But Angoras, now that is another story. I did research on the breed prior to buying them and found nothing out of the ordinary when it came to their husbandry, except their hooves grow twice as fast as the other breeds of goats. What I did not find out that I wish I had, is that the goats are dumb, every ounce of self preservation bred out of them in favour of their fleece, which is what we know as mohair.
They are poor mothers and often need to be cordoned off with their offspring to figure out they had a baby and they should care for it. They do not nurture their babies like the Pygmies, who are instantly bonded to their kids, and protect them and teach them things. The Angora does not even cuddle her baby or try in any way to keep him warm, instead lies away from him as though she forgot he existed.
But that is not the worst part. They do not know how to eat hay, at least mine don't. They were only fed pelleted food and straw for roughage, so when i offered them hay, they did not eat it. It has been a couple of weeks since I got the Angoras, and I am having second thoughts about keeping them. They require intervention for kidding and daily help for the kids to nurse for about a week. I will not feed pelleted food, which is made from GMO grains, so if they do not adapt to eating hay only, I suppose I will have to separate them and feed them some oats.
I did some searching on the internet for hardy Angoras and none exist, but the cross of a Nigerian Dwarf or Pygmy with the Angora produces a fibre animal and the fibre is good for spinning. Depending on the quality of the fibre, A, B or C class, it is quite sought after, as is mohair. Since I have Pygmies and Nigerians and an Angora buck, then next year I will see how that works. If I get a Nigerian buck I will breed the Angoras with the Nigerian instead of the Angora and produce some Pygoras or Nygoras. Hopefully they will inherit the Pygmy goat's hardiness, ease of kidding and ability to thrive on a grass fed farm. In the meantime, the Angoras that were sheared will not leave the barn to eat or drink, so I have had no choice but to bring food and water to them. They basically have stood in the same place for over 24 hours now. We had a blizzard yesterday and it is snowing today, but is not as cold, yet still well below zero. The Angoras are huddled in a corner of the barn, shivering and basically glued to their spots. Hopefully it will quit snowing and warm up soon and they will actually go outside.
I was going to get 4 more Angoras, coloured ones, which are rare, but am really rethinking that one. Hmmm.