Other common names: Ankara keçisi
The Angora Goat is an ancient breed, with records of the use of goat hair for clothing appearing as early as 1500 B.C. "Mohair", the name given to the fleece of Angora Goats, is derived from the Arabic word mukhayyar, meaning "cloth of bright lustrous goat hair".
Angora Goats originated in the Angora region near Ankara, Turkey. The breed was distributed to Europe, South Africa, and North America in the 1800s. South Africa’s population of Angoras account for the world’s third largest mohair production, after Turkey and the United States. In the U.S., the Angoras thrive in the southwest, especially in Texas, the second largest mohair producer worldwide.
Appearance / health:
Angora Goats are typically white but recent developments have led to a variety of hair colors including shades of black, silver, red, and brown. The Colored Angora Goat Breeders Association (CAGBA) is an excellent resource for learning more about colored Angoras.
Both sexes are horned although the males’ horns are longer (up to more than 2 feet in length) and tend to spiral. The back and the legs are straight, and the chest wide. The ears are large, heavy, and drooping. The mohair, similar to course wool, is sheared twice a year, weighing an average of 5 pounds per shearing.
Goats are sensitive animals that can suffer from various infectious and chronic diseases that are sometimes undetected until too late. Vaccinations, as well as de-worming and de-lousing applications must be conducted as needed. Angoras are prone to parasite attacks due to their dense hair.
Goats must be inspected frequently to detect any signs of poor health, infections, or other ailments. Signs include cloudy or teary eyes, dull or fluffed up coat, droopy tail, hunched back, or poor appetite. A veterinarian should always be on call to address health concerns.
Behavior / temperament:
Goats are inherently curious, active, intelligent, and social. They are known to have the ability to overcome enclosures by unraveling the gate, climbing over the mesh, or pushing and ramming the fence down. Goats have good coordination and balance and can manage to climb low trees, ledges, and overhangs. Their curiosity leads them to constantly investigate items with their mouths; most items get chewed and swallowed. With a little patience, goats can be taught to carry or pull loads, respond to calls, and lead a herd. As social animals, they easily get along with other farm animals.
Housing / diet:
As herd animals, goats are best kept in pairs or groups. As grazers, they require an outdoor habitat that is securely fenced to prevent escape or foraging in restricted areas. The area should be large enough to allow the goat to roam. The recommended habitat per goat is 200 sq. ft. of yard or pasture plus a sheltered or indoor area of about 15 sq. ft. The sheltered area should be adequately built to keep the goats safe from rain and strong winds.
Keeping goats inside the house is not recommended because of the pet’s tendency to gnaw and chew on furniture and furnishings. Goats are also not known to adhere to toilet training.
Angora Goats are particularly susceptible to cold after shearing; therefore, should be housed in a barn during those times.
The ideal food for domesticated goats is alfalfa hay and grass hay. This should be available daily in quantities of at least 3% of the goat’s body weight. Small quantities of feed grain and concentrates (often protein-enriched) like goat show or goat grain can also be given to add nutrition. Supplements are often used to address deficiencies inherent to local habitats.
Clean water is essential to a goat’s daily diet. It should always be available and provided where it cannot be soiled. Dirty and moldy water is hazardous to the goat’s health. Milking goats should be kept away from aromatic or strong-tasting foliage like garlic, onions, mint, and cabbage, which could taint the flavor of the milk.
Angora Goats have specific nutritional requirements to sustain their rapid hair growth.
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good deworming program, good fences, foot trimming, damp environment, escape artists, mange mites
excellent brush clearers, white kid fleece, cold hardy, sociable, Fiber goats
Stein the stodgy old Angora
Stein was a goat as intractable as the stones he was named after. When I came upon him he was a wooly old beast with one cracked horn, who wanted nothing more than to be left to his feed and grazing amongst the strangest goats he ever did see. Those would be the horses who shared a field with him, and with whom he never seemed to have any quarrel. He wasn't precisely cranky, but he definitely carried an air that told you that he was an old man, and you youngsters should respect your elders. The one thing he'd utterly cooperate with was being shorn, especially in the hot summers. Once shorn he'd utter a sigh of relief, and we'd head into the house to begin the process that would end with lovely lengths of spun wool, and the bits of woven fabric that would come from our inkle loom. Stein was a wonderful old goat, and had little quarrel with anyone, so long as there was food in it for him. He even tolerated kids dangling from his horns, which we of course discouraged, but with the playful shakes of his head he never seemed to. Angoras can be wonderful pets, and if you're a fiber geek, the source of hours of creative entertainment..
From Brandon Mar 25 2014 1:30AM
So docile it's hard to believe they are goats
I’ve raised four full Angora goats and have to say that they have the sweetest and most gentle personalities of all the goats I’ve ever raised. Many of my goats had issues of dominance, boredom that lead to escape attempts, and generally independent attitudes. Angoras are so much calmer and easy going. The first pair I bought had been someone’s pets. Ma was the oldest and had been treated to butterscotch candies by one of the owners. Anytime she head plastic crinkle she appeared from thin air and stood there patiently, with big eyes, and waited until you shared. She came with a younger wether called William. William was also sweet and gentle, but he hadn’t been handled much and so he had a degree of skittishness that never really left. Ma and William were about the same size as our LaMancha does, but the next Angoras we bought, Capella and Colca, were small. They stood probably about halfway between a Pygmy and a LaMancha and were much daintier than Ma or William.
All of our Angoras produced the softest mohair that was wonderful to work with. My Mom was into spinning and weaving and used their mohair to create shirts, yarn that turned into hats and scarves, and fine thread. Summers in Texas were hard for them, especially when we had a long drought and temperatures skyrocketed, so we took care to make sure they had shade, access to plenty of water, and cross breezes.
While I hate sheering and working with mohair, I had no trouble from them in any aspect, really. They were content to follow us around while hiking and were easy to catch, load, and put into the milk stand for sheering. Health-wise the biggest problems were correcting nutritional deficiencies that affected two separate births and diarrhea when they ate too many grape leaves. If you want to work with the mohair and want a goat that has a tame disposition, the Angora would be an excellent choice, especially for a beginner..
From ShilohOhmes Mar 24 2015 5:07PM
Why Annie was right for someone else
I got Annie for my birthday because a goat seemed like a reasonable way to see how responsible I was before my parents bought me a horse in a few years time. As a baby she was very affectionate and would chase me around the pen, playing hide and seek looking for pats, making this adorable little bleating sound.
Annie had a very lovely personality, the kind of animal that would have done well in a petting zoo because she enjoyed the company of people. However, her maintenance became an issue as the yearly shearing was a hassle and the intervals in-between left her coat matted. She lived in a paddock to keep the blackberries and weeds down, but her coat was not suited to the environment.
We had Annie for several long, happy years, before I became distracted with the horse and with my schooling. Eventually, we lent her out to another family (who had small children) and they fell in love with her. When my parents asked me if the other family could keep her, I consented, knowing that she would enjoy the affection of those kids. They also had more time to pay attention to her upkeep than we did.
Although Annie had a great personality and was very hardy, the coat of an Angora is not right for anyone who doesn't want to deal with the upkeep of it. Consider a Nubian or some other short haired animal if you are not after fleece..
From SarahElizabeth Oct 3 2014 9:56PM