New Arrivals on the Homestead

So remember when I got excited about knitting, and adopted an orphaned angora litter so I could spin my own yarn? Well, that ended up being quite the experience.

Reading about angoras online is very different than owning them. For example, I read online that you can brush your angoras 2 or 3 times a week to keep them groomed and clean. How therapeutic, right!? Well, in real life, you aren’t supposed to brush them at all. You use a blower because a brush or comb will pull their long fur and hurt them. It also doesn’t remove dander from their fur and skin. So I was envisioning these sweet bonding moments with brushing my angoras on my lap, but the reality wasn’t that. I also learned that satin angoras are the least productive of all the angoras in terms of wool production. So my dreams of knitting everyone angora scarves for Christmas were definitely not going to come true.

Facing Reality

Honestly, once I learned how to properly care for them, they weren’t difficult to manage. They were very sweet! But I wasn’t enjoying them as much as I thought I would. I think by the time they were fully grown, I just realized I’m not much of a fiber person. I’d rather sit and enjoy knitting, and let other people do the spinning (for now anyway). I also think I was just emotionally exhausted from the task of bottle feeding them and basically being their mother. It was just time for a change.

Fortunately, I was able to find some wonderful local fiber people to take them on. Now they can not only be fiber producers, but breeders! They can live full and happy lives, and I can move on to other projects. And I’m so grateful!

New Arrivals

We have several new arrivals on the homestead! Passing the angoras on made room for these beauties!

Natalie (Doe)

Harli (Buck)

Maple (Doe)

They are all Rex, which means their coats are velvety soft. It’s amazing! Rhett was so excited to get Natalie. They are all so sweet, but Natalie definitely has the most personality. She warmed up to us right away, which has been pretty rare for us! Usually the bucks warm up quickly, but never the does – this girl is special!

Natalie is tri-colored, which I hear is a challenging variety to show. The pattern has to be right, in addition to the overall body type and fur condition that is expected of Rex rabbits. I’m excited to learn more and start breeding them in the spring!

We have one last litter of New Zealand’s currently growing out, and then we will be all phased out. The only New Zealand we are keeping is Chip. Ryan loves him too much to let me sell him. Now we only have Silver Fox and Rex!

Our First Silver Fox Litter

In the midst of all those changes, Miss Luna was gearing up for her new babies!

Luna feeding her new babies

I started her in one of our standard metal nesting boxes. She’s quite a large rabbit, and unfortunately she accidentally crushed one of the babies. The boys found the poor little thing. It’s Kender’s job to feed the rabbits in the morning, and Rhett and Mason like to help, so they were the first ones to see. They were sweet and helped me dig a grave and bury the kit with flowers.

I switched her to a new box that is a couple of inches longer, and so far things have been going well. The one baby we lost was blue like mom, so that’s a little sad. The rest are black, and I have high hopes that they will be gorgeous, show quality fox! Fingers crossed!

1 day old silver fox kit!

This is our last litter for 2020. I’m excited to see how they grow, and to start up breeding again next spring!

I’m in the process of tanning the hides from our New Zealand litters. If all goes well, I’ll write a post about it and show you how it’s done. It’s been surprisingly fun, and not as gross as I expected!

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