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angora goat
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How To Get Your Goat
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How to Get Your Goat

If you’ve ever seen a baby angora goat, frolicking and bouncing with tail wagging and a cloud of curly mohair locks, you know what I mean. You just want to take it home. It’s not really all that hard to have a couple of pet goats. They have minimal needs compared to a lot of livestock, and they can be quite charming as pets.

If you are crafty, or know someone who is, or even if you would like to make a little profit off of your goats, angoras are ideal to grow your own mohair. They are shorn twice per year, and each goat yields 5-8 pounds of fiber per shearing. The long curly locks can be spun into an airy, fuzzy yarn which is beautiful. They are also prized by doll makers for making wigs for art dolls. Mohair can be dyed with human hair dyes to make, for instance, very lifelike red hair mohair wig for porcelain or polymer clay dolls. With useful wool that you can use or sell, it’s worth considering keeping a couple of angora goats as pets.

Never get just one goat, since they are herd animals and get unbearably lonely if they don’t have a goatish companion. They will bond with people, but unless you plan to sleep with them, they need a partner of their own kind.

You’ll need some kind of shelter for your pet goats. A dog house will do just fine for females, called “does.” Angoras are a long horned goat, and the bucks have longer horns than the does. After they are a couple of years old, chances are good they won’t be able to get past a standard doghouse opening. Either have a doghouse with an adapted opening, or make your own special shed for them.

Food for your goat is fairly simple. They like hay, and preferably a high quality alfalfa hay. They are growing wool for you, after all, so they need a fair amount of protein which is more available in alfalfa hay than in grass. Specialized goat chow is available at feed stores or livestock supply places. I always give my angora goats about half and half alfalfa and goat chow, for the healthiest mohair fleeces. When hay is difficult to find (which it is occasionally, due to severe drought in many areas where hay is traditionally grown), there is pelleted alfalfa or cubed alfalfa at most feed stores. It isn’t true that goats will eat anything. This is a myth based on the fact that goats are curious, and will put just about anything in their mouths just like any child might do. It is no coincidence that we call both human children and goat children “kids.”

Your goats will need a few more things to stay healthy, but feed and shelter are the basics. Water, of course, is a necessity. Especially in warmer climates it is vital to keep plenty of fresh water for these wooly creatures. A couple of medicines are wise to keep on hand, a good book on goat raising, and halters for times when you need to keep your goat tied or walking with you.

I had a friend once who regularly went on hikes with his two pet goats. The goats would gladly follow along on mountain trails, glad to be part of the adventure. The only problem arose when he met someone going the other direction on the trail. Goats are such natural herd animals it was in their instinct to turn and follow the other person, and my friend would have to go chasing down the mountainside to get his pet goats going the same direction he was once again. Halters are important.

When it comes time to shear your goats, it is not necessary to have expensive equipment. Any pair of spring loaded scissors will work just fine. Cut parallel to the skin of the goat to avoid nicks from the blades and leave an even short clip on the goat. Collect the mohair locks, and you’re ready to enjoy the harvest of mohair you got from your goats!


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