Our Friendly, Mohair-Producing Angora Goats
The 190 acres of rolling hills and idyllic dells of The Glen Cauffman Farm are home to over one hundred beautiful, healthy and happy Angora goats that are busily producing a top quality, desirable product from nothing more than air, water, sunshine, and the natural native forage of their pasture. Their beautiful, long ringlets of hair are sought after as a superior luxurious fiber for the high fashion fabric and clothing market. These little animals are a key element in a holistic approach to sustainable production of quality, long lasting, comfortable, and beautiful textiles without negative environmental impact. The animals themselves provide the sustainable upkeep of their pastures with little maintenance or waste of forage. They require only easily maintained, simple fencing and housing, much of which is made from recycled materials. The herd is kept on ten fenced acres of the farm, with no crowding or areas of grass cover loss.
This thriving herd has grown from a modest beginning in 2004, as a group of ten does and one buck. The goats are prolific mohair producers and good mothers. Responsibility for the care and protection of the does and kids is shared by two Great Pyrenees and two Maremma guardian dogs that live as part of the herds. The Angoras enjoy a natural lifestyle, roaming extensive and varied terrain to satisfy their innate curiosity and diverse tastes in grasses, forbs (diverse broadleaf and flowering plants of similar growth habit of grasses) and browse (leaves, twigs, and young shoots of trees or shrubs.) Their five current pastures include trees for shade, rocks and banks to play on, and a pristine spring-fed brook for cool water, as well as underground hydrants for the pastures and sheds. Fourteen safe and cozy hutches bedded with soft straw are available for them whenever they choose. Receiving medical treatment when needed, with holistic veterinary care and integrated husbandry and management, they are naturally robust and healthy, requiring little more than routine foot-trimming and periodic parasite monitoring and control; and they live as nature intended. Minimal fabricated and temporary handling and feeding equipment are required for the goats’ maintenance.
In March and October, the goats’ soft, lustrous coats are shorn in the shearing shed with the help of a custom shearer. The mohair is cleaned and sorted to remove foreign matter and stained hair, and is delivered to several different spinneries in the Northeast. The top quality mohair will be processed to create PAN textile fiber.
In the gentler weather of April, babies are born, and each mother and her one or two kids spend a few days in a warm, insulated fiberglass nursery building. After nursing and bonding with the does are established, the mischievous kids and their attentive mothers are turned out to graze and cavort among the nutritious spring grasses and wildflowers. No chemical weed control is used and mowing at optimal height for plant growth efficiency is needed only 2-3 times yearly. The goats are diverse and non-destructive grazers and their meadows remain at an attractive-appearing consistent height with this very low maintenance. Their lifestyle as clean, healthy, inquisitive and playful mountain goats is promoted in this environmentally responsible farm operation.