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The Bourne Stud Angoras

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Angora Wool

Wool Harvesting

This is carried out in two ways :

1. Clipping the wool

By clipping the wool four times per year, about every 12 to 13 weeks when the coat is about 3" in length. (Keep records of clipping dates) 

In order to produce this 1st grade wool, staple 2 - 2" the rabbit must be housed individually, otherwise they will huddle together causing the coats to become matted more quickly, which would mean clipping every 9-10 weeks for 2nd grade wool, staple 2 2 ".

When the coat is clipped regularly at the correct time, little or no grooming is required, except a final brush immediately before clipping.

Make a grooming stool with a top 10" x 10", this will prevent the rabbit wandering about. Obtain a good pair of pointed hairdressing scissors, and keep them really sharp, because pointed and keen bladed scissors are less likely to nick the skin than dull, blunt ended ones.

Hold the blade flat against the skin in order to clip as close as possible. A little practise is needed to ensure a neat clean clip, devoid of any undesirable double clip (any short little clip from the ends just taken).

Take small amounts at a time, clip as evenly as possible from the previous clip and lay the wool of each clip in a carton or on a piece of tissue paper. If you are planning to show your wool in a products competition held by the National Angora Club, great care must be taken to keep the wool laying the same way and this is more easily done when you are taking the wool from the rabbit. Given practise, clipping a rabbit will take around 15 minutes.

2. Plucking

Wool may also be harvested by plucking, but only when the wool is ripe and loose in the skin follicles and ready to come away easily.

Plucking can usually be carried out twice a year. It is a slow process which can extend to around three weeks, as the new coat does not appear simultaneously all over the body.

So, when the coat is moulting, pluck by taking a few fibres at a time between finger and thumb of one hand while laying the fingers of the other hand against the skin to prevent it being stretched.

Pull very gently, but if the fibres resist, then the coat is not yet ready to be plucked. Plucking is particularly suitable for coloured angoras, ensuring that the colour tips are harvested with each successive coat.

The plucked staple length should be at least 4" and preferably 5-6". Again, if you want to show your wool lay the ends the same way when taking the wool from the rabbit.

 

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