Our Mission

To live a self-sufficient and organic lifestyle for the next half century. With the Grace of God and the power of prayer, we will succeed. Nothing is impossible with His help. It wouldn't be us without laughter and joy at the Cockeyed Homestead.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Introducing Cara to the Cockeyed Critters

Cara @ 8 weeks old
I found another nonrelated English Angora doe! Cara is the newest addition to the Cockeyed Homestead Rabbitry.

I found her on Craig's List for a price at the within my price range ($25). Cara is what we are naming her keeping with the Celtic names for our rabbitry. It means beauty and adored. At just 8 weeks old, it will be next spring before we can breed her at the earliest. But we will probably wait until fall 2019, giving her a full year to mature. But we're in this for the long haul.

The only down side to Cara is that she is a English/ Satin cross angora rather than the purebred English that we specialize in. What this means is she will be bigger (5-6 lbs) than the standard English (3-5 lbs), her fur will be longer, finer, silkier, and have luminescent qualities. Not necessarily a bad things for fiber production. What makes her more difficult is the guard hairs that will have to be removed before spinning. English Angoras have no guard hairs. I'm hoping, because she is a cross, the guard hairs will be reduced.
Cara@8 weeks

It will take three generations to breed the satin out of the equation to get a purebred angora out of her original litter. Of course, they'll always be a few throwbacks in future litters. As you can tell from from the picture, she looks more of the Satin angora than English (French+English=Satin) with her fur clad face and ears instead of fiber. No fluffy, tufted ears that Mel loves and I have a hard time grooming.

Wool Chart
The fiber from a satin angora is finer than an English angora thus lighter weight. The micron count for English to Satin is 22-25. Compared to  the finest sheep's wool, Merino, at 22. This is why we usually blend Merino wool with it for the lightest weight, strength, and warmth. It is the cheapest fiber and yarn we sell.

Why weight is important to us? Have you ever picked up a fisherman's wool sweater? Heavy wasn't it? As a woman wearing this sweater and moving, it's sure to add several pounds to your scale weight. It will easily add 5-7 lbs. If you could get the even more warmth with over half as much weight, wouldn't you? I would. Just the sheer ease in movement would be worth it.

Cara @8 weeks
I currently have one 100% angora knitted sweater. It weighs a pound, but when I wear it, there's no need for an over coat outside with temperatures in the high 20s. Yes, it's that warm. Angora doesn't give you the itchy feel next to the skin either unlike sheep's wool. The only down side to angora is it's hydrophobic (it doesn't like being wet). But, it is also prime luxury fiber. It's the mink of spinning fibers and no animal has to die to get it.

Cara, by being a larger rabbit, has an added benefit. Possible meat production. If I can ever get Mel over her dislike of culling rabbits. I refrain from butchering rabbits because of this. To her, they are just too cute and lovable to kill. I'm partial with her when it comes to angoras. I'd rather sell them than eat them. But push comes to shove, I'll do it regardless.

Well that's it for this week. We are thrilled to have a baby on the  homestead again.

Y'all have a blessed day.



2 comments:

  1. Oh, gosh, she looks just like my first angora rabbit. I loved that rabbit so. Even though we raise quite a bit of our own meat, he's the reason we've never gotten into meat rabbits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Leigh, I've raised meat rabbits in the past and can separate my feelings between meat and fiber rabbits.

      Delete

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