Bunny Plucking

Having the bunnies in the studio is a nice change. I was afraid that it would get really messy, but they have been really good about using the litter boxes filled with corn cob. I started out with an old mattress cover on the floor thinking that it would save me some work cleaning up pellets. Well, all that did was encourage the rabbits to urinate everywhere and cause the place to smell. With the rabbits inside, it is also a lot easier to keep track of what they are up to. Lindt started grooming herself this morning and managed to felt the wool growing on her back. You can see a really black patch behind her ears. This is the undercoat that she exposed, while removing the mature fibers. I was not planning on plucking her, since I am fairly certain that she is pregnant and I caused her to lose her babies one time by picking her up. Since I had visions of her getting wool block from all of the licking, I put it on my to do list for this afternoon.
Here are the three ounces I got off her. I plan to card them without blending other fibers in and spinning it tomorrow. She looked a lot blacker than the fibers are because the tips are black while the inner portion varies from white to gray. It is the darkest angora that I have ever plucked. Lindt looks very puny without her wool, but she was quite content to sit on a padded chair, while I pulled out the loose fiber. She already has a white undercoat, but I put a blanket over her cage, so she won't get sick from the air conditioner draft. She was a lot perkier after her plucking.

There are always a few people who want to know, if it hurts them to be plucked. The answer is no - if you do it properly. The fiber needs to come out easily or it is not ready. Also, it helps to pull only from the tips. Then you are only getting the mature hairs and leaving the new growth. If you use scissors, you are more likely to cut the rabbit. They do not do well with stress, so I only use scissors to cut off badly matted pieces. I have had friends helping me pluck this year, so I am keeping up with the plucking.