German Angora Rabbits were developed in Germany around 1777
and was a registered breed in the first German rabbit show held in Chemnitz,
Germany, in 1885. It was first bred for fiber length, but at the time of the
First World War the demand for warm Angora wool increased and the rabbit was
then bred for fiber density rather than just length.
German Angora rabbits were then bred aggressively for
density and size, and they reached what seems to be their natural limit of fiber
production with records of two kilograms plus of fiber per animal per annum.
One big problem of these super-dense coated and supersized animals was a
reduction in fertility, some rabbits becoming sterile, as they were pushed
beyond their limits for greater annual yields of fiber.
Recent breeding standards now show a preference for medium
sized animals (around 3.5 kilograms body weight) with good fiber yields in
relation to food intake and increased animal cleanliness (leading to high
percentage of wool usability).
The German Angora is listed as an endangered species
Content and Photo Source: New Zealand Rare Breeds (www.rarebreeds.co.nz