The Angora goat, also known as the Tibetan goat, is a goat breed native to Kashmir and Tibet, later introduced to Turkey and Asia Minor. It is a small goat (35 to 50 kilograms), very resistant, well adapted to arid regions.
The coat is totally white with long, silky, and shiny strands. Hair grows at about 2.5 centimeters per month. They are used to make mohair wool. Globally, the main Angora goat farming areas are in Turkey, South Africa, Argentina, and Australia.
The Angora goat is larger and stronger than the European goat, and the goat differs especially by its strong horns, horizontally twisted and with sharp fringes. Its name (as well as Angora rabbit and Angora cat) was given to this breed from the ancient name of the current capital of Turkey Ankara – Angora. The first Angora goats were brought to Europe by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V around 1554, however, this experience did not seem to be the most successful.
In the United States of America, angora goats were first brought in in 1849 by Dr. James P. Davis. Seven adult goats were a gift from Sultan Abdul-Mejid I as a token of gratitude for his services and advice to improve the quality of cotton.
As a result of the American Civil War, much of the herd was destroyed, but over time Angora goat farming began to flourish in the Southwest, particularly in the state of Texas, where there were enough grasses and shrubs to feed the pack. Texas remains the largest mohair producer in the United States to this day and the second largest in the world.
The Angora goat is a pure white breed of domestic goat, it has long, silky and curly hair. Unlike sheep’s wool hair, Angora goat’s wool hair is not curled. The average annual yield of wool is about 2.5 kilograms with two shearing cycles and it is used as mohair for the production of carpets, blankets, and fabrics. The world production of mohair wool is 15,000 tons.
The Angora goat was not known in Asia Minor before the Turks. The exact origin of the Angora goat is unknown; There are theses on a pre-Biblical Anatolian origin, but scientists are considering importing it from the Central Asian region. With the migration of nomads from Turkestan in the 13th century or through trade, this breed reached Anatolia and was cultivated in the Ankara region, the Angora at the time, which gave it its name. Following a brief export ban by the Turkish Sultan and the lifting of the ban in 1838, producers crossed with local Kurdish goats to quickly meet demand, which is said to have had a disastrous effect on wool quality.
Goats, sensitive to humidity and therefore unsuitable for the Central European climate, were exported to South Africa as early as 1838 and to California a few years later. As early as 1885, California had a population of 100,000 Angora goats.
Five Angora goats and two goats were brought to Germany for the first time in 1768. They were a gift from the director of the Principality of Liechtenstein Johann Wengand to Karl Theodor, Count Palatine near the Rhine, and arrived at Dossenheim on the Bergstrasse. By 1771 they had grown to ninety animals, with the addition of native white goats.
Angora is one of the top goat breeds preferred to raise by many backyard farmers.
The Angora breed is a very ancient breed, first documented in 2000 BC. in Tibet. Around the 16th century, this breed came to Turkey, to the Angora region, which has since become Ankara, which later gave it its name. The hair it produces made possible the production of fabrics whose reputation gradually grew and reached Europe around the 16th century.
Europeans then imported Turkish yarns and clothing, but it was not until the 19th century that they finally imported the goat itself, and began to enter the mohair industry, which flourished in England and France. Today, the goats that make up the French herd were imported in the 1980s from Canada, Texas, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. A selection program was then established to improve fiber quality.
The Angora goat is a small breed, the males weigh between 40 and 60 kilograms and the females between 30 and 40 kilograms. It is characterized mainly by its fleece of mohair hair that grows at a rate of about 2.5 centimeters per month, so after six months a fleece with hair of 13 to 14 centimeters and a weight of between 2 and 14 centimeters is obtained. 2.6 kilograms. The hairs have a fineness that varies between 26 and 30 microns. Males wear horns that bend into an outer spiral.
How long do Angora goats live?
Angora goats are quite calm and docile goats, easy to raise. Their life expectancy is about ten years.
Angora goats are raised for the mohair fiber they produce in large quantities. Mohair is a very good quality natural fiber, which can be used alone or mixed with other fibers to make luxury clothes, wool, curtains. The performance of their hair in the wash is 87% for goats, 78% for goats, and 82% for goats.
Angora goat farming
Angora goat farms are generally small and do not exceed 100 heads. Wool is collected by shearing twice a year, and each goat produces an average of 5 kilograms of fiber per year. In France, mohair products can be sold directly on the farm, and this sector has a brand of recognition: “Le mohair des fermes de France”. This brand, adopted by 80 farmers who must respect a specific letter, guarantees the quality of its products to consumers.
Capgene France manages the breed selection system. The breed selection base in France is made up of 3,500 goats spread over 35 farms. Every year, the performance of 500 animals from these farms is monitored. The characteristics we seek to improve are the weight of the fleece, length, and shape of the wick, the proportion of the wick, the coverage of the animal, as well as the thorough washing performance, and the fineness of the fiber that is measured in the laboratory. . The results of these measurements allow to assign indices to their animals and help farmers to choose the animals to keep for breeding.
An imported breed, the Angora goat is present throughout France, with perhaps a slight predominance in the south of the country. It is a breed found throughout the world, with the main breeding regions located in Turkey, South Africa, Argentina, and Australia.
Angora goats are sheared twice a year, unlike most sheep, which are sheared only once, the United States, Turkey, and South Africa are the main producers of mohair. Angora goats have long been bred only white in color, but today goat farmers breed goats that are white, black (deep black, gray, and silver), brown and red (red fades with age).
The live weight of goats is 45 to 50 kg, that of goats 30 to 35 kg. Wool (mohair) cut from 4 to 7 kg and 2 to 4 kg, respectively. The yield of pure mohair is 65 to 80%. Dairy productivity of goats for lactation from 60 to 100 liters with a fat content of 4.4%. The meat is distinguished by its high flavor, and its skins are used to produce high-quality skin. Mohair is used to make high-quality fabrics and rugs.
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