The Giant Angora rabbit is a breed of Angora rabbit, that, like all Angora breeds, is known for it’s fur. This is a very large breed — weighing up to 10 lbs — yet they make excellent pets for those who know how to look after rabbits and have the time for grooming! Also excelling a show rabbit, the Giant Angora gets on very well with children and has a calm and gentle temperament.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Giant Angora rabbit and seeing whether they might be the rabbit for you, keep reading below.
History Of The Giant Angora Rabbit
The American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) recognizes four different breeds of Angora rabbit: French, English, Satin, and Giant. The Satin Angora has finer and softer hair than the other breeds and the Giant Angora, which we will focus on in this guide, is the biggest of the breeds.
A fifth variety of Angora rabbit breed, the German Angora, is recognized by the International Association of German Angora Rabbit Breeders.
The Angora wool industry has been criticized by animal right activists for many years. They claim that rabbits are scared and injured in the process of harvesting the wool. Due to their wonderful coats, the Angora is a very popular show breed and is often hard to beat.
The Angora rabbit originates from Ankara, Turkey (previously known as Angora) and is one of the oldest type of woolly rabbits. When these rabbits first came to the United States, at first there was just one type of Angora rabbit, known as the “Angora Wooler”.
In 1939, the Angora Wooler was reclassified as two types of rabbits — the English Angora and the French Angora. The Satin Angora was then created by crossing the Satin and French Angora rabbit and the Giant Angora was created by breeding the English Angora rabbit with Flemish Giants.
Louise Walsh of Taunton, Massachusetts wanted to create an Angora that was was different from the other Angora breeds of rabbits. The Giant Angora was recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) in 1988.
Characteristics Of The Giant Angora Rabbit
The Giant Angora is a very impressive breed! These rabbits are large, with big, fluffy coats that certainly make them stand out from the crowd. Not only does this make them popular at rabbit shows, but often this fur used to make clothes such as socks and mittens.
A Giant Angora rabbit can set you back anywhere between $50 and $250, if not more! Because of their show-quality and their wool that can be sheared and then sold on, they are one of the more expensive breeds.
The Giant Angora rabbit is the largest of all the Angora breeds. These rabbits usually weigh between 9.5 and 10 lbs. They have a commercial body type with a large oval head that is broad on the forehead and slightly narrower at the muzzle. They have forehead tufts and cheek furnishings and their ears are long and stand upright.
This is what the Giant Angora rabbit is known for! Out of all the Angora breeds recognized by ARBA, the Giant Angora produces the most wool. They have three different kinds of fiber in its wool: soft underwool (gentle waves and shine), awn fluff (crimped with a hooked end) and awn hair (guard hairs which are strong and straight).
As a companion rabbit, the Giant Angora should be taken to the groomers a few times a year to have their coat clipped. This and regular brushing can help to prevent matting. We will go into more detail about grooming the Angora later on.
The Angora’s coat can come in a range of colors. The color your Angora will be will depend on what color group they are in. These groups include the agouti group, white group, broken group, shaded group and self group. The most common colors are white, black, blue, chocolate, blue tort, black tort, chocolate, tort, and chestnut.
However, the only color that is accepted by the ARBA is REW (ruby-eyed white). These are also known as albino rabbits.
The Giant Angora rabbit has a friendly and laid-back nature, like most rabbits, yet they need plenty of time with their owners to socialize and bond. These bunnies don’t like to be locked up in their hutch for long periods of time and will much prefer to be around you.
Once bonded to you, the Giant Angora rabbit is your friend for life! They can get on well with everyone, children included. Socialization should be continued throughout their life so they become a well-rounded rabbit.
You should always respect your Angora’s personal space, especially when they are new to your home. If they are afraid or frightened, then they might try to bite.
The Giant Angora rabbit has a life expectancy of between 7 and 12 years. This is relatively long for a rabbit!
Known Health Issues
These bunnies can live a long and happy life when looked after correctly. However, like all rabbits, the Giant Angora can be prone to some health conditions. These health problems are mostly related to their large coat.
– Woolblock — this can be a serious and sometimes fatal issue within the Angora. As they clean and groom themselves, they can ingest fur which can become trapped inside the digestive system and create a furball. Unlike cats, rabbits cannot regurgitate furballs and it will become bigger and bigger. This can lead to loss of appetite as your rabbit will believe they are full, or it can block the digestive tract.
– Overheating — this is due to their fluffy coat. Ensure you groom them correctly and keep them out of the sun.
– Diarrhea — this is something all rabbits deal with, especially when they eat too much fresh food, especially sugary fruits and not enough hay. However, you’ll need to clean your Angora properly if they experience diarrhea because it can get trapped within their coat. Make sure they are throughly dry after any kind of washing otherwise moisture can become trapped against their skin which will lead to other health issues.
– Malocclusion — this is when the upper and lower teeth are misaligned so that the normal process of chewing doesn’t wear down your rabbit’s teeth. Regular dental checkups are very important. You should also make sure your rabbit eats plenty of hay.
Like all rabbits, they can also suffer from back issues if they are mishandled or accidentally dropped, particularly because of their size.
Regular vet checkups will ensure that you catch any health problems before they become too serious. You should also make sure that you are buying from a reputable breeder.
Now we know all about the traits and characteristics of the Giant Angora rabbit, it is time to take a look at what living with one of these rabbits on a day to day basis is really like. They are not too difficult to take care of, but thanks to their size and grooming requirements, are not recommended for first time owners. Keep reading below to find out more.
Food And Diet
The exact amount you feed your Giant Angora rabbit should be based on their size, age and activity level. Of course, you are going to be feeding them more than you would a smaller rabbit, purely because they are a large breed! However, you should be careful not to overfeed them as weight gain can be detrimental to their health.
They should be eating a portion of hay that is at least as big as their body size every day, alongside pellets and fresh vegetables. Fresh water should also always be available to them.
Hay is very important as it helps to keep your Angora’s digestive system moving, as well as helping to wear down their teeth so they are less prone to dental issues. At least 70% of your rabbit’s diet should be hay.
High-quality supplementary pellets help to provide extra vitamins and minerals that keep your rabbit healthy and to give them a balanced diet. Take a look at a supplementary pellet food we recommend below.
Best Food For The Giant Angora Rabbit
We recommend the Small Pet Select rabbit food for the Giant Angora rabbit. These pellets provide your rabbit with a high fiber, timothy hay based food that is fortified with all essential vitamins and minerals they need to thrive. Your rabbit won’t be able to selective feed and will only be eating natural ingredients that will help them stay healthy.
Being timothy based, this food is high in fiber and low in calories and calcium, and the hay is completely fresh — being only from the current crop year. Milled in small batches and only available online to ensure freshness, this food is 100% made in the USA and only contains quality ingredients.BUY ON AMAZON
In the wild, rabbits run around three miles a day. Therefore, it is very important that you give your pet rabbit enough exercise every day to keep them active and entertained. They should have at least three hours of free-range time, whether this is out of their hutch in the garden or just around the house.
While the Giant Angora rabbit isn’t the most active rabbit, they still need time outside of their cage to hop around. They can become bored and destructive without exercise and this can reduce their life expectancy. You can also buy some toys for your bunny to play with to keep them engaged and stimulated mentally.
If you want to leave them alone outside unsupervised, they will need a large secure enclosure. This can be stand-alone or attached their hutch. This will keep them safe from predators and means you won’t need to be on the lookout all the time.
Family Compatibility and Trainability
The Giant Angora rabbit can thrive in many homes, but it is often recommended that you have prior experience of looking after a rabbit before bringing one of these buns into your house. This is due to their large size and their coat which needs to be groomed and clipped often.
That being said, they can get on very well with many different people, including families with children. They are not suited to apartment living because of their size and will need a large yard to be able to hop around in.
While training a rabbit isn’t as easy as training a cat or a dog, it can be done! You can teach your Angora to use a litter box. You can also try teaching them to come when their name is called!
The Giant Angora rabbit can live either indoors or outdoors — it is up to you. Many owners prefer to keep their Angora outdoors because there is more space and, as a giant rabbit, these bunnies need lots of room to hop around in. However, they can also live very happily indoors and will like to spend time with their family members. If you do house them inside, think about purchasing a playpen or creating a secure area outside for your Giant Angora to exercise in.
Whether they are inside or outside, their hutch should be large enough that they can easily move around inside. Try to stay away from hutches with wire floors as these can cause sore hocks within rabbits. Take a look at the hutch we recommend below.
Best Hutch For The Giant Angora Rabbit
We recommend the Pawhut Deluxe wooden hutch for the Giant Angora rabbit. It measures 82.75″Lx18″Wx33.25″H and provides adequate space for your bunny to hop around in. With two levels, there are multiple ramps to the enclosed upper box that allow easy access to and from the large living area and run. This hutch is made from fir wood and heavy duty wire mesh to keep your bunny safe at all times. The roof is also waterproof so the hutch can stay outside at all times, although it can also be used indoors.BUY ON AMAZON
This is not the breed for those who don’t like grooming! The Giant Angora rabbit needs to be brushed at least two to three times a week with a wire-bristled comb. Grooming should be increased during shedding season, which happens twice a year. Brushing their coat will keep their fur matt and tangle free.
You will also need to take your Angora to the groomers around four times a year to get their coat trimmed with clippers. This will keep their coat short as it will constantly grow.
You should very rarely bathe your rabbit. It is not really necessary, unless they are really dirty. Bathing can also be a traumatic experience for them. You should also trim their nails as and when is needed.
Giant Angora Rabbit FAQ’s
How big should my rabbit’s cage be?
The rule with rabbits is: the bigger the better! If you have the space for a big hutch then your rabbit will always appreciate the extra room to roam and exercise. No one wants to be stuck in a cramped space!
If you do not have a lot of space, then the cage should be at least 4 times the size of the rabbit. A guide is 24″ by 36″ for smaller rabbits (less than 8 lbs) or 30″ by 36″ for larger rabbits. Hutches with multiple stories are also popular as they give your bun more space.
Should I keep my Giant Angora Rabbit outside?
While this is up to you, experts often recommend you keep your Giant Angora rabbit outside. This is because they are a large breed and need a lot of space. If you have the space outside, you can attach a large secure run to their hutch so they have extra space to move.
That being said, the Angora rabbit can live happily inside too. You just need to make sure you are letting them have free-rein of the house for at least 3 hours a day for exercise.
The Giant Angora rabbit is certainly giant! These rabbits are known for their size and their fur but, while they are largely bred for their wool, they can also make excellent family pets to those who understand their needs and are ready to take on some serious grooming! Once socialized, the Giant Angora rabbit is a friendly and laid-back pet and can be kept either indoors or outdoors. Make sure you give them lots of attention and they will bond to you very quickly. Do you think one of these fluff-balls could be for you?