Acquired: Farmyard / Feedstore adoption
Posted Mar 21, 2015
Chili and Snow were the first fiber goats I ever owned. We bought them from a feed store that advertised them as pure Angora, but we figured out they were crossed with Cashmere as they grew older. Although other Angora Cashmere crosses seem to have good mohair quality ours did not. Chili had soft hair while Snow’s was coarse, and both were extremely fine. My Mom did spinning and weaving, and the mohair was only good for making straps for packs and decoration, or for stuffing pillows for the dog beds. It was itchy to wear next to the skin.
Chili grew into the leader of the mixed goat herd we later accumulated. We decided to keep him on as a wether (castrated) as a pack goat. Chili was pretty intelligent, and he was incredibly sweet. He led the herd on our daily hikes and, once we came to a spot to rest, would graze for a while and then lay down close to where us humans were often engaging in schoolwork. He did try to eat a John Grisham library book right out of my hands, once. He, and the rest of the herd, also became addicted to the cracker packets we liked to carry on hikes for snacks. It became a game, seeing how quiet we could be in opening the crinkly plastic before anyone caught on. When they did we had to share. They wouldn’t stop giving us incredibly sad eyes, otherwise. Chili also took his job as herd leader seriously. Once, my Mom and I drifted away from the herd because we were trying to identify a free crop of wildflowers we hadn’t seen before. The herd had moved on. About ten minutes later Chili came crashing through the underbrush and made the closest sound he could to disgruntled scolding, then he escorted us back to the herd. First time I’d ever been chewed out by a goat.
Snow was always on the small and thin side compared to Chili, so much so I’d describe her as dainty. She also had a Mean Girl’s kind of personality that had her butting heads with the other does because she wanted to be the lead female. I had trouble with her vying with me for dominance, so it was a daily tug of war with her until I learned to assert myself. Snow’s hair never did grow very much, and what she did produce wasn’t great to work with. We tried breeding her to the Boer buck we had, but that birth went badly. Snow’s hips were narrow, and the baby was huge, and she also had some nutritional deficiencies that led to the baby dying in the womb. The vet had to cut the baby to get it out of her due to its size. We didn’t breed her with that buck again and corrected the nutritional problem.
We didn’t buy these particular crosses again, so I can’t say if they were standards for the cross breed or not, but we enjoyed both of them despite the low mohair quality. They were never boring, for sure. I’m not interested in working with goat fiber, so I’d never get this particular cross again, but it might be worth it if you are looking for a hardy animal and want to try your hand at utilizing the hair. I would see about breeding does with non-meat goat bucks, though, just in case Snow’s stature is a commonality of this cross.