Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Intro to Cashmere Goats




A lot of people are surprised to learn that cashmere comes from a goat. Yep, it’s true – the ultra soft “fiber of kings” comes from a lowly goat. I didn’t know it either until we purchased our current home and decided to start a farm. Most of our property is mountainside and wooded, so we had to find an animal that we could raise on this nontraditional farmland. Goats seemed like a natural choice. I never imagined I would raise goats, but when I learned that they produce cashmere I was hooked.

All goats except the angora goat have 2 hair follicles; one that produces coarse guard hair and another that produces a downy undercoat. Cashmere goats have been bred to produce a lot of down that is at least 1.25” long and less than 18.5 microns in diameter.

Cashmere is not a breed of goat, but rather a type. The North American Cashmere Goat Breed Standard has been recently developed and adopted by the Eastern Cashmere Association as a measure by which to judge cashmere goats. It is an important step toward establishing a cashmere goat breed.

Cashmere goats have a variety of “looks”. Some have short guard hair and some have long guard hair. They also come in a variety of colors from white to brown and silver to black. The goat featured in the photo at the top of this blog is one of our long-haired bucks, Spotless. The photos with this post is one of our does, Desire. Desire is a short haired goat; you can see the light colored cashmere growing out under the dark guard hair. The photo with the log in the backgroud is from the fall. The other one is from last week. She has grown a lot of cashmere since the fall. I love to pet her – she is very, very soft.

3 comments:

  1. if someone wanted to start a farm where would they go to buy these goats?

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  2. That's a great question! We sell cashmere goats. Contact me at b@mtnhollow.com for more information. If you'd like me to call you, include your phone number and the best time to call in the email. Thanks!

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  3. I am a teacher who is planning to retire at the end of next academic year. Having always been very fond of animals, I would like to establish a farm on which I can raise fiber-producing animals. I don't want to raise cattle or any animal that will be raised for meat. Cashmere goats seem like an ideal animal since their fiber can be sold and the animals preserved. Any advice that you can give me will be most appreciated. Thank you in advance. I can be contacted at jtstrunk@hotmail.com.

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