The other 4 goats are miniature Nigerian Dwarf doelings, a year old and they are bred to a pure miniature Nigerian Dwarf buck, who did not come along. When the Angora goats arrive, goats that mohair is derived from, if the Angora buck breeds the other goats they will likely produce varied degrees of mohair on their kids. Any goat produces cashmere, which is the downy fluff that insulates them for winter. This has to be combed out, or rather teased out and varies in fineness and in the amount produced. Pygmy goats can produce a good amount of cashmere for their size, but not all do. Cashmere is not a goat breed, but any goat with the propensity to have a very wooly down undercoat. Dogs, particularly double coated breeds like the Maremmas on the farm, and the border collie, also produce a spinnable fibre from their down undercoats. Getting the dogs used to being brushed makes for an easier time teasing the fibre from their coats in spring, when it is naturally shed, as happens with the goats as well. Pure Angoras do not shed their coats though, and must be shorn. The new Billy is named Bil, after a good friend. Both are rather handsome guys, but our friend is not a stinky goat, thank goodness! Welcome Bil!
Oh boy. Telling the difference between and rooster and hen when the chicks are young is not so easy with all breeds. With some, there is a marked difference in several aspects; colour, pattern, comb and the hangy down things called wattles. The legs are thicker and there is a cape of feather on a rooster that is not prominent on a hen. The broody hatched chicks 4 months old and a practiced eye and experience chicken farmer should be able to tell the sexes apart. There is a bit of a problem, an anomoly, with cross bred chicks though....one does not know what they are supposed to look like so there is nothing to compare to. Telling the Australorps apart was simple because the roosters grow a much larger comb than the hens , even at a very early age. The Orpingons were similar, but these cross breds are difficult. It is almost time for the rooster to go to the butcher shop, before the testosterone starts toughening the meat, which will be in a few weeks if their hormomes are on schedule. So far, they all stay, but that will only be until their sex can be determined for sure. Then, sadly, it is the fate of a cross bred rooster to be utilized for his caracass, sometimes feathers, but certainly not wasted. They cannot be sold - no one wants a cross bred rooster, so there is only one thing that can happen. Thank you little roosters for your lives and thank you Creator for thinking up chickens in that fantastic mind of yours. I am grateful to both.