November 01, 2014 03:56 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

  • FILE - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, right, walks past Chinese President Xi Jinping as they arrive to the Monument to the People's Heroes during a ceremony marking Martyr’s Day at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, Sept. 30, 2014.

    Audio China’s Constitution Receives New Attention

    The constitution took effect in the early 1980s, when the Communist Party was opening up the country economically. Now China is at a new crossroads. Observers say it is reaching for a new economic growth model. Chinese officials will promise to defend its rules when they take office. | In The News More

  • Video More US Hispanic Women Convert to Islam

    Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. The Pew Research Center says about six percent of American Muslims are Latino. And women make up a little more than half of the new converts -- the people who have changed their religion to Islam. More

  • This image released by USCIS shows a sample of the front of the redesigned green card carried by foreign-born residents living permanently in the U.S. The Homeland Security Department is issuing the redesigned "green card" that is stacked with safety feat

    Audio US 'Green Card Lottery' Ending November 3

    State Department’s Diversity Visa program closes November 3rd. Millions of people have entered the program, hoping to win a visa. But only 50,000 are chosen. 5,000 more are available under the Nicaraguan and Central America Relief Act. The green card lottery closes on Monday. | As It Is More

  • A convoy of peshmerga vehicles is escorted by Turkish Kurds on their way to the Turkish-Syrian border, in Kiziltepe near the southeastern city of Mardin October 29, 2014

    Audio Iraqi Kurdish Fighters Enter Kobani

    Also in the news, Burkina Faso ends efforts to extend its presidential term limit after protests in the capital. Ukraine says the EU will be guarantor in any gas deal with Russia. Myanmar holds a major meeting Friday. And claims of cheating delay SAT results for South Korean and Chinese students. More

  • Video Singapore Film Ban Raises Free Speech Issue

    The documentary film, “To Singapore, with Love” tells about political dissidents from Singapore. The film has been shown at public events in Britain, India and Malaysia, among other countries. But one place the movie cannot be seen is Singapore. That is because the government there has banned it. More

Featured Stories

  • Obama Halloween

    Audio Halloween Is Big with Kids and Business

    The National Retail Federation says sales of Halloween goods will total about $7.4 billion this year. It says the average American will spend about $77. The group expects 162 million people to celebrate. The NRF predicts 54 million of them will hold Halloween parties. | American Mosaic More

  • A print shows the Second Battle of Bull Run, also called Second Manassas.

    Audio South Defeats North Again at Manassas

    Lincoln named George Pope to lead the Army of Virginia. He wanted to join Pope’s forces with the Army of the Potomac and break through Confederate defenses around Richmond. But General Robert E. Lee decided to hit Pope first. More

  • Star House

    Video Home of Last Comanche Chief Close to Ruins

    One of the most interesting people in U.S. history is Quanah Parker, the last chief of the country’s Comanche Indian tribe. Quanah Parker was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Quanah Parker was a fierce fighter. More

  • FILE - A veterinarian at the nonprofit Bali Animal Welfare Association gives a rabies shot to a puppy in Kebon Kaja village, Bangli Regency in Bali, Indonesia.

    Audio Mass Vaccination of Dogs Can Eliminate Rabies

    About 70,000 people worldwide die every year of rabies. Rabies is a viral infection that people get mainly through dog bites. Scientists say vaccinating dogs can effectively get rid of rabies outbreaks in dog populations. And this will have a domino effect, fewer humans with rabies. More

  • Methane oxidizing

    Photogallery Small Organisms in Deep Sea Rocks Eat Methane

    The gas methane has been linked to rising temperatures on Earth. But methane does not stay in the atmosphere as long as another “greenhouse gas” -- carbon dioxide. Scientists say both gases trap heat from the sun. They prevent heat from escaping into outer space. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner BlogConfessions of an English Learner Blog

Tell us About Our Programs