my lioness

I tried taking some closeups tonight of Cosset's coat in hope of getting some feedback and advice from my angora mentors here. You might remember that this is the doe that I got who was terribly matted, to the skin, over most of her body. I dematted her slowly over the course of weeks, and then gave her an overall haircut just a month ago. Somehow now there's all this hair! Thankfully, no longer matted (knock on wood).

So here are my questions - there are large areas where her new coat is only 1/2 inch or so, but lots of places where it's a couple of inches long with downy, light grey wool that will just pull right out. That skirt around her bottom in particular. Is that the old coat? Is that what I should be looking for to know that they are ready to be plucked? Or is that webbing? Then there are some spots of fine, dark, agouti-coloring mixed in among the light grey down - are those the guard hairs, or does she just have some spots? It has gotten so hot that I'll need to take all of it off again anyway, but I want to make sure I know what I'm looking at. Both her and her baby Junior are doing much better though since the Ivomec - both their coats are still patchy but no flaky skin and minimal matting.

It breaks my heart that she still seems so scared of me. She makes unhappy noises every time I reach for her, and thumps every time I let her run around in the house - and this was a bunny that her former owner said had always been super friendly. I am gentle and give her treats. I know it will take time, but I don't know whether to just handle her more or give her some space. How can I get her to trust me? Of all four bunnies, Prissy is by far the most outgoing and friendly. It makes me think that breeding my own bunz might be more satisfying than taking in bunnies - hopefully being handled from birth they'd learn to like me, but who knows. Still, I love taking care of these bunz - it relaxes me - I just wish it was good for them too.


  1. All the long stuff is the old coat and as you mentioned it pulls out quite easily including the "skirt" around the bottom.

    Webbing occurs on a past prime full coat and is a sign that you will soon need to remove the coat or it will start knotting or matting. When you blow into a past prime coat and you see a pattern that looks like a spider web - this is webbing. On Cossets current coat webbing is not likely.

    The uneven color you mentioned (spotting) likely due to the various phases the coat is in at the moment. When it grows out to prime the color and guard hairs will even themselves out.

    I suggest trimming everything to the length of 1/2 inch and letting it go. By fall she will have a new coat. You can pick at the softer white tuffs (which will be some leftover shedding wool) as they become evident along the way as the new coat grows in. It looks like you did a decent job with the trimming. When you trim the skirt just be careful you don't pull the wool and stretch the skin when you cut or you might nick her. You mentioned some scars. She's probably weary of being cut.

    As far as her being scared of you-she's been to a new home and has tolerate a lot of necessary wool maintenance left to you by whoever you got her from. I would continue to handle her, give her some small tidbits of treats, and talk to her. She will come around.

  2. It sounds like you have parts of the old coat coming out. The short stuff is the new coat. Just keep working out the old until it's all gone and you'll be able to start over fresh. Frustrating, isn't it?