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French angora rabbits are some of the largest of the four angora breeds. They feature a woolly undercoat and fine, soft fur all around their bodies. The scientific name for these rabbits is Oryctolagus cuniculus.
Many people prefer French angora rabbits as pets because they are known as gentle, quiet creatures. They are also intelligent, curious animals who regularly interact with their environments. They can be amusing to watch for both children and adults. Other people keep French angora rabbits to breed them and sell their offspring, or to enter them into rabbit shows.
The name for these types of rabbits is thought to come from the word Ankara. It is widely believed that the rabbits originated from Ankara, Turkey. These types of rabbits can come in 30 different colors. Color is assessed by the shade of each rabbit's face, feet, and tail. They can weigh anywhere from 7 to 10 pounds (3.5 to 4.5 kg) and sometimes feature small ear tufts of fur.
Though many angora bunnies have faces hidden beneath long strands of fur, the French angora has a clean, open face that is easily seen. When used for show purposes, several types of French angoras are able to be judged. These include wide band, ticked, self, shaded, agouti, pointed white, and broken varieties.
Like other rabbits, they are also used as a food and fur source. Unlike many other animals used for their fur, however, French angora rabbits are typically unharmed during the harvesting process. These long-haired types of rabbits naturally molt, causing their fur to fall off and regrow without exterior interference. Angora rabbits need not die when their fur is used to make lightweight, warm coats and other pieces of clothing. Breeders claim that the fur of the angora rabbit is eight times warmer than sheep wool.
Similar to most other breeds of longhair domestic rabbits, French angora rabbits require regular grooming. Without a steady brushing routine, their fur can become matted and dirty. This can even cause pain for the rabbits. Otherwise, the rabbits are considered very simple to care for. It is recommended that these rabbits be handled gently and frequently to help produce the best possible pets.
Hairballs can be an unpleasant experience for French angora owners, as well as for the rabbits themselves. To minimize these, it is recommended that owners feed their rabbits fresh hay regularly. Angora rabbit breeds do not require vaccinations like many other house pets.