is a breed of domestic goat named for Ankara,Turkey, historically known asAngora. Angora goats produce mohair
The Angora goat has been
regarded by some as a direct descendant of the Central Asian Markhor goat. They
were found in central Asia since around the Paleolithic era. In the 1550’s the
first Angora goats were brought to Europe by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and
they were first introduced in the United States in 1849 by Dr. James P. Davis.
Seven adult goats were a gift from SultanAbdülmecid
Iin appreciation for his services and
advice on the raising of cotton. More goats were imported over time, until the
Civil War destroyed most of the large flocks in the south. Eventually, Angora
goats began to thrive in the southwest, particularly in Texas, wherever there
are sufficient grasses and shrubs to sustain them. Texas to this day remains
the largest mohair producer in the U.S., and third largest in the world!
The fleece taken from an
Angora goat is called Mohair. A single goat produces between four and five
kilograms of hair per year. Angoras are shorn twice a year. Turkey, the United
States, and South Africaare the top
producers of mohair. For a long time, Angora goats were bred for their white
coats. In 1998, the Colored Angora Goat Breeders Association was set up to
promote breeding of colored Angoras. Now, Angora goats produce white, black
(deep black to greys and silver), red (the color fades significantly as the
goat gets older), and brownish fibers.
They are not prolific
breeders, nor are they considered very hardy, being particularly delicate
during the first few days of life. Further, Angoras have high nutritional
requirements due to their rapid hair growth. A poor-quality diet will affect
goats are generally smaller than other domestic goats and sheep. Both sexes are
horned, and the ears are long and drooping. The strong elastic fiber of the
coat differs from wool primarily in its smoothness and luster.