Angora rabbit wool is softer than cashmere and seven times warmer than sheep wool. Because of the high quality of their fur, angora rabbits are largely raised all around the world by important companies in Europe, China, United States and South Africa. China is the world leader in angora rabbit trade, with approximately 80% of global output.
Photo source: ncag.blogspot
Unfortunately, many business of large scale treat these sweet animals with cruelty.
But Angora rabbits can be a great resource to start a small business, and, usually, small producers start the business out of their love for animals and take good care of them.
Angora Rabbit are calm and docile, but they require meticulous care. Their long, flowing wool needs regular grooming to prevent the fur from matting and felting. Grooming is also a method to prevent rabbits from ingesting their own moulted fur that can put them in real danger.
Angora rabbit wool can be collected up to three times a year through plucking, combing and shearing or simply collecting the moulted fur. You must be aware that the rabbit’s skin is very thin and you can hurt it when you cut the wool with scissors.
American Rabbit Breeder’s Association recognizes four breeds of Angora Rabbits: English, French, Giant, Satin. However there are many other breeds like German, Chinese, Korean, Swiss, Finnish, and St. Lucian.
Light and warm angora wool is very good for thermal wear, knitted clothes (sweaters, scarves, socks, gloves). Thermal clothing is ideal for people suffering from arthritis and wool allergies. Prices of angora wool can vary from $5 to $20 per ounce (28 grams).
For more information you can join specialized forums where people are share their experiences. The book Storey’s Guide to Raising Rabbits, by bob Bennett might also be a real help.
How to market your production
It is not enough to learn about rabbits, you must have a basic plan of how you will sell your product. Besides wool, you can create and sell final products. For example you can learn spining the fiber and knitting.You can try with easier products like socks, scarfs, beanies etc.
If you don’t have too many options or enough time to sell on your own, you can join a cooperative and sell the wool through it. Join forums or groups where you can find about fairs and festivals. Many little producers sell wool in small bags that are usually brought by other small entrepreneurs.
Finally, your experience can be very valuable for other starters as you can share your experiences. If you are an animal lover this kind of business will bring you plenty of satisfaction. Have you ever thought about raising Angora rabbits?
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