We have a small goat herd. We first purchased them to keep the sheep company, and then fell in love with them. They have personality plus! And they keep my fence lines clean of brush and honeysuckle. I haven't spun the mohair into yarn yet, but have already been using it as Santa's beard on several dolls and wreaths.
The kids at work - our weed wacker is broken and we haven't bothered to fix it. The goats do an EXCELLENT job of cleaning the fences. And they never complain about doing it.
Please contact us if you would like a small sample - you won't believe the softness and sheen. We sell the Mohair raw fleece at $15.00 per pound plus shipping costs. Please contact us for an estimate. If you are interested in purchasing some mohair, please send me an email and I will get back to you with your exact costs and an invoice from PayPal.
Here are a few interesting facts about Angora goats:
* The fleece taken from an Angora goat is called mohair. Angora fiber comes from Angora rabbits. Mohair is similar to wool in chemical composition, but differs from wool in that it has a much smoother surface. It is a strong fiber that is elastic, has considerable luster, and takes dye very well.
One month old Angora goat kid "Patsy"
* They must be sheared twice a year. We shear in March and September. Angora goats are very susceptible to cold, wind, and wet conditions after they are sheared. After a scary incident with our first goat, we always jacket our goats for the first month after shearing. This way we don't have to worry if we get a freak storm and no one is home to shut them in the barn.
Goats in coats. They don't mind them at all and we don't have to worry about them being exposed to the elements.
* Their feet must be trimmed on a regular basis. I am still learning how close to trim their feet, so I just do it like fingernails and take off a little at a time. You can do with the goat tipped on its butt, but I have found they train well to just picking up their feet and letting me trim. I have read that rocky ground will help keep their feet in shape, but since my animals walk on smooth pasture I don't have any evidence of this.
One week old Angora Goat kid
* They need to be wormed on a regular basis. This is very important. We use the FAMACHA system of monitoring when they need to be wormed. This system uses the color of their inner eyelid to show if they are anemic or not. It has a score card showing when they need to be wormed. I look at their eyes monthly.
* They also get lice. There are two kinds of lice that infect goats, biting and sucking. You can tell if your goat gets these by looking closely at their skin - if you see little orange specs - they have lice. You cannot get these lice from your goat - they are species specific. When we see them, I use a pour on and monitor them for the next several weeks to make sure I have got them all.
* Angora goats grow slowly, not reaching their full body size until they are two years old. We do not breed kids until they are over a year old.
* Angora goats have a high nutrient requirement to maintain their body condition and will produce mohair at the expense of other demands. We graze our goats and supplement their hay and pasture with grain and a mineral mix to make sure they are getting all the nutrition that they need. But you also need to note that nutrition affects the fiber diameter, meaning a higher plane of nutrition for the goat the coarser its fleece will be. So we feed our goats enough, but not too much!
* Mohair should be washed before spinning or using in craft projects. You would never know it was white as it comes off the goat. It is not hard to wash. You will need to use very hot water and detergent. Soak the fleece about a half hour, I usually like to do this step twice, rinsing well between each soaking. After soaking, rinse with hot water until the fleece is clean. I usually add a small amount of vinegar to the final rinse to bring out the sheen of the fleece. Lay it out on towels or a screen to dry. It usually takes several days in normal temperatures for the fleece to dry. You can use a fan or hair dryer to speed up the process. This is the fun part of taking the dirty fleece and seeing how beautiful it turns after washing.
We are proud members of the following organization, and here is the web link to our favorite place for goat supplies.