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Pygora goat

How to Shear a Pygora Goat

Pygora goat
Trenna Sue Hiler's image for:
"How to Shear a Pygora Goat"
Caption: Pygora goat
Image by: Aaran Edmonstone
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Not familiar with pygora goats? This is not is big surprise. This breed of goat was specifically bred and registered for fibers used in hand spinning. Katherine Jorgensen is the one who registered this particular breed.

The goats are a cross-breed of Angora and Pygmy goats. The Angoras are known for their silky, soft, fleece. It is a sought after fiber in spinning. On the other hand the Pygmy fiber is very versatile and short fibers. The combination, the pygora goats fibers may be spun and then crocheted, knitted or woven. The fiber is soft enough that it can be worn next to the skin. There are many uses for the fibers.

Pygora goats have three every distinctive types of fleece. All of types can be sheared in the most traditional way. It may not be the best option to use for everyone.

Type A pygora goats have very long silky hair. It grows in curls up to 6 inches in length.

Type B pygora goats have fleece that is between 3 to 6 inches long. It is crimped.

Type C pygora goats have the shortest fleece, only 1 to 3 inches long and it is much more coarse.

Typically shearing takes place in the late winter before kidding. Since shearing removes warmth for both the pygora and the kid when it is born, it is essential to provide shelter and warm bedding for the animals. Removing their winter coat requires that you hand them a blanket.

Pygora goats, like all goats, tend to get a little dirty and there is always the risk of matting. Prepare for shearing by lightly combing the fleece to remove the natural debris. Take a leaf blower to help with the cleaning process. It is a good idea to use the leaf blower often so the goat is not upset or afraid of the noise.

The goal when shearing is to get the longest pieces of fleece without any injury to the goat or any second cuts. Cut close to the skin using either pet grooming shears or scissors. Use long strokes. Safety is an issue. Pay close attention for the delicate areas. These are the bulge of the belly, the loose skin where the legs and body meet, the tendons along the back of the legs, the genitals and the teats.

While the shearing may be done. There is still work to be done with the fibers. The guard hairs, the course hairs that protect the soft fleece should be removed. It is more prominent in the type c pygora. Then skirting takes place, the art of removing fleece that is not of the best quality. Fleece should be stored in boxes or paper bags and properly marked with the date of the shearing and they identification of the goat. This helps to increase the value of items marketed.

It would be remiss not to mention the other forms of shearing. They are plucking or picking the hair off by hand. A grower would check the goats to see when the natural shed is ready. Or let the wind do the job and gather the fleece daily.


More about this author: Trenna Sue Hiler

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