April 28, 2015 14:26 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 At ASEAN, Territorial Dispute Gets Delegates’ Attention

    Leaders from Southeast Asian nations are meeting in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. The leaders have called for a peaceful settlement of competing territorial claims in the South China Sea. Their calls are a sign of growing tensions because of Chinese activities in the Spratly Islands. More

  • Audio Japanese Prime Minister Begins US Visit

    Trip comes as security relationship between US and Japan is changing, 70 years after the end of World War II. But few Japanese support a change in the country’s security policy. Korean-Americans expected to protest visit; they are angry about sexual slavery of Korean women in World War II. More

  • Photogallery Aid Arrives in Nepal, Death Toll Rises Above 4,000

    US calls Iran nuclear deal monitoring ‘most extensive’ ever; funeral Monday for black man who died in police detention; Japanese Prime Minister in US; ASEAN conference begins in Malaysia; and, Australia claims corruption in drug trafficking trial in Indonesia | In the News More

  • Audio New Paris Concert Hall Hopes to Link Rich and Poor Music Lovers

    The new Paris Philharmonic concert hall opened earlier this year. Long before opening day, people questioned the large amount of money required to pay for the building. Now, the biggest problem is a social one. Can the concert hall influence a new generation of classical music lovers? More

  • Pope Francis celebrates a Roman Catholic religious service called a Mass. The Mass observed the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Massacre, in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican Sunday, April 12, 2015. Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I. Many people who study genocides believe it was the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey denies that the deaths should be considered a genocide. It says the number of dead is lower than what reports say it was, and that those killed were victims of civil war and unrest. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

    Video TIME Lists World’s 100 Most Influential People

    TIME Magazine has released a list of 100 people it says are the “most influential” people in the world. They are government leaders, activists, artists and celebrities.The list includes U.S. President Barack Obama, Cuban leader Raúl Castro, and Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic Church. More

Featured Stories

  • Audio Caring for an Aging Population

    By the year 2050, an estimated two billion people will be aged 60 or older. As the world’s population gets older, governments and community-based organizations must find ways to help families avoid ‘caregiver burnout.’ Read on to learn more about the issue in the Health & Lifestyle report. More

  • Audio Islam Is the Fastest Growing Religion in the World

    Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, according to a new study. The Pew Research Center spent six years studying the demographics of population and religion around the world. What they found is that as the world population grows between 2010 and 2050, so will Islam. More

  • Audio When It Comes to Money, Black Is Better Than Red

    Colors come to the rescue when you want to describe a business that is making money or losing money. Judging from Jack Ma's smile at Alibaba's IPO at the New York Stock Exchange, he's making a lot of money. Also learn other useful banking terms. More

  • Audio Everyday Grammar: In, On and At

    Many learners have questions about English grammar rules for using prepositions of place and time. We present a few simple guidelines to help you put your prepositions in the right places. In English, though, there is always an ‘exception to the rule. More

  • Video Monkeys Rule the Ruins in Disney Documentary

    The new Disneynature film “Monkey Kingdom” centers on a troop of tocque macaques that live in a special place in Sri Lanka. The animals live under a strict social order. New mother Maya is low on that order and struggles for survival with her newborn, Kip. Danger and drama define their existence. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner blog
Confessions of an English Learner blog

 

 

 

Tell us About Our Programs