If you are lucky enough to have a litter of two or more then you will need to decide which ones will be good to show. Not all of them will have “Show Quality”. When they are about six weeks, you can start to take them out and handle them, grooming them gently behind the neck, turning them upside down and checking for knots, missing tails, white toenails if the are coloured. This is a major fault and that baby cannot be considered for show. Continue to groom them about once a week.
PJ was born on 14th November 2015. We were about to leave to visit Kew Gardens, Derek and our son in law to the Archives in search of ancestors and Orlanda and myself to wander around Kew Gardens. On doing a check on the rabbits, before I left, I found a smoke baby, born to Josca lying in the middle of the hutch cold and barely moving. As Josca is a real Prima donna, no fur or sign of nest building had taken place. So I removed it, brought it down to the house and put it in a knitted angora mitten on a hot water bottle and left for the day.
I started in Rabbits in 1998 and have nerver looked back since. As a junior I had one of the very best start ups with my stock originating from Yvonne Hobbs. She mentored me and guided me into keeping this precious and gorgeous animals. Since that time I have mastered the art of presenting these beauiful animals on the show table. Angoras captivated my mind from the first day I saw Yvonne doing her daily groom on one of her adult whites at the time and from that moment I have been hooked. There is no other breed that has the character and satisfaction as the Angora.
The National Angora Club Stock Show was held 26th November 2017 Coventry and was a successful show.
The main Judge for the Stock Show for the Angora rabbits was NAC member and Judge Simon Whincup.
Breeding Angora rabbits and the problems
When the doe is ready to produce it is down to her and it is not always straight forward. The doe produces a litter, but often can scatter babies across the hutch during this process, especially if she is a first time mother. If she has made a nest but fails to put the babies in it then quietly lift her out, check her over, and give her a titbit first. Then put any live babies in nest and remove any dead ones. You can warm up any that are still moving slightly by warming them in your hands or on a heat pad and then return them to the nest once warm. In the meantime put the doe back with the live and warm babies which are now safely in the nest and give her more treats then leave her to rear her babies.
Top ten things you need to know about showing Angora rabbits
1. You will need to join the British Rabbit Council (The BRC)
2. It is recommended you purchase Fur and Feather Magazine, winkley publishing as this will give you details of all shows held in the uk.
3. Buy your English Angora rabbit from a breeder that is an exhibitor and can advise you on how to go about showing an angora.
4. The Angora rabbit should be wearing a BRC ring, and the breeder should give you a transfer sheet. You will need to pay the fee to the BRC to get the Angora rabbit transferred into your name. It is usually about three weeks before you can then show the Angora rabbit in your name. If the Angora rabbit does not have a ring, you will not be able to get a ring on to it as the rings are put on their legs before they 8 weeks old.
5. Your Angora rabbit baby should ideally be about 9 or 10 weeks old and will need to go into a hutch with a wire floor, this is to stop the feet and the skirt getting soiled. These are usually made from weldmesh about ¾ squares and cut to shape, and bent to fit hutch and no wood is necessary.
6. You will need to examine your baby Angora rabbit every day for knots and soiling. The knots should be teased out with your fingers. You need to leave the ‘tips” this is the ends of the guard hairs. Angora rabbits that are to be shown need to be spotless and free of hay, and food. Your Angora rabbit baby can be shown after it is 14 weeks old, but 16 weeks is a better age for angoras.
7. If you decide to go along to a local show, check on the closing date for entries and contact the secretary. They will advise you what classes you can enter. If there is no Angora class you can enter in to any other variety fancy. You just need to tell the secretary the breed, age, and sex and they will do the rest. You will need to take a wire for the Angora rabbit to sit on so check what size the rabbit pen will be. You will need a water bottle, hay in a loo roll or tied up and a small ceramic feed dish. If the rabbit has a toy you can take that as well.
8. You must check the time of the show and be there about an hour before to allow for you to find the secretary, your pen number and groom your Angora rabbit if necessary. No grooming is allowed after judging has started, so make sure you are ready.
9. When you have shown your Angora rabbit up to the age of five months, it then is shown in adult classes. It is ready for the adult class when it is five months old on the day of the show not the day you entered it. Angoras start to moult at that age and there will be a moult line just above the nose, so the judge will know if it is over its five months, you could be disqualified.
10. If you are lucky enough to win a CC (championship certificate) you can collect these and make a BRC champion. If you join the National Angora Club (NAC) you can enter stock shows and the National Angora Club champions are more difficult as you will need to have a breeder or panel judge amongst your ccs.
The British Rabbit Council (BRC) two star show is at Coventry for the rabbit and cavy club on Sunday 26th November 2017. It is being held at Wyken Community Centre, Westmorland Road, off Belgrave Road, Wyken, Coventry, CV2 5PY. The BRC offers 128CCs, 18 Best of Breeds (BoBs), Ros for Best in Show (Bis) & Jun.
Also entertaining National Angora Club three star stock show to be judged by Mr Simon Whincup at 11am. AGM to be held at 1pm. Any proposals to Chris Hamilton or Lesley Hordon. Contact details on our website.
a BRC one star show judged by Mr G Moss ( fancy and lops) Miss L Berry (fur and Rex) at 10.30 am
a Midland CNTS Dutch RC two star show, judge Dr A Churchman at 10.30am plus a members adult stock show , judge Mr D Ball .
Cost of an exhibition angora rabbit
A good English angora rabbit should cost around £30 – £60 if it is for exhibition, however some breeders charge as much as £100. It is up to you if you are prepared to pay this much, but if it is your first rabbit you should think twice about it. If you are looking for an exhibition english angora rabbit also check the breed standards to make sure the rabbit you are looking to buy conforms to the breed standard to be able to show it.
Cost of an angora rabbit for wool or as a pet
Angora rabbits which are only suitable for their wool (i.e.spinning) should cost anything from £15 – £20. Like every breed of animal, not every baby in a litter is going to reach exhibition standard and meet the breed standard but will have excellent coats for spinners.
Profile of NAC member Simon Whincup
I started in rabbits in 1992 with my first breeds being dwarf and cashmere lops. I carried on to have numerous successes with these breeds. I was lucky enough to have mentors like Bill Webb, Jean Thompson, Maureen and Walter Faint and Jane Bramley. I have also been influenced in the fur and rex fancy by Meg Brown, Judy Le Marchant, Ken and Viv Watts, which in turn has given me a passion for the rare variety section.