I purchased 6 Angora Goats in September, 1999, and 3 more in
October 2006, Thyme, Tern and Tiptoe, from Frances and Ian Mason
The goats, Jay, Lucy, who were both in kid, and 18 months old Merry and Myrtle
(twins), Mistletoe, (hand reared triplet), and Marsh. They all settled in very
quickly and completely won our hearts, and those of everyone who came to visit
Even one little girl who had misheard them being called Mohair goats and was
expecting them to be purple still thought they were very cute. (Mauve Haired
Collectively, they are very inquisitive, singly they are quite timid.
Mistletoe is always at the ready for any kind of adventure, although Tiptoe is a
real pickle. The slightest gap in
the fence and she is through – if she is not immediately expelled the rest of the
gang follow her lead and whatever tasty morsel they find, usually the nearest
shrub or small tree is destroyed.
Despite this they are lovely animals, easy and gentle to handle and great fun to
watch. They like to play, climb on things, and often have challenge matches
butting each other, all very casual and friendly really. They do though spend
most of their time eating and sleeping.
The goats are kept in at night and have free access to both shelter and field
during the daytime.
Their fleeces are sheared off twice a year in March/April and September/October.
I do use a professional shearer, to shear them but I chose to shear them myself
during the Foot and Mouth outbreak which was quite an experience. They either
behaved like startled fawns or played dead. Back breaking and exhausting work.
It took me 2 days to shear them all. ( it takes the professional 2 hours )
I wanted to have an exclusively Minstead Mohair product, so I stock piled the
fleeces for 2 years until I had enough to take to the Natural Fibre Company in
Wales for individual processing. My third batch of milling has just been
completed by Woolcount of Brecon.
They do a fantastic job and I now have a range of carded fleece for spinning,
singles yarn for weaving, double knit and arran weight knitting yarns. I dye
some of these with
Omega Dyes and then sell the natural and coloured balls and
skeins at local markets, New Forest Producers Markets
in Beaulieu, Lymington, Lyndhurst and Fordingbridge. Throughout the summer I
attend with Frances and Ian Mason, Craft Carnival fairs, the New Forest Show and
the Romsey Show, see the details on my 'Where to find me' page.
I am still trying to move on to manufacturing exclusive mohair items, both
garments and furnishings, woven, hand and machine knitted. So much to do and so
little time to do it !