- Weight: 5–5.5 kg (5.5–12.1 lb.)
- Similar breeds - English Angora and Giant Angora Rabbit
- Size – Medium to a large rabbit
- German Angora rabbit lifespan: 7-12 years
- Body type – cylindrical
Origin and history
In the 1920s, starting with what looks most like the modern-day English Angora, German breeders selectively bred them with an objective of increasing the quantity and quality of wool, i.e., they wanted a commercial high yield rabbit.
Over this period, they have increased the annual wool yield from the initial “starting point of 250 grams (half a pound) to a world record set in 1990 of 2,232 grams (over five pounds). Ten years later, a new record of over 2,800 grams was achieved” (source - iagarb.com). It is common in both Europe and North America to get bunnies that produce 2000g annually.
Although ARBA does not recognize it, the International Association of German Angora Rabbit Breeders (IAGARB) has it as a standard German Angora rabbit. Elsewhere in Europe, it is referred to as an Angora bunny bred following German standards.
To help distinguish them from other Angoras, it is common to hear them being called continental angoras to separate them with English or French ones.
Size, weight, color, and appearance
These are large angora rabbits with symmetrical and cylindrical shaped bodies with the same height and width, and of medium length weighing between 5.5 to 12 lbs.
Also, the German Angoras have “furnishings on their face and ears, commonly known as tassels. Their ears are upright and well-haired, with tufts of hair on the top” (petguide.com).
Their coat has very fine, long wool which requires little maintenance and it does not molt. Also, this fur is resistant to matting and therefore does not need brushing and grooming except for the shearing that is done after three months.
These bunnies come in several colors, with their most common color being the Ruby-eye White (REW). Colored ones are hardly uniform since the top fur often has a vibrant and intense hue as opposed to the undercoat. Patterns and markings are not common as they are an undesirable trait.
The IAGARB accepted colors include albino color, self, tortoiseshell, agouti, wideband, and Chinchilla color groups.
Care and grooming
They do not require much grooming. According to Walter Drecktrah of Sulingen, any “Angora leaning toward matting is removed from the breeding program. Combing or brushing the animals between shearing is unheard of,” (source - iagarb.com)
Their diet consists of high-quality rabbit pellets and hay. They can also nibble fruits, vegetables, and some rabbit friendly greens.
Their hutches can be indoors and outdoors. You need to ensure the hutch is safe, and the right size for your rabbit, i.e., it should be spacious (to allow it to stand and walk freely) and has good bedding.
Spot-cleaning, removal of all the droppings should be daily done whereas you should change their bedding after a week.
If you opt for an outdoor cage, it must be weatherproof and secure to keep predators away. Also, both outdoor and indoor enclosures must have a sleeping area.
If you want them to roam in the house freely, rabbit-proof your home or you keep cables, wires, and any other thing they might nibble as some may be harmful to them or they may damage your valuable items. Provide them with a place they can escape to and relax such as a dog crate or a hutch.
Besides their cages, these affectionate bunnies need to time to play with you. A fenced backyard will be ideal or leave them to freely hop in the house in case they are indoor rabbits. This is the time you can use to bond with them.
This bunny breed is sturdy and healthy. One thing you need to be careful about is wool blocks or hairballs where it may swallow some fur as its grooming itself. Ingested fur may accumulate and block its digestive system since it cannot regurgitate like cats or dogs.
Signs of the wool block will include smaller drier droppings, constipation, or poop clumped together by fur, loss of appetite or the bunny not eating at all. Let your vet deal with this problem. To help reduce wool blocks, ensure your rabbit gets enough roughages (hay).
Regularly check if they have overgrown teeth, especially if you do not give it enough hay or they have bad diets. More hay, some gnaw toys, and soft rabbit friendly wood can help grind down overgrown teeth.
Check for some of the common bunny diseases and symptoms such as a runny nose and eyes, lethargy, diarrhea, urine color changes, loss of appetite, loss of fur, coughing, fever, or an anomaly. Notify your vet.
Finally, let your does be spayed, and bucks neutered unless you want to breed them. This reduces disease including uterine cancers that affect the reproductive system, aggressive behaviors, as well as lengthen their lifespan.
Temperament and behavior
The German Angoras are docile and friendly. They can be social if they were socialized while still growing, making them excellent pets too.
They love to play but they are not too active or energetic, and they will often take a nap in their enclosures until it's they playtime. They are intelligent and trainable if you want them to use their litter boxes. However, this needs a lot of time and patience.
The fact that they are social, they don’t shed, hardly bite or scratch, love cuddles and being petted, makes them ideal for people with kids who have been taught how to handle them.
German Angora wool
German Angora rabbit for sale
If you intend to buy them, you need to know that the IAGARB Standard for Angora awards 45 points to their wool (density, texture, length, and uniformity) and the remaining 55 points to the general condition and body type.
There are so many places where you can get them including rescue centers, among Angora rabbit breeders, and other online classified ads. Also, try:
The prices for the German Angora rabbits range from $50 to almost $200+. You can get lower or higher prices depending on if they are purebred, for showing or pedigreed.
Further readings and references