September 04, 2015 14:27 UTC

learningenglish

Do It Yourself: Raising Angora Goats

An Angora goat at a farmer's market in the state of Maine
An Angora goat at a farmer's market in the state of Maine


This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.

(SOUND)

Has anyone ever tried to get your goat? To "get your goat" is an expression. It means to make you mad. A good friend might tell you: "Don't worry about what that person said. He was just trying to get your goat."

But there are plenty of good reasons to get a goat -- and not just for milk or meat. The animals can help control weeds. They can be friendly with children and adults. And they can make money with their hair.

Cashmere goats produce cashmere. Angora goats produce -- no, not angora. Angora fiber comes from rabbits. Angora goats produce mohair. Mohair is used to make clothing, carpets and other products.

The goats came from the Anatolian plains. Their name comes from the Turkish city of Ankara. The Mohair Council of America says the first Angora goats arrived in the United States in eighteen forty-nine. Seven females and two males were imported.

Today the United States is one of the world's leading producers of mohair. The other top sources are South Africa and Turkey. Ninety percent of the mohair from the United States comes from Texas.

An adult Angora can produce as much as seven kilograms of hair each year. The value of the coat depends on the age, size and condition of the goat. As Angoras get older, their hair becomes thicker and less valuable.

The goats need their mother's milk for the first three or four months. They reach full maturity at about two years. But even then they are smaller than most sheep and milk goats.

Cashmere goats are usually larger than Angoras. Cashmere goats can grow big enough to be kept with sheep and cattle.

The outer hair of the animal is called guard hair. Behind it is the valuable material on a cashmere goat. Some farmers just comb their cashmere goats to remove the hair. But if the goats do get a haircut, it often happens when they would naturally lose their winter coat, between December and March.

Angora goats generally get their hair cut twice a year, in the spring and fall. Owners do it themselves or hire a professional shearer. An Angora without a coat can get cold. So it may need to be kept extra warm for about a month after shearing.

And that's the VOA Special English Agriculture Report. To read, listen and learn English with our stories, go to voaspecialenglish.com. You can also find captioned videos of our program at the VOA Learning English channel on YouTube. I'm ____________.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Elaine
05/09/2012 6:11 AM
I want to get a lovely goat at home after reading...


by: Betty
05/09/2012 4:56 AM
As this radio says,goats are our friend.They are friendly with both children and adult and make money for us by the way even sacrificing their coats in winter.But you know maybe they are not willing to be sheared just for that they must make a living by human's feeding or they don't have ability to protest theirself from the invading. Therefore they bare it and alive...So try your best to treat them as a friend.


by: Yoshi
05/09/2012 4:01 AM
" Get your goat " seems similar to " make someone go nuts"
I understand goats are very varuable not only for milk and meat, but also for hair. If I lost my goats in Anatolian plains, I will have a lot of difficulties in dayly life and go mad !?


by: kronick
05/09/2012 1:15 AM
cliff, i can get u a goat!


by: zeng xiaoqing
05/08/2012 11:24 PM
can you show me how to douw load?


by: cliff
05/08/2012 2:22 PM
Very interesting! I'd like to get a goat rather then a dog, and maybe I can teach my goat watch the door...

Learn with The News

  • Audio Countries Compete for Oil in the Arctic

    Russia, the United States and other countries are hurrying to control Earth’s northernmost territory: the Arctic. Environmentalists have denounced U.S. oil company projects in the Arctic. A former Shell Oil Company official says new kinds of energy can be developed without harming nature. More

  • Audio Weaker Chinese Economy Sends Shockwaves Worldwide

    As markets show weakness, U.S. and Japanese officials have called for talks on China’s economy at the G-20 meeting in Turkey. The U.S. government is urging China to be more open in discussing its policy plans. More

  • Audio Pro-Kurdish Party Could Decide Turkish Election Results

    Turkey will hold its second parliamentary elections this year on November 1. Political observers believe that the pro-Kurdish party HDP could sway the elections. The party won enough votes in June elections to enter parliament for the first time. More

  • Audio In Hungary, Migrants Seeking to Go West Clash with Police

    Also, China says it will reduce its military by more than 10 percent; South Korea, China and Japan agree to talks; Iran’s Supreme leader says parliament should decide on the nuclear deal with Western Powers, and the U.N. says 13 million children are out of school in the Middle East and N. Africa. More

  • Audio Pope Allows Priests to Forgive 'Sin of Abortion'

    Pope Francis is calling his priests to forgive women of the “sin of abortion” during the upcoming “Holy Year of Mercy.” He released a letter Tuesday saying many women have told him of the pain when ending a pregnancy. He wrote women agonized and told him “that they [had] no other option." More

Featured Stories

  • Audio Tanglewood Music Center Celebrates 75th Anniversary

    The world famous Boston Symphony Orchestra normally performs at Symphony Hall in Boston, Massachusetts. But its summer home is the Tanglewood Music Center in western Massachusetts. The Boston Symphony Orchestra also has a summer program at Tanglewood for young singers and musicians. More

  • Audio Are You Too Smart for Your Own Good?

    If you think being smart is always a good thing, think again. Smart has many meanings. Read on to find out what they are and the surprising origin of the term Smart Aleck. More

  • Audio Everyday Grammar: Fun with Future Tenses

    English has several ways to talk about the future. It's one of the most flexible tenses in English. We visit some popular songs for examples of the future forms. Read and listen as the Everyday Grammar team shows you six ways to express an event in the future. You will not regret it! More

  • Video A Horseman in the Sky by Ambrose Bierce

    Carter Druse lived in Virginia, a southern state during the American Civil War. He had a tough decision to make - should he join the Confederate Army or the Union Army? Read this classic American Story to find out what decision he makes, and what it means to his father and fellow soldiers. More

  • Audio Betty Azar, 'Rock Star' of English Grammar

    It all started with a question from a student. The year was 1965. Betty Azar was teaching her first English as a Second Language class at the University of Iowa. A student from the Middle East asked Ms. Azar, “Why can’t I put a in front of water?’ As in ‘I drank a water.’” More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner
Confessions of an English Learner blog

Tell us About Our Programs