Getting Started with Angoras...
Getting Started with Angoras...
The Ideal Animal For Lifestyle Or Full Time Farmers
Angoras are readily introduced to small farms and can
be managed easily if hand fed when introduced to a new
environment. People wishing to introduce angoras onto
their property should always ascertain the environment
and management system used by the previous owner. The
majority of angora farmers run less than 200 angoras.
Full time farmers can contact the larger producers through Mohair Australia or the Mohair brokers.
Wethers are the best angoras to buy to learn about how they fit into your management system. Breeding does and bucks can be introduced once you are confident about how to manage them.
MOST IMPORTANT. Always speak to an established breeder in a similar area to you to find out how they run their enterprise and what facilities they have BEFORE you buy your first Angora. Animals over one year of age that have cut their first 2 adult teeth are the “safest” angora to purchase if you have not been involved in angora farming before. These animals have already learnt how to survive.
Facilities required to run angoras.
1. Good fences- One of the first facilities you require before buying goats. The angora is the easiest of the goat breeds to keep in and manage. A fabricated wire fence ( Ringlock, Hinge joint 6/70/30 or 8/90 30 or wire netting) with the bottom wire 50mm but no more than 70mm above the ground is essential. Angoras are not prone to jumping fences but they will go under a fence if hungry or simply inquisitive about what is on the other side. A fabricated fence also limits the access to other animals such as foxes and dogs. Wire netting is expensive but is impenetrable to most animals and is ideal for a boundary fence on small blocks.
Avoid fabricated fencing material for pigs and using a dropper that divides the rectangle of Ringlock or Hinge Joint reducing the size of the space. Goats are good at putting their heads through these smaller spaces but not so good at pulling them out.
An offset electric wire 250mm off the ground will be very beneficial as it is a deterrent to predators but also teaches the goats to avoid the fences. They learn very quickly once they have “met” an electric fence wire.
In extensive farming areas the wild dog designed fence is very economical to construct and very effective . Click here for a link to the NSW Agriculture Ag Fact on Goat Fencing
2. Shelter sheds. – It is very important to provide shelter for angoras after shearing in particular but also from wet windy weather . Goats prefer the drier more arid climates but can be run in any environment when they have appropriate management. Sheds need not be elaborate but a multipurpose shed is more of an asset.
3. Shearing shed- This need not be an elaborate building but a shed that will enable a floor area for the shearer and mohair sorting table and fleece bins. The most important area is where the angoras stand before shearing that is either slatted or has mesh flooring that allows the urine and faeces to drop through and ensures that the animals are clean and dry.
The area the shearer uses should also be clean and free from any hay or other things that could contaminate the fleeces.
4. Shearing equipment. – Standard shearing plants are appropriate but if you have only a small number of angoras a pair of hand shears or electric clippers are adequate. Sharpening equipment appropriate to your shearing gear is also required. Sheep shearers are available to shear angoras and their are some specializing in angoras that are available. The cost of shearing will depend on how many goats you have to shear . It is often cheaper to do it yourself. It is not difficult and there are no particular technique you need to use but it is important to not cut the staple of the fleece into short pieces.
Goats can suffer from worms and other internal parasites such as liver fluke and are treated with a drench that is administered orally. They also can suffer from Lice and other external parasites that are treated by spraying, plunge dipping or pouring on a chemical that kills them. Vaccinations to prevent other diseases need to be given. The grazing density at which the angoras are run and the climatic environment influences the amount of diseases the angoras have and the management method used to control them. A comprehensive guide to Goat Health can be accessed by clicking here
The cheapest food for goats is pasture and browse (shrubs and weeds). Angoras respond well to being hand fed with hay or grain occasionally to keep them friendly and easy to handle but constant hand feeding can be expensive. Again the number of animals you run on you property determines the amount of supplementary feed you need. Click here for the accepted farming practice for the welfare of goats.
What will it cost and what will I earn from a wether in a year.
Angora wethers are generally available for sale from stud breeders and mohair producers on a private sale basis, through advertisements in the Mohair Australia News Sheet , rural papers, or brokers.
The price will depend on the quality of the angoras, their age and whether they were recently shorn or are in full fleece ready to be shorn. Currently (2006) the price range is from $20.00 to $40.00 per head. Often the price that the meat trade will pay is the minimum price.
Mohair prices for the type of fleece that the angoras have on them will also influence the price. Fine Kid mohair is the most valuable and adult mohair is least valuable.
Mohair prices, the type of fleece and amount of mohair the animal cuts per shearing will determine the income received. This can range from $20.00 per head per shearing to $50.00 or in some cases even more.
The better quality angoras can be run for up to 8 years of age or even more as their fleece quality does not deteriorate with age to any great extent. Most animals are sold at 5-7 yrs of age to the meat trade or earlier if the fibre quality and the animal body condition deteriorates.
It is not unreasonable to expect a net return of $50.00 per head per annum from your mohair production.
Mohair Australia Ltd. - Narrandera NSW
Justine Hall - Head Office: 02 6959 2069 - firstname.lastname@example.org