care of their coat.
French Angora hair can grow as much as 6 inches (150 mm) every season. The ideal length of coat for your rabbit, so it does not overheat or get objects caught in its wool, is 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm).
As a result, it is important to trim your French Angora’s coat 3 or 4 times a year. They may need to have their coats brushed as often as every day, and certainly at least once a week.
You should never give your French Angora rabbit a bath. Placing your rabbit in water can place a strain on their hearts.
Spot cleaning with a damp cloth is the best way to remove dirt, grease, food, debris, and feces from your rabbit’s coat.
You can safely blow dry your French Angora rabbit (put a diffuser on your blow dryer to avoid overheating your bunny) if it gets wet.
The two health problems you need to be sure to prevent in your French Angora rabbits are wool block and wool mites.
Wool Block is an accumulation of wool in the intestines. Rabbits that are not groomed will attempt to groom themselves by licking their fur.
The accumulated hair forms something like a hairball in a cat. Unlike a cat, a rabbit cannot vomit the obstruction out of its digestive tract.
Making sure you groom and shear your rabbit every 6 to 12 weeks, and grooming your rabbit every day, helps prevent the swallowing of hair.
It also helps to give your rabbit a tablespoon (15 grams) of chopped green papaya once or twice a week. The papain enzyme in this fruit dissolves hair.
Your rabbit can catch wool mites from wild rabbits and from other farmed or pet rabbits that are not regularly groomed.
You can control the problem with careful attention to grooming. Ivermectin will eliminate an infestation when needed.
Popular Bunny Names for French Angora Rabbit
Here’s a table of popular French Angora rabbit names that reflect their breed characteristics.
The French Angora Rabbit is known for its soft, woolly coat and gentle temperament. Many of these names are inspired by how they look and feel and how friendly they seem.
|Boy Bunny Names for French Angora Rabbit||Girl Bunny Names for French Angora Rabbit|
These names emphasize the soft, fluffy coat and gentle personality of the French Angora Rabbit breed, making them fitting choices for your rabbit.
Also read: Some Cute Pet Bunny Names (Girl/Boy)
Frequently Asked Questions About French Angora Rabbits
Where can I buy a French Angora rabbit?
Check the Rabbit Breeders Directory (for French Angora Rabbit).
How much will a French Angora rabbit cost?
Expect to pay US $50 to $250 for a pet French Angora rabbit, or more for breeding stock.
What is different about a French Angora compared to other Angora rabbits?
French Angoras have hairless faces. Some pet owners feel more emotionally connected with their bunnies because of it.
Are French Angoras good pets for small children?
French Angoras have a gentle nature. They are calm with children. They are large enough that they are not easily injured by a child,
Are French Angoras giant rabbits?
French Angoras are large rabbits, but Flemish Giants are bigger.
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