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What is an Angora Goat?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated Jun 04, 2024
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An Angora goat is a domesticated goat bred for its extremely long, silky hair, which can be sheared twice annually and spun into mohair. The original Angora goats come from Angora, a region of Turkey, although today they can be found in many regions of the world, and some breeders have crossed the breed with other goats to encourage more hardy characteristics and to create colored Angora goats, with fur in a variety of shades including brown, gray, and black in addition to the classic white.

Historical evidence suggests that the Angora goat has been around since at least 1,000 BCE, and they are probably even older. The original Turkish breed was apparently somewhat delicate after years of breeding, so Turkish goat farmers began crossing their Angoras with other goats to make them hardier. Several attempts were made to import Angora goats into Europe, but the goats didn't fare well outside of Turkey until the 1800s, when a batch was exported to Africa. Today, Africa is a major producer of mohair, and specially bred hardy Angora goats are also raised in Asia, parts of Europe, and the Americas.

The hair of the Angora goat is similar in composition to wool, but it has a much softer, silkier texture. It is also extremely elastic and lustrous, making it very suitable for a fine-quality wool. Mohair will also not felt like wool does, and it can be blended with other fibers and dyed in a variety of ways to create a broad assortment of Mohair products.

These goats are somewhat smaller than most goat breeds, and their coats of hair are quite thick, especially in the weeks leading up to shearing. Both males and females have horns, with the horns of the male developing a distinctive spiral growth pattern. Angora goats can be demanding to raise, as they need a very high-quality diet to encourage the growth of healthy hair, and they can be challenging to breed. The goats are also known for being delicate, especially in the weeks following shearing, so they need shelter such as a barn or stable.

In addition to being raised for hair, an Angora goat can also make an excellent mower and weed disposal unit. Angoras and other goats are often used for weed control along highways, for example, and they can be turned loose on a lawn or overgrown area around the house or farm to bring the weeds under control. Angoras tend to be a bit less aggressive and curious than other goats, so they are safe around other animals and people of all ages, and the Angora goat is much less likely to escape its confinement or to raise a ruckus when compared to other goat breeds.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a All Things Nature researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon951819 — On May 18, 2014

I have Angoras that range from 35 kg to 55kg as mature does.average 45kg. The bucks range from 75 kg (smallish) to 120 kg for a really big guy. An average buck is about 85-95kg. DB,NZ

By SnowyWinter — On Jan 14, 2011

Commercially speaking, a raw fleece brings approximately $2.00 to $4.00 per pound. However, if you prep the wool (cleaning and carding the wool) and have it ready for hand spinning, the price can be between $30 and $50 dollars per pound.

If you were to buy a sweater or coat that is knitted from hand-spun mohair, it can cost you between $300 and $600.

By christym — On Jan 13, 2011

@boathugger: When an Angora goat is born, it is called a “kid” and weighs between 5 and 7 pounds. They immediately start growing their wool. An adult Angora yields about 25% of its total body weight each year in mohair.

Angora goat fleece is much sought after. Typically, their fleece grows around one inch per month. The best wool comes from the youngest goats. They are usually shorn (removal of the fleece) twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. Each time, they produce around 5 to 10 pounds of fleece.

By BoatHugger — On Jan 10, 2011

Does anyone have any further information on the Angora goat? For example, how big do they actually get?

By momothree — On Jan 07, 2011

I have been an avid crocheter for years and I often use Angora goat yarn. It is so soft and it is perfect for making baby blankets or other clothing for babies.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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