This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.
Goats are raised not just for their milk and meat, and their ability to
control weeds and help renew grasslands. They can also be valuable for their
Cashmere comes from cashmere goats and angora fiber comes from Angora --
rabbits. Mohair comes from Angora goats.
Mohair is used in sweaters, scarves, coats and other clothing, along with
floor rugs and carpets and things like doll hair.
An adult Angora can produce as much as seven kilograms of hair each year. As
the goats grow older, however, their hair becomes thicker and less valuable.
Hair from white or solid-colored goats is the most popular, but the appeal of
mixed-color mohair has grown in recent years.
The United States is one of the main producers of mohair, and exports most of
Angora goats are also popular show animals. They are considered friendly and
require little special care. The animals need milk from their mothers for three
or four months. They reach full maturity when they are a little more than two
years old. But even then they are smaller than most sheep and milk goats.
Cashmere goats are usually larger than Angoras. The Breezy Meadow Cashmere
Farm in Bellingham, Washington, says cashmere goats are big enough to be kept
with sheep and cattle.
The outer hair of the animal is called guard hair. Behind it is the valuable
material on a cashmere goat. Cashmere is valued for its softness and warmth
without much weight.
Some farmers comb their cashmere goats to remove the hair. But if the animals
do get a haircut, it often takes place at the time when they naturally lose
their winter coat -- between December and March.
Angora goats generally get their hair cut two times a year, in the spring and
fall. The job can be done with simple cutting tools or by hiring a professional
shearer. Angoras may need special protection from the cold for about a month
The value of an animal's coat depends on the age, size and condition. But
whatever kind of goat you choose, be sure to have a good fence. Goats love to
And that's the VOA Special English Agriculture Report, written by Jerilyn
Watson. Transcripts and audio files of our reports are at voaspecialenglish.com.
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