No rabbit—and no sheep—produces finer wool than the Satin Angora rabbit.
This rare breed is kept primarily for the production of its soft, hypoallergenic, workable wool, but it also makes a great pet.
In this article, we will give you the essential facts about Satin Angora rabbits. Then we will tell you about their breed history, their appearance, their temperament, and how to take care of your Satin Angora rabbits.
Finally, we will give you the answers to some frequently asked questions.
Essential Facts About Satin Angora Rabbits
Colors: White, tan, brown, or gray, or mixed colors. Wool can be dyed after it is spun.
Size: 3.5 to 9.5 pounds (1.6 to 3.5 kilograms).
Longevity: 7 to 12 years.
Litter size: Usually 3 to 5, but some supermoms give birth to as many as 10 kits in a litter.
Diet: More than other breeds, Satin Angora rabbits need a high-fiber, hay-based diet. Give your Satin Angora rabbit a volume of clean, fresh timothy hay the size of its body every day. Supplement hay with leafy green vegetables (including the carrot tops, radish tops, and cabbage leaves you would not eat) and an occasional carrot. Supplement hay and veggies with up to half a cup (50 to 70 grams) of a timothy-based rabbit pellet, such as the pellets made by Mazuri or Oxbow.
Make sure your Satin Angora rabbit has clean, fresh water on demand.
Housing: Avoid wire cages that can catch wool. Give each rabbit 12 square feet (1.3 square meters) of sleeping space and 100 square feet (10 square meters) of play space.
Housing needs: Make sure your rabbit’s hutch doesn’t have sharp edges that can pull out their wool. Satin Angora rabbits need floor space of 3 feet by 4 feet (100 cm by 130 cm) in a crate or hutch, plus a litter box.
History of the Satin Angora Rabbit
The Satin rabbits carry two copies of a recessive gene that gives the shaft of each hair in their coats a see-through coating, making their wool look like satin.
This gene also makes each hair thinner, so the wool is easier to spin into yarn and takes dyes better once it is spun.
Wool rabbits have been around for hundreds of years. They seem to have originated near the Turkish city of Ankara, which was once known as Angora.
When Angora rabbits were brought to the United States, there was just one kind of wool-bearing rabbit called the “Angora Wooler.”
About that time, a Dutch rabbit breeder living in Canada, Leopoldina Meyer, crossed a French Angora rabbit with a Satin rabbit to produce the Satin Angora rabbit.
Satin Angora rabbits produce the highest-quality wool among all Angora rabbits.
They are expensive, but they enjoy steady popularity with home wool crafters and they are always available.
Appearance of the Satin Angora Rabbit
Satin Angora rabbits look like a (usually white) ball of fur with ears.
These rabbits have the commercial body type. Their height equals their width.
They have a slight taper from neck to hips if you look at them from above. They have erect ears on the top of their heads that sometimes have a wisp of fur.
Satin Angora rabbits have soft, fine coats. You will need to comb them a couple of times a week to prevent tangles.
When you are showing your Satin Angora rabbit, you need to have it sitting down. The judges will view your rabbit in profile, and expect to see no daylight beneath your bunny.
Size and Weight
The Satin Angora rabbit is a medium-sized rabbit, making it suitable for many households.
Their size means they are relatively easy to manage, while still being large enough to be durable and low maintenance.
The average weight of a Satin Angora rabbit is around 6.5 to 9.5 pounds.
One unique feature of the Satin Angora rabbit is its oval head, which tapers from a broad forehead to a narrower muzzle.
This breed also exhibits a commercial body type, with the sides having a slight taper from the hindquarters to the shoulders.
Their ears are relatively plain, standing erect on top of their head, and can sometimes be slightly tufted.
Personality and Temperament of the Satin Angora Rabbit
Satin Angora rabbits are known for their friendly and gentle temperament.
These adorable creatures are well-suited for families with children. They are not only playful and affectionate but also very calm and intelligent.
Here are some key points about their personality and temperament:
- Playful and Affectionate: Satin Angoras enjoy playing with their human friends and appreciate gentle pets. They thrive when they receive attention, and their friendly nature makes them wonderful companions.
- Good with Children: Their docile nature and ability to adapt to various environments make them great pets for families with children. Satin Angoras are patient, and they enjoy the company of younger children.
- Calm and Intelligent: These rabbits possess a calm demeanor which makes them easy to handle. They also display a level of intelligence that is quite delightful to observe. They can quickly learn how to navigate their environment and even respond to basic commands.
- Appreciate Personal Space: Despite their friendly disposition, Satin Angoras still require personal space. They appreciate secure and comfortable enclosures where they can enjoy some alone time.
- Mischievous: Be prepared for a bit of mischief from your Satin Angora rabbit. They might occasionally explore off-limit areas or attempt to get their paws on some intriguing objects. Regularly providing them with toys and stimulating activities will help keep their mischievous side in check.
Remember to be gentle and patient when interacting with your Satin Angora rabbit.
Their docile nature makes them incredibly endearing, but it’s important to provide them with appropriate care, attention, and environment to ensure they lead happy and healthy lives.
Taking Care of Your Satin Angora Rabbit
The most important thing you can do to keep your Satin Angora rabbit is to give it a naturally high-fiber diet.
Wild rabbits eat grass. Pet rabbits eat hay. Rabbits need timothy hay as a source of fiber to keep their digestive tracts moving (see Woolblock in the next section) and to keep their teeth from growing too long.
They don’t really need pellets if they get hay, but they benefit from an assortment of dark leafy greens and a small amount of colorful vegetables, such as carrots, and berries.
Wool and Shedding
Satin Angora rabbits are known for their soft and silky coat, which requires regular grooming to maintain their luxurious appearance.
Their wool can be the softest among Angora rabbits, but it also means that they have a higher chance of shedding, producing dander, and acquiring dirt in their fur.
To prevent matting and keep their coat clean and healthy, you should:
- Brush your Satin Angora rabbit at least 2-3 times a week
- Use a wide-toothed comb or a slicker brush to remove loose hair and debris
- Be gentle while grooming to avoid hurting your rabbit or damaging their delicate wool fibers
- Pay attention to areas that are prone to matting, such as around the neck and underarms
Satin Angora rabbits are easy to potty train. Just get them a box lined with hay, and place their soft pellets into the box for about two weeks.
Your rabbit will get the idea that the box is the place for them to pee and poop.
Scoop urine-soaked hay every day. Replace the hay and rinse out the box, allowing it to dry before you replace the hay, about every three or four days.
Rabbits eat their own soft feces. During the first pass of fiber through their digestive tract, it mixes with probiotic bacteria.
These bacteria break down fiber into fatty acids in the presence of oxygen, outside the rabbit’s gut.
When the rabbit eats its poop, the soft pellets travel to a compartment in its intestines called the cecum, where the fatty acids are absorbed. Then the poop comes out a second time as dry pellets.
Housing and Playspace
Avoid wire-stacking cages for your Satin Angora rabbits. Give them a hutch made from durable plastic that won’t catch their fur.
Give them a rabbit tunnel for playing outdoors or in their own room in your house.
The best toys for Satin Angora rabbits are toys they can chew.
They love willow sticks, hay playhouses, and balls filled with hay that they can push with their noses.
Exercise and Play
Just like any other rabbit, Satin Angora rabbits need regular exercise and playtime to stay happy and healthy.
Engage your rabbit in activities that help them burn off some energy and ensure their well-being. Here are some tips for providing proper exercise and play:
- Allow your rabbit supervised outdoor time on a grassy area when the weather is good and dry.
- Provide toys such as balls, tunnels, and cardboard boxes for them to play with and explore
- Make sure they have at least 3-4 hours of out-of-enclosure exercise daily to prevent obesity and promote mental stimulation.
Satin Angora rabbits are prone to certain health problems due to their thick wool coats.
Woolblock (Gastrointestinal Stasis)
Satin Angora rabbits groom themselves 3 to 5 times every day.
If your Satin Angora has a companion rabbit, they will groom each other.
Rabbits swallow hair when they lick their coats clean. Because Satin Angoras are “hairy,” they are at special risk for a condition called woolblock.
In woolblock, hair accumulates at the pyloric valve at the far end of the rabbit’s stomach.
The swallowed hair can form a hairball, which, unlike a cat, rabbits cannot cough up. The “bezoar” made from hair can block the passage of food to the gut, and the rabbit can die of starvation or dehydration in just days.
The appearance of lumps on the rabbit’s belly is a sign a trip to emergency veterinary care is needed.
The way to prevent woolblock is to make sure your rabbit’s diet is mostly natural grass fiber. The fiber keeps hair moving through the gut and keeps blocks from forming.
Satin Angora rabbits become heat-beat when the air temperature is 85° F (29° C).
It’s best to keep Satin Angora rabbits in an air-conditioned space. If this isn’t possible, place a bottle of frozen water in the cage (or hutch) with each rabbit.
Botflies can lay their eggs in your rabbit’s skin. When the eggs hatch, the larvae then feed on the rabbit’s flesh.
This is very painful for the rabbit, although the damaged flesh could be cut out if the rabbit were being butchered for meat.
If you are raising your Satin Angoras for wool, keep them out of barns or cages with flies to prevent the condition.
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease is a viral condition rabbits catch from other rabbits.
Some rabbits with strong immune systems can fight off the disease. Others will become depressed, or show bleeding from the nose and mouth, or simply suffer sudden death.
RHD isn’t treatable, so avoid exposing your rabbits to wild animals of all kinds.
Popular Bunny Names for Satin Angora Rabbits
Here’s a table with popular Satin Angora Rabbit names, reflecting their breed characteristics.
The Satin Angora Rabbit is known for its luxurious, shiny, and soft wool, which gives them a satin-like sheen, hence its name.
They are calm and docile and make great pets.
These names are inspired by their unique, shiny coat and gentle temperament.
|Boy Bunny Names for Satin Angora Rabbits
|Girl Bunny Names for Satin Angora Rabbits
These names emphasize the soft, shiny, and luxurious wool of the Satin Angora Rabbit breed, making them fitting choices for your rabbit.
Also read: Popular Rabbit Names (Girl/Boy)
Satin Angora vs. Other Angora Breeds
In this section, we will compare the Satin Angora rabbit to other popular Angora breeds including French Angora, English Angora, Giant Angora, and German Angora.
Each breed has unique characteristics that make them suitable for different purposes and preferences.
The French Angora rabbit is known for its guard hairs, which make up more of its coat compared to the undercoat.
This characteristic makes them a better choice for novice angora owners and a dream for hand-spinners.
They usually weigh between 7.5 to 10.5 lbs, and their soft fur can be found in various colors like white or brown. As family pets, French Angoras require regular grooming to maintain their coat and prevent matting.
English Angoras are known for their dense, fluffy fur which requires more grooming than the French Angora.
This breed has a smaller size, with most weighing between 5 to 7.5 lbs. They possess a gentle temperament, making them ideal family pets.
Aside from their exceptional wool quality, English Angoras are recognized for their distinct “furnishings” or tufts of fur on their face and ears.
Giant Angoras are the heaviest of the Angora breeds, weighing between 9 to 12 lbs.
They can produce more wool in a year compared to other Angoras, yielding up to 28 – 40 ounces of wool per year.
Giant Angoras possess the same soft, luxurious fur as other Angora breeds but may require larger living spaces due to their size.
The German Angora is another popular breed, known for its high wool production and dense coat.
This breed is not recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association but is still sought after for its wool quality.
German Angoras have a larger size and can weigh up to 12 lbs. Their fur is thicker compared to other Angora breeds, making them efficient wool producers.
Satin Angora rabbits stand out among other Angora breeds due to their coat’s softness and sheen.
This is caused by a recessive gene that makes the hair shaft’s casing translucent instead of opaque, giving their coat a distinctive luster.
Satin Angoras are primarily bred for their high-quality wool, but they can also be excellent family pets due to their gentle temperament.
Keep in mind that all Angora breeds need regular grooming to ensure their coat remains healthy and mat-free.
Frequently Asked Questions About Satin Angora Rabbits
Where can I buy a Satin Angora rabbit?
How much do Satin Angora rabbit cost?
A. Expect to pay US $250 or more. Half-breed rabbits may be available for approximately half the price. On rare occasions, you may be able to find a Satin Angora rabbit in a rescue shelter for just the registration fee.
See Rescue Rabbits for Adoption and search for the rabbit you want.
What’s special about the wool from Satin Angora rabbits?
A. Wool from Satin Angora rabbits is very easy to spin, and it has a natural luster. They are a good choice for a home spinner who wants high-quality, relatively hypoallergenic wool.
How much wool will a Satin Angora rabbit produce?
Each Satin Angora rabbit produces about 8 ounces (230 grams) of wool per year.
That’s about half as much wool as you can harvest from a French Angora or English Angora rabbit, but it is of higher quality.
To put this in context, you need about 1-1/2 pounds (600 grams) of worsted wool to knit a sweater for an adult.
You will need about twice as much fleece, 3 pounds (1300 grams), to make the yarn. To have enough wool to make one sweater a year, you need 6 adult Satin Angora rabbits.
What distinguishes a Satin Angora from a French Angora?
Satin Angora rabbits are known for their unique fur texture that has a satin sheen, hence their name. In contrast, French Angora rabbits have dense, fluffy fur without the satin shine. Despite this difference, both breeds require regular grooming to prevent their fur from matting and becoming hard to maintain.
Can Satin Angora rabbits be kept with other rabbit breeds?
Yes, Satin Angora rabbits can coexist with other breeds. However, they may need a period of adjustment to get used to each other. It’s important to introduce them gradually and supervise their interactions. Also, it’s essential to manage their living spaces, ensuring each rabbit has enough room for individual comfort and reducing territorial behaviors.
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