Saturday, August 11, 2012

Angora Goats and Cashmere Goats

Angora Goats do not produce Angora wool, the super fluffy Angora rabbits do that, but Angora goats do produce a fiber, which is known as Mohair.  Angora goats are a specific breed of goat.  At one time they were pretty much only white in color, but in recent years people have begun breeding them in different colors.

The Angora goat originated in Turkey and as focus was mostly on the fiber production they are not a particularly hardy or prolific breed of goat, often having only one or two kids, and tending to be prone to parasites.
Angora Goat - photo from wikimedia

The fleece of an Angora goat grows fast, about one inch (2.5cm) per month and is sheared twice a year.  It is often used for blankets and sweaters.  Wethers (castrated male goats) tend to be the best producers of Mohair.

Cashmere Goats are more of a type of goat that produce hairs which are soft and often removed by brushing as they will eventually shed out.  The fiber itself is then called Cashmere.  There are over 60 breeds of goat which product Cashmere, including the Myotonic goats (fainting goats). 

The younger goats tend to produce the better Cashmere, which is often used to make scarfs, baby blankets, and so forth.
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About Goats

Goats are a bit more tricky to keep than sheep (that is one of the reasons we do not keep them) they tend to climb fences, or sneak under fences.  Goats are browsers and will nibble trees, shrubs, and flowers.

Goats are sexually mature around 5 months of age but it is best not to breed them until they are at least 8 months of age.  Gestation for a goat is 5 months.

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