Monday, November 15, 2010


from rabbitgeek notes Jan 2009:
Yes, we call it shearing and is a preferred method of wool harvest for
many angora rabbit owners. The coat comes off and the rabbit grows a
new one. Just like sheep are sheared for their wool.

There is a file in the group files area

Look for "How To Shear An Angora" by Germaine Pidgeon. Its a good
tutorial for visualizing how it should be done.

Shearing a good skill to have, even if you decide to be a plucker.
Because if rabbit comes down with symptoms of wool block, you'll want
to get that coat off ASAP! Also, many breeders will shear a doe before
breeding to prevent that coat from becoming nest material.

I usually put the rabbit on a grooming table, and starting along the
back along the spine I clip off little "ponytails" of wool. I set this
aside as the "good stuff" because along the back and sides is the best
length. Wool from the front or shorter length goes to a second pile
for blending or felting.

I leave about 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch long. Don't worry if it is not
perfectly even in length because after it grows out you won't see the

Best time to shear is when they start to molt, to remove the old
growth coat so the new one can come in. The loose wool from molting is
a big factor in developing wool block so removing at the molt is good.

The rabbits generally like the shearing afterward and will jump around
doing spins and kicks (binkies) in their now lightweight condition.

For scissors we used the Fiskars School scissors with the rounded tips.
Or whatever happened to be on sale for school kids in the fall.

I hope that info helps.

Have a good day!
Franco Rios

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Shop vac notes

From Rabbitgeek notes
**Apr 4 2005, cross posted by Franco**

Use the Shop Vac with the hose plugged in the the "blower" outlet so
it blows air out instead of vacuuming in. Do this outside because when
you start blowing out the rabbit, dust and wool will fly everywhere!
Set the rabbit up on a grooming stand or on a table.

Set the shopvac on a nearby table or shelf because the hose is
relatively short. Start the shopvac but don't blow the air toward the
rabbit yet, let it get used to the sound first. Then you can direct
the air toward the rabbit for a moment then away, giving it a chance
to get used to it.

Then it is just like a blower. Use the stream of air to blow away the
dust in the wool. The stream of air will also untangle some of the
matts and will fluff the wool to an incredible "poofiness."

Using this air blower to groom avoids the wool fiber breakage that
occurs with combing and brushing.

Others on the list can give you the fine points of air blowing, since
I'm only a novice at the fluffy rabbit bit. But I'm an expert at
shopvac. :)

**P.S. When you go looking, you want to see the words "blower output"
or "blower port" on the box of the shop vac. The blower is feature you
want and not all shop vacs have this. In 2005 it cost about $40 for a
2 horspower shop vac with blower feature. 1.5 or 2 hp is adequate.

Avoid using compressed air since there is a lot of moisture and dirt
in the compressed air. At work we used filters and driers to treat the
air before using in air tools. **

Have a good day!
Franco Rios

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Tray cleaning

*from the rabbitgeek notes*
The best tip for keeping rabbits in the garage came from Barbi Brown. Usually keeping rabbits in the garage means trays under the floor wire to catch the droppings.

For years we carried trays to the waste can and dumped them there. Barbi suggested we get a bucket and use a dust pan to scoop the poop out of the tray and into the bucket. Then take the bucket to the waste can.

This is so much easier than carrying trays around. Even if you plan to power wash the trays it is easier to move them when they are empty.

We put one or two handfuls of pine shavings in the tray to collect moisture and hold down odor.

If you sell manure you can put plastic bags in the bucket first (8 or 13 gallon trash bags) and tie them off before removing from the bucket. Tied off plastic bags are also good for fly control.

If you use five gallon buckets to move manure for sales, put a plastic bag in it first then tie it off. Will keep the buckets cleaner and reduce the smell. You can put the lids on the buckets and stack them for transport to sale. You sell the bag of manure to the customer, not the pail.

Then when customer takes the bags of manure, you can stack buckets one inside the other for transport home to be filled again.

Have a good day!
Franco Rios

Friday, November 5, 2010

Radioactive rabbit

News article about radioactive rabbit found, Richland, WA
near the Hanford nuclear power plant

Have a good day!