Keeping angora goats can be a very rewarding experience, if not financially then at least in terms of “job satisfaction”. If you have no experience whatsoever we recommend starting slowly and gently, both for the animals’ sake and your own. Let your goats teach you.
Although they may look rather like sheep, angora goats need more specialised management. First you need to find out about the basics –
general health issues
shearing (which is necessary for welfare reasons even if you don’t want to sell or use the mohair fleece).
breeding (don’t rush straight into buying a buck – it’s usually possible to borrow or hire a stud buck if you want to put a small number of does in kid).
Our club has produced a small booklet entitled “A Beginner’s Guide to keeping Angora goats” which should help to get you started. It has recently been updated and expanded and costs £4.50 inc p&p. Contact us via the Contact page if you’re interested.
You must be prepared to put a certain amount of effort into looking after them. Take the trouble to learn as much as you can about their care (books, vets and, most importantly, other goat-keepers and goat clubs). Whether for pleasure or profit, do it properly so that your goats don’t just survive but thrive.
Good stockmen spend considerable time leaning on the gate simply watching their animals – are they all moving well, heads and tails up, are they eating and drinking well, are their droppings healthy, are they urinating OK, etc.
There is nothing more disheartening for a true goat-lover than seeing some miserable, wet, cold, thin, shivering, lonely creature neglected by an ignorant or non-caring owner. If you aren’t prepared to do it properly, then don’t do it at all.
If you’re still determined to go ahead (and we hope you are) don’t be afraid to ask for help. Joining BAGS Welsh & West will give you the opportunity to meet other angora goat enthusiasts and learn all the skills you need. We can also advise on breeders who have stock for sale.