English Angora Harlequin and
I began working with a breeding pair sold to me by Jody Peters of Stone Crest in Wisconsin. Her guidance and others have led me to have a strong desire for breeding these unique and super personable bunnies. I had bunnies as a kid (Netherland Dwarfs and Jersey Woolies) none of which were ever as personable as the English Angora. I chose to work with the English breed as they are smaller in stature and have more furnishings of fiber on their face and ears. To me the more fiber, the better. The fiber quality of my English Harli and TriColor bunnies is easier cared for than some of the English reputations. They still require weekly grooming. I harvest their fiber with a sharp scissors every 3-4 months. Sooner or later depending on our Wisconsin weather. My bunnies all live in a enclosed barn, were it stays cool in the summer and gets just as cold as the frigid winter temps. If I absolutely must give a haircut in the winter, I try to wait for a 30 degree stretch or else I keep them in the mill where is is always 70 degrees. Any litters born during winter months are also birthed in the mill. Now as for their fiber, because that was the original purpose of having them, I get an average of 5-6 ounces of fiber per harvest. I like the staple to be no shorter than 2 inches and no longer than 4 inches. This is for processing or blending fibers for my machines in the mill. Grooming their very first coat is going to be the most difficult because the young fibers are just more fragile and finer diameter. As the bunny ages the fiber will continue to get more coarse, this is true in any fiber bearing animal. However, that being said, a little angora fiber goes a long way if blending. Angora fiber has what is known as a "halo" effect where is will fuzz tremendously. Adding just 20% angora into any fiber will soften the yarn and give it that "halo" effect. I sell our angora fiber for $8/ounce. If you harvest 5 ounces 4 times a year, that's $160 worth of fiber.
This is what works for me, not saying this is what will work for you and your schedules but here is an insight to what my daily and weekly care is like. Multiple checks daily. Fresh water in either their cups or water bottles 1 or 2x daily. Feed Big Gain 16% protein pellet with BOSS (Black Oil Sunflower Seeds) and oats mixed in (approximate mixture is 70/15/15). Daily generous handful of hay (quality ranges from grass to oats to alfalfa). It is my intuition that a bunny raised on a healthy and wide variety of feedstuffs will be a well rounded rabbit and easily transition to the next owner or caretaker's regime. During the growing season (June-October) my bunnies get a variety of garden produce and natural growing lugumes. This ranges from radish greens to thistle to just free ranging in the yard with supervision of course. Our kits are handled daily from birth till weaning. Summertime litters, at 3 weeks of age, are introduced to the play yard with room to boink and try out the fresh grass and clover. Adults get weekly time in the play yard. And a weekly grooming. Grooming entails a blow out with our air compressor and any trimming and brushing of webs or mats. Once fiber reaches 3 inches or therabouts, I scissor cut very carefully. I keep an eye out for mites, excessive dander, and fleas. I've seen all 3 and treat with Ivermectin at a dosage of 0.018 ml per pound. I've also used Revolution from the veterinarian to treat ear mites.
PURCHASE & TRANSPORTATION
I accept 50% down payment at 3 weeks of age, or when I know the sex of the kits. This is nonrefundable except in the case that the rabbit become sick or die within my care. The rabbit must be paid for in full prior to leaving on transport. Once the rabbit is out of my care, I will not be held responsible for its health and well being. Pedigrees can be sent via USPS or email. I accept payments to paypal.me/kurthvalleyfibermill
I've been learning along the way as I jumped into these colors with zero knowledge of rabbit genetics and colors. There are multiple breeders with years of knowledge who have offered their advice to me and several more breeders who criticized
If you are serious and considering harlequin and tri color angoras, I recommend you do a lot of research and visit these websites for guidance. This color is beautiful and a breeding program can be very rewarding with the right advice. I stumbled upon it by accident from a past llama connection. I got lucky with the breeding pair she had set me up with and little did I know that good quality harlis and tri color would be so hard to come by.