Does anyone have or raise cashmere goats? or Fainting coats?
I was an agricultural show one time in London and a gentleman farmer talkeda bout raising cashmere goats. I asked him what he did to get the cashmere, did he shear them and he said "oh no, i comb them - its very gentle" and then he sold the hair. It seemed like a very humane way of retrieving the goat hair! Just curious! I don't have a farm or a place for goats but one day I hope to!
I too am interested in cashmere goats. They seem really neat. How much does one get for a specific amount of cashmere and how much does each goat produce? Also, can these goats be milked? If so do they produce good milk?
I would also like to know which breeds of goat are best for drinking milk (raw of course) and which are best for making butter and cheese. Thanks everyone!
Yummmmm.....there is nothing better then raw goats milk IMHO. Although not normally used for milk, and they may not produce as much as dairy breeds do, cashmere's can be milked and their milk is just as tasty as any dairy goat's milk.
Some good dairy breeds are Nubians, Oberhaslis, Saanens, Toggenburgs, LaManchas, and Nigerian Dwarf. Despite their small size, Nigerians are surprisingly good milkers.
Combing is one way to harvest the hair, as well as shearing. I understand, shearing is preferred by those who have large herds as it is faster. Combing used more often with smaller herds. I think I would opt for combing because it seems less stressful to the goat and it strengthenes the bond between you and the goat. My goats....albeit not fiber goats.....LOVE to be brushed and combed. They literally wait in line for their turn.
"The amount of Cashmere a goat produces depends on a number of factors, the most important of which is how much selective breeding is in the genetic background. The amount of down produced depends on the diameter, the length of the fiber, and the overall fleece coverage. The cashmere fiber is the goat's winter coat. Its growth is responsive to light. It begins to grow around the summer solstices (June 21st) and ends around the winter solstices (December 21st). Harvesting the hair takes place from December to March, the time period when the goat naturally begins to shed its winter coat."
Thanks for the answers. I have gotten two natural goat care books but haven't been able to read them yet. I figured I should start with my chicken book. So much to learn- so little time to read!
I am not interested in commercial amounts of milk so maybe a dual purpose goat would work well for us. I am always interested in pets with an unusual characteristic or quality.
Hi to all-
I am the 'newbie' in group.
My reason for joining is to actually gather good information,resources & books to read about goats.Always best to research the needs,costs and supplies needed for any animal before getting any!
Please post any good books,personal experience etc. so that we may educate ourselves on the subject.Diet,shelter,health needs & any who make cheese PLEASE contact me.
Right now we are in the high country of Az. with only 5 acres.The intent is to eventually move to a 40 acre parcel already owned(undeveloped) in elevation similiar to high desert.(Maybe 5,000 ft. or so & milder climate)
Hope I have landed in the group that might be able to help me do my homework.
thanx for any input-tillie
There may be some members here who make their own goat cheese and are willing to post recipes etc., but you can also research dairy goat forums. One good one which has a lot of info on making cheese, yogurt, butter etc plus including the care of goats is http://dairygoatinfo.com
Goat basics are a sturdy shelter of some sort, preferably one they can be secured in at night. (coyotes and stray/wild dogs will kill your goats) Good fencing. Tractor supply sells "goat" fencing and it is great for people with goats that still have their horns (as mine do) because the gap in the wire is a 4inch X 4inch square so they can't stick their heads through and get stuck like thay can with regular field fence.
Good quality hay which can be grasses, legumes (like alfalfa & clover) or a mix. They should have access to free choice minerals. I prefer loose minerals over the block and also one that does not contain a lot of salt because goats have high nutritional requirements and if there is too much salt in the minerals they may not consume enough of the vital minerals they need for good health. Lots of fresh, clean water.
In winter you may want to supplement their diet with a good quality pelleted or texturized goat ration. You will need wormers like ivermectin, safeguard etc and possibly Corid for coccidia (a parasite) if it is prevelant in your area. (Coccidia can kill baby goats) There is worming info on the dairy goat forum mentioned above.
Goats are dry land animals, so high country in AZ is really suited to them. They can have too many problems if on damp, swampy, wet land. Lung worm, liver fluke and meningeal worm to name a few.
Goats are browsers (like deer) rather then grazers (like sheep/horses/cows), so land with a lot of forages, weeds, shrubs, trees & bushes is ideal. But if all that is available is pasture then their diet will have to be supplemented with good hay all year long. (and don't forget the free choice minerals!!!)
If you are going to raise goats you will have to do your research on nutritional requirements of the pregnant doe. Read up on the kidding process in case you need to help assist in a birth. Having a goat knowledgable vet is a plus but most of us do not have that luxury. Around here we have vets who know zero about goats, being mostly equine or large animal vets, or small animal (dog/cat) vets. (One clue your vet does not know squat about goats is if he thinks sheep and goats need the same kind of diet....NOT). If he suggests goats are copper sensitive like sheep, drop him like a hot potato. Goats require a lot of copper, as much as cows and horses. That is why the block or loose minerals are essential if your area is copper deficient which most of AZ seems to be (or deficient in other needed minerals)
Oh yes, lots to learn, research and read up on. A few web sites about goats
Some goat books
Articles by Sue Reith
Join the PygmyGoatPyn group on Yahoo. It is a good source for info. Everything concerning pygmy goats (diet/nutrition/care etc) applies to large goats as well as miniatures so it is still a good group for info about goats.
Both Deb Frost (I think she may be the moderator of the group) and Maxine Kinne are pretty goat 'knowledgable'. Perhaps there is a good goat breeder in or near the area of your farm who can teach you about goats and help when you have problems or questions.
Thank you so much for the wealth of info. and resources.This should keep me busy for quite awhile!
Very much appreciated-tillie